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Tags: inflammatory | frankincense

Frankincense Has Medicinal Properties

Wednesday, 11 July 2012 12:35 PM EDT

Frankincense – one of the gifts of the Magi, along with gold and myrrh – contains active compounds that have surprisingly potent anti-inflammatory properties, new research has found.
Scientists from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Germany found the compounds may have beneficial medicinal value and be useful in therapies against diseases like asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and atopic dermatitis.
Lead researcher Dr. Oliver Werz noted the burning of frankincense, an aromatic resin derived from Boswellia trees, has been a part of many religious ceremonies going back thousands of years. It is also used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine practices.
But Werz said the new research suggests modern scientists are only beginning to understand the potential of its medicinal benefits.
"The resin from the trunk of Boswellia trees contains anti-inflammatory substances," said Werz, chairman of pharmaceutical and medical chemistry. But he noted frankincense is not used in conventional medicine because it “hasn't been thoroughly investigated” by scientific researchers. "Although Boswellia resin has been used for thousands of years in the Ayurvedic medicine for instance, the clinical studies we have so far are not [sufficient] for a license in Germany and Europe."
But that could change, he added.
For the new study, Werz and his colleagues determined how the boswellic acids, responsible for the impact of the ingredients of the Boswellia resin, block inflammation. They also found the resin of some trees is 10 times as potent as others – providing a target for the development of new anti-inflammatory therapies.

© HealthDay

Frankincense, one of the gifts of the Magi, has surprisingly potent anti-inflammatory effects.
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 12:35 PM
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