Document Type : Original paper
Department of Traditional Medicine, School of Persian Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Center for Research and Training in Skin Diseases and Leprosy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Dentistry Research Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran.
Background and objectives: Psoriasis is a prevalent, chronic, and inflammatory disorder with good response rates using novel treatment strategies. However, side effects are a limiting factor in long-time treatment. Recent studies have demonstrated that many natural remedies have fewer side effects, and are thus safer options. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a novel topical herbal preparation in patients with plaque psoriasis. Methods: This randomized, triple-blind, vehicle-controlled, two-arm parallel trial was conducted in patients with mild-to-moderate plaque psoriasis (psoriasis area & severity index= PASI score< 12). We randomized 108 patients in 1:1 ratio to receive Boswellia-based cream (containing Boswellia spp. ethanolic extract, Boswellia spp. oil, Glycyrrhiza glabra extract, Cucurbita pepo pulp oil) or vehicle cream, both applied as a thin layer on skin lesions twice daily for four weeks. Results: Compared with vehicle, the Boswellia-based cream group showed greater reduction in mean PASI score from baseline to week two and from week two to week four (both p<0.001). After two weeks of therapy, Dermatology Life Quality Index decreased in both groups, but to a greater extent in the intervention group compared with vehicle (p=0.004). From week two to week four, this item showed an additional decrease in Boswellia-based group compared to vehicle (p=0.001). After four weeks of therapy, patients in the Boswellia-based group were more satisfied than patients in vehicle group (median score: 8 in Boswellia-based group and 5 in vehicle, p<0.001). Conclusions: The outcomes showed significant alleviation of psoriasis signs and symptoms with this herbal cream.