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Natural health supplements sometimes have unexpected side effects or interactions with medication that can lead to adverse reactions that are sometimes life threatening. The following is a list of cautions that you should be aware of before using Boswellia (Boswellia serrata). These are referred to as drug/herb interactions.

Warning 1 - Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Don't take Boswellia by mouth if you are pregnant. There is some evidence that it might not be safe during pregnancy. It's also best to avoid Boswellia if you are breast-feeding. Not enough is known about the safety of this herb.

Warning 2 - Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Boswellia may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family of plants. Members of this family include chrysanthemums, daisies, marigolds, ragweed, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking Boswellia.

Warning 3 - Intestinal problems: Those with infections such as Crohn's disease and other inflammatory conditions may want to avoid Boswellia because it might irritate the stomach and intestines.

Warning 4 - Increased stomach acid: Boswellia might increase stomach acid and thereby decrease the effectiveness of some medications that decrease stomach acid such as antacids , H2-Blockers, and Proton pump inhibitors.

Examples of antacids include calcium carbonate (Tums, others) dihydroxyaluminum sodium carbonate (Rolaids, others), magaldrate (Riopan), magnesium sulfate (Bilagog), and aluminum hydroxide (Amphojel).

Examples of H2-Blockers include cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), nizatidine (Axid), and famotidine (Pepcid).

Examples of Proton pump inhibitors include omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), rabeprazole (Aciphex), pantoprazole (Protonix), and esomeprazole (Nexium).

Used as a natural health remedy: Boswellia is used internally for the following benefits and conditions:
  • Arthritis (15)
  • Asthma
  • Cardiovascular system (10)
  • Colon disorders (15)
  • Depression (7)
  • Fever (Boswellia dalzielii bark)
  • Gastrointestinal problems (6)
  • Heart disease (15)
  • Heart disorders (15)
  • Inflammation (1, 5, 10)
  • Osteoarthritis (10)
  • Psoriasis (15)
  • Rheumatism
  • Skin disorders (15)
  • Ulcerative colitis (15)

Side Effects of Boswellia

There are no known side effects of using Boswellia.

As with any herb, a serious allergic reaction is possible. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction. These may include a rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.

Other Names

Boswellia is aldo knon as Indian frankincense and blessed thistle.

Return to the Herb List.

For questions and answers about the side effects of herbs see the Herb Forum

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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright 2011 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is a layman's report on Boswellia and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider. Do not use the information on this forum as a substitute for your doctor's advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any drug and follow your doctor's directions. Source material: Food and Drug Administration, Medline, Physician's Desk Reference, and the largest community of people in the world, those who are concerned about side effects and healthcare.
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