Scientific Name/Common Name: Aloe ferox and Aloe barbadensis/Aloe vera/Aloe
Part(s) Used: dried leaf latex, aloe gel
Constituents/Active Ingredients: Aloe dried latex contains approximately 13-27% aloins A and B (barbaloin, aloin, etc.), small amounts of anthraquinones including aloe-emodin and chrysophanol. Aloe gel contains: water, polysaccharides including acemannan, fatty acids including gamma linolenic acid, prostaglandins, salicylic acid, saponins, sterols, vitamins E and C, minerals including zinc, 20 amino acids (out of 22 required by the human body), and lectins.
Overview: The leaf gel of aloe has been used to soothe burns and heal wounds since ancient times, dating back at least 4000 years. Aloe was first valued as a trade commodity around the world for its laxative properties. Aloe vera, was the original species of aloe that was used for its beneficial properties but is likely extinct in the wild now. Many other species of Aloe exhibit the same properties and have been used since. Soothing Aloe vera gel comes from the central part of the leaves while bitter laxative latex comes from cells closer to the leaf rind.
Traditional Use/Benefits/Body Systems: The gel has been used topically for burns, wounds, and skin irritations while the latex extract has been used internally for its laxative properties to deal with acute constipation. Numerous ingredients in the gel both soothe inflamed or irritated skin while aiding collagen formation and wound healing.
Clinical Studies/Scientific Research/References:
Surjushe A, Vasani R, Saple DG. ALOE VERA: A SHORT REVIEW. Indian Journal of Dermatology. 2008;53(4):163-166. doi:10.4103/0019-5154.44785.
Choi SW, Son BW, Son YS, Park YI, Lee SK, Chung MH. 2001. The wound-healing effect of a glycoprotein fraction isolated from aloe vera. Br J Dermatol. 2001 Oct; 145(4): 535-45.
Disclaimer: This information in our Herbal Encyclopedia is intended only as a general reference for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for medical advice. This content does not provide dosage information, cautions/contraindications, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Please consult any relevant product labels for detailed information on use and with a medical practitioner for individual health advice.