A bowl of boswellia resin, also known as frankincense, Boswellia fights pain, boswellia with turmeric

Millions of us suffer with joint pain, and the older we get, the more likely we are to have achy knees or sore hips. It is little wonder, then, that there are many home remedies or dietary supplements that are purported to ease the pain of arthritis. Which ones work? One reader is enthusiastic about the benefits of boswellia with turmeric, two supplements from traditional Indian medicine.

Boswellia with Turmeric Helps Hip Pain:

Q. I took glucosamine and chondroitin for years. After reading about boswellia, though, I switched to a supplement of boswellia with turmeric. I also use organic tart cherry concentrate daily. That has made a big difference! I have very little chronic pain now, and before, my hips hurt every day.

Movement is also key, I believe, and I walk, lift weights, take yoga classes and do tai chi. That did not change, so I’ve concluded it’s the change in supplements that has led to my greater level of comfort. I’ve had no surgeries and take no prescription drugs.

A. Turmeric and boswellia (Indian frankincense) are potent anti-inflammatory herbs. Both have been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine. A recent meta-analysis found that both have clinically important effects on short-term pain relief (Liu et al, British Journal of Sports Medicine, Oct. 10, 2017). One study that compared a combination supplement (500 mg twice a day) to celecoxib (100 mg twice a day) found the boswellia with turmeric was better (Kizhakkedath, Molecular Medicine Reports, Nov. 2013).

Tart Cherries:

Tart cherries inhibit the same enzyme as drugs like celecoxib (Celebrex). Moreover, tart cherry extracts reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in many parts of the body, including the brain (Shukitt-Hale et al, Antioxidants, Sep. 22, 2016).

Other Ways to Ease Joint Pain:

We are delighted you have benefitted from these natural healing approaches. Anyone who would like to learn more about these and dozens of other approaches for easing joint pain may be interested in our handy new book, The Graedons’ Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis. Why not take advantage of our special discount XMAS2017? It offers you a 15% discount on books and all holiday bundles containing books through Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. Just enter the code XMAS2017 in the coupon box as you check out.

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  1. Deborah

    Happy Holidays!

    Thanks for all the good tips and as always I enjoy all your
    Newsletters! Best wishes for a Holiday filled with JOY!
    Debbie from Durham

  2. Richard

    My hips and knees are doing well, but my fingers are becoming progressively more arthritic. I just finished three weeks of black cherry concentrate (1 tb. daily) with no noticeable effect. Might the effect be cumulative or is it time to try the gelatin or raisins?

    • Janet

      After reading your contributor’s success with boswellia, I decided to try it, since glucosamine was no longer helping my arthritis. It’s only been a week, but there has been no relief and I also wondered if the effects were cumulative.
      I tried the golden raisins soaked in gin for 45 days with no results.

      • JANET

        I also tried acupuncture with no results.

  3. Jane

    As I got older [now 72] I found that glucosamine and chondroitin with boswellia messed up my stomach–I was always feeling full and it was quite uncomfortable. Not indigestion, just needed to keep swallowing but nothing to swallow. When I take pills without the boswellia this isn’t a problem. The fullness is a side effect of boswellia but not well known. I also suggest that any of these supplements be taken with a lot of liquid.

  4. E

    Trying Turmeric 1 gm daily with 2 gms vit E Very hi E3. Arthritic pain in rt knee caused a severe limp. After less than one week no limping and just a minor ache, but I still can’t do my usual 4 miles daily due to bone on bone rubbing

  5. Susan

    Unfortunately, Boswellia made me very sick to my stomach and I had to throw it out.

  6. Joseph B.
    San Antonio, TX

    I have osteoarthritis in the knees. I was taking Hyaluronic injections which worked wonderfully. Two months ago I switched to Hyaluronic pills and Boswellia that eliminated the pain just as well. I am still debating whether to return to the injections (which are paid by Medicare and secondary insurance) or continue the two supplements for which I pay out of pocket.

  7. William F. W
    brandon, ms

    Sorry if this is a repeat: I read on your site about NSAIDs and decided to stop my twice a day naproxen 500 mg.

    But my hip and shoulder pain did not return! I take boswellia and turmeric and few other antiinflammatories.

    Thanks! People’s Pharmacy!

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