Boswellia for Natural Healing

| Modified on Aug 28, 2021
Boswellia's Amazing Health Benefits

Boswellia is a powerful natural remedy with many health benefits. Used as a supplement and/or essential oil, boswellia treats conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, sciatica, cancer and Lyme disease pain.

Boswellia is the name of a species of tree that grows naturally in northeast Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and India. Boswellia has been used since ancient times for religious ceremonies and for natural healing.

There are at least 20 different species of the genus boswellia. Currently, boswellia serrata, boswellia carteri, boswellia frereana, and boswellia sacra are popular for their healing properties and availability.

Is Frankincense the Same Thing as Boswellia?

While sometimes the names frankincense and boswellia are use interchangeably, the two words are not quite the same. Boswellia is the name of a tree. Frankincense is the name of the resin that is produced by the tree.

When the bark of the boswellia tree is cut or injured, a sap comes to the surface to heal the tree. This sap or resin is called frankincense. This is the part of the boswellia tree that is used for medicinal purposes. As the sap is healing to the tree, it has found to be a wonderful medicine for humans and pets as well.

The origin of the word frankincense is French, meaning, "high quality incense."

How is the Frankincense of the Boswellia Tree Used?

Many are familiar with frankincense used as incense. The resin is burned to produce an aroma, which has sweet and woodsy notes. Incense is historically used in religious ceremonies or to purify the air.

The frankincense resin is sometimes called "tears" because of the shape the resin takes on when it solidifies. (It is a liquid when it first comes out of the tree and then becomes "gummy.") These tears are sometimes used as an all natural chewing gum.

What Heath Benefits does Boswellia Provide?

The more boswellia is used, the more discoveries are found regarding its benefits.

Because it is an anti-inflammatory and pain relieving substance, it is commonly used to treat different forms of pain including arthritis, fibromyalgia, nerve pain, skeletal pain, muscular pain, stiffness, menstrual cramps and pain from Lyme's disease.

Its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties make it useful for infections, colds, and wounds.

Research is being done about its usefulness in treating cancer. It certainly helps with different kinds of cysts.

How to Take Boswellia

1. Chewing Gum

The frankincense "tears" can be used like chewing gum. Admittedly, they are not delicious, but could be gotten used to with the benefits being a motivating factor. And they have no sugar or artificial ingredients! Chewing the frankincense tears can be used to treat bad breath, oral infections, and tooth pain.

The frankincense gum can also be used as a topical treatment for tooth pain. Chew the frankincense piece (it does swell up a bit after you chew it, so you don't need much) and mold it around the tooth that is giving you trouble. This simple "poultice" can be left on for several hours to reduce pain and inflammation.

2. Tincture

Boswellia tincture is commonly used to treat pain, inflammation, asthma, and arthritis among many other ailments. The tincture can be added to water or taken straight. You should be able to find alcohol or glycerin based boswellia tincture at your health food store or online.

3. Salve

A salve of boswellia can be made or bought to use topically for cysts or pain. Usually other anti-inflammatory herbs or essential oils are included in these salves. Salves are an advantage to those who have trouble taking medications orally. They also get the substance straight to the source of pain.

4. Essential Oil

Boswellia in the form of frankincense essential oil is a powerfully concentrated form of boswellia. The oil has been used to treat cysts, including ovarian cysts and ganglion cysts. It is applied topically over the cyst area. Frankincense essential oil is also used to help coughing and wheezing. A drop of this oil, placed on a cotton ball next to the head at night can help reduce a night time cough.
Essential oils are very concentrated. They should be used sparingly. They are usually used externally. For internal use, it is best to consult with your natural physician.

5. Frankincense Tea

A tea can be made with boswellia. Put a teaspoon of the frankincense tears into a mug and add 1 cup of water. Cover the cup and steep for 15 minutes. Strain out the tears and sweeten with honey if desired. A hot boswellia tea would be wonderful for colds, coughs, and the flu.

6. Standardized Extract

Probably the most common way that boswellia is taken today is through a standardized extract. This is the most convenient way to take boswellia. It is commonly used for arthritis pain, fibromyalgia, sciatica, colitis, knee pain and back pain.

Boswellia is also used to promote healthy skin, hair and nails.


Have you tried boswellia? What form did you use? How did it work for you? Please share your feedback with us or continue reading to learn how our readers used boswellia.


2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Melissa S (Dallas, Tx) on 09/17/2017

Boswellia serrata 500mg (can't post brand, so here's a clue: not later but *** 1word 3 letters starts w/ N) caps CURED my son's ASTHMA IN 1 DOSE!!!! I've never posted anything anywhere, but I HAD to share this info. I am in shock still & it's been 7 days w/ ZERO asthma meds (no inhaler use). My son has had year round allergies/asthma since he was a baby (13 yrs old now), he takes allergy meds year round & singulair seasonally, inhaler use a couple times daily is the norm. During spring/fall he uses a nebulizer am/pm on top of it all. My chiropractor told me about Boswellia as anti-inflammatory has, so being very science minded myself, I researched it enough to say the science behind it is deep & LEGIT. I had read several reviews that it really helped allergies & asthma; I figured any improvement is a step in the right direction. Boswellia is super supportive to all the body's systems & living on poison (all drugs are toxic, some more than others) my son's body needs all the support it can get. Many ppl don't know that both allergies & asthma are an immune response in the body. Asthma is an inflammatory disease, so I figured it was worth a shot. We are in the midst of the worst ragweed season we've seen in Texas w/in the last 10 years. I out grew my allergies/asthma (Thank God) & I have been experiencing issues for the first time in years. Got Boswellia & we each took our first 1 after dinner that night w/1 QBC Plex cap (quercitin, vit C, bromelain).

Take boswellia alone right after a meal (or toast atleast) to ensure max absoption (& other meds or vitamins 1-2 hrs later). Intuitively, I opted to skip my son's asthma pill (he did take his allegra), so I fully expected him to wake me for a breathing treatment. I felt guilty doing that, but he slept through the night. He woke up breathing TOTALLY CLEAR! GONE was his sneezing, nose blowing, eye rubbing morning routine & his lungs were clear. I was dumbfounded speechless. I've never seen anything like it, nor did I expect any noticeable result in 1 DOSE- we did NOTHING different except boswellia, there's no way this can be attributed to anything else. I still give his nightly allergy pill & will continue until it gets cold enough for stuff to stop blooming, then we'll drop that too.

It's been 7 days now in the height of the WORST allergy season, & my son has used ZERO asthma meds the entire time, his breathing is so clear it's like he never had asthma in the first place. He had a double header baseball game last night - no nebulizer before hand, & never pulled out his inhaler. He will take this for the rest of his life, there are so many benefits! I hope & pray that anyone who tries this will have the same amazing results. My allergies are better but not gone, I have not needed an inhaler. My lungs have never felt so clear, it's like my lung capacity has actually expanded/increased... There really aren't any contraindications w/boswellia. Consult your doctor if you take a bunch of meds, & esp.if you take anticoagulants. Less than 1% of ppl felt it made their blood pressure go high/wonky, some said it upset their stomach (take right after food). Boswellia can make other meds more effective, so dose may need reduced (or stopped). Boswellia has NSAID (Ibuprofen/aleve) like action in the body, so it's best not to take those together for prolonged time (1 week max).

If u take boswellia for pain/arthritis, u may need to build to higher dose. Studies showed safe up to 3,000 mg daily (2- 500 mg caps Breakfast/lunch/dinner). IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO FRANKINCENSE essential oil (incense allergy may be due to other additive factors), DO NOT TAKE or consult your doctor first.

Replied by Wendy L
(NE Iowa)

I wish there was some way you could provide the brand name. Could you type it out separating each letter with an *? I didn't "get" your clue. Thank you so much!

EC: She's referring to the NOW brand.

Replied by skyye

Thank you for this. I used to use the tears, as aromatherapy but since 2019 I have noticed a marked difference in the quality of the resin. It now looks very pretty and super clean 'manufactured', and it smells awful, like burning plastic. Not sure if its fake or just another species of the boswellia. I have given up trying to find the good old fashioned tears and am now looking for the oil.

Posted by Pianogirl (San Francisco, Ca) on 08/02/2012

Hi, I want to share my experience with boswellia (or frankincense) and asthma. I have long had allergy-triggered asthma. My asthma was somewhat mild (wheezing rather than a full-on attack), but still required albuterol to feel better. I'm allergic to dust mites, so as soon as I was in a dusty room I would feel my lungs tighten up, and get other symptoms like an itchy nose, throat, etc.

For a different health issue, I started taking some supplements. Among them was Boswellia. I took Boswellia and Maitake mushrooms for the longest--over a year--and I noticed that at the end of this time, if I encountered an allergen like dust, it triggered all my allergic reactions EXCEPT asthma.

I didn't notice any other change in my routine except taking Boswellia and Maitake. I looked up Boswellia online, and saw that it is used for asthma, so I began to draw the conclusion that it has helped me. Even since I stopped taking Boswellia, I have not had to use an inhaler for months.

I'm interested to see if anyone has experienced using boswellia for asthma (and if it could have been the maitake mushrooms, even though they are not described online as having that effect).

I took Boswellia, two 307 mg tablets (65% Boswellic Acids) each morning.

Ganglion Cyst

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Tony (Henfield) on 07/26/2016

I started using Frankincense on a ganglion cyst on the back of my wrist that was painful 24/7 and had been for months, I was really surprised that it stopped aching immediately! Coincidence? I don't know. I also think that the cyst is shrinking but I am not sure. I am applying a little Frankincense oil three times a day - it soaks in within a few seconds.