What is Boswellia Cream?

Erica Stratton

Boswellia cream is a facial cream marketed towards those who wish to prevent or lessen the effects of aging on the skin. It is derived from the sap of a Boswellia tree, also known as frankincense. Frankincense has a long history of being used in medicine and is even now being researched as a possible treatment for arthritis.

Studies suggest that Boswellia cream might be used in treating arthritis.
Studies suggest that Boswellia cream might be used in treating arthritis.

The frankincense used to create Boswellia cream is harvested from the Boswellia tree, which sometimes can be found growing out of solid rock. The plant's bark is slashed in several places, so that the resin drips out and hardens into "tears". The tears are then collected for use in incense and cosmetics. When pure, the resin is edible and is commonly prescribed for digestive and skin ailments in Asia.

The resin of boswellia serrata, or frankincense, is used to make incense.
The resin of boswellia serrata, or frankincense, is used to make incense.

The history of Boswellia cream being used as a skin treatment comes from the tradition of frankincense being held sacred in Egypt. Though the exact time of when frankincense was first traded is difficult to pinpoint, it was reportedly used widely in religious rituals before the birth of Christ. Around the 4th century Anno Domini (AD), the trade in frankincense ended in response to the growth of Christianity. Biblical accounts report that frankincense was brought to the baby Jesus at his birth as a gift to mark the beginning of a new life.

Though the consistency of Boswellia cream varies by what the manufacturer decides to put into it, the cream often carries the scent of the frankincense used to produce it. It can be heavy and oily in consistency. Such creams are suggested for moisturizing dry skin, or for use as a night cream applied before bed. Though the cream is named for frankincense, it has additional ingredients. Other natural herbs such as wolfberry may also be used in it.

Though reports from those who use this cream vary, there has been no formal study to ascertain whether or not frankincense truly helps minimize wrinkles. None of the ingredients in Boswellia cream are known for producing collagen, a protein which helps keep the skin elastic and wrinkle-free. There has been some success, however, in studying Boswellia cream for relieving inflammatory diseases. This gives implications that the cream can be used to treat disorders such as arthritis, inflammation of the bowels, and asthma. Another ingredient found in the cream may also facilitate the flow of nutrients and oxygen in the skin.

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Discussion Comments


@anon122071-- I suppose you could apply the cream topically on that area and see what happens. It might help bring down the inflammation and would probably work better if it's used with an anti-inflammatory drug prescribed by your doctor.

I have heard that Boswellia takes some time to show it's affect though (around several months). So it's probably not the best thing for immediate relief, especially since you can take something orally that will help with the inflammation right away.

I think it's better in the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions- arthritis being one. Because then, you can use it long term. I have heard that Boswellia arthritis pain relief cream is very expensive though. So I don't know how possible this is money wise.


Boswellia is pretty popular among pet owners as a remedy for arthritis. My dad gives it as a supplement to two of our older horses who have arthritis issues.

I have not really heard of boswellia arthritic cream being used but if the cream is absorbed well through the skin and can enter the bloodstream, I'm sure it would be just as beneficial as the supplements.

I'm going to ask our vet when he comes to see the horses next week if he's ever heard anyone use bsowellia cream before.


I just started using boswellia face cream and I really like it but I'm not sure about the anti-wrinkle benefits yet.

The one I'm using is very moisturizing but it's also light and absorbs well into my skin. I'm using it as a night cream and it has made my skin really soft and supple. The cream claims to nourish and rejuvenate and prevent wrinkles. It says that boswellia extract helps relax the facial muscles to prevent wrinkle and fine line formation.

I don't see any change in my wrinkles so far, but I have just started using it last week. But since it moisturizes my skin really well, I think it will prevent new wrinkles from forming simply because of that. So if the product succeeds at preventing new wrinkles, I won't really know if it's the boswellia which did that or the other moisturizing ingredients in it.


How can boswellia cream be used for inflammation of the bowels? Kay W.

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