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Boswellia serrata (also known as Indian frankincense), long renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties, is a key ingredient in our new Mountain Ice Sports Recovery Gel. But how does this powerful ingredient work to propel your body to peak athletic performance? Read on to find out!
The medical application of Boswellia appears in some of the world's oldest surviving medical texts, particularly those from the Indian subcontinent. Foundational writings dating to as far back as fourth century BCE, from the Indian medical tradition of Ayurveda, reference the use of resin from the Boswellia serrata plant for a wide variety of conditions ranging from skin and blood diseases as well as gastrointestinal conditions like diarrhea and dystentery - notably, many of these conditions involve inflammation. Currently practitioners of that same tradition utilize it in the treatment of diabetes and believe it to lower blood glucose, as well as treatment for high LDL cholesterol levels.
The primary components of the Boswellia serrata plant that's thought to have useful properties are boswellic acids, terpenoid molecules found in the resin of plants in the genus Boswellia. These terpenes make up roughly 30 percent of the resin of the Boswellia serrata. Boswellic acids have been seen to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties through inhibiting the synthesis of leukotrienes, inflammatory mediators whose overproduction can lead to harmful inflammation.
Leukotriene production is particularly associated with respiratory inflammation. Leukotriene D4 induces the contraction of smooth muscle, resulting in bronchoconstriction (tightening of the airways) and vasoconstriction (narrowing of the blood vessels). These processes have important uses, but excessive production of leukotrienes leads to the constriction of bronchioles that can be found in asthma attacks.
Combating inflammation in the airways is only one of the uses for which Boswellia extract has been evaluated: studies of the plant for the treatment of osteoarthritis symptoms have been promising, and its anti-inflammatory properties suggest potential effects in the treatment of chronic inflammatory disorders like rheumatic arthritis.
These anti-inflammatory properties might be effective for more than just chronic conditions. Recent studies have indicated that Boswellia in combination with curcumin, one of the active ingredients in turmeric, may be effective in reducing joint pain and muscle injury after exercise, particularly stiffness and soreness in the knees. Turmeric is also component of Mountain Ice Sports Recovery Gel, so you get the full effect of these two ingredients working together to help you reach your full athletic potential!