Boswellia Supplement Review

Meet Our Experts
Cleveland Clinic, ranked as one of the nation’s best hospitals overall (4th in the country) by U.S. News & World Report 2013-14, is proud to offer expert advice and guidance to help you on your journey to wellness.
Meet Our Experts
  Evaluated for:
Effectiveness Rating Effectiveness Rating
+2 (Moderate Evidence)


  • Several good studies support the use of boswellia for the treatment of osteoarthritis.
  • There is biologic evidence of less inflammation and cartilage degradation.
  • The placebo effect of osteoarthritis medications is also quite high, but boswellia seems to consistently perform better than placebo and at least as well as other osteoarthritis medications.
  • Boswellia has an excellent safety profile and appears to be safer than other standard treatments for osteoarthritis, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (such as naproxen and ibuprofen), which have a greater potential risk for side effects including serious gastrointestinal bleeding.


  • Studies with Boswellia used a variety of preparations, each containing different active concentrations. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to compare the various studies.
  • Additional studies are needed to substantiate those findings and to confirm the safety of boswellia.
  • Side effects of Boswellia can include some mild gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea.

Boswellia has the potential to interact with many prescription medications. Make sure to discuss its use with your doctor.

DOSAGE:For the treatment of osteoarthritis, take 75 mg of Boswellia (5-LOXIN) three times a day with meals.

CONCLUSION:We conclude that boswellia is a safe and effective product for the treatment of osteoarthritis. It is important to use a standardized product of Boswellia, such as 5-LOXIN, which concentrates the substances that decrease inflammation. If you elect to try it, remember to include it in your list of medications when you visit your doctor and other health care providers.

“Boswellia.” Natural Standard –The Authority on Integrative Medicine. Natural Standard, 2013.
“Indian Frankincense.” Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2013. 8 November 2013.
Dougados, M. et al. Lipooxygenase inhibition in osteoarthritis: a potential symptomatic and disease modifying effect?. Arthritis Research & Therapy (2008) 10:116
Sengupta, K. et al. A double blind, randomized, placebo controlled study of the efficacy and safety of 5-Loxin for treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee. Arthritis Research & Therapy (2008) 10:R85
Kimmatkar, N. et al. Efficacy and tolerability of Boswellia serrate extract in treatment of osteoarthritis of knee – A randomized double blind placebo controlled trial. Phytomedicine (2003) 10, 3-7
Kunnumakkara, A.B. et al. Boswellic Acid Blocks Signal Transducers and Activators of Transcription 3 Signaling, Proliferation, and Survival of Multiple Myeloma via the Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase SHP-1. Mol Cancer Res (2009) 7(1):118-128
Ernst, E. et al. Frankincense: systematic review. BMJ (2008) 337, 1-4
Sterk, V. et al. Effect of Food Intake on the Bioavailability of Boswellic Acids from a Herbal Preparation in Healthy Volunteers. Planta Med (2004) 70:1155-1160

Untitled Document
Get Your Daily Tip
Start living healthier with our FREE daily wellness tips!