Could the ‘pearls of the desert’ hold the key to arthritis relief? [image: Peter Presslein ~ via Wikimedia Commons]

Painful arthritis eased by frankincense

1 June, 2011

Could the ‘pearls of the desert’ hold the key to relief when it comes to painful inflammatory arthritis? According to Cardiff university researchers the answer is yes.

The Welsh scientists found that treatment with an extract of Boswellia frereana – a rare frankincense species – can inhibit the production of key inflammatory molecules. This helps prevent the breakdown of the cartilage tissue which causes the condition.

Frankincense has been used for thousands of years in Indian Ayurvedic medicine. In Somalia, one of a few regions where Frankincense grows naturally, rural communities have long used extracts of frankincense as a traditional herbal remedy for arthritic conditions.

This is not the first time that frankincense has show promise with arthritis. In 2008 a study in India involving 70 patients with severe arthritis in their knees found that those taking capsules containing extracts from Boswellia serrata, reported significantly better movement and less pain and stiffness.


  • Neal’s Yard Remedies makes effective and luxurious beauty products containing precious frankincence, see panel left. Our Beauty Boost supplements also contain frankincense extract for it’s anti-inflammatory properties in supporting skin, hair and nails.