Boswellia. Herbs or Prescriptions? Did You Know Many Herbs Work Better?
Herbs or Prescriptions? Did You Know Many Herbs Work Better?
Herbs or Prescriptions? Did you know that many herbs work better than prescription medications?
Since the German Government E-Commission’s Herbal Monographs scientifically validated medicinal herbs over 30 years ago, a recurring message is conspicuously clear—many herbs work better than prescription medications. Herbalists know why.
This Elephant Food Is Better Than Cox2-Inhibitor Drugs, This 5000-Year Old Herb Proves Superior To Modern Arthritis Drugs
Perhaps you’ll give or get something gold for Christmas. But if you’re really blessed, you’ll get some Frankincense (Boswellia sacra).
Revered in Ayurvedic Medicine, Boswellia serrata, aka Indian Frankincense, has a 5000-year history as one of Nature’s great anti-inflammatory herbs. Cited in Ayurvedic medical texts to support the body’s normal, natural inflammation-resolving processes, Boswellia outperforms anti-inflammatory prescription drugs.
Joint Health. A tree sap, Boswellia is revered as specific support for the joints, and also the brain, lungs, and G.I. tract.
History. In ancient times, as today, Boswellia is widely used as incense in East Indian temples to dispel depression and anxiety.
Magi’s Gift. Many people know frankincense as one of the Biblical gifts that the magi brought to the child, Jesus, honoring him as a messianic king. Historically, a precious commodity, it served as money.
Olfaction & Ingestion. Today’s science reveals that olfaction (sniffing) Boswellia resin vapors benefits the brain and mood.
Ingestion of Boswellia allows the gut-microbiome to process the herbal compounds into cell-ready molecules for rapid distribution throughout the body.
The microbiome sends both biochemical and bioenergetic messengers to the brain and immune system. Biochemical refers to molecules. Bioenergetic refers to nerve impulses and resonance.
Herbs or Prescriptions? Nootropic.
Early herbalists observed elephants munching on Boswellia and attributed it to supporting the elephant-traits of longevity, robust health, and memory. After all, an elephant never forgets. Science backs up what elephants instinctively know.
While excelling in joint support, Boswellia is also nootropic—a substance that supports youthful brain-cell longevity, and improved brain cognition by protecting neurons. Coincidentally, many nootropics support both natural anti-inflammatory activities and the resolution of inflammation processes.
Researchers prove that Boswellia supports the body’s normal processes that address rogue cell behaviors. Rogue behaviors include cancer.
Herbs or Prescriptions? Nature’s Great Anti-Inflammatory Support.
Boswellia’s relevance is even more important today due to the bane of modern-life—silent inflammation—driven by:
1) the perturbed gut microbiome (caused by antibiotics in foods, hybridized/gene-modified altered foods, sugar, and chemical additives)
2) distressed mitochondria (oxidative damage) as a result of the environment’s ubiquitous toxic-chemical milieu.
Herbs or Prescriptions? Superior To Rx.
Scientific studies demonstrate that Boswellia is superior to Rx anti-inflammatory drugs. It ranks from “equally-effective” to “dramatically-more-effective,” but presents none of the dangerous side effects.
East Indian research and clinical trials found that Boswellia provides far-superior results than the Rheumatoid Arthritis drug, Ketoprophen™, and other Cox-2 anti-inflammatory drugs.
Comment: While scientific research often selects one molecule from Boswellia such as acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid and employs standardized extracts in studies, herbalists understand the holistic importance of the other necessary and expansive components of the whole herb—elements such as healing polysaccharides and fat-soluble boswellic acids.
Beyond being on par and preferable to many anti-inflammatory drugs, botanical agents function differently than drugs, even though science identifies specific molecules that serve to either block or unblock certain cellular metabolic processes.
Boswellia works herbalomically to engage RNA transcription of DNA toward better health and works via the gut-microbes and innate epigenetic responses for the body to address the more profound, causative factors that trigger runaway inflammation.
Such responses are the body’s natural actions to certain stimuli—in this case, the benefits of phytonutrients.
Herbs or Prescriptions? Aromatherapy.
Boswellia has ‘bioenergetic’ properties that support the body’s innate life processes to perform more optimally. It possesses both biochemical (Newtonian Physics requirement for mass-action molecules) and bioenergetic (Quantum Physics) where a minuscule amount impacts the whole organism with benefits for body, mind, spirit.
A Deeper Well. To understand Boswellia’s sphere of influence, let’s first cite that most anti-inflammatory drugs are Cox-2 enzyme inhibitors.
Molecule Talk. Cox-1, Cox-2 (Cyclooxygenase-1&2), are enzymes responsible for forming prostanoids, including thromboxane and prostaglandins such as prostacyclin, from arachidonic acid (A.A.).
This inflammation activity is how arachidonic acid, a beneficial fatty acid, got a “bad rap” for inciting inflammation. A.A. serves the immune system’s normal, natural self-preservation directives. Blaming A.A. is basically “killing the messenger” instead of “addressing the cause.”
Similarly, limited mindsets blame the beneficial sterol-lipid, cholesterol, for heart and cardiovascular disease.
LOX & COX.
Boswellia’s mechanism is not to suppress Cox-2 enzymes. Its molecules, such as Boswellic acids, inhibit the overexpression of Lipoxygenase enzymes (LOX), and thus reduces the synthesis of leukotriene-driven inflammation. Leukotrienes play a significant role in promoting a plethora of age-associated, inflammation-related diseases, especially joint deterioration/inflammation, intestinal disorders, cancer, and lung illnesses.
Both COX and LOX enzymes are also involved in the formation of resolvins from EPA and DHA, so this may well be one avenue that Boswellia positively impacts the actual resolution of inflammation.
Herbs or Prescriptions? Tumor Necrosis Factor-α (TNF-α).
Involved with many autoimmune activities that adversely impact collagen, connective tissue, and the extracellular matrix, TNF-α is a powerful inflammation-driving influence. TNF-α is a cytokine (cell signaling protein) involved in acute, systemic inflammation reactions.
For people suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis, science cites Boswellia as exerting a beneficial dampening, controlling influence on this natural, but concerning, process.
Joint Support—Dual Benefit. Because of Boswellia’s influence on TNF-a, science has singled it out for its positively effective impact on the joints.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (R.A.).
Two hyper-expressive, push-pull issues cause R.A. pains:
1) The unchecked proliferation of reticuloendothelial macrophages which cause joint destruction, and
2) The buildup of nodosities (tissue) that deform the joint and prevent mobility.
Help For R.A. Studies demonstrate that Boswellia has the dual benefit of slowing down both sides of the disease-equation: the breakdown of the extracellular matrix, and the buildup of deforming joint-tissue.
Inflammation Swelling Is A Natural Process. So Is Resolution.
A critical factor in the body’s innate self-repair processes is getting the needed nutrients to the inflamed area. The swelling component of the natural inflammation process automatically reduces blood supply while the lymph fluid increases, and the immune system performs.
What’s needed is the resolution of the inflammation process, which requires the lymphatic system to deliver molecules such as resolvins, protectins, and maresins to quench inflammation when the body is ready.
Herbs or Prescriptions? Repair Time.
Boswellia helps initiate the normal-natural post-inflammation cellular repair processes. As swelling reduces, the blood brings nutrients, oxygen, and building blocks to the tissue.
Boswellia supports the blood supply to the joints and supports overall joint health.
Other herbs combine well with Boswellia’s supportive actions such as Turmeric (Curcuma longa) and Gymnema Sylvestre. Dr. Andrew Weil reports the benefits of the herb Devil’s Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens).
Joint Health Nutrition.
Joint health requires vital nutrients, which often decrease with age: sulfur, collagens, and glucosamine. Supplementation offers viable nutritional enhancements.
As people seek to protect their joints nutritionally, Boswellia, in combination with other herbs and nutrients, can provide a complete package that works synergistically to support:
1) Normal reduction of inflammation processes, and
2) Influence epigenetic oversight of cellular and immune regulatory processes, with a
3) Specific focus on supporting healthy joints.
With thousands of years of history, Boswellia’s molecules and human epigenetic processes have built a relationship that supports healthy inflammation activities, their resolution, and overall joint health.
- Moussaieff A, Rimmerman N, Bregman T, Straiker A, Felder CC, Shoham S, Kashman Y, Huang SM, Lee H, Shohami E, Mackie K, Caterina MJ, Walker JM, Fride E, Mechoulam R. Incensole acetate, an incense component, elicits psychoactivity by activating TRPV3 channels in the brain. FASEB J. 2008 Aug;22(8):3024-34. doi: 10.1096/fj.07-101865. Epub 2008 May 20.
- Xiao Ni, Mahmoud M Suhail, Qing Yang, Amy Cao, Kar-Ming Fung, Russell G Postier, Cole Woolley, Gary Young, Jingzhe Zhangand Hsueh-Kung Lin, Frankincense essential oil prepared from hydrodistillation of Boswellia sacra gum resins induces human pancreatic cancer cell death in cultures and in a xenograft murine model Ni et al. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012, 12:253 http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/12/253.
- San-Nan Yang, Chong-Chao Hsieh, Hsuan-Fu Kuo, Min-Sheng Lee, Ming-Yii Huang, Chang-Hung Kuo, Chih-Hsing Hung, The Effects of Environmental Toxins on Allergic Inflammation Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2014 Nov; 6(6): 478–484. doi: 10.4168/aair.2014.6.6.478, PMCID: PMC4214967 PMID: 25374746.
- M. Z. Siddiqui, Boswellia Serrata, A Potential Antiinflammatory Agent: An Overview, Indian J Pharm Sci. 2011 May-Jun; 73(3): 255–261. doi: 10.4103/0250-474X.93507 PMCID: PMC3309643, PMID: 22457547.
- Khajuria A, Gupta A, Suden P, Singh S, Malik F, Singh J, Gupta BD, Suri KA, Srinivas VK, Ella K, Qazi GN. Immunomodulatory activity of biopolymeric fraction BOS 2000 from Boswellia serrata. Phytother Res. 2008 Mar;22(3):340-8. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2320.
- Herbalomics – the epigenetic impact of botanicals on DNA expressions of health and disease. © by Dr. Shayne Morris.
- Flavin DF., A lipoxygenase inhibitor in breast cancer brain metastases. J Neurooncol. 2007 Mar;82(1):91-3. Epub 2006 Sep 26.
- Moussaieff A, Yu J, Zhu H, Gattoni-Celli S, Shohami E, Kindy MS, Protective effects of incensole acetate on cerebral ischemic injury. Brain Res. 2012 Mar 14;1443:89-97. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2012.01.001. Epub 2012 Jan 9.
- P. K. Gupta, MD (Ayu),S. M. S. Samarakoon, H. M. Chandola, B. Ravishankar Clinical evaluation of Boswellia serrata (Shallaki) resin in the management of Sandhivata (osteoarthritis) Ayu. 2011 Oct-Dec; 32(4): 478–482. doi: 10.4103/0974-8520.96119 PMCID: PMC3361921, PMID: 22661840.
Herbs Work Better. The reasons are mentioned in several QuirkyHealthTips blogs on therapeutic herbs: coffee, chocolate, cannabis. Here’s the summary rationale:
- Herbs and human beings have co-evolved over millennia based on the directive of mutual survival via adaptation.
- Human cell-membrane receptors respond to the complete array of phytonutrients in an herb. They also respond to fractions and isolated ingredients but with a less-comprehensive impact.
- Cell membrane receptors launch epigenetic activities that instruct cells on how to perform—often to correct symptoms and maintain optimal health via gene transcription.
- Herbs have many different molecules that work together—some to enhance cellular response, others that inhibit aggravations; some that support or minimize downstream cascades, others that support upstream metabolic cascades.
- Symbiosis and Synergism, with checks and balances, is how the human body has learned to maximize benefits and minimize the detriments of herbal molecules.
- Some herbal benefits are dependent on the gut microbiome to processes unique molecules from the plant. This relationship was established long ago with the whole herb or plant component—leaf, stim, root, rhizome, bark, flower, etc.
- Even natural health companies overlook this fundamental principle when they employ “concentrated extracts” and “isolates” in their formulas, but may do so with some mitigation if they also include the whole herb in the same formula.
Why Rx Drugs Fail To Cure.
The problem with pharmaceutical drugs, apart from the abusive cost, failure to elicit cure, and horrendous side effects (death in the case of Vioxx, birth defects in the case of DES), is that many drugs start with Nature’s perfect plant, but depredate one component of Nature’s multifaceted system.
Some cite patentability and profit motive as the guiding factor instead of dedication to health and healing.
Herbal medicine is an expansive science. Modern pharmacology is narrow science focused (apart from mammoth profits) into manipulating cell activities toward the short-sighted blocking of innate cellular process.
Humanity still awaits what Dr. Samuel Hahnemann cited in 1810, “The physician’s high and only mission is to restore the sick to health, to cure, …” and “The highest ideal of cure is rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of the health, or removal and annihilation of the disease in its whole extent, in the shortest, most reliable, and most harmless way, on easily comprehensible principles.”