Boswellia (Botanical name: Boswellia Serrata) is the premier Ayurvedic herb in helping the body maintain a healthy and positive inflammation response. It is extremely effective in delivering and maintaining a healthy blood supply to the joints, yet avoids the irritation associated with many conventional pain relievers. Boswellia is a sap that is reduced to a sticky resin substance that is known as a guggul (tree resins used in Ayurvedic preparations and healing). This resin, also called boswellia, is the medicinal part of the boswellia tree.
In traditional Ayurveda, Boswellia is believed to suppress the proliferating tissue found in the inflamed areas while supporting healthy connective tissue. The higher the grade of boswellia, the more fragrant and potent the resin is. Boswellia grades are determined by the season when the resin is harvested, and how well the resin has been sorted. The highest quality boswellia is said to be that which is harvested in October, when a section of tree bark is scraped away and the sap is collected.
Boswellia potency and grades also depend on the variety of boswellia used in the preparation of the extract. This article will focus on the high-grade boswellia serrata variety, which has been refined and used in both the East and the West for hundreds of years.
The active ingredient in boswellia tablets is boswellic acid. Boswellic acid makes up about 30 percent of the raw boswellia sap as it is taken raw from the tree. Once the sap is concentrated and purified, the concentration of boswellic acid increases dramatically. The most powerfully concentrated boswellia extracts contain 65 percent boswellia acids. include Maha Vishgarbha Oil, Muscle and Joint Therapy (Vata Oil), and Sesame and Mustard Oils.
The optimal process for concentrating Boswellia is called supercritical extraction. This organic method uses up to 200 pounds of fresh boswellia sap to create just 1 pound of super concentrated boswellia extract. Prior to processing, all of the sap is tested for heavy metals and other impurities that would render it unsuitable for refining. Carbon dioxide (just like the carbon dioxide used to carbonate sparkling water) is used in place of chemicals or alcohol to reduce the raw tree sap into the pure extract. The extract is then recombined with raw boswellia to create a product so pure that the heady fragrance is still present. This careful process results in a super-concentrated, yet pure extract. It is often recommended to take Neem along with Boswellia to help maintain healthy blood-toxin levels. In addition to adding herbs to one’s diet, one should be very careful to eat a healthy and balanced diet and exercise regularly to re-balance the body. Ayurveda also recommends the use of herbal massage oils to cool and soothe inflamed joints and muscles.