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Originally published July 3 2011

Got arthritis pain? Try frankincense

by Jonathan Benson, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Reducing or even eliminating the inflammation associated with chronic arthritis does not require the use of side effect-ridden pharmaceutical drugs. A new study conducted by researchers from Cardiff University in the UK suggests that frankincense, a resin derived from Boswellia trees, may just do the trick naturally.

Already known to help relieve depression, treat anxiety, and even eliminate cancer (, frankincense is a powerful herbal medicine that can assist the body fending off disease. And chronic arthritis is no exception, as the Cardiff team observed that frankincense demonstrably inhibits the production of inflammatory molecules that otherwise deteriorate cartilage and lead to the condition.

"What our research has managed to achieve is to use innovative chemical extraction techniques to determine the active ingredient in frankincense," said Dr. Ahmed Ali from the Compton Group at the University of Oxford. "Having done this we are now able to further characterize the chemical entity and compare its success against other anti-inflammatory drugs used for treating the condition."

The specific type of frankincense used in the study, which is an extract of Boswellia frereana, is rare. It is native to northern Somalia in Africa, and is sold primarily in Arab countries. However, previous research out of the University of California at Davis (UCD) found that extracts of Boswellia serrata, another variety of frankincense, also help treat arthritis symptoms (

"The South West of England and Wales has a long standing connection with the Somali community who have used extracts of frankincense as a traditional herbal remedy for arthritic conditions," said Dr. Emma Blain, lead author of the study. "What our research has focused on is whether and how these extracts can help relieve the inflammation that causes the pain."

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