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Boswellia Fights Pain at a Price

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Q. I take a number of medications for arthritis. I have had a hip replacement and a shoulder replacement and I am fighting to keep my left knee. I take Nexium and Celebrex plus other meds.

A few months ago I read an article about Boswellia and decided to give it a try. I can't tell you how wonderful this was. I had no pain!

Then I started to have a bad throat irritation. I went to the ENT, who told me that I was OK, to try a gastro. My gastro did an endoscopy, and couldn't find a thing (except for an irritated throat), but diagnosed me with gastritis and told me to take an antacid as well as the Nexium.

I started to play with my meds, eliminating one at a time to check for side effects. Boswellia was the culprit, much to my dismay. I have been without the Boswellia for about 10 days. My throat discomfort has almost gone, but the joint pain is back. I have tried gin-soaked raisins, pineapple, and vinegar, but nothing works as well as Boswellia for me. Is there a way I could continue to take it without feeling sick?

A. The Indian herb Boswellia has anti-inflammatory activity but can cause heartburn for some. This may account for your throat irritation. It's probably no longer an option for you.

You may find other recommendations for coping with arthritis pain in our book Best Choices From The People's Pharmacy. In addition to Boswellia we discuss vitamin D, green-lipped mussel extract, pomegranates, cherries and turmeric. All these have anti-inflammatory benefits. The book is in libraries, bookstores and online at

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I to have tried Boswellia. What great relief. Have had no problems with it that I am aware of. But taking Coumadin and Lasix and am wondering if that may cause a problem. Do you have any adverse results reported with it in conjunction with the two reported medications?

And the battle for a cure for arthritis pain goes on and on. The only thing that seems to consistently work without side effects is moderate exercise and weight reduction. Many of us have developed arthritis because we did neither of these for most of our lives.

Boswellia is related to Frankincense. If the pills are bothering your system, you might be able to use the oil diluted on the effected joints. I use Frankincense with several clients with joint pain. I find 4 drops of Frankincense to 5 mls of carrier oil like Almond or Grapeseed to work very well.

I have real bad back pain from arthritis. Can't use ibuprofen type medication due to a case of bleeding ulcers about 10 years. Ibuprofen did a great job of pain reduction but I am now taking hydrocodone which doesn't work as well and has some rough side affects. Anybody out there with a solution using herbal remedies? Thanks, Guy.

I have terrible TMJ that locks my jaw and causes blinding pain just above my ear. Boswellia is the only thing that has consistently helped me. I have tried everything and Boswellia keeps me able to function. Anyone with pain or inflammation should try this herb.

I have struggled with sacral pain after pelvic FX, for 2 yrs. I had no relief with tramadol, darvocett, vicodin. Out of desperation I tried the natural supplement Boswellia. I have been pain free for 3 days since I started it. I have taken (2) 307mg tabs, about every 6-8hr. I can tell when it's wearing off. It is like a miracle. I have trouble w/ GERD, and so far stomach is ok. age 47.

I have been using boswellia for years at 1200/mg/day. I have not had any side effects however, I am not using any other meds for the arthritis/F/M. I was on celebrex, etc and had many problems with reflux, etc.

Did you try only taking with meals? Could taking it with more fluids or milk alleviate this?

I would like to know where can you find this herb and how much is the normal dose, or how many mg. is normal?

I have polymyalgia rheumatica. Doctor has tried Methotrexate, celebrex, Plaquinil and Prednasone. The only thing that has helped is Prednasone. I was on 5 mg daily until my doctor closed his practice and I have a NEW doctor. He doesn't like Prednasone. I am back to night fevers, muscle aches and general bad times. Have tried Mobic, and NABUMETONE. I have never felt so bad. Am thinking about trying Boswella. Ran across your forum during search. Any experience with polymyalgia?

Boswellin is a resin, so it is harder to digest. You could try taking it with ginger. Ginger is also a natural anti-inflammatory, but it increases stomach acid secretion, so it will help you digest the Boswellin better.

As a stomach soother- I personally make, I use slippery elm bark to settle the acids in the stomach thus coating the lining that gets the stomach acid all upset. It works good for me. I take 2 size o capsules of boswellia serrata twice daily for my tendonitis . I also take enteric coated fish oil once a day ( a blood thinner but good for circulation) and panax gensing for hormonal balance and energy).

Has worked several years for me with no poor effects. However any supplement should be tried one at a time so you can rule out allergy. Herbs have side effects - be careful out there. Take a course on herbology or find a local practitioner with license and credentials- there are also a lot of money hungry folks that will sell you anything. Boswellia looks and smells like powdered cheese- don't get scammed. Be safe, and healthy.

I have heard about the stomach irritation so, I am unsure about using this herb.
I take asiphex for acid reflex but, only when needed. Do you recommend this product still?

My 87 year old father has lower muscle back pain. Therapy does not work and he no longer wants to take NSAIDS. Is Boswellia an option and at what dosage should he start out? I have noted a number of heartburn side effect notes. Will taking an antacid do any harm?

I have the same problem. Did you learn if you can take this with coumadin?

This was absolutely helpful. I am in the process of weaning myself off of all pharmaceutical medicines and replacing them with natural alternatives. The Boswellia that I have chosen has Camomile and Turmeric added to it in the capsules. So far, it is taking the edge off my RA pain. I am also incorporating Raiki treatments which is helping as well.

I also would like to know if I can take it because I also am on coumadin.

Has the question from Earl A K about possible interaction of Boswellia wiyh Coumadin been answered? I have the same question.


I heard somewhere that boswellia was dangerous to your liver. I already have a lesion on my liver and am worried about boswellia. Anyone who about this?

I have osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, a blood clot, and a torn meniscus that I will not have operated on because I had surgery for the same condition on my right knee, and it didn't help. The surgery made me more vulnerable to osteoarthritis. I have to take a session of sometimes painful Synvisc injections to my knees every six months, and it doesn't always work, so I have to take cortisone injections periodically in order to walk.

As a result, I have gained a lot of weight, ( just five years ago I was physically active and on the slender side) because every exercise I have ever tried would hurt over a period of time (I have had years of weight training and other cardio training, and I know the difference between the healthy "burn " you are supposed to feel and serious pain). I also have some lumbar arthritis and a narrowing of a disk. And to top that off I have recently been diagnosed with hemicrania continua, a chronic pain that radiates from the left side of my head to my entire face, if I let it go. I once had it last continuously for six months until I had a cervical nerve ablation ( burning the nerves in the neck to deaden the pain).

The pain has pretty much subsided when I took Indocin, and has improved with surgery. Most of the time I only need to take the Indocin once a day. BUT there are problems with water retention and high blood pressure (normally my blood pressure is low). My pain Doctor suggested that I try boswellia for my chronic pain, because of the dangerous side effects of Indocin. And Indocin doesn't seem to work on my other joint pains.

He told me there have been studies about using boswellia to control hemicrania continua. I have been looking for this study. Has anyone heard of it? I plan on taking it, but have limited resources. Does anyone know what dosage to take, and what a good brand would be? Some have 60% boswellia, and the studies re arthritis involve only 38%, 2-3 times a day. Because I have to take Coumadin, I cannot take a mixture of other herbs, like ginseng, ginko biloba, etc.

I am diagnosed with PreLupus and Fibromyalgia and my doctor thought by adding Boswellia to my regimen would ease the joint pain so I started taking it and and the pain started getting worse so I stopped waited a week and started again and the joint pain was so bad I could not even get out of bed. So deciding this was the culprit I stopped taking again and each day have started to feel better again.

I have had reactions to prescribed medications similarly so concluded that this is my bodies way of telling me it doesn't like this but am confused because I have not read of anyone else responding to Boswellia this way. Is this related to Nsaids causing me severe swelling? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

HM40, I also have serious problems with a LOT of medications. One natural remedy that I have found that helps me more than morphine, Oxycodone etc. is made with curcurmin. It is called RE-LEV-IT. No it doesn't take my pain away completely but it does make it livable. More than any of the drugs I've tried.

The only person I have given it to who wasn't helped was my brother and he refused to take a digestive enzyme with it. As we get older most of us need digestive enzymes so be sure to take one with just to be sure.

Am using Boswellia, and the brand I use is affordable. I go through 1 1/2 bottles a month of 400mg (3600 mgs a day). It works! I'm one who is a skeptic about herbal cures. I haven't had any really bad hemicrainia continua attacks for a few months, but I made the mistake of forgetting to take it for a day or two, and the stiffness in my knees has come back, so I got back on it ASAP. I use a boswellia online and it is cheap, esp if you use Amazon.

Yes I was one of the unfortunate ones who developed HEARTBURN from Boswellia----so I am going to try---turmeric which I heard is awesome for pain!

I have been giving my 13 1/2 year old dog [ big dog...Husky/German Shepherd ] Boswellia 2 pills per day - one a.m., one p.m. for 2 months now with wonderful results. As yet no negative side effects. He has bad arthritis... result of injuries running in the woods in his hind legs. He could hardly get up and his hind legs would collapse under him when he walked or did his business. It was so bad I thought I would lose him.

Initially I had him on prescription pill Novox from my vet. The results were immediate and amazing - his spirit became alive... he could get up and down and take walks... short distances before he'd have to lie down and rest. But Novox has some serious bad side effects that can result in dog's death when used for longer than a few weeks. Fortunately my dog's liver and kidneys weren't affected - but a month or so later he developed serious diarrhea. I stopped the pills immediately.

Then I was told about Boswellia. Thank heavens ! Not as strong as the Novox - but almost as strong. No bad side effects so important as he'll have to be on these pills to have a bright spirit.. for the rest of his life .

Appreciate the info re diluted Frankincense oil for the arthritic joints. I shall try it.

Howard you doing today?

I tried boswellia for several months and developed chronic heartburn, and I was taking Nexium at the time. It took several months to develop this side effect. I also had the scratchy throat and a cough, similar to the GERD I have. It worked so well with my hemicrania continua and my knees. I was taking 3200 mg a day. I had to quit. Maybe if I cut back the heartburn wont return. As soon after I quit the heartburn went away. I am so disappointed. What should I do? continue a lighter dosage?

I do not have GERD, but I do have a hiatal hernia which sometimes causes acid burn in my throat. I am in a nursing home rehabing a broken leg and it happens during bedtime on being turned over or boosted up from the foot of the bed, etc. Any lying down activity causes it. Afterward,it goes away, usually without medication. I wonder if boswellia would make it worse. I'd really like to give it a try.

I took 4 doses of boswellia, I was wanting to use it as an alternative to steroids for asthma, and I woke up with the worst heartburn I have ever had, it has been 6 days since the last dose of boswellia and I am still having the heartburn, it is excruciating with every bite of food that I take, and it hurts when I am just sitting and breathing. Will this go away? I take dexilant 40mg twice daily and it isn't even touching it. I have been eating tums like crazy.
Please help me!

I notice that everyone is using capsules and there seems to be a lot of digestive complaints. I am wondering if possibly taking this as a liquid tincture under the tongue might solve this problem?? Good luck.

I was diagnosed with RA a year ago. Have been trying everything natural including changing my eating habits (no gluten, no sugar, no diary, no grains and no yeast which has helped me lose weight and get rid of some of my GERD. The RA bloodwork still showed a lot of RA activity so my doc put me on Plaquenil, Sulfasalazine and Prednisone. I am working hard to get off all of these meds and one of my holistic docs introduced me to curcumin and boswellia.

While on these for a number of months I have been able to wean down to 5 mg prednisone. So, BZYSZY, I used to have BAD allergies and GERD until I changed my diet and read about Apple Cider Vinegar WITH THE MOTHER LOAD! I did start taking Apple Cider Vinegar (@ 1 - 2 tblsp in a glass of water) each day. It really seems to help any of my GERD along with eating the right foods and not eating three hours before I go to bed.

I do raise my head board of my bed up @ 6 inches which also helps my GERD. Maybe the Boswellia is contributing to your GERD but I have found a change in diet and physical habits (including exercise) and lots of prayer really changed my life! Good luck!

I take boswellia for knee pain. I recently tore my ACL (I had knee pain before this ACL-tearing accident, and was already taking the boswellia before the accident), and am scheduled for ACL reconstruction surgery in mid-December.

The pre-surgery instructions say to stop taking anti-inflammatory products for 5 days prior to surgery. Does this apply to boswellia? If "yes", then is 5 days enough time in advance of surgery to stop taking it? I have found that the pain-relieving effects of boswellia last for 2+ weeks after I stop taking it, so apparently it builds up in your system and lasts for a period of time. (Likewise, I find that it takes several weeks on boswellia before I feel the benefits, so for me, it's slow to start working and slow to wear off.)

I just want to make sure I'm not breaking any of the pre-surgery rules.


I take 300 mg boswellia 3X/day with food for arthritis in my joints for more than a month now and having less upper gi track pain and heartburn. Joints seem to not lock up as much.

Get ginger capsules or DGL capsules, or even take one of each with your boswelia, as that will soothe your stomach, plus ginger is also a natural anti-inflammatory.

I just gets lots of frankinsense from oman, but you can get it anywhere and chew it all day, its cheap and effective.

I'm a 65 year old male take blood pressure med hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg in morning and atenol 25mg at night. Also for cholesterol livalo 1mg twice a week and crestor 5mg once a week as it makes me ache, fenofibrate 160mg four times a week. I've been trying this rotation for about nine months will see dr. mid june. Now I have 5-LOXIN which is boswellia serrata and acetyl-11keto-beta boswellic acid (AKBA). Taking it thinking will help inflammations as my shoulder hands and elbow hurt as I feel a month ago.

Can Boswellia cause high blood pressure? Does it have any affect at all on blood pressure?

put a boswellia capsule inside another empty capsule so it takes longer to dissolve through the gel and after it is past the stomach. You could find it still works but not at a price.

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