Mysterious tree resin: Healing decrypts the effect of incense

"On the following day, cover the injured area with old, melted pork fat, which wax, Oil, incense, Zürgelholzspäne and Armenian Bolus, have been added", - stat

Mysterious tree resin: Healing decrypts the effect of incense

"On the following day, cover the injured area with old, melted pork fat, which wax, Oil, incense, Zürgelholzspäne and Armenian Bolus, have been added", - stated in the medical writings of Hippocrates' in the Chapter on the treatment of ulcers. It is one of the many statements invoking the power of the incense. Because even in ancient times, Physicians relied on the anti-inflammatory effect of frankincense.

That is the healing effect of the tree resin over all of the times known, also describes the three years ago published book by Hermann P. T. Ammon, "incense – application in Western medicine: Historical application and new scientific findings". From the nervous system to the eye, the respiratory tract, gynaecology and the musculoskeletal system – from the antiquity, middle ages and modern times up to the present, the medical use of incense is enough.

the range of the therapeutic effect would justify the emergence of the incense road, the smaller the unknown sister of the silk road. On this 3000 Kilometer route, were transported between the third century BC and the second century after Christ, only for the city of Rome at ten thousand load camels per year, 1500 tons of incense.

Hippocrates was only one of many who appreciated the anti-inflammatory effect of frankincense. Also Hildegard of Bingen, writes in a recipe for a salve to treat ulcers and scabies: "To add something new to incense, and sulphur, and with fresh lard."

Until the fifties of the last century, into the incense was a recognized active ingredient and part of the German Pharmacopoeia. Thereafter, the substance disappeared for some time, and it was not until some decades later, her Comeback: Since the year 2008, the incense is now also in the European Pharmacopoeia listed. His further medical prominence was the substance to a large extent thanks to the new findings of science. The kick-off for this purpose, the tübingen-based pharmacologist and toxicologist Hermann Ammon, the acid in 1991, the Boswellia as an anti-inflammatory active ingredient of the precious tree resin discovered delivered.

Convincing results in the Petri dish

uncovered A working group to Oliver Werz of the Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena, one of the researchers already for some years, boswellic acid, has now, together with American colleagues from the Louisiana State University, Cornell University and the Argonne National Laboratory, the molecular mode of action of the boswellic acid. They published their results recently in the journal "Nature Chemical Biology".

it was Already known that the incense acid by the enzyme 5-Lipoxygenase attacks, which is the formation of inflammatory messengers promoting substances in the body. The science of learning to Werz it succeeded now, for the first time, the crystal structure of the enzyme to map and identify where and how this Protein is inhibited. They compared two natural active ingredients. The incense master at the end of boswellic acid and creosote Bush coming nordihydroguajaret acid (NDGA). Both acids inhibit the 5-Lipoxygenase, however, as the researchers found, surprisingly firmly, in a different way. While NDGA as other synthetic, already on the market anti-inflammatory, binds to the so-called active center of the enzyme and inhibits, the boswellic acid, with a far-away place. By its binding to structural changes in the active center of the enzyme, reducing its activity also is inhibited.

Updated Date: 26 June 2020, 14:21

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