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Boswellia Boosted Pain Relief from Glucosamine

A reader reports that boswellia boosted pain relief of fibromyalgia and plantar fasciitis when it was added to glucosamine and chondroitin.

We are puzzled by the research on supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin. These compounds have a reputation for easing joint pain. In Europe, they are prescribed as pharmaceuticals and meet criteria of effective pain relief (Advances in Therapy, Nov. 2019). A trial conducted in France, Germany, Poland and Spain found the combination of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine as helpful as celecoxib for painful knee osteoarthritis (Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, Jan. 2016). Yet North American trials and systematic reviews of glucosamine and chondroitin combinations have been disappointing (Rheumatology International, Aug. 2018). One reader found that boswellia boosted pain relief from glucosamine and chondroitin supplements.

Boswellia Boosted Pain Relief:

Q. When my mother ran out of glucosamine and chondroitin, she had trouble getting around. Her fibromyalgia pain and plantar fasciitis pain went through the roof. Her plantar fasciitis pain previously only hurt when she walked. Now it was hurting a lot when she was sitting still.

We got her double strength glucosamine and chondroitin with boswellia. In less than 24 hours, her pain was gone, including the fibromyalgia and plantar fasciitis!

A. Studies of glucosamine (with or without chondroitin) and of boswellia have focused primarily on pain due to osteoarthritis. A meta-analysis determined that chondroitin can reduce pain, while glucosamine helps control stiffness (Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, July 6, 2018).

Boswellia and Arthritis Pain:

Boswellia also lowered pain and inflammation of arthritis in a placebo-controlled trial (Phytotherapy Research, May 2019).  So far as we can tell, none of these supplements have been tested for the pain of fibromyalgia or plantar fasciitis. It’s great your mother got such relief. We’d love to hear from others who try boswellia, with or without glucosamine and chondroitin, for pain. How well does it work for you? Share your story in the comments on this article. 

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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  • Stellavato A et al, "Comparative analyses of pharmaceuticals or food supplements containing chondroitin sulfate: Are their bioactivities equivalent?" Advances in Therapy, Nov. 2019. DOI: 10.1007/s12325-019-01064-8
  • Hochberg MC et al, "Combined chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine for painful knee osteoarthritis: a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, non-inferiority trial versus celecoxib." Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, Jan. 2016. DOI: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-206792
  • Simental-Mendía M et al, "Effect of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate in symptomatic knee osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials." Rheumatology International, Aug. 2018. DOI: 10.1007/s00296-018-4077-2
  • Zhu X et al, "Effectiveness and safety of glucosamine and chondroitin for the treatment of osteoarthritis: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials." Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, July 6, 2018. doi: 10.1186/s13018-018-0871-5
  • Majeed M et al, "A pilot, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to assess the safety and efficacy of a novel Boswellia serrata extract in the management of osteoarthritis of the knee." Phytotherapy Research, May 2019. DOI: 10.1002/ptr.6338
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Yes. I take Boswellia (5-Loxin) along with an enhanced glucosamine-chondroitin capsule (Cosamin DS) with great success.

I have been using Boswellia and turmeric for RA pain for years with great success.

A few days after I fell to the floor due to arthritic pain in my hips/back after getting out of bed, on a Saturday in 1997, at 7:00 a.m I turned on my radio to “The People’s Pharmacy.” I think it was Dr. Tieraona Low Dog who was discussing Boswellia and pain relief. Fortunately, that day I was able to locate Boswellia in Raleigh.

After taking it for two weeks I had notable relief; then increasingly over a four week period I had remarkable improvement in lessening my pain. Actually, for about five years I felt no pain from my arthritis. Today, almost twenty-five years later, my pain has increased greatly but I continue to take Boswellia.

In the past several years I added Turmeric and Ashwagandha, I am uncertain as to any added benefit from Turmeric and Ashwagandha. My physician added steroid injections six months ago.

Yes, for a long time I wasn’t convinced that Gluc-Chond did much for my osteoarthritis pains, then one day bought a bottle that worked. I looked on the ingredients list, and Boswellia was an added ingredient. I have since then only bought G-C that includes Bosw. (listed on back of bottle, not on front).

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