Posted on Aug 01, 2012, 6 a.m.
Frankincense, the resin from the trunk of the Boswellia tree, contains substances that may hold promise in treating conditions of inflammation.
Best known as a gift of the Magi, frankincense – the resin from the trunk of Boswellia tree, has been used since ancient times as part of religious ceremonies and festivities. Oliver Werz, from the Friedrich Schiller University (Germany), and colleagues studied the ingredients of the Boswellia resin. The team found that Boswellic acids interact with several different proteins that are part of inflammatory reactions, and most notably with an enzyme which is responsible for the synthesis of prostaglandin E2 –one of the mediators of the immune response and plays a decisive role in the process of inflammation. Explaining that: "Boswellic acids block this enzyme efficiently and thereby reduce the inflammatory reaction," the lead author submits that: "With this, not only a targeted use in the therapy of inflammatory diseases is conceivable. It can also be expected that boswellic acids have less side effects than today's prevalent anti-inflammatory [pharmaceutical] treatments."
Verhoff M, Seitz S, Northoff H, Jauch J, Schaible AM, Werz O. “A novel C(28)-hydroxylated lupeolic acid suppresses the biosynthesis of eicosanoids through inhibition of cytosolic phospholipase A(2).” Biochem Pharmacol. , June 23, 2012.