The effect of Boswellia Serrata on neurorecovery following diffuse axonal injury

Brain Inj. 2013;27(12):1454-60. doi: 10.3109/02699052.2013.825009. Epub 2013 Oct 2.


Objectives: This pilot trial was conducted to establish whether Boswellia Serrata (BS), a traditional herbal medicine, could improve the outcome of patients who have diffuse axonal injury (DAI).

Methods: In total, 38 patients with pure DAI were enrolled in this 12-week, double-blind, randomized, cross-over study. The patients were randomly assigned to receive either placebo (group A, n = 20) or BS capsules (group B, n = 18) for 6 weeks and then switched to the other intervention for another 6 weeks. The disability rating scale (DRS) was used to assess the outcome at 2-, 6- and 12-weeks post-trauma.

Results: A non-significant trend for improvement of DRS total scores was observed after the use of BS. Regarding the DRS sub-scores, however, there was significant improvement in 'cognitive ability to self-care' during the second 6 weeks in group A on BS compared to an insignificant spontaneous recovery in group B during the same period on placebo. Moreover, both groups experienced a close-to-significant increase in the cognitive function-related items of the DRS during the periods they were on BS. The reported adverse events were all of mild quality and had similar frequency between the groups.

Conclusion: These results suggest that BS resin does not significantly affect general outcome, but may enhance the cognitive outcome of patients with DAI.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data
  • Adult
  • Boswellia*
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diffuse Axonal Injury / drug therapy*
  • Diffuse Axonal Injury / epidemiology
  • Diffuse Axonal Injury / physiopathology
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Phytotherapy* / methods
  • Pilot Projects
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Self Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Plant Preparations