04July

Boswellic acid molecular system

A research team has clarified its effect

Once upon a time, the Three Kings brought precious gifts to the new-born baby Jesus: as well as gold and myrrh, they also had frankincense in their bags. "Even today, frankincense is a valuable gift," says Prof. Oliver Werz of Friedrich Schiller University - although he is not really thinking about the biblical meaning of frankincense.

"The resin extracted frnom the bark of the frankincense tree contains anti-inflammatory substances, which make it suitable for the treatment of diseases such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis or neurodermatitis, among others," he explains.

Pharmacist Werz and his team have been investigating the anti-inflammatory effect of frankincense resin and its components for several years.

Now, together with colleagues in the US, the Jena University researchers have succeeded in uncovering the molecular mechanism of boswellic acid, a substance which is responsible for the anti-inflammatory effect of frankincense. They present their results in the current issue of the specialist journal "Natural Chemical Biology" (DOI: 10.1038/s41589-020-0544-7).

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