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Aloe Vera Overview

There are two very different health benefits from Aloe vera. Gel from the Aloe leaf has been used for centuries as a topical remedy for minor burns, cuts, and other skin irritations. The second benefit is its laxative effects from internal use of Aloe juice or encapsulated powder.

The active constituents for aloe’s laxative effect are known as anthraquinone glycosides, which are converted by intestinal bacteria into aglycones. The active compounds responsible for aloe’s wound healing properties are likely a combination of several saccharide molecules. Other beneficial effects, especially from high fiber content of the plant, are on cardiac disease risk factors by reducing blood levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose.

Dosage: Laxative - 50-200 mg per day or about 1-3 ounces of aloe gel can be taken by mouth for constipation relief. Aloe juice can also be used as part of a detoxification or cleansing protocol. As topical relief for minor skin irritations, aloe gel can be applied as needed throughout the day.

Side Effects: There are no significant side effects noted with aloe vera as an internal or topical agent, except in rare cases of aloe-latex allergy. Pregnant women, however, should avoid aloe-derived laxatives during pregnancy. However, excess consumption of oral aloe juice products (12-16 ounces per day) may lead to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.


Research Overview

1. Aloesin and aloemannan constituents in Aloe species are anti-inflammatory. (ANIMAL)
a. Aloesin prevents UVB-induced immune suppression.
b. The neutral polysaccharides, aloemannan and acemannan show antitumor, antiinflammatory and immunosuppressive activities.
c. Glycoprotein fractions have bradykinin degrading and cell proliferation stimulating activities.
d. Aloesin, aloemannan and verectin may act in concert to exert therapeutic properties for wounds, burns and inflammation.
e. Aloemannan, together with acemannan are expected to participate in biological activity following oral administration.
2. The glycoprotein fraction of aloe showed a radical scavenging activity against superoxide anion as well as inhibition of cyclooxygenase2 and reduction of thromboxane A 2 synthase level in vitro. (BASIC RESEARCH)
3. Aloins bind and to inhibit Clostridium histolyticum collagenase reversibly and noncompetitively. Aloe gel and aloins also inhibit stimulated granulocyte matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). (BASIC RESEARCH)
4. Local aloe vera treatment was a selective and nontraumatic method to treat the allergic rhinitis. (ANIMAL)
5. Aqueous cream was useful in reducing dry desquamation and pain related to radiation therapy. (HUMAN)
6. Lifelong Aloe vera ingestion had no deleterious side effects, and could also be beneficial for the prevention of age-related pathology. (ANIMAL)
7. Isorabaichromone, feruloylaloesin, and pcoumaroylaloesin fractions of aloe showed potent free radical and superoxide anion scavenging activities. (BASIC RESEARCH)
8. Aloeemodin may be useful in liver cancer prevention. (ANIMAL)
9. Chemical toxicity in rat hepatocytes was inhibited by aloe extract. (ANIMAL)
10. An aloe product significantly reduces the incidence of alveolar osteitis (after dental extraction) compared with a clindamycin product.
11. Aloe prevents pancreatic neoplasia in hamsters. (ANIMAL)
12. Aloe secundiflora could be a potential candidate on the management of Newcastle disease in chickens. (ANIMAL)
13. Aloe emodin, a natural constituent of aloe vera leaves, significantly inhibited the growth of Merkel cell carcinoma. (BASIC RESEARCH)
14. An aloe glycoprotein fraction is involved in the wound healing effect of aloe vera via cell proliferation and migration.
15. Oral administration of aloe vera might be a useful adjunct for lowering blood glucose in diabetic patients and for reducing blood lipid levels in patients with hyperlipidaemia. (REVIEW HUMAN)
16. Aloe vera could exhibit the actions of both antiinflammation and wound healing promotion when applied on a second-degree burn wound. (ANIMAL)
17. Aloe vera influences the wound healing process by enhancing collagen turnover in the wound tissue.
18. Wounds were treated either by topical application or oral administration of Aloe vera to rats and both treatments were found to result in similar effects. (ANIMAL)
19. Aloe vera treatment of wounds in diabetic rats may influence inflammation, fibroplasia, collagen synthesis and maturation, and wound contraction. These effects may be due to the reported hypoglycemic effects of the aloe gel. (ANIMAL)
20. Both topical and oral treatments with Aloe vera were found to have a positive influence on the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and thereby beneficially modulate wound healing.
21. A component of aloe, acemannan, can stimulate macrophage cytokine production, nitric oxide release, surface molecule expression, and cell morphologic changes. (BASIC RESEARCH)
22. Aloe gel extracts permit a faster healing of burn wounds. (ANIMAL)
23. Aloe prevents progressive dermal ischaemia caused by burns, frostbite, electrical injury, distal dying flap and intraarterial drug abuse. (HUMAN)
24. Studies and case reports provide support for the use of aloe vera in the treatment of radiation ulcers and stasis ulcers in man, and burn and frostbite injuries in animals. (REVIEW)
25. Intraperitoneal acemannan in feline leukemia cats improved both the quality of life and the survival rate.
26. Acemannan has shown variable degrees of promise as a possible therapy for Irritable Bowel Disease. (HUMAN) for IBD.
27. Acemannan from aloe vera may provide functional food and potential drug source with antiviral and immunomodulating properties.
28. Acemannan enhances the respiratory burst (RE), phagocytosis, and killing of Candida albicans by mouse peritoneal macrophages. (ANIMAL)
29. Acemannan may function, at least in part, through macrophage activation.
30. Acemannan may cause the activation of macrophages by increasing the level of NO synthase at the level of transcription. (BASIC RESEARCH)
31. An acemannan product may be an effective adjunct to surgery and radiation therapy in the treatment of canine and feline fibrosarcomas. (ANIMAL)
32. Acemannan increased killing by T-lymphocytes by almost 50%. (BASIC RESEARCH)
33. Acemannan increases lymphocyte response by enhancement of monocyte release of Interleuken I. (BASIC RESEARCH)
34. 5,000 patients on dietary aloe reduced total cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar level in diabetic patients, total lipids and also increased HDL. Clinically there was reduction in the frequency of anginal attacks and gradually, drugs, like verapamil, nifedipine, betablockers and nitrates, were tapered.
35. CARN 750, a polydispersed beta(1,4)linked acetylated mannan isolated from the Aloe vera plant increased hematopoietic activity in mice.
36. Aloe may increase tensile strength by increasing crosslinking in collagen and interactions with the ground substance.
37. Extracts of Aloe vera possess activities that reverse the degenerative skin changes seen with aging by stimulating the synthesis of collagen and elastin fibers.
38. In facial dermabrasion, wound healing was approximately 72 hours faster at the aloe site compared to polyethylene oxide gel wound dressings.
39. A particular fraction of aloe leaves prevented the growth of Bacillus subtilis by inhibiting primarily nucleic acid synthesis, after which protein synthesis is also inhibited.

Aloe Vera Abstracts (64)

Aloe Vera Citations (86)