An age old herbal remedy could aid in the treatment of arthritis, according to UK-based Cardiff University scientists. The scientists have been examining potential benefits of frankincense to help relieve and alleviate symptoms of the condition.
"The search for new ways of relieving the symptoms of inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis is a long and difficult one," according to Emma Blain, who leads the research with co-investigators Professor Vic Duance from Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences, and Ahmed Ali of the Compton Group.
"The South West of England and Wales has a long standing connection with the Somali community who have used extracts of frankincense as a traditional herbal remedy for arthritic conditions," Blain said. "What our research has focused on is whether and how these extracts can help relieve the inflammation that causes the pain."
The scientists believe they have been able to demonstrate that treatment with an extract of Boswellia frereana — a rare frankincense species — inhibits the production of key inflammatory molecules which helps prevent the breakdown of the cartilage tissue.
"The search for new drugs to alleviate the symptoms of conditions like inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis is a priority area for scientists. What our research has managed to achieve is to use innovative chemical extraction techniques to determine the active ingredient in frankincense," said Ali.
The research comes as a result of a seedcorn project, funded by the Severnside Alliance for Translational Research (SARTRE), through the MRC Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme devolved portfolio.
[Source: Cardiff University]