All About Aloe
The leaves of an aloe plant contain a mucilaginous gel used topically to soothe burns and wounds and can be taken internally to alleviate various digestive complaints such as constipation and irritable bowels. Aloe is a laxative, with its active constituent being aloin. It may also help reduce blood sugar levels.
Over 50 research articles have been catalogued on aloe. Most research found demonstrated skin and burn healing potential. There are also human studies showing aloe as a digestive aid that may also help with constipation and ulcers. In vitro studies show antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer cell, and antioxidant actions. The plant may also help reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Click the button below for a detailed review of research.
Latin Name: Aloe barbadensis
- Other common names: aloe vera, medicine plant, burn plant
- Other Latin names: Aloe indica, Aloe africana, aloe arborescens, Aloe chinensis, Aloe natalenis, Aloe frutescens, Aloe ucriae, Aloe flava, Aloe ferox, Aloe lanzae, Aloe vera, Aloe vulgaris, Aloe supralaevis, Aloe perryi, Aloe spicata
Aloe is a very common succulent plant whose leaves are filled with a watery green gel. Its leaves are long, fat, and slightly spikey. It grows in hot dry climates and is also a common indoor houseplant.
Gel from the leaves is used. Aloe gel texture is very gooey and sticky and can have a pungent smell and bitter taste.
- Based on research with mice, it was calculated that 24 mg for a 60-kg adult per day was estimated to be the lowest-observed-adverse-effect level of aloe for a month. From: Kwack, S. J., Kim, K. B., & Lee, B. M. (2009). Estimation of tolerable upper intake level (UL) of active aloe. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A, 72(21-22), 1455-1462.
- Dosage - topically as needed. Ingested Extract: 5-10mL a day (www.achs.edu).
Aloe is over 99% water and anthraquinone glycosides including aloin are its main active constituent. It also contains the following:
- 25 - 50% Aloin / Barbaloin
- Also includes:
- Chrysophanic acid
- Essential oils