Frankincense tablets

Frankincense tablets DEFAULT

What is it?

Indian frankincense is an Ayurvedic remedy that can be purchased over the counter in capsule form. It can prevent the production of inflammatory substances in the joints. Current evidence, based on four RCTs, suggests that it might have some beneficial effects in treating participants with osteoarthritis of the knee which might last for a period of time after treatment is stopped.

  • Family: Ayurvedic medicine of the Burseraveae family
  • Scientific name: Boswellia serrate
  • Other names: Resin, olibanum, salai guggal, 11-keto ß-boswellic acid, acetyl-11-keto ß-boswellic acid (AKBA), African elemi, Arabian incense (Bakhour), Boswellia serrata gum resins, boswellic acids, boswellic, Sallaki®, S-compound®, 5-LOXIN®

Ayurvedic medicine is a Hindu system of alternative treatment which originated in India. Indian frankincense is a plant extract used as an Ayurvedic remedy to treat a number of diseases. You can buy it from high-street shops.

How does it work?

Indian frankincense prevents the production of hormone-like substances in your body that act as triggers for joint inflammation.

Is it safe?

Indian Frankincense is safe to use in a daily dose of 1 g (used in RCTs in participants with osteoarthritis). Dosage hasn’t been well studied, but high doses can have serious side-effects on the liver. Interactions with other medications haven’t been well studied.

Indian frankincense trials for osteoarthritis

Trial 1

In the first trial, 30 participants with osteoarthritis were randomly given either 333 mg Indian frankincense capsules three times a day or placebo tablets for eight weeks.

  • The Indian frankincense group had moderate improvement in pain, knee flexion and walking distance compared to the placebo group.
  • The compound was well tolerated by participants, with only minor stomach upsets reported.

Trial 2

The potential beneficial effects of 333 g Indian frankincense were compared with valdecoxib (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) in treating osteoarthritis of the knee in 66 people over six months.

  • Participants in both groups showed considerable improvement in pain, stiffness and ability to perform physical activity during the trial, but this happened more slowly in participants who were given Indian frankincense.
  • One month after treatment had finished, those in the Indian frankincense group experienced a significant improvement in symptoms compared to participants who received valdecoxib, which might indicate that this compound has a relatively long-lasting effect.
  • Only minor gastrointestinal side-effects were reported by participants in both treatment groups.

Trial 3

The effectiveness and safety of 5-LOXIN®, a drug made of Indian frankincense extract enriched with an anti-inflammatory acid called AKBA, was evaluated. The 75 participants were randomly given one of the following once a day for three months:

  • 100 mg of 5-LOXIN®
  • 250 mg of 5-LOXIN®
  • placebo tablets.

Results showed the following:

  • Compared to the placebo group, participants who were on either dose of 5-LOXIN® had a significantly greater improvement in pain and physical function. Those on 250 mg had the quickest improvement (as early as seven days after the start of treatment).
  • The level of an inflammatory and cartilage-destroying chemical in the knee fluid was significantly reduced in participants taking 5-LOXIN®.
  • Only minor side-effects (gastrointestinal problems and mild fever) were reported by participants across all treatment groups.

Trial 4

In this trial, 60 people with knee osteoarthritis were given one of the following twice a day for three months:

  • 50 mg 5-LOXIN® tablet
  • 50 mg Aflapin® tablet (made of Boswellia serrata extract enriched with at least 20% AKBA)
  • 50 mg Boswellia serrata non-volatile oil tablet
  • a placebo.

The trial found the following:

  • All groups reported improvements in pain, function and stiffness.
  • Those who received 5-LOXIN ® reported a greater improvement in pain and stiffness than the placebo group; meanwhile those who received Aflapin® reported greater improvements in pain, stiffness and function in comparison with the placebo group.
  • Those who received 5-LOXIN ® or Aflapin® reported improvements in pain and physical ability as early as seven days after beginning the treatment and continued to improve throughout the study.

5 Benefits and Uses of Frankincense — and 7 Myths

Frankincense, also known as olibanum, is made from the resin of the Boswellia tree. This tree typically grows in the dry, mountainous regions of India, Africa, and the Middle East.

Frankincense has a woody, spicy smell and can be inhaled, absorbed through the skin, or taken as a supplement.

Used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, frankincense appears to offer certain health benefits, from improved arthritis and digestion to reduced asthma and better oral health. It may even help fight certain types of cancer.

Here are 5 science-backed benefits of frankincense — as well as 7 myths.

1. May reduce arthritis

Frankincense has anti-inflammatory effects that may help reduce joint inflammation caused by arthritis.

Researchers believe that frankincense can prevent the release of leukotrienes, which are compounds that can cause inflammation (, 2).

Terpenes, including boswellic acid, appear to be the strongest anti-inflammatory compounds in frankincense (3, 4).

In one 2014 study, both oral and topical boswellic acid reduced cartilage loss and joint lining inflammation in osteoarthritis in mice (5).

In humans, frankincense extract may help reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (, 2).

In one 2018 review, frankincense was consistently more effective than a placebo at reducing osteoarthritis pain and improving mobility (7).

However, the review noted that the quality of most studies was low and more research is needed.

In a subsequent study, participants took 169.33 mg of boswellia extract twice daily for 120 days. Results indicated that the supplement reduced inflammation, joint pain, and stiffness in mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis, without serious side effects ().

Another study found that oliban oil, another name for frankincense, reduced osteoarthritis pain when applied to the skin for 6 weeks. However, participants’ ability to do daily activities or participate in sports didn’t show significant improvements (9).

Combinations of frankincense with other supplements may also be effective.

A 2018 study found that 350 mg curcuminoid and 150 mg boswellic acid supplement taken 3 times per day for 12 weeks was associated with reduced osteoarthritis pain. The combination was more effective than curcumin on its own or a placebo ().

Similarly, taking a combination of 5 g of methylsulfonylmethane and 7.2 mg of boswellic acids daily for 60 days was more effective at improving pain and function than taking glucosamine sulfate, a standard supplement for osteoarthritis (11).

For rheumatoid arthritis, researchers induced arthritis in rats then treated them with 180 mg/kg of boswellia extract. They found that frankincense reduced inflammation but wasn’t as effective as standard medications ().

Overall, more research is needed, particularly for rheumatoid arthritis (5, , ).


Frankincense’s anti-inflammatory effects may help reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis and possibly rheumatoid arthritis. However, more high-quality studies are needed to confirm these effects.

2. May improve gut function

Frankincense’s anti-inflammatory properties may also help your gut function properly.

One 2017 study found that frankincense, in combination with other herbal medicines, reduced abdominal pain, bloating, and even associated depression and anxiety in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) ().

Another study also indicated that boswellia 250 mg tablets taken daily for 6 months improved symptoms in people with IBS (15).

This resin appears particularly effective at reducing symptoms of ulcerative colitis, one of the main inflammatory gut conditions.

A study found that boswellia extract taken daily for 4 weeks improved symptoms in people with mild ulcerative colitis in remission (16).

Boswellia extract also had anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in rats with colitis ().

However, most studies were small or not done in people. Therefore, more research is needed before strong conclusions can be made.


Frankincense may help reduce symptoms of IBS and and ulcerative colitis by reducing inflammation in your gut. However, more research is needed.

3. Improves asthma

Traditional medicine has used frankincense to treat bronchitis and asthma for centuries.

Research suggests that its compounds may prevent the production of leukotrienes, which cause the bronchial muscles to constrict in asthma (18).

Frankincense may also affect Th2 cytokines, which can cause inflammation and mucus overproduction in people with asthma ().

In one small study, people who took a daily supplement of 500 mg boswellia extract in addition to their standard asthma treatment were able to take fewer inhalations of their regular medications during the 4-week study (18).

Additionally, when researchers gave people 200 mg of a supplement made from frankincense and the South Asian fruit bael (Aegle marmelos), they found that the supplement was more effective than a placebo at reducing asthma symptoms ().

In another study, asthma symptoms in mice improved with boswellic acid, a component of frankincense resin (21).


Frankincense may help relieve asthma symptoms and reduce the amount of asthma medication needed. Larger studies should be done to confirm these results.

4. Maintains oral health

Frankincense may help improve oral hygiene and prevent gum disease.

The boswellic acids it provides appear to have strong antibacterial properties, which may help prevent and treat oral infections (4).

In one test-tube study, frankincense extract was effective against Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, a bacteria that causes aggressive gum disease ().

In another very small study, participants chewed gum containing frankincense for 5 hours, with saliva samples indicating reduced numbers of microbes each hour (23).

The authors suggested that frankincense may decrease sources of infection in the mouth.

However, more research is needed on the effect of frankincense on oral health.


Frankincense extract may help fight gum disease and maintain oral health. However, more studies are needed.

5. May have anticancer properties

Studies show that frankincense may have anticancer effects.

Test-tube studies suggest that the boswellic acids it contains might prevent cancer cells from spreading (, ).

A research review notes that boswellic acids may also prevent the formation of DNA in cancerous cells, which could help limit cancer growth ().

So far, test-tube studies suggest that frankincense may fight breast, prostate, pancreatic, skin, and colon cancer cells (, , , 27, , ).

It may also help reduce side effects of cancer treatment.

In one study of people being treated for brain tumors, 4,500 mg of boswellic acid extract taken each day helped reduce brain edema — an accumulation of fluid in the brain — while also lowering participants’ regular medication dose ().

However, more research in humans is needed.


Compounds in frankincense may help kill cancer cells and prevent tumors from spreading. However, more human research needs to be done.

Common myths

Although frankincense is praised for multiple health benefits, not all of them are backed by science.

The 7 following claims have very little evidence behind them. Yet, while very little research exists to support these claims, very little exists to deny them, either.

Until more studies are done, however, these claims can be considered myths:

  1. Helps prevent diabetes. Some small studies report that frankincense may help lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, and a recent research review also indicated that frankincense may help control diabetes. Still, other studies have found no effect, and more research is needed (, ).
  2. Reduces stress, anxiety and depression. Frankincense may help to lower depressive and anxious behaviors in mice and reduce stress in rats. However, more studies in humans need to be done (33, 34).
  3. Prevents heart disease. Frankincense has anti-inflammatory effects that may help reduce the type of inflammation common in heart disease. Some research has suggested heart protective effects from frankincense, but more studies are needed (,).
  4. Promotes smooth skin. Frankincense oil is touted as an effective natural anti-acne and anti-wrinkle remedy. A recent study suggested that frankincense essential oil may have potential for skin care, but little other research has been completed ().
  5. Improves memory. Studies show that large doses of frankincense may help boost memory in rats. However, more research needs to be done in humans (, ).
  6. Balances hormones and reduces symptoms of PMS. Frankincense is said to delay menopause and reduce menstrual cramping, nausea, headaches, and mood swings. One recent study found that some essential oils increased the amount of estrogen in women’s saliva, which could be linked to reduced menopause symptoms. However, frankincense was not found to have this effect, and research is needed to confirm any benefits of frankincense on menopause ().
  7. Enhances fertility. Frankincense supplements may increase fertility in rats, but few studies are available ().

Frankincense is used as an alternative remedy for a wide array of conditions. However, many of its uses are not currently supported by research.

How to use frankincense

Frankincense can be used in several ways to treat a variety of conditions. You can take it as a supplement in the form of a capsule or tablet, or use it in skin creams.

It is also available as an essential oil for aromatherapy or topical use. It’s important to dilute this form with a carrier oil before applying it to the skin and to avoid ingesting it.

Frankincense is generally safe to use, but as with any supplement, it’s important to talk with a healthcare professional before taking it.


Frankincense is often taken as a supplement, used on the skin, or inhaled. It’s generally safe, but check with your doctor if you decide to use it.

Effective dosage

The optimal dosage of frankincense is not well understood and may vary by person or condition. The amounts listed below are based on doses used in scientific studies.

Most studies use frankincense supplements in tablet form. The following dosages have been used in human research:

  • Asthma: 200 or 500 mg per day (, 18)
  • IBS: 250 mg per day (15)
  • Osteoarthritis: 170 mg, twice per day ()
  • Ulcerative colitis: 250 mg per day (16)

Aside from tablets, studies have also used frankincense in gum for oral health and in creams for arthritis. That said, no dosage information for these creams is available (23, 9).

If you’re considering supplementing with frankincense, ask a healthcare professional about a recommended dosage.


Frankincense dosage is not well understood and may vary based on the condition you’re trying to treat. In studies, dosages typically range from 200–500 mg per day. But consult a healthcare professional to find out what might work for you.

Possible side effects

Frankincense is considered safe for most people.

It has been used as a remedy for thousands of years without severe side effects, and the resin has a low toxicity ().

One study found that doses up to 1,000 mg/kg were not toxic in rats (41). This is equivalent to almost five times the typical maximum dose for humans of 1,500 mg per day.

Still, more research is needed on toxic doses of frankincense in people.

Side effects reported in scientific studies have included indigestion, constipation, and nausea (42, 43, 44).

Some research reports that frankincense may increase the risk of miscarriage in pregnancy, so pregnant people or those trying to become pregnant may want to avoid it (44).

Frankincense may also interact with some medications, particularly blood thinners like warfarin and possibly nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (45, 46).

If you’re taking any of these medications, discuss frankincense with your doctor before using it.

The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) cautioned in a 2020 report that some supplements, including frankincense, may interfere with the body’s inflammatory response during a COVID-19 infection (47).

On the other hand, some research has suggested that frankincense may be an effective complementary therapy for COVID-19 due to its anti-inflammatory properties. More research is needed on its safety, effectiveness, and reactions with other medications (48, , 50).


Frankincense is likely safe for most people. However, pregnant people, those wanting to become pregnant, and those taking certain types of medication may want to avoid it. It’s still unclear whether frankincense might be a safe and effective complementary treatment for COVID-19. More research is needed.

The bottom line

Frankincense is used in traditional medicine to treat a wide variety of medical conditions.

This resin may benefit asthma and arthritis, as well as gut and oral health. It may even have anticancer properties.

While frankincense is likely safe for most people, it may cause side effects in pregnant people and people taking certain medications.

As with any supplement, it’s best to speak with a healthcare professional before trying it.

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fairvital - Boswellia Frankincense 400mg - 120 Tablets - Vegan - 65% boswellic acids

Product description

Boswellia frankincense, Boswellia serrata, at least 65% boswellic acids, vegan, 120 tablets

Boswellia frankincense is the natural resin of the large Indian frankincense tree Boswellia serrata, which originates from the dry mountainous regions of northeast India.

- 400mg Boswellia frankincense per tablet
- standardised to at least 65% boswellic acids
- equivalent to 520mg boswellic acids per 2 tablets (daily dose)
- gluten-free, lactose-free, fructose-free-free, vegan
- without magnesium stearate and silicon dioxide

Recommended intake:
Adults 2 tablets daily in divided doses with meals and plenty of water.

Two tablets contain / NRV*:
Energy 15kJ/3.6kcal / 0.18%
Total fat 0.23g / 0.33%
of which saturates 0.13g / 0.65%
Carbohydrates 0g / 0%
of which sugars 0g / 0%
Protein 0g / 0%
Salt 0.014g / 0.23%
Frankincense extract 800mg
of which boswellic acids 520mg

*NRV: nutrient reference values according to Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011

Ingredients: frankincense extract (Boswellia Serrata, contains at least 65% boswellic acids), bulking agent microcrystalline cellulose, L-leucine, cottonseed oil

Net content: 102g/120 tablets


Two tablets contain: Boswellia resin extract 800mg, of which boswellic acids 520mg ----- Ingredients: frankincense extract (Boswellia Serrata, contains at least 65% boswellic acids), bulking agent microcrystalline cellulose, L-leucine, cottonseed oil


Recommended intake (for adults): 2 tablets daily in divided doses with meals and plenty of water. ----- Net content: 102g/120 tablets ----- item number: 80212 ----- Made in Germany

Safety Warning

Do not exceed the indicated recommended daily dosage. Food supplements are not a substitute for a balanced and varied diet. Keep out of the reach of small children.

See more
5 Ways - Frankincense

Boswellia serrata: 3000-year-old health secret from India

Botanical: Boswellia serrata
Sanskrit: Sallaki
German: Indischer Weihrauch
English: Indian Frankincense

What is Boswellia?

It is an integral part of the Indian Ayurveda: Boswellia frankincense, the natural resin of the big Indian frankincense tree Boswellia serrata, which originates from the dry mountain regions of Northeast India.

Indian frankincense

Boswellia frankincense contains valuable ingredients that were already valued in the Middle Ages: boswellic acids. Furthermore, mucilages and essential oils are among the valuable components of incense. The latter are responsible for the characteristic incense smell.

Boswellia serrata extract by Fairvital

Boswellia frankincense by Fairvital is the genuine Indian frankincense (Boswellia serrata) which provides you with the best quality, the highest amount of vital substances and the best price-nutrient ratio.

  • highly dosed
  • 400mg frankincense extract per tablet
  • standardised to 65% boswellic acids
  • well-tolerable
  • vegetarian and vegan
  • gluten-free, lactose-free, fructose-free
  • without magnesium stearate and silicon dioxide

Tablets frankincense

Boswellia (Indian Frankincense)


Boswellia, also known as Indian frankincense, is an herbal extract taken from the Boswellia serrata tree.

Resin made from boswellia extract has been used for centuries in Asian and African folk medicine. It’s believed to treat chronic inflammatory illnesses as well as a number of other health conditions. Boswellia is available as a resin, pill, or cream.

What the research says

Studies show that boswellia may reduce inflammation and may be useful in treating the following conditions:

Because boswellia is an effective anti-inflammatory, it can be an effective painkiller and may prevent the loss of cartilage. Some studies have found that it may even be useful in treating certain cancers, such as leukemia and breast cancer.

Boswellia may interact with and decrease the effects of anti-inflammatory medications. Talk to your doctor before using boswellia products, especially if you’re taking other medications to treat inflammation.

How boswellia works

Some research shows that boswellic acid can prevent the formation of leukotrienes in the body. Leukotrienes are molecules that have been identified as a cause of inflammation. They may trigger asthma symptoms.

Four acids in boswellia resin contribute to the herb’s anti-inflammatory properties. These acids inhibit 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO), an enzyme that produces leukotriene. Acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA) is thought to be the most powerful of the four boswellic acids. However, other research suggests other boswellic acids are responsible for the herb’s anti-inflammatory properties.

Boswellia products are generally rated on their concentration of boswellic acids.


Many studies of boswellia’s effect on OA have found that it’s effective in treating OA pain and inflammation.

One 2003 study published in the journalPhytomedicine found that all 30 people with OA knee pain who received boswellia reported a decrease in knee pain. They also reported an increase in knee flexion and how far they could walk.

Newerstudies support the continued use of boswellia for OA.

Another study, funded by a boswellia production company, found that increasing the dosage of enriched boswellia extract led to an increase in physical ability. OA knee pain decreased after 90 days with the boswellia product, compared to a lesser dosage and placebo. It also helped reduce the levels of a cartilage-degrading enzyme.


Studies on the usefulness of boswellia in RA treatment have shown mixed results. An older study published in the Journal of Rheumatology found that boswellia helps to reduce RA joint swelling. Some research suggests that boswellia may interfere with the autoimmune process, which would make it an effective therapy for RA. Furtherresearch supports the effective anti-inflammatory and immune-balancing properties.


Due to the herb’s anti-inflammatory properties, boswellia may be effective in treating inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC).

A 2001 study compared H15, a special boswellia extract, to the anti-inflammatory prescription drug mesalamine (Apriso, Asacol HD). It showed that the boswellia extract may be effective in treating Crohn’s disease.

Several found the herb could be effective in treating UC as well. We’re just beginning to understand how the anti-inflammatory and immune-balancing effects of boswellia can improve the health of an inflamed bowel.

On asthma

Boswellia can play a role in reducing leukotrienes, which causes bronchial muscles to contract. A of the herb’s effect on bronchial asthma found that people who took boswellia experienced decreased asthma symptoms and indicators. This shows the herb could play an important role in treating bronchial asthma. Research continues and has shown the positive immune-balancing properties of boswellia can help the overreaction to environmental allergens that happens in asthma.


Boswellia products can differ greatly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and remember to speak to your doctor before using any herbal therapy.

General dosing guidelines suggest taking 300–500 milligrams (mg) by mouth two to three times a day. The dosage may need to be higher for IBD.

The Arthritis Foundation suggests 300–400 mg three times per day of a product that contains 60 percent boswellic acids.

Side effects

Boswellia may stimulate blood flow in the uterus and pelvis. It can accelerate menstrual flow and may induce miscarriage in pregnant women.

Other possible side effects of boswellia include:

Boswellia extract may also interact with medications, including ibuprofen, aspirin, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Ask Dr. Hill: Frankincense

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