The new study led by Siba Raychaudhuri, a faculty member of the University of California, Davis, in the United States found that arthritis patients taking the herbal remedy showed significant improvement in as little as seven days.
"The high incidence of adverse affects associated with currently available medications has created great interest in the search for an effective and safe alternative treatment," she said.
During the study, the team conducted randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial of 70 patients.
The extract the researchers used was enriched with 30 pct AKBA (3-O-acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid), which is thought to be the most active ingredient in the plant.
"AKBA has anti-inflammatory properties, and we have shown that Salai (also known as Boswellia serrata) enriched with AKBA can be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee," she added.
B.serrata has been used for thousands of years in the Indian system of traditional medicine known as 'Ayurveda'.