Boswellia has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine. Recently, the boswellic acids that are a component of the resin it produces have shown promise as a treatment for asthma and various inflammatory conditions. The bark of Boswellia dalzielii is used to treat fever, rheumatism and gastrointestinal problems. Boswellia incense may even relieve depression. Boswellic acid, the active constituent, exerts a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic activity. Research suggests that the anti-arthritic activity of this herb is even more effective than phenylbutazone (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.
The Biblical incense frankincense was an extract from the resin of the tree Boswellia sacra.