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An Ayurvedic herb also classified as a phytopharmaceutical (H15; Europe). Boswellia serrata is an extract from the gum resin of a tree and also a source of Indian frankincense, this plant extract has both positive and negative qualities for skin, like most plant extracts. Its fragrant components have the potential to cause contact dermatitis and can be considered sensitizing.

On the other hand, Boswellia serrata also has research showing it has an anti-inflammatory effect on skin and can stimulate fibroblasts (cells that make collagen). Dried extracts of the resin of the boswellia serrata tree have been used since antiquity in India to treat inflammatory conditions and joint aches.

Boswellia serrata has been recently developed for topical use in a patent-pending formula in Sano Relief Gel. Boswellia serrata is used in the manufacture of the anti-wrinkle agent “Boswelox”, which has been criticised as being ineffective.

The actives are boswellic acid and other pentacyclic triterpene acids. Beta-boswellic acid is the major constituent of boswellia serrata.

Toxicology Letters, March 2008, pages 144-149
Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods, November 2010, pages 556–563
Dermatologic Therapy, January-February 2010, pages S28–S32
Boswellia Serrata, A Potential Antiinflammatory Agent: An Overview
L’Oreal slammed over cream claims

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