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Osteoarthritis

Indian Frankincense Herb Shown to Relieve Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Thursday, August 14, 2008 by: Sherry Baker, Health Sciences Editor
Tags: osteoarthritis, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) An herb known as the "Indian Frankincense" can dramatically improve the symptoms of the most common form of arthritis –- osteoarthritis. What's even more amazing is the treatment appears to provide relief within just one week.

That's the good news from University of California at Davis scientists who published their research conclusions about this herbal therapy recently in the journal Arthritis Research & Therapy. They specifically tested an extract dubbed AKBA (3-O-acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid) from the herb Boswellia serrata on 70 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee in a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study. B. serrata has been used for thousands of years in the system of traditional medicine known in India as "Ayurveda".

The research subjects were suffering from pain, limited movement, stiffness and other symptoms of osteoarthritis, which most commonly affects weight-bearing joints like knees and hips, as well as the hands, wrists, feet and spine. Symptoms were relieved in about seven days in this study -- which is the first to show that an enriched extract of B. serrata herb be used as a successful treatment in humans. The same scientists tested the herbal remedy earlier in animal experiments for safety.

In a statement for the press, the lead researcher of the study, Siba Raychaudhuri, a faculty member of the University of California at Davis, noted that "AKBA has anti-inflammatory properties, and we have shown that B. serrata enriched with AKBA can be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee... In this study, the compound was shown to have no major adverse effects in our osteoarthritis patients. It is safe for human consumption and even for long-term use".

This is important news for osteoarthritis sufferers who, according to the National Institutes of Health, number nearly 21 million in the U.S. alone. Although you are more likely to have this form of arthritis as you grow older, younger people can develop it as a result of genetic defects or joint injuries and malformations.

As the Baby Boomer population continues to age, the NIH estimates about 72 million Americans, 20 percent of the population, will be at high risk for osteoporosis by 2030. Medications currently often used to control pain from the disorder include acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and narcotics –- all of which can have serious side effects, including liver damage.

About the author

Sherry Baker is a widely published writer whose work has appeared in Newsweek, Health, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Yoga Journal, Optometry, Atlanta, Arthritis Today, Natural Healing Newsletter, OMNI, UCLA’s "Healthy Years" newsletter, Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s "Focus on Health Aging" newsletter, the Cleveland Clinic’s "Men’s Health Advisor" newsletter and many others.

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