Incense: a real anti-inflammatory

Incense Boswellia resin, known as incense, can have beneficial effects against inflammation of the body and for the benefit of the immune system

The incense, as we know it Westerners, is that substance that impregnates the fragrant sticks that in many are used to light to perfume the rooms. The use of pure incense in churches is also known – even if today it has fallen into disuse. But perhaps few people know that this resin extracted from the Boswellia tree actually has medicinal properties that make it compare by some experts to a real anti-inflammatory drug and stimulating the immune system. However, alas, at the moment there are not enough clinical studies that attest the properties in the pharmacological field such as to make incense an element to be used in the production of drugs in Europe.


To remedy this, a natural medicine company instructed German researchers from the University of Saarbrücken, coordinated by Dr. Oliver Werz, to examine the curative effects of incense.
Therefore, in the East and the experts of complementary medicine, the anti-inflammatory properties of incense are known – which is also used in the treatment of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, atopic dermatitis etc. – in the Western scientific community It enjoys all this fame. This is why Werz and colleagues wanted to investigate its potential and, in particular, on the activity of so-called boswellic acids.
“The boswellic acids – explains Werz in the US communiqué – interact with several different proteins that are part of the inflammatory reactions, but above all with an enzyme that is responsible for the synthesis of prostaglandin E2”.
Prostaglandin E2 plays a major role in the inflammatory process because it is one of the mediators of the immune response. This process also includes the onset of fever and pain.


According to the researchers, the boswellic acids would be able to block this enzyme in order to reduce the inflammatory response. In addition, the possibility that there are no side effects of any kind makes the incense a possible anti-inflammatory remedy alternative to traditional drugs which, on the other hand, have a fair number of contraindications and undesirable effects – including the risk of ulcers and renal dysfunction .
But not all incense resins have the same potential. In fact, following the analysis of the more than 10 species of Boswellia it emerged that the most powerful and effective is the Boswellia papyrifera.
“We have been able to show that the resin of Boswellia papyrifera is ten times more powerful [than the others] – emphasizes Werz.


But not only do different plants have different effects, the boswellic acids are an exclusive of these plants and are very difficult to reproduce synthetically, the authors point out. So if we want to exploit the benefits we must protect these plants that, today, are in danger of extinction. If we lose these precious green sources we do not only lose a planet’s heritage but also the possibility of creating useful drugs to combat diseases related to inflammation of the organism, the researchers warn.
We are warned.
[Lm & sdp]


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