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Boswellia, also known as Salai Guggal, is a medium to large tree found in a variety of regions throught India. A gummy oleoresin extracted from the trunk of the tree is used to prepare modern herbal remedies.

Boswellia functions as an analgesic and an anti-inflammatory. Reports indicate that the it may be used in connection with joint mobility, pain and stiffness, and may be a useful remedy for a variety of inflammatory diseases including bursitis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

The gum oleoresin consists of essential oils, gum, and terpenoids. The terpenoid portion contains the boswellic acids that have been shown to be the most important active constituent in boswellia.

Boswellic acids may contain an anti-inflammatory action - much like the conventional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used for inflammatory conditions. Boswellia inhibits the body's pro-inflammatory mediators such as leukotrienes. Long-term boswellia use does not appear to cause stomach ulceration or irritation.

Dosage and Administration

A typical treatment programme is 150 milligrams of boswellia extract 3 times a day for 8 to 12 weeks. Since strengths of commercial preparations may vary, you should always follow the manufacturer's recommendation found on the label.

Possible Side Effects

Use boswellia as directed. Rare side effects can include nausea and skin rash. Any inflammatory joint condition needs to be closely monitored by a doctor.

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