The resin of Boswellia serrata has been used traditionally for the treatment of many inflammatory conditions including rheumatic disorders and pulmonary diseases, especially those of a chronic nature. Pentacyclic triterpene acids, mainly β-boswellic acid and the acetylboswellic acids, are important constituents of the gum resin of Boswellia serrata.
The efficacy of standardised extract of Boswellia resin has been evaluated in many clinical trials. Overall, the results suggest that Boswellia is effective in treating a range of conditions caused or maintained by inflammatory processes, although trials of greater methodological quality are required. In two, small, non-randomized trials Boswellia extract had similar or better benefit in terms of remission rates to that of sulfasalazine in ulcerative colitis and chronic colitis. Standardized Boswellia extract has also been used to reduce oedema in patients with brain tumour, although very high doses are used: starting at 2.1 g/day of boswellic acids (assuming the extract to contain 60% boswellic acids), and the effect diminishes at lower doses with no effect observed for doses of extract containing 720 mg/day of boswellic acids.
Apium graveolens seed has been used traditionally for the clearance of acidic metabolites via the kidneys, and traditional sources recommend its use for rheumatism, arthritis and gout. The effectiveness of Celery Seed in treating the pain of arthritis was demonstrated in an Australian open, preclinical trial of 12-weeks duration.
Zingiber officinale rhizome is used mostly in western herbal medicine for cold conditions and indigestion. In India, a warm infusion of dried Ginger is used as a diaphoretic in chronic rheumatism. As a circulatory stimulant, Ginger increases circulation to the affected joints. This supports tissue cleansing at the site, and may enhance the effectiveness of other components in the formula.
Curcuma longa rhizome is used in many traditional systems for a wide variety of conditions. In Indonesia, it is used internally and externally to treat inflammations and rheumatism. In traditional Chinese medicine, Turmeric is used for traumatic injury, swelling and pain. The main constituents of Curcuma longa rhizome are the yellow pigments (curcumin and methoxylated curcumins) and an essential oil containing sesquiterpenes.