Exploring the Benefits of Boswellia for Joint and Cartilage Health

Boswellia, a fragrant resin derived from trees of the same name, has long been a staple in various traditional medicines. However, it’s only recently that science has begun to catch up, exploring the myriad ways Boswellia can benefit joint and cartilage health, especially in the context of osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis, the most common joint disease, inflicts substantial medical costs, lost productivity, and a reduced quality of life. While available pharmaceutical treatments have their limitations in terms of efficacy and long-term safety, natural products like Boswellia are showing promise. Studies, such as those conducted by Henrotin and Mobasheri (2018), have highlighted Boswellia’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties. They suggest that it could be more effective in reducing pain and functional disability than traditional analgesics, a boon for those suffering from chronic joint pain (Henrotin & Mobasheri, 2018).

The year 2023 brought further insight with Zapata and Fernández-Parra’s study, supporting Boswellia’s role in the multimodal management of osteoarthritis. They found improvements in general condition and mobility, indicating a significant impact on quality of life for osteoarthritis patients (Zapata & Fernández-Parra, 2023).

In a systematic review and meta-analysis by Yu et al. in 2020, Boswellia was shown to relieve pain and stiffness, improving joint function in osteoarthritis patients. This provided a concrete base for considering Boswellia as an effective and safe treatment option (Yu et al., 2020).

Majeed et al. in 2019 conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that echoed these findings. They discovered that Boswellia serrata extract significantly improved physical function by reducing pain and stiffness in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee (Majeed et al., 2019).

The biochemical and pharmacological insights are equally promising. Divisha’s 2019 study demonstrated that Boswellia serrata effectively reduced joint inflammation and preserved cartilage in an animal model of adjuvant-induced arthritis (Divisha, 2019).

A 2021 study by Majeed et al. took a deeper dive into the mechanism of Boswellia serrata extracts. They found that it helps in preserving extracellular matrix and reducing inflammatory mediators in arthritis, showing the potential of Boswellia in preserving joint integrity and function (Majeed et al., 2021).

Other studies have also contributed to our understanding of Boswellia’s potential. For instance, Mbiantcha et al. in 2018 focused on Boswellia dalzielii, revealing its significant anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effects. This study underlines the broader potential of different Boswellia species in managing inflammatory diseases (Mbiantcha et al., 2018).

Additionally, the 2018 research by Choi et al. shed light on the anti-inflammatory activity of Boswellia extracts in managing orofacial pain. This expands the possible applications of Boswellia beyond joint health to include pain management in other areas (Choi et al., 2018).

The emerging evidence strongly supports the potential of Boswellia in promoting joint and cartilage health. Its anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and analgesic properties make it a promising natural product for managing joint diseases and enhancing mobility. As research continues to unfold, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Boswellia could play a pivotal role in the future of natural, effective treatments for joint and cartilage-related ailments.


Henrotin, Y., & Mobasheri, A. (2018). Natural Products for Promoting Joint Health and Managing Osteoarthritis. Current Rheumatology Reports, 20.

Zapata, A., & Fernández-Parra, R. (2023). Management of Osteoarthritis and Joint Support Using Feed Supplements: A Scoping Review of Undenatured Type II Collagen and Boswellia serrata. Animals : an Open Access Journal from MDPI, 13.

Yu, G., Xiang, W., Zhang, T., Zeng, L., Yang, K., & Li, J. (2020). Effectiveness of Boswellia and Boswellia extract for osteoarthritis patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, 20.

Majeed, M., Majeed, S., Narayanan, N., & Nagabhushanam, K. (2019). A pilot, randomized, double‐blind, placebo‐controlled trial to assess the safety and efficacy of a novel Boswellia serrata extract in the management of osteoarthritis of the knee. Phytotherapy Research, 33, 1457-1468.

Divisha, R. (2019). Radiographic Progression and Histopathologic Correlation of Adjuvant Arthritis Ameliorated by Boswellia serrata. Journal of Animal Research.

Majeed, M., Nagabhushanam, K., Lawrence, L., Nallathambi, R., Thiyagarajan, V., & Mundkur, L. (2021). Boswellia serrata Extract Containing 30% 3-Acetyl-11-Keto-Boswellic Acid Attenuates Inflammatory Mediators and Preserves Extracellular Matrix in Collagen-Induced Arthritis. Frontiers in Physiology, 12.

Mbiantcha, M., Almas, J., Atsamo, A., Ateufack, G., Shabana, S. U., Bomba Tatsinkou, D. F., Nana, W. Y., & Nida, D. (2018). Anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effects of methanol extract of the stem bark of Boswellia dalzielii Hutch (Burseraceae) in rats. Inflammopharmacology, 26, 1383-1398.

Choi, J.-H., Hyun, K.-Y., & Lee, M.-K. (2018). Orofacial Pain Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Extracts of Boswellia Serrata in Rats. Biomedical Science Letters.

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