The Benefits of Boswellia


Boswellia, commonly referred to as Frankincense, has been used for centuries to treat inflammatory conditions including asthma, arthritis, cerebral edema, chronic pain syndrome, chronic bowel diseases, and cancer. It originates from the Boswellia serrata tree and is well-known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties as well as its ability to treat many common chronic conditions. The Boswellia tree is found in northeastern Africa, parts of India, and the Red Sea region. Historically, it’s been used as a treatment for arthritis, nerve disorders, urinary conditions, and diarrhea. It’s still used, to this day, for a number of ailments we will be discussing throughout this article.

The primary application for therapies using Boswellia in dogs is for mobility issues.  We want to make sure our dogs live a happy, healthy, playful life; Inflammation in the joints can hinder the quality of life- that’s where Boswellia comes in. 

If you’re not sure if your dog is experiencing difficulty moving around, you can take a few days to observe his or her behavior. Signs your dog may be in need of some joint health help include:

  • The need to rest following movement
  • A decreased desire to go for a walk or a jog (whichever is in your regular routine)
  • Difficulty walking up and downstairs
  • Difficulty jumping into the car 
  • Irritability especially when legs are touched

If your dog is experiencing any of the above, that might be a sign of deteriorating joint health and it may be time to look into some natural remedies.

According to Dr. Gary Richter, an Integrative Veterinarian, “the benefits of natural anti-inflammatories are much the same as NSAIDs, without many of the side effects. While nature’s versions may not act as fast as those brought to us by big pharmaceutical companies, managing Degenerative Joint Disease is about the long view. Using NSAIDs on an as-needed basis; for daily use, stick with the natural variety.”

How Boswellia Works

The way Boswellia works still isn’t completely known. Research has found terpenes in Boswellia which contain anti-inflammatory properties. That’s why it’s often utilized for reducing the symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Asthma, and Arthritis. 

Boswellia and Degenerative Joint Disease

Degenerative joint disease, or arthritis, often impacts older dogs but can be seen in dogs who have experienced trauma or infection. Arthritis results in chronic inflammation leading up to the loss of cartilage in your dog’s joints. 

Arthritis is accompanied by pain and stiffness in a dog’s legs making it an agonizing task to run, play, or sometimes walk. 

Boswellia has been found to reduce inflammation associated with arthritis. According to research, “after two weeks of treatment, an overall efficacy of the dietary supplement was evident in 71% of 24 eligible dogs. A statistically significant reduction of severity and resolution of typical clinical signs in individual animals, such as intermittent lameness, local pain and stiff gait, was reported after 6 weeks. Effects of external factors that aggravate lameness, such as “lameness when moving” and “lameness after a long rest” diminished gradually.” 

Basically, the study showed that after only two weeks of Boswellia administration, 71% of test subjects saw “good” or “very good” results. Even when dogs had been resting for long periods of time (this is usually the hardest time for them to get up), Boswellia reduced the lameness in their legs. 

The study also showed boswellic acid blocks a pro-inflammatory enzyme known as 5-lipoxygenase which inhibits the synthesis of a bio-compound known as leukotrienes. The enzymes contribute to chronic inflammation found in cancer, asthma, and osteoarthritis. By blocking these enzymes, boswellic acid reduces inflammation and prevents further loss of cartilage in a dog’s body

Boswellia and Cancer

You’ve probably heard of Frankincense essential oils. According to a study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, “Essential oil prepared by distillation of the gum resin traditionally used for aromatic therapy has also been shown to have tumor cell-specific anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic activities.”

There is a limited amount of research available regarding boswellia and dogs, but in humans, research has suggested that Boswellia may reduce metastasis (spread of cancer cells). 

Boswellia and CBD

Boswellia, in combination with CBD, can help reduce pain levels and improve overall functioning and quality of life. Our EASE – 550 MG FULL SPECTRUM HEMP EXTRACT is combined with frankincense to maximize therapeutic benefits. Since Cannabis and frankincense both share terpenes, there is a synergistic effect which boosts the therapeutic efficacy of the tincture. 

A study published in Molecules stated “Improved anti-inflammatory effects can be obtained from a composition containing boswellic acids, either isolated from Boswellia family plants (Burseraceae) or in the form of an extract, and either CBD or a Cannabis sativa extract.” The combination of both CBD and Boswellia has the ability to significantly reduce inflammation alone; imagine what they do when combined. 

The Bottom Line on Boswellia 

Boswellia, as you can see, has many benefits. Although, it’s mostly utilized for its anti-inflammatory properties. This can be extremely beneficial for dogs because it contains terpenes to fight inflammation associated with degenerative joint disease (AKA arthritis). 

About Angela Ardolino

Angela Ardolino Schnauzer Odie

Angela Ardolino is a holistic pet expert who has been caring for animals for over 20 years and operates a rescue farm, Fire Flake Farm, in Florida. She is also the owner of  Beautify the Beast a natural pet salon and shop. After getting her certificate in Medical Cannabis Biology and Therapeutic use from the University of Vermont School of Medicine, she founded CBD Dog Health to provide high quality, all-natural medical cannabis products designed specifically for pets. Angela has seven dogs, Odie a 12-year-old mini-schnauzer, Nina an 8-year-old Doberman. Jolene a 7-year-old mutt, Maza a 7-year-old mutt, Rhemi an 8-year-old poodle, Potato a 15-year-old shih-tzu, and Miss Daisie a 15-year-old black lab, plus 4-10 more at any time she is fostering or boarding. She uses Full Spectrum Hemp Extract on all her pets at her rescue farm every day, and has since 2016. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, the Veterinary Cannabis Association and has trained hundreds medical doctors and veterinarians about the therapeutic uses of medical cannabis on animals. Visit for more information.