Boswellia, also known as Indian frankincense, comes from the resin of the Boswellia serrata tree. It has a long history of use in Ayurvedic drug for conditions like arthritis, asthma, and seditious bowel complaint. Some research suggests Boswellia may also have beneficial cardiovascular effects. But can taking Boswellia supplements lower your blood pressure? Let’s take a closer look.
What is Boswellia?
Boswellia is a branching tree found in India, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. The gummy resin from the Boswellia tree is purified into extracts used in herbal dietary supplements.
The active ingredients in Boswellia resin are boswellic acids. These composites have naturalanti-inflammatory parcels. By inhibiting seditious enzymes and cytokines, Boswellia may help treat habitual seditious conditions.
Common uses for Boswellia Serrata Powder include supporting joint, respiratory, intestinal, and cardiovascular health. The supplements are typically taken orally in capsule or tablet form.
Health Benefits of Boswellia
Studies indicate Boswellia may offer a variety of health benefits:
- Reducing pain, stiffness, and swelling in arthritis
- Improving symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
- dwindling asthma symptoms like gasping and briefness of breath
- Reducing intestinal inflammation related to IBD
- Protecting cartilage loss and promoting joint mobility
- Providing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory cardiovascular benefits
While promising, more high quality research is still needed to confirm Boswellia’s efficacy for some uses. Always talk to your doctor before using it for any medical condition.
Boswellia and Blood Pressure
There is limited research specifically on Boswellia’s effects on blood pressure in humans. But a few studies suggest it may have some beneficial cardiovascular and blood pressure-lowering effects:
- In one study, giving Boswellia extract to rats with hypertension reduced blood pressure and vascular resistance. The researchers concluded Boswellia may protect against hypertension .
- Another rat study found that Boswellia Serrata Extract Powder relaxed blood vessels and increased blood flow. The vasodilating effects were comparable to the prescription drug amlodipine .
- An analysis of human clinical trials found that Boswellia significantly lowered LDL cholesterol but did not alter HDL or triglyceride levels .
- Boswellia may improve endothelial function and arterial flexibility, allowing blood vessels to relax and dilate more effectively .
So while current evidence is limited, Boswellia appears to have promising antihypertensive and vasodilating effects that warrant further investigation. More human research is needed.
Safety and Side Effects
When taken as directed, Boswellia is generally well tolerated by most adults. Mild side effects can include stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and rash.
Boswellia may also interact with medications that affect blood clotting and blood pressure. These include anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs, herbs with blood thinning effects, NSAIDs, and diuretics or beta-blockers .
Those on medication should consult their prescribing doctor before taking Boswellia. Stop use if new symptoms develop after starting Boswellia supplements. Starting with low doses and increasing gradually can help minimize risk of side effects.
For Boswellia Serrata Gum Extract standardized to contain 30-60% boswellic acids:
- General preventive use: 300-500 mg per day
- Therapeutic anti-inflammatory use: 600-1000 mg daily in divided doses
- Start low and increase slowly to the lowest effective dose
- Take with food to reduce stomach upset
Follow specific dosing instructions provided on the Boswellia product you are using. Talk to your naturopathic doctor to get personalized dosage recommendations.
Is Boswellia Good for Hypertension?
Early research in rodent models is promising and suggests Boswellia may offer protective benefits for hypertension. Compounds in Boswellia appear to relax blood vessels, increase circulation, reduce clotting, and act as antioxidants.
However, human studies are still needed to determine Boswellia’s efficacy and safety for lowering high blood pressure. It should not replace prescription antihypertensive medication without medical supervision.
Boswellia may best serve as a complementary therapy to help enhance other lifestyle approaches like diet, exercise, and stress reduction when treating hypertension. Work closely with your doctor to determine if Boswellia is appropriate for your individual care plan.
Is Boswellia Good for the Heart?
Some early research indicates Boswellia may provide several beneficial effects to support cardiovascular health:
- Reducing inflammation that can damage blood vessels
- Improving blood flow by relaxing vascular smooth muscle to dilate vessels
- Lowering LDL cholesterol while maintaining HDL cholesterol
- Inhibiting platelet aggregation to reduce clotting risk
- Providing antioxidant protection against free radicals
By optimizing these parameters, Boswellia may aid in maintaining healthy blood pressure and circulation. This suggests it could be useful as part of a holistic regimen to support overall cardiovascular function and heart health. But more studies are still needed.
What are the Negative Side Effects of Boswellia?
Potential side effects of Boswellia can include:
- Digestive issues - Diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain
- Skin rash
- Blood thinning - May increase bruising or bleeding risk
- Uterine stimulation - Unsafe for pregnant women
- Drug interactions - With anticoagulants, NSAIDs, immunosuppressants
Serious adverse effects are rare when Boswellia is used appropriately. Those with health conditions and people taking medications should talk to their doctor before using Boswellia supplements.
Who Should Not Take Boswellia?
Boswellia should be avoided by:
- Pregnant or nursing women
- Children under age 18
- People with bleeding disorders
- Individuals taking blood-thinning medications
- Anyone with upcoming surgery
- People with liver disease or impairment
Consult your healthcare provider before taking Boswellia if you have any medical conditions or take prescription drugs. Proper usage and medical supervision are important.
When is the Best Time to Take Boswellia?
The optimal timing for taking Boswellia depends on why you are using it:
- For general inflammation - Morning or night to maintain steady blood levels
- For joint pain - 30-60 minutes before exercise or periods of increased joint use
- For asthma - Prior to exposure to asthma triggers like allergens or pollution
- For digestive issues - With or after meals to reduce stomach upset
In general, taking Boswellia with food enhances absorption. For long-term use, consistent daily dosing provides the best results. Work with your naturopath to determine the ideal regimen for your needs.
Early research indicates Boswellia may have beneficial effects on blood pressure, circulation, and cardiovascular health. But current evidence in humans is limited. While promising, Boswellia should not replace doctor-prescribed blood pressure treatments without medical guidance.
When used appropriately, Boswellia appears relatively safe for most healthy adults. But side effects are possible and it may interact with certain medications. Anyone with hypertension or on blood pressure drugs should consult their physician before using Boswellia.
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