One of the mediators of the body’s immune system response, prostaglandin E2 plays an important role in the evolution of pain, process of inflammation, and in the development of fever.
“Boswellic acids block this enzyme efficiently and thereby reduce the inflammatory reaction,” says Werz, who believes frankincense resin could someday be used to treat inflammatory diseases. He says Boswellic acids may also have fewer side effects than some of the anti-inflammatory medications used today, such as indometacin and diclofenac, which can impact renal function and increase the potential for stomach ulcers.
There are over 10 Boswellia tree species and most grow in harsh desert environments. The most common is the Boswellia serrata, which exists in central and northern India. Another species, the Boswellia papyrifera, can be found in Ethiopia, Somalia and the Arabian Peninsula. Its resin is ten times more potent than that of other Boswellia trees.