The gum resin of the Boswellia serrata tree has been used medicinally for centuries, particularly in India, the Middle East, and in Northern Africa. Traditional healers used the Boswellia resin to treat arthritis, colitis, sores, coughs, asthma, and even snakebites.

Boswellia serrata, or frankincense, has long been renowned for its potent anti-inflammatory properties. Today, studies have shown that boswellic acid reduces inflammation by blocking the pro-inflammatory enzyme 5-lipoxygenase which then inhibits the synthesis of leukotrienes. Both of these enzymes can contribute to chronic inflammation found in certain diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, cancer and asthma.