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Boswellia is also called Indian frankincense, for the simple reason that it is native to the Indian subcontinent, and that healers from the region have long used it to treat a number of illnesses and chronic conditions.
Boswellia is derived from the boswellia serrata tree, which is indigenous to the hills of India, and it has been used to treat a wide variety of inflammation and joint related problems. Boswellia has also traditionally been used to treat back pain and sometimes intestinal problems as well. Boswellia is thought to provide much the same level of relief from pain and inflammation as prescription and over the counter remedies, without the stomach upset that can accompany those medications.
The main active ingredient in boswellia is thought to be contained in the gummy resin of the boswellia serrata tree. This resin, known as salai guggal, is used in many commercial formulas used to treat pain and reduce inflammation. These purified extracts provide relief to many osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, as well as those who suffer from chronic back pain and inflammatory conditions.
Boswellia is commercially available in many different forms, depending on the condition it is meant to treat. Some of the many forms of boswellia include pills, capsules and tablets for treating pain, as well as a number of topical creams that can be applied directly to the affected area. Many of these topical treatments are favored by arthritis and lower back pain sufferers.
When using boswellia topically, the preferred method is to apply a pea sized amount of ointment directly to the area to be treated. The ointment should be thoroughly rubbed into the skin, and the treatment should be repeated every four to six hours as needed. When used properly, boswellia is thought to be just as effective as many prescription and over the counter pain remedies, without the unpleasant and even dangerous side effects those medications can bring.
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