Herbal hope for IBS sufferers
An herbal supplement made from the resin of the boswellia tree is gaining ground in the battle against intestinal inflammation.
More commonly used as an essential oil under its better known name frankincense, the use of this herb goes back thousands of years.
Recently, studies have begun to suggest that an extract of Boswellia serrata resin may be able to play a role in managing certain types of inflammation, including acting on a pathway that is usually thought to influence intestinal inflammatory response.
Inflammation that stems from this pathway is usually referred to as 5-LOX inflammation. Medical treatments for this type of inflammation tend to include lengthy rounds of steroidal drugs.
Always talk to your doctor before starting a new supplement, especially if you are already undergoing medical treatment. As with all supplements, the quality can vary substantially by brand, so be sure to pick a trusted, high-quality brand.
There are a few types of boswellia, so look for a brand that states that they are using Boswellia serrata. Also be on the lookout for a supplement that lists boswellia’s active property, AKBA.
Supplemental boswellia can be found by itself, but can also be found in formulas with a few complimentary herbs like curcumin from turmeric, or digestive supporting herbs like peppermint, fennel and caraway.
Boswellia works well when combined with a low inflammatory diet and a supplement regimen that includes daily probiotics and digestive enzymes.
I am hopeful that the positive research will keep piling up for this amazing ancient plant resin. As for now, boswellia seems to be of great benefit to many people that have given this wonderful herb a try.
Travis Lemon is a certified herbalist and co-owner of Tulsi at The Market in Huntington. He has worked in the natural health and wellness industry for over 14 years. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.