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Side Effects and Interactions of Boswellia

Different parts of Boswellia Serrata have been traditionally used to treat such varied health conditions as asthma, dysentery, ulcers (especially ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease), rheumatism (rheumatoid arthritis), and skin disorders for very long time. Boswellia is an herbal medicine extracted from the gummy resin of the tree bark of Boswellia serrata.

As almost every herbal remedy it should be used after your doctor’s consultation after knowing its beneficial properties and some adverse effects, associated with it.

It is very important for you to tell you doctor, if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant while using this medicine. You doctor should know, whether you are breastfeeding. In all these cases you should not use boswellia, to avoid birth defects or spontaneous abortion. You doctor should know whether you are taking any medicine, in order to avoid interaction. Perhaps, you will be advised not to take Boswellia if you are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement), and in case you have stomach pain and upset, or any other health problems (such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease). If you have stomach upset or gastritis, you may make your stomach just upset worse.

Boswellia has few side effects. They are rare, but should be mentioned, though none of them are serious. You may have the following side effects:

  • Stomach pain;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Skin rash, burning;
  • Stomach discomfort, including nausea;
  • Acid reflux (heartburn);
  • A feeling of fullness in stomach;

Some studies reported the irritation of the skin from a multiherb product containing boswellia. And allergic contact dermatitis has been associated with the use of a naturopathic cream containing the herb extract.

If you experience something else that could be a side effect, and do not sure about that – you’re your doctor as well. There are some other possible effects associated with the boswellia treatment:

  • Chest pain
  • Tightness in your throat or chest
  • Breathing problem
  • Swollen skin
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy skin

In case you have any of the listed above side effects, stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor. It is very much like you have an allergy to your medicine, which causes these symptoms. The herb has not been shown to cause ulcers, respiratory, cardiovascular, or psychological side effects. Boswellia is generally safe when used as directed, without exceeding recommended dosage. If boswellia is used with supplements that possess similar properties, it increases its beneficial effects as well as side effects. So, dosages of other agents may need to be reduced. Also it is very important to know, that high in fat meals seem to increase the concentration of boswellia in the body.

You should remember, that you can use boswellia, as a herb remedy, but if you are using it in treating such diseases and conditions as arthritis, colitis, or any other conditions you should stay under your doctor supervision. Any inflammatory joint condition should be closely monitored by a doctor as well. No way for self-treatment.

There are no known drug interactions or contraindications with the use of the herb. But there are a possibility, that boswellia may increase or decrease the effects of medications. Animal studies point out that the herb may increase the effects or toxicity of some drugs. For example, such as Singulair – a montelukast, used for treating asthma. There are the same concerns about mixing boswellia with cholesterol-lowering drugs, some anticancer and antifungal drugs. But there were no human studies yet. Boswellia may also reduce the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory pain relievers (Motrin, Advil among ibuprofen and aspirin; Aleve, Naprosyn among naproxen). Studies were not made on the issue yet as well.

Boswellia interact not only with medicines, but also with some herbs and dietary supplements. Better not mix the herb together with the following:

  • Supplements that may have anticancer properties (mistletoe - Viscum album)
  • Cholesterol-lowering supplements (such as garlic - Allium sativum)
  • Antifungal agents (such as tea tree oil - Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • Supplements used to treat joint diseases (such as glucosamine or chondroitin)

Use the herb with caution and with your doctor’s supervising.

2014-11-13 09:04:23
I have taken Boswellia 2 or 3 times a day for over 2 years. It works far better than hydrocodone, and all I feel is pain free. It has kept me from having a total hip replacement. Gradually my pain has gone away completely, and I am able to go for long walks and climb hills with no pain. At one time, about a year ago I experienced some acid reflux. I quit eating foods that contain gluten and the acid reflux never recurred (unless I slip up and eat gluten). Other than that I have never noticed any ill effect. I recommend boswellia to everyone.
2014-11-11 08:13:20
I just started it, but looks like it gives me heartburn, just discontinueing it for now, and see if situatin improves.
2014-07-12 12:38:47
I am currently using Boswellia with aloe vera gel to assist with my ulcerative colitis. After a very active and uncomfortable five months, I am very happy with the almost immediate results Boswellia has provided me thus far. As a first time user, I began with a 500mgs a day and increased every three days for a máximum of 1000mgs. 2tsp Aloe gel is taken in the am with warm water 1/2 hour prior to eating or ingesting anything else. The boswellia is taken with a small amount of food within 2 hours after the aloe. And then a multivitamin is taken after at least 20 minutes have pasted. Currently, I am in the process of weening myself off the boswellia. A reduciton of 250mgs at a time every three days. I did not break out in a rash nor notice any cramping only a bit of nausea that could have been from the U.C.
2014-06-10 18:41:18
Have just brought boswellia tumeric mix capsule, as am really wanting to get off NSAIDs, which affect my gut, so will be interesting to see how goes! I get upset tums. bowel easily, have CFS and Fibromyalgia and severe Tempermandibular Disorder, so really want to have some kind of a life!! Suspect might aggravate tum, but will see!
2014-05-30 18:41:16
Been taking 300 mg boswellia with cat claw 125mg. I makae sure I take it after a meal. Does help with pain. Also going to try Hyland's leg cramps formula. Will take one formula in morn,the other at night. Hope both will alleviate 80% of arithritic pain.
2014-04-11 22:36:34
Cameo... There are lots of over the counter meds for Heartburn... If the Boswellia was working, why not try to also treat the Heartburn.. I find the ones that work the best are based on an ingredient called "Famotidine".. after only a few days of use... The results were fantastic.. famotidine can be found in Pepsid and numerous other heartburn meds.. but I normally go with the Drugstore Brand, and it works just as well... [especially the LIFE BRAND from Shoppers Drug Mart.] I had suffered with terrible heartburn for quite a while, until I was prescribed a med with famotidine... and then I just got it off of the shelf whenever I needed it again... but it has been YEARS now since I have had to use it. It was like a CURE after using it for several months or so.
2014-04-05 09:44:33
Could Boswellia serrata cause anxiety? I started taking it and in the second day I felt the frontal part of my head with a strange sensation. I am taking a supplement with Glucosamine and Boswellia serrata. I had diahrea as a side effect.
2014-03-23 11:09:42
As with any supplement, you should always consult your physician or do research before taking anything. That said, I took a supplement with Boswellia in it for over two years and felt a tremendous amount of relief. I have Osteoarthritis. I am now back taking it again. IF you find something that works, stay with it. As you get older the worse the pain gets. Start out while you are young taking better care of yourself. It does pay off later.
2014-02-24 14:41:45
I have had no problems at all with stomach upset due to Boswellia, and I have oesophagitis. But I take inner health tablets (probiotics)as well as heaps of others especially high doses of Vit C. Slippery elm is excellent for coating the stomach and healing the digestive system. S.E. Goes a long way also for IBS.
2013-08-03 18:51:17
I have rheumatoid and osteoarthritis and the medications I was taking were causing me to have constant migrains. I switched to boswellia which help with my inflammation however now it triggers migrain. I wonder is part of boswellia is a root plant for prescribed anti-inflammatory medications?
2013-07-30 11:56:06
I have taken Boswellia (Inflam 95)for my RSD/CRPS1 over a 3 year period ... various doses up to the maximum with a few bouts of mild acid reflux but ONLY when I did not take Bowellia with food as directed. (Problem solved with a bit of food) I am quite pleased with my progress. I also benefit from Epsom soaks and the CRPS diet.
2013-06-28 15:59:20
I take boswellia as needed for pain in my joint with good results. I also have been taking 5 lox inhibitor (life extension ) but I think regular boswellia in slightly higher dosage works faster.
2013-06-08 14:42:26
I take a standardized Boswellia for asthma issues - 300mg 3x per day. The inflammation in my lungs is so greatly reduced that I can exercise again. I do not use any inhalers or steroids. My chest is much more relaxed, too. I am happy to have discovered this herb.
2013-04-15 08:55:01
Anyone try this for cancer with metastasis to brain? I have seen some promising trials....any specific anti-cancer drugs that may interact badly?
2013-03-26 12:02:57
I have taken Glucosamine 1500mg Chondroitin 1200mg and MSM 3000mg for past 8yrs for osteo arthritis in hips with huge success. Rheumatoid has now developed in neck shoulders and hands. In desperation tried Boswellia 111mg twice daily (half dose) combined with ginger and circumin. It's a silver bullet! Only minimal discomfort left in shoulder, worked immediately. Should I cut the other osteo combination, if so by how much? Does anyone else take both?
2013-03-09 03:32:02
Bought this for my son who has severe ulcerative colitis that can not be treated with conventional medicine. I put him on the max of 3 x 880mg of Boswellia per day as he is so unwell. There was a good improvement with the symptoms of ulcerative colitis but the effects are so bad, severe stomach cramps and hives that I am now stopping the treatment altogether.
Possible Allergic Vasculitis
2013-01-30 17:35:10
Boswellia was put into a compounded cream ordered by my physician to relieve pain in my foot. After reading the description here, I am now very concerned that this herb is what has caused not only a rash on my foot, but what may possibly be allergic vasculitis of my foot. My physician is concerned that I have vasculitis, but since it's only on one foot she's not sure at this point. I also have many health conditions and take Singulair. This herb scares me!
Itchy annie
2012-11-30 06:49:27
Horrible rash/swollen skin/hive reaction. Yikes!!!!
2012-11-29 04:41:34
Hi I thought I way in on this and wanted to say before my issues with centralized heriated disc and arthritis I had some heartburn issues so due to my injuries and having to take several medications my doctor prescribed Nexium to help coat my stomache since I was having pain in my stomache due all the medication. The end result was even with all that medication I still was pain issues especially in the winter time but still better with medication but Nexium ended up helping me with my heartburn issues. I still even with medication a lot of issues with inflammation so I recently went spoke to someone at the health food store asking them about Boswellia and since I was taking so much medication I wanted to make sure that Bosewellia didn't interfere with my existing medication and after telling the health store rep she suggested on top of Boswellia to try taking Lycopoduim instead of Nexium to help with helping protect the stomache lining so for those o you having stomache pain do to Boswellia you might want to ask the health food rep about this and secondly I forgot to ask her if helped with heartburn as Nexium does so you might want to check it this. Another important thing is to make sure the health food store and the staff are knowledgeable as I use to go to another health food store several years ago and didn't find they really knew their stuff so changed and soon after realized that this new places staff was much better. Also the internet especially google is awesome and the way use it is if I had for this example problems with heartburn again after trying Lycopoduim that I would just type in natural remedy for heartburn or any key words that mos people word use in Place of natural remedies like natural cures. Lime they say anything natural is better than harsh medication as they have worse side effects than natural stuff and sometimes we just to search a little further to deal with our individual needs. Also sometime Naturopaths are bit more knowledgeable but I think the cost a bit more and what I figure would be that is if you can afford it, see them once for each particular issue and buy from them that one time and then go get it from a health food store and those of us who can afford it just by from the Naturopath because if we don't the won't be able to continue to help all us in the first place. Good luck to better health for all!!!
2012-08-04 06:28:32
I foolishly didn't read the fine print on the bottle and just trusted this health store person who has celiac and arthritis and she swore to how much this herb helped her! Which I'm sure it has. But if I had known more, been working with a good Naturopath (I'll soon have the money for one) I would not have taken this herb due to my health conditions--high stomach acid, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia challenges (due to Post traumatic stress syndrome), weak liver, kidneys, adrenals, skin rashes, hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, chronic fatigue immune disorder and fibromyalgia. After taking the herb about 5 times with meals as prescribed I got much worse irritable bowel syndrome and candidiasis--not a sociable combination! And didn't sleep well (which was getting better 'til I took this herb). Soooooo...buyer be ware! Check out thoroughly and work with a health care practitioner if you can!! I hope I'll remember too now!!
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