Planta Med 2001; 67(5): 391-395
DOI: 10.1055/s-2001-15802
Original Paper
Clinical study
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Effects of Gum Resin of Boswellia serrata in Patients with Chronic Colitis

Inder Gupta1 , Ashok Parihar1 , Pawan Malhotra1 , Sanjay Gupta1 , Rainer Lüdtke2 , Hasan Safayhi3 , Hermann P. T. Ammon3,*
  • 1 Department of Medicine, Medical College Jammu, J&K, India
  • 2 Institute for Medical Information Processing, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
  • 3 Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

July 14, 2000

August 19, 2000

Publication Date:
31 December 2001 (online)


Patients studied here suffered from chronic colitis characterized by vague lower abdominal pain, bleeding per rectum with diarrhoea and palpable tender descending and sigmoid colon. The inflammatory process in colitis is associated with increased formation of leukotrienes causing chemotaxis, chemokinesis, synthesis of superoxide radicals and release of lysosomal enzymes by phagocytes. The key enzyme for leukotriene biosynthesis is 5-lipoxygenase. Boswellic acids were found to be non-redox, non-competitive specific inhibitors of the enzyme 5-lipoxygenase. We studied the gum resin of Boswellia serrata for the treatment of this disease. Thirty patients, 17 males and 13 females in the age range of 18 to 48 years with chronic colitis were included in this study. Twenty patients were given a preparation of the gum resin of Boswellia serrata (900 mg daily divided in three doses for 6 weeks) and ten patients were given sulfasalazine (3 gm daily divided in three doses for 6 weeks) and served as controls. Out of 20 patients treated with Boswellia gum resin 18 patients showed an improvement in one or more of the parameters: including stool properties, histopathology as well as scanning electron microscopy, besides haemoglobin, serum iron, calcium, phosphorus, proteins, total leukocytes and eosinophils. In the control group 6 out of 10 patients showed similar results with the same parameters. Out of 20 patients treated with Boswellia gum resin 14 went into remission while in case of sulfasalazine remission rate was 4 out of 10. In conclusion, this study shows that a gum resin preparation from Boswellia serrata could be effective in the treatment of chronic colitis with minimal side effects.


Prof. Dr. H. P. T. Ammon

Department of Pharmacy

Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences

University of Tübingen

Auf der Morgenstelle 8

72076 Tübingen



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