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Frankincense: A Miracle Pain Reliever?

A study published in Thursday’s edition of Arthritis Research & Therapy suggests an enriched extract of the frankincense herb may reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Patients who took the herb Boswellia serrata reported a reduction in pain and increase in mobility in as little as seven days, according to the study's authors.

The herb was enriched with 30 percent AKBA (3-O-acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid), which exhibits potential anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting the 5-lipoxygenase enzyme. This enzyme transforms essential fatty acids into leukotrienes, which use signals to regulate the body's response to inflammation.

AKBA is believed to be the most active ingredient of the B. serrata herb.

"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," said study leader Siba Raychaudhuri, a faculty member of the University of California, Davis.

"The high incidence of adverse effects associated with currently available medications has created great interest in the search for an effective and safe alternative treatment," Raychaudhuri said.

Click here to read more about the study.

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