Recently I saw a question to a doctor asking if boswellia, useful as an anti-inflammatory, could replace anti-inflammatory medications which are often prescribed to people with cystic fibrosis to help reduce swelling and irritation in the lungs and digestive system. Basically, the answer from the physician was that you could not trust herbal supplements because they are not regulated in the same way as medications, and some people have reported diarrhea, nausea or rash but there could be other side effects that have not been reported. I agree and disagree with the physician’s answer. Herbs are regulated for their safety by the FDA, and if they are deemed unsafe, the FDA has the regulatory power to ban them from sale. What’s not regulated is the quality of herbal supplements. A very high quality boswellia, standardized for its active constituents and manufactured in an FDA registered facility under GMPs produced to meet the current scientific standards for boswellia, will perform as an anti-inflammatory in most cases more effectively than medications. Boswellia inhibits an enzyme (5-Lox) that is overexpressed due to an increase of arachidonic acid in the body thus producing inflammation. In studies with boswellia, it was as effective as any pharmaceutical for reducing inflammation and without significant side effects. What I always find interesting is that the physician is quick to point out that there are some reports due to the use of boswellia causing diarrhea, nausea or rash and even possible other side effects. Yes, there are possibilities of these insignificant side effects occurring. But when you look at the side effects associated with prescribed medications, they seem to be worse than the condition being treated. Recently I saw a TV ad for a drug to treat asthma. I know that asthma is a challenge for those who are dealing with it, but when you look at the side effects of the drugs recommended to treat asthma, it scares the life out of me. As the TV ad rolled on to the end there was a long list of side effects and the last two side effects really caught my attention. They were, “may cause cancer or even death”. Now those are serious side effects. I have observed numerous individuals who use boswellia, English ivy and thyme to naturally treat asthma, and in 30 – 60 days they were off all their medications and breathing normally. If you’re going to replace prescribed medications with natural herbs and ingredients, always look for the highest quality and not the least expensive formula. Remember the most expensive product is the cheapest product that doesn’t work.