Aging is a normal process, but experiences such as memory loss are not enjoyable to deal with. That is where boswellia comes in. One of the shining stars of medicinal herbs, there is now research to support the use of boswellia supplements for memory and brain health.
Read on to discover the varied and powerful benefits of boswellia supplements for memory and brain health, plus how to choose boswellia supplements for memory and brain health.
What is Boswellia?
Boswellia goes by many names including olibanum, Indian Frankincense or kondor in the Persian language. Boswellia comes from the resin or sap of densely leaved Boswellia tree. Native to India, Africa, and Arabia, boswellia acts as one of the most ancient and valued herbs in traditional medicines. Multiple kind of Boswellia resin oils and extracts are used in cosmetic products, foods, beverages and soaps.
The Boswellia resin is rich in carbohydrates, essential oils, and acids including one called boswellic acid. Boswellic acids specifically have shown great benefits for brain health.
History and Cultural Origins of Boswellia
If you are interested in natural healthcare, you might have heard of the term Ayurveda, an ancient healing science originating in India. The term Ayurveda can directly translate to “The Science of Life” and is often referred to as the “Mother of All Healing” in Indian culture.
Since the beginning of time, humans have valued plant products for a variety of purposes including medicines, nourishment, shelter, and fragrances. Boswellia was among the few natural resins used for these reasons, in addition to playing an important cultural role.
Ayurveda recognized boswellia for its anti-inflammatory properties, specifically in osteoarthritis, and research-based medicine has confirmed these effects and more.
How Does Boswellia Act in the Body?
To understand the benefits of boswellia supplements for memory, let’s look into how it affects the body when taken as a supplement.
Boswellia extract is able to block the activity of a molecule called 5-LOX that helps to speed up the formation of chemicals called leukotrienes that our body produces. These molecules are inflammation signals that are generated when you have allergy or asthma for instance and can become problematic when in abundance.
While aging, many symptoms like long-term swelling, pain, lack of focus or confusion are linked to inflammation and can happen in different areas of your body.
Why does this matter? Boswellia has been shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory herbal extract that is a wonderful natural way to curb inflammation in the body. In combination with good eating and exercise habits, Boswellia can strongly reduce the severity of those inflammatory symptoms we just described.
Health Benefits of Boswellia
By now you may be thinking, “How can I choose boswellia supplements for memory support and brain health?”
Modern research-based medicine and historical usage of boswellia strongly point to its ability to improve overall brain health. It also can help:
- Relieve symptoms of arthritis
- Reduce fat levels in the blood
- Lower the likelihood of heart attack
- Relieve pain
Let’s look further into how boswellia can improve memory and overall brain health.
Boswellia and Aging-Related Neurodegeneration
As we age, our brain naturally experiences changes like a progressive loss of neurons and effective communication between brain cells, reduction in size of certain areas in the brain, diminution of blood flow, and increase in low-grade inflammation. Unfortunately, this leaves us more susceptible to casual memory and cognitive decline (normal aging), or to more severe ailments such as stroke, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
The good news is that in addition to healthy diet and regular exercise, research has revealed that certain natural health products have protective abilities to reduce the effects of aging on brain health, including boswellia.
According to research, the boswellic acids found in boswellia extracts can slow the progression of neurodegeneration seen with age and enhance cognitive activity.
Boswellia’s ability to naturally reduce inflammation, cell death and negative chemical reactions in the brain make it a promising herbal brain health key ingredient to delay and/or prevent neurodegeneration seen with age.
Boswellia and Memory
It starts with forgetting an item on a grocery list. Over time, it may feel like you’re experiencing forgetfulness and confusion on a daily basis. As frustrating as this can be, does it help to know that it is absolutely normal? (Maybe not, but we are going to tell you why it happens anyway).
Mild memory loss is a natural part of getting older, and it does not necessarily mean that you are developing Alzheimer’s disease or other neurogenerative dementia. A few explanations for age-related memory decline include:
- Decreased blood flow to the brain
- Reduced numbers of reparative and protective cells
- Reduced brain region involved in memory storage and retrieval called hippocampus
- Increased brain inflammation
- Reduced communication between brain cells
Read more about age-related memory loss in our recent post.
Recently natural agents have been the focus of some studies on memory. Boswellia supplements for memory have been shown to improve learning and memory abilities in older adults and in rodent models.
Based on this, you may wish to consider boswellia supplements for memory support. As always, of course, consult with your healthcare practitioner before taking any natural health product.
Boswellia Usage and Types of Products Available
Boswellia is available as a resin, capsule, or cream form. Discover which option is right for you below:
Cream: Boswellia creams can be applied to the skin as rejuvenating addition to a skincare routine, as it acts to tone the skin and decrease the look of wrinkles. It can also be used to reduce scars and damage from radiation cancer treatments.
Resin/Extract: Boswellia resin oil and extract are used in soaps, cosmetics, foods, and beverages. When boswellia is used as a resin, it is typically referred to as Indian Frankincense.
Capsule: Boswellia can be purchased in Canada in capsule form. In this preparation, it is normally used for its medicinal effects discussed earlier (anti-inflammation). This makes boswellia capsules the ideal option for those looking to improve their memory and brain health.
Continue reading to learn how to choose boswellia supplements for memory support in capsule form.
What Dose of Boswellia Should I Take?
*Disclaimer: This blog post is not offering medical advice. Please consult your healthcare practitioner prior to using boswellia or any other natural health product.*
How much boswellia should you take to take care of your memory? The dosage can greatly vary depending on the product quality, individual, and product manufacturer. Health Canada’s Natural and Non-Prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD) have some recommendations around dosage of boswellia based on the health claim made for a product.
For example, Memowell delivers 1000 mg/day of Boswellia serrata extract when taken at the recommended daily dose.
Consider boswellia just like any other health supplement, always speak to a medical professional before adding it to your routine. Dosage can also be contingent on the type of symptoms being tackled.
Always check the label of products for any side effects, contraindications, and drug interactions to be aware of.
How to Choose Boswellia Supplements for Memory Support
If you have decided that boswellia is for you, consult our quick checklist to ensure that you are getting products that are approved, safe, effective, and supported by research.
1. Approved by Health Canada
The first thing to know is that dietary supplements (known as natural health products in Canada) are regulated by the Canadian health authorities. Only those that have been scientifically reviewed are issued a product licence to be sold. This applies to conventional retailers as well as online sellers such as manufacturers or through e-commerce platforms or websites like Amazon.
However, that doesn’t prevent poor-quality products from being sold online or in stores especially in the US where regulations are less strict. Be sure to check that the product is approved by looking for an 8-digit Natural Product Number (NPN) or Homeopathic Medicine Number (DIN-HM) on the label. You can look up products on Health Canada’s Licensed NHP Database to check their approval status.
Purity has been a problem in the supplement industry for decades. To make sure you are getting what you pay for, double check that the boswellia product you plan to purchase actually has boswellia resin or extract listed as the main active ingredient!
It seems silly to have to say this, but unfortunately some companies can trick you into thinking a substance is included in a product, when it really isn’t when you consult the ingredient list. Don’t hesitate to ask a store clerk, online customer service, or medical professional for assistance when picking the right product for you.
Ask your doctor or other healthcare practitioner what dosage of boswellia you should be using and for what health indication. There can be different percentages of active ingredients in specific boswellia products, so you want to double check that you are consuming the right dose.
4. Product Claim and Health Indication
A product can have varying health claims depending on what the business is trying to sell. For example, a skincare company may sell boswellia with the only health claim to be “reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles,” even though we know it can be utilized for much more.
For best results, consider purchasing a boswellia supplement specifically affecting the health condition, such as memory, you wish to target.
Natural health products can range in price depending on purity, the number of tablets in a bottle, milligrams of active extract per pill, and so on. The general rule of thumb is that if a product appears to be a very good deal compared to leading brands that pride themselves on quality and potency, you are likely not getting a premium product.
Where to Buy Boswellia
Boswellia supplements are available online or through retailers. Shop Kondor Pharma’s boswellia product, Memowell, for memory support.