Glucosamine and Boswellia.

Oral glucosamine in combating the discomfort of joint pain.

Glucosamine is a sugar produced in the body and found in small amounts of foods. It plays an important role in maintaining cartilage, the gel-like material that cushions joints. When taken as a dietary supplement, glucosamine may help to relieve the pain, stiffness, and swelling of osteoarthritis , a degenerative joint disorder that affects 12% of the population, in which cartilage has worn down. Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers report improvements with glucosamine supplements as well, as do individuals with other types of joint injuries. Some 70 countries around the world sanction glucosamine as a treatment for individuals with mild to moderately severe osteoarthritis.

Studies indicate that some arthritis sufferers experience improved range of motion after taking glucosamine. Others report increased overall mobility. And several studies suggest that glucosamine may be as effective in easing arthritic pain and inflammation - and not nearly as irritating to the stomach - as the NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) typically recommended for osteoarthritis.

Glucosamine appears to protect and strengthen the cartilage around joints, particularly in the knees, hips, spine, and hands. In so doing, it may help to prevent further joint damage. And while it can do little to actually restore cartilage that has completely worn away - or reverse joint damage that has already occurred - glucosamine appears to slow the development of mild to moderately severe osteoarthritis. Traditional NSAIDs prescribed for arthritis, in contrast, actually impair the body's cartilage-building capacity.

glucosamine, boswellia

Boswellia , also known as boswellin or "Indian frankincense," comes from the Boswellia serrata tree that grows in the dry hills of India. For centuries, traditional Indian healers have taken advantage of the anti-inflammatory properties of the tree bark's gummy resin, called salai guggal. Modern preparations made from a purified extract of this resin and packaged in pill or cream form are used to reduce inflammation associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Unlike conventional NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen - the accepted treatments for joint inflammation - boswellia doesn't seem to cause stomach irritation. It also may be effective for back pain, joint pain and certain chronic intestinal disorders.

Boswellia can be taken internally as well as applied topically to affected joints to relieve inflammation associated with these joint disorders. This may lessen morning stiffness and increase joint mobility. In a study of 175 patients with rheumatic disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, a crippling joint disease, 122 participants experienced reduced stiffness and inflammation two to four weeks after starting on a boswellia regimen.

Knee joint pain.