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Boswellia serrata

Potential as a new treatment for asthma

Indian and German researchers conducted the first study of boswellia's effect on the symptoms of asthma. The double-blind, randomized pilot study involved 80 patients with a history of asthma. Seventy percent of patients treated with 900 mg of powdered boswellia gum resin per day showed a significant decrease in symptoms after six weeks. Twenty-seven percent of control group patients (treated with lactose) showed improvement. Boswellic acids in the resin have been shown to inhibit the synthesis of leukotrienes, which trigger many of the symptoms associated with asthma. While boswellia has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine, clinical studies on its medicinal benefits are scarce. The authors suggest further studies using a standardized resin product at variable doses. Gupta I, Gupta V, Parihar A, et al. Effects of Boswellia serrata gum resin in patients with bronchial asthma: results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled, 6-week clinical study. European Journal of Herbal Medicine 1998; 3:511-14.

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