The present study was designed to explore the influence of water extracts of Atractylodes lancea rhizomes on the toxicity and anti-inflammatory effects of triptolide (TP). A water extract was prepared from A. lancea rhizomes and co-administered with TP in C57BL/6 mice. The toxicity was assayed by determining serum biochemical parameters and visceral indexes and by liver histopathological analysis. The hepatic CYP3A expression levels were detected using Western blotting and RT-PCR methods. The data showed that the water extract of A. lancea rhizomes reduced triptolide-induced toxicity, probably by inducing the hepatic expression of CYP3A. The anti-inflammatory effects of TP were evaluated in mice using a xylene-induced ear edema test. By comparing ear edema inhibition rates, we found that the water extract could also increase the anti-inflammatory effects of TP. In conclusion, our results suggested that the water extract of A. lancea rhizomes, used in combination with TP, has a potential in reducing TP-induced toxicity and enhancing its anti-inflammatory effects.