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Boswellia Stops Cancer Stem Cells

Cancer stem cells are resistant to chemotherapy drugs and standard treatment, and may be responsible for the re-emergence of cancer, even after extensive therapy. Emerging research shows that botanicals may help. Boswellia (Boswellia serrata) is one of them.

Boswellia is extremely valuable for individuals with autoimmune diseases, respiratory illnesses, and joint pain, because it specializes in inhibiting 5-LOX inflammation. But it is also a strong cancer fighter. One of the herb’s primary compounds, acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKBA), has been shown to stop the proliferation of prostate cancer cells that were resistant to docetaxel, a common chemotherapy drug.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prostate cancer is second only to skin cancer for American men. Over 190,000 men are diagnosed each year, and there are over 30,000 deaths from prostate cancer annually.

Boswellia circumvents cancer stem cells, which otherwise would act as “seeds” of future cancers by blocking their signaling pathways in the body. While more studies will be needed to determine dosage levels, there may be greater hope in the future for effective, integrative treatment.


Liu YQ, Wang SK, Xu QQ, Yuan HQ, et al. Acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid suppresses docetaxel-resistant prostate cancer cells in vitro and in vivo by blocking Akt and Stat3 signaling, thus suppressing chemoresistant stem cell-like properties. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2019 May;40(5):689-698.

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