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.

2016-02-15 19:16:31
I’ve been taking Boswellia for about 18 months. I’ve had immediate relief from arthritic hips. Previously I’d had shots to relieve the pain. I was also taking Aleve for several years. After only a few weeks of taking Boswellia, my pain is 90% gone. No Aleve; no pain killers. I’ve had no side effects. Turmeric upsets my stomach. Recently I went off Boswellia for a week and my pain returned. I’m currentlly taking 450 mg twice a day and am very happy with it.
2016-02-15 13:46:38
Started using it a month ago for back pain and it seemed to really help, but I got heartburn and GERD pretty badly so I am going to stop taking it. Couldn’t figure out what it was from but after reading others who have had this problem it made sense.
2016-01-07 13:15:43
started Boswellia I love it…for those who don’t.. maybe its not good for your blood Eat right 4 your blood type by Dr. Peter J D’Adamo
2015-12-28 08:00:50
Any suggestions for face rash due to yskung boswellua? It cured my nerve and joint pain with fibromyalgia, but have me this rash. Anyone have a cure for the rash?
2015-12-28 07:58:55
I am cured from fibromyalgia nerve and joint pain due to taking boswellia, hwever, i have an allergic reaction in that i have developed a burning, itching rash on my chin. Does anyone have a remedy for my rash so that i can contnue taking the boswellua
2015-08-30 16:43:39
Just started taking boswellia serrata (500mg 2 x day). I first noticed almost complete inflammation relief and joint help, 1 1/2 days I awoke with a „ulcer-like pain” in stomach! BAD! Must stop I am afraid.
2015-04-01 07:42:18
Had sciatic nerve pain so bad I couldn’t walk most days. Started on boswellia (3X day) and first day pain was greatly relieved. After a few weeks I hardly notice pain ever (and I had the sciatic pain for about 7 months due to back disc problems). Now I no longer am considering surgery. Think it is a miracle herb!
2015-03-25 16:45:00
I tried Boswellia for my arthritis and though it helped, some, the massive rise in blood pressure and intestinal problems have caused me to stop. The intestinal problems included heartburn, gas and bloating.
My blood pressure rose from 123/74 to 184/109.
I will be seeking a different, but natural product for relief from my arthritis pain.
2015-02-07 13:08:40
I received a bottle from my chiropractor for joint pain, when I took one tablet for the first time about half hour later my head was in tremendous pain with my right arm shaking uncontrollable. i wasn’t sure if it was from the boswellia, so the next day i took one before work and about an hour into work I started experiencing server chest pains and pain down my left arm, I thought I was having a great attack, i had a medic that works with me check me out he said my blood pressure was high but I wasn’t having a heart attack, so I now know it was a Boswellia reaction. Very Scary.
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.