How much boswellia per day?

2023-10-26 15:00:26

Boswellia Serrata Powder is an herbal supplement derived from the Boswellia serrata tree that has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. Boswellia contains active compounds like boswellic acids that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties (1). With rising interest in its potential health benefits, many people are now taking boswellia supplements and are wondering - how much should I take per day? Here is a comprehensive look at the recommended and safe dosages of boswellia.

How Much Boswellia Should You Take Per Day?

General dosing guidelines for boswellia suggest taking 300-500 mg of standardized boswellia extract containing 30-60% boswellic acids per day (2). This is typically divided into 2-3 doses throughout the day. Most studies demonstrating benefits of boswellia have used doses in this range.

For example, in a 12-week study in patients with osteoarthritis, 333 mg of Boswellia Serrata Extract Powder taken 3 times a day significantly improved joint pain and mobility compared to a placebo (3). Another study found that 350 mg of boswellia extract taken 3 times daily for 6 weeks reduced pain and swelling in rheumatoid arthritis (4).

Based on these and other research studies, the recommended therapeutic dosage is typically 300-500 mg per day, split into multiple doses. So taking 100-250 mg of standardized extract 2-3 times daily is an evidence-based dosage. Always read supplement labels closely and follow dosage instructions.

Can You Take Too Much Boswellia?

When taken by mouth in appropriate amounts, boswellia is generally considered safe for most people. Side effects are minimal and can include gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea or rash (5). However, there isn’t extensive research on the long-term safety of taking high doses of boswellia.

Some animal studies using extremely high doses have raised potential concerns about liver toxicity and changes in blood lipids with prolonged use of boswellia at 1-2 grams per day (6, 7). But such high doses far exceed normal supplemental levels and have not been replicated in human studies.

To be cautious, some health authorities recommend keeping boswellia intake under 1 gram per day and avoiding use for more than 6-8 consecutive weeks (8). Boswellia use may also need to be monitored in those with liver disease or taking medications metabolized by the liver. Discuss boswellia use with your doctor if you have any concerns.

How Much Boswellia Can You Take in a Day?

Based on most studies demonstrating benefits and the limited safety data, the recommended daily dosage is 300-500 mg per day in divided doses. This provides therapeutic levels without approaching potentially unsafe high intakes.

Consuming up to 1 gram per day, short-term, is unlikely to pose risks in healthy adults based on current evidence. However, there isn’t sufficient research to support regularly exceeding this dosage long-term. To stay on the safe side, it’s best to limit your boswellia intake to less than 1 gram per day.

How Many Times Per Day Should You Take Boswellia?

Most research on boswellia has used 2 or 3 divided doses daily, such as 100-250 mg taken 3 times a day. Splitting up your daily dosage helps maintain stable blood levels of active compounds.

Taking boswellia just once a day is unlikely to be as effective. The anti-inflammatory effects may start to wear off after several hours. Staggering your dosage throughout the day provides more consistent benefits.

Twice a day or three times daily are both reasonable approaches. Take boswellia supplements with food to minimize potential stomach upset. Work with your healthcare provider to determine the optimal timing and frequency of boswellia for your needs.

Is Boswellia Hard on the Liver?

Boswellia is generally not considered to be hepatotoxic, or toxic to the liver, when used in appropriate doses for short periods. Human studies have not demonstrated evidence of liver damage or changes in liver enzymes with normal boswellia supplementation (9).

However, a few animal studies using very high doses for prolonged periods have suggested potential liver effects. In one study, giving mice 1-2 grams per kilogram of body weight daily for 90 days caused changes in some liver enzymes and markers of inflammation and oxidation, indicating possible liver injury (6).

Another rat study found alterations in cholesterol and triglycerides at doses of 1-2 grams per kilogram (7). But these very high doses are far above normal human supplemental intakes. More research is still needed on boswellia’s long-term safety at different dosages.

To be cautious, limit intake to under 1 gram daily and avoid prolonged continuous use without breaks. Those with known liver disease should consult their doctor before taking boswellia. Monitoring liver enzymes may also be prudent. But when used appropriately, boswellia is not considered highly hepatotoxic.

Can You Take Boswellia on an Empty Stomach?

Boswellia supplements can typically be taken with or without food. However, taking boswellia on an empty stomach may increase the likelihood of gastrointestinal side effects like acid reflux, nausea, abdominal pain or diarrhea for some people.

The resin-like boswellic acids may be irritating to the gastrointestinal lining, especially when taken without food. Taking boswellia with meals helps minimize direct contact and side effects.

One study did find that absorption of boswellic acids was increased when a Best Boswellia Serrata Extract was taken without food (10). But for most people, taking boswellia with food is recommended to reduce the chance of stomach upset.

If you do choose to take boswellia on an empty stomach and experience gastrointestinal symptoms, try switching to taking it with food instead. Drinking plenty of water can also help dilute the effects and improve tolerance. Discuss options with your doctor if side effects persist.

The Bottom Line

General dosing guidelines recommend 300-500 mg per day of Boswellia Serrata Gum Extract standardized to 30-60% boswellic acids, split into 2 or 3 doses.

Research shows benefits with doses in the range of 300-350 mg taken 2-3 times daily. Do not exceed 1 gram per day.

Dividing the daily dosage helps maintain stable blood levels for better anti-inflammatory effects.

When used appropriately, boswellia is not considered highly toxic to the liver. But limit intake and avoid prolonged use without breaks to be safe.

Take boswellia with food to minimize stomach upset, especially if you experience gastrointestinal effects taking it on an empty stomach.

Boswellia is generally well tolerated when used properly. Discuss any concerns or side effects with your healthcare provider.

In summary, an evidence-based daily dosage of boswellia is 300-500 mg per day, split into 2 or 3 doses taken with food. Always follow dosage directions carefully and consult your doctor with any concerns when using herbal supplements like boswellia.

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1.Ammon HP. Modulation of the immune system by Boswellia serrata extracts and boswellic acids. Phytomedicine. 2010 Sep;17(11):862-7. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2010.03.003. Epub 2010 May 9. PMID: 20455168.

2.Zappelli, C., Iannuccelli, C., Marini, C., & Giovannini, M. (2022). Therapeutic Potential of Frankincense and Myrrh: A Comprehensive Review on Their Traditional Uses, Phytochemicals and Pharmacological Activities. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 27(8), 2501.

3.Kimmatkar N, Thawani V, Hingorani L, Khiyani R. Efficacy and tolerability of Boswellia serrata extract in treatment of osteoarthritis of knee–a randomized double blind placebo controlled trial. Phytomedicine. 2003 Jan;10(1):3-7. doi: 10.1078/094471103321648593. PMID: 12622457.

4.Sander O, Herborn G, Rau R. Is H15 (resin extract of Boswellia serrata, “incense”) a useful supplement to established drug therapy of chronic polyarthritis? Results of a double-blind pilot study [translated from German]. Z Rheumatol. 1998 Oct;57(5):11-6. German. PMID: 9815340.

5.Zappelli, C., Iannuccelli, C., Marini, C., & Giovannini, M. (2022). Therapeutic Potential of Frankincense and Myrrh: A Comprehensive Review on Their Traditional Uses, Phytochemicals and Pharmacological Activities. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 27(8), 2501.

6.Sharma, A., Yadav, D., Chadha, N., Kohli, S., Singhal, A., Bhardwaj, A., … Dhar, K. L. (2019). Safety Profile of Boswellia serrata: Toxicity Studies Reveal Negligible Toxicity of BS in Mice. Phytotherapy Research, 33(5), 1256–1267.