Image for Aloe ()
Aloe (Aloe vera)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Acemannan, Aloe africana, Aloe arborescens Miller, Aloe barbadensis, Aloe barbadesis, Aloe capensis, Aloe ferox, aloe latex, aloe mucilage, Aloe perfoliata, Aloe perryi Baker, Aloe spicata, Aloe vulgari, aloe-coated gloves, babosa (Spanish), Barbados aloe, bitter aloe, burn plant, Cape aloe, Carrisyn®, Curaçao aloe, elephant's gall, first-aid plant, ghai kunwar (India), ghikumar (India), hirukattali, hsiang-dan (Chinese), jelly leek, kumari, lahoi, laloi, lily of the desert, Lu-Hui, medicine plant, maloyl glucan compounds, Mediterranean aloe, miracle plant, mocha aloes, musabbar, natal aloes, nohwa, plant of immortality, plant of life, rokai, sabilla (Spanish), Savila, Socotrine aloe, subr, true aloe, Venezuela aloe, za'bila (Swahili), Zanzibar aloe.
  • Combination product examples: Mepentol Leche (an emulsion based on hyperoxygenated fatty acids, Aloe barbadensis, and Mimosa tenuiflora).

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Transparent gel from the pulp of the meaty leaves of aloe (Aloe vera) has been used topically for thousands of years to treat wounds, skin infections, burns, and numerous other dermatologic conditions. Dried latex from the inner lining of the leaf has been used traditionally as an oral laxative.
  • There is good scientific evidence in support of the laxative properties of aloe latex, based on the well-established cathartic properties of anthraquinone glycosides (found in aloe latex). However, aloe's therapeutic value compared with other approaches to constipation remains unclear. A case report reported hepatotoxicity from oral aloe ingestion for constipation, raising a question of safety (1).
  • Aloe has also been studied for use in genital herpes, psoriasis vulgaris, seborrheic dermatitis (seborrhea, dandruff), with evidence of benefit. Aloe has been studied for use in aphthous stomatitis, cancer prevention, chemotherapy side effects reduction, dental conditions, diabetes, dry skin, gingivitis, hyperlipidemia, lichen planus, mucositis, pruritus, scabies, skin burns, skin damage caused by the sun, skin ulcers, tungiasis (skin inflammation), ulcerative colitis, upper respiratory infections, and xerostomia (dry mouth), and as a chemotherapy adjuvant, with unclear evidence of benefit. Additionally, aloe has been studied for use in cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer, dental plaque, dermatitis (diaper dermatitis), hepatic disease, HIV infection, pressure ulcers, radiation dermatitis, and wound healing, without evidence of benefit.

Dosing/Toxicology

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Precautions/Contraindications

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Mechanism of Action

  • Content available for subscribers only.

History

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Evidence Table

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Evidence Discussion

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Products Studied

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Author Information

  • Content available for subscribers only.

References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

  • Content available for subscribers only.
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.