The Boswella serrata plant is native to the dry habitats of India, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. The gummy resin of this tree, also known as frankincense, contains compounds which have been used for their anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effects since the times of ancient Egypt. In ayurvedic medicine, boswellia has been utilized for arthritis, dysentry, ringworm, diarrhea, and pulmonary diseases.
New research into the Boswellia resin has shown that boswellic acids are powerful inhibitors of pro-inflammatory molecules, and may prove to be more effective than NSAIDs.
Boswellic acids are a known 5-LOX inhibitor, and have also been found to be an inhibitor of IL-6 both in vivo and in vitro.