Prospects of boswellic acids as potential pharmaceutics

Zhiyong Du, Zhenli Liu, Zhangchi Ning, Yuanyan Liu, Zhiqian Song, Chun Wang, Aiping LYU*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Boswellic acids have long been considered the main bioactive components of frankincense, and many studies in vitro and in animals as well as several clinical studies have confirmed their various bioactivities. In particular, a large number of mechanistic studies have confirmed their anti-inflammatory and antitumor activities. However, not every boswellic acid exhibits a satisfactory pharmacological performance, which depends on the chemical structure and functional groups of the acid. To enhance the pharmacological values of boswellic acids, derivatization has been specifically applied with the aim of discovering more active derivatives of BAs. In addition, the preliminary pharmacokinetic studies of these compounds using various standard methods show their poor bioavailability in humans and rodents, which has led to questions of their pharmacological relevance and potentially limits their use in clinical practice and pharmaceutical development. To improve these effects, some approaches have shown some improvements in effectiveness, and the new formula compatibility approach is considered a very reasonable method for improving the bioavailability of boswellic acids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-271
Number of pages13
JournalPlanta Medica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Organic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • analysis methods
  • Boswellia serrata
  • boswellic acids
  • Burseraceae
  • derivatization
  • new formula
  • pharmacokinetics


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