Boswellia Offers Relief from Joint Pain and Inflammation

Clients suffering from joint pain and inflammation will thank you for adding Boswellia to your massage treatments. While this herbal extract from the Boswellia serrata tree, known as Indian Frankincense, may not be a household name, it has been enjoying considerable attention in more recent years. That is because of its benefits in treating osteoarthritis conditions by reducing joint inflammation.

Before gaining popularity today for inflammatory conditions and for strengthening the immune system, resin from Boswellia extract was used for thousands of years in Africa, China, India, and the Middle East to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, heal joints, and even improve blood flow.

Boswellia is one of the is one of the ancient and most valued herbs Ayurveda, an alternative medicine system, whose history is traced to the Indian subcontinent. It is used as an anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, and analgesic agent. Chinese traditional medicine also uses Boswellia to improve blood circulation and relieve pain.

Research on inflammation and pain

A 2019 study showed the safety and efficacy of Boswellia serrata extract (BSE) in the management of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. A total of 48 patients with OA of the knee were randomized and allocated to the BSE and placebo groups for intervention. Patients received BSE or a placebo for 120 days. The trial results revealed that BSE treatment significantly improved the physical function of the patients by reducing pain and stiffness compared with placebo.[1]

Another study on osteoarthritis found that by combining turmeric and Boswellic acid, pain symptoms, including morning stiffness and joint pain, and limitations in physical function, were reduced in subjects aged 40-70. [2]




Help for skin

In addition to its anti-inflammatory and healing properties for muscle and joint pain, Boswellia provides some antioxidant abilities for the skin.  Topical Boswellic acid also may help in treating photoaged skin. Fifteen female volunteers applied creams with or without Boswellic acids on the half sides of the face once daily for 30 days. Significant improvements of the Dover's global score for photoaging, tactile roughness, and fine lines were observed. The findings seem to indicate that topical application of Boswellic acids may represent a suitable treatment option for selected features of skin photoaging.[3]

Another study conducted in 2014 showed the promise of a Boswellic acid formulation in treating psoriasis and eczema. The external formula was able to reduce skin scales by 70%, itching symptoms by 60%, and skin redness by 60%.[4]

If you are looking to add Boswellia to your back bar for client muscle and joint pain treatments, you can find it in BIOTONE Muscle & Joint Therapeutic Massage Gel. In addition to Boswellia, the product contains Certified Organic Botanical extracts of Arnica and Devil's Claw combined with essential oils of Eucalyptus, Balsam Peru, and Wintergreen. This gel gives more coverage than oil, so you use much less. Get a smooth, even glide without a greasy feel.




[1] Majeed M, Majeed S, Narayanan NK, Nagabhushanam K. A pilot, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to assess the safety and efficacy of a novel Boswellia serrata extract in the management of osteoarthritis of the knee. Phytother Res. 2019 May;33(5):1457-1468. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6338. Epub 2019 Mar 6. PMID: 30838706; PMCID: PMC6681146.

[2] Haroyan A, Mukuchyan V, Mkrtchyan N, Minasyan N, Gasparyan S, Sargsyan A, Narimanyan M, Hovhannisyan A. Efficacy and safety of curcumin and its combination with boswellic acid in osteoarthritis: a comparative, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2018 Jan 9;18(1):7. doi: 10.1186/s12906-017-2062-z. PMID: 29316908; PMCID: PMC5761198.


[3] Calzavara-Pinton P, Zane C, Facchinetti E, Capezzera R, Pedretti A. Topical Boswellic acids for treatment of photoaged skin. Dermatol Ther. 2010 Jan-Feb;23 Suppl 1:S28-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1529-8019.2009.01284.x. PMID: 20136919.

[4] Togni S, Maramaldi G, Di Pierro F, Biondi M. A cosmeceutical formulation based on boswellic acids for the treatment of erythematous eczema and psoriasis. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2014 Nov 11;7:321-7. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S69240. PMID: 25419153; PMCID: PMC4235203.