Natural compounds, in recent years, have attracted significant attention for their use in the prevention and treatment of diverse chronic diseases as they are devoid of major toxicities.
Boswellic acid (BA) of Boswellia serrata is proved to be one such agent that has exhibited efficacy against various chronic diseases like arthritis, diabetes, asthma, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, etc.
- Boswellia serrata (Indian frankincense – an ayurvedic herb)
- Boswellia belongs to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) with a different mechanism of action than those of the common NSAIDs
- The anti-inflammatory activity of its active ingredient Boswellic acids (BAs) is due to interference with the production of leukotrienes, which play a key role in the pathogenesis of inflammation
- Triterpenes in BAs reduce the synthesis of leukotrienes in intact neutrophils by inhibiting 5-lipoxygenase, the key enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of leukotrienes, which mediate inflammation
- In vitro experiments also show its extract can inhibit the expression of inflammatory factors such as adhesion molecules. Also has anti-arthritis properties; improves pain and physical function.
- Does not have toxic side effects at higher doses.
Side effects of BAs:
- Abdominal discomfort, nausea, epigastric pain, hyperacidity (Gupta et al., 1998), and diarrhea