September 30, 2011

Aloe vera’s use can be traced back 6,000 years to early Egypt, where the plant was depicted on stone carvings. Known as
the "plant of immortality," aloe was presented as a burial gift to deceased pharaohs.

Common Names—aloe vera, aloe, burn plant, lily of the desert, elephant’s gall

Latin Names—Aloe vera, Aloe barbadensis

Traditionally Uses of Aloe Vera
Traditionally, aloe was used topically to heal wounds and for various skin conditions, and orally as a laxative. Today,
people take aloe orally as they are believed that Aloe Vera benefits various conditions, including diabetes, asthma,
epilepsy, and osteoarthritis. People use aloe topically for osteoarthritis, burns, sunburns, and psoriasis. Aloe vera benefits
have been advertised and promoted. Aloe vera gel can be found in hundreds of skin products, including lotions and
sunblocks. FDA has approved aloe vera as a natural food flavoring.

Aloe leaves contain a clear gel that is often used as a topical ointment. The green part of the leaf that surrounds the gel
can be used to produce a juice (i.e. Aloe Vera Juice) or a dried substance (called latex) that is taken by mouth. Aloe latex
may benefit people suffered from constipation as it contains strong laxative compounds. While, topical aloe gel may benefit
patients suffered from burns and abrasions.

Aloe Vera Benefits - on irritable bowel syndrome and gastric ulcer
Aloe vera may have benefits on patients suffered from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, researchers from UK could
not find any evidence that Aloe vera benefits patients with IBS in a recent study. [1]

A study has shown that Aloe vera may have gastric acid anti-secretory activity and may protect the gastric mucosa at low
concentrations against injurious agents. [16] While another study of rats shows that Aloe vera treatment can reduce
leukocyte adherence and TNF-alpha level, elevate IL-10 level and promote gastric ulcer healing. [3] Thus, Aloe Vera may
have benefits of gastric protection.

Aloe vera benefits - antioxidative activities, on diabetes, cholesterol & triglyceride levels
Aloe vera itself contains antioxidants such as APS-1 and dihydrocoumarin derivatives and it also assists the aborption of
some anti-oxidants such as vitamins A and C.  The vitamins last longer in the plasma with the Aloes.  [6-8]

Aloe vera relieves oxdative stress in diabetic rats. Oral administration of ethanolic Aloe vera leaf gel extract for 21 days
resulted in a significant reduction in fasting blood glucose, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, hydroperoxides and
alpha-tocopherol and significant improvement in ascorbic acid, reduced glutathione and insulin in the plasma of diabetic
rats. In addition, this administration also resulted in a significant reduction in thiobarbituric acid reactive substances,
hydroperoxides, superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase and significant improvement in reduced
glutathione in the pancreas of STZ-induced diabetic rats when compared with untreated diabetic rats. [12]

Aloe vera may have benefits on diabetes.[14, 17-19] Animal studies have shown that aloe vera leaf gel extract is effective
on restoration of altered fatty acid compositions in the liver and kidney of diabetic rats. In a study, researchers suppled
Aloe vera gel extract at a dose of 300 mg/kg body weight per day to STZ-induced diabetic rats for a period of 21 days.
They observed a significant reduction in fasting blood glucose, hepatic transaminases, plasma and tissue (liver and
kidney) cholesterol, triglycerides, free fatty acids and phospholipids and a significant improvement in plasma insulin in the
rats. [4]

Researchers from India suggest that mineral contents, e.g. Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, may also contribute to the health benefits of
Aloe vera leaf gel on diabetes. [5, 11] As some of these inorganic elements improve impaired glucose tolerance and
diabetes mellitus management. [5]

Aloe vera benefits - liver functions
An Aloe vera leaf gel extract has been shown to be even more effective than glibenclamide in restoring some liver function
parameters in a study of diabetic rats. [10]

Aloe vera Skin?
Aloe vera may benefit some skin conditions. Some researchers applied Aloe vera on skin diseases, e.g. psoriasis and
showed positive results [15], while some do not. [9]


Aloe Vera Side Effects, Warnings
Side effects of ingestion of low dose of Aloe vera are seldom reported. However, Aloe vera side effects may include
diarrhea, electrolyte imbalance, kidney dysfunction, and conventional drug interactions. [2] A case of hepatitis has also
been reported. [13] Further, side effects of topical uses of Aloe vera may include contact dermatitis, erythema, and

Do not use Aloe vera together with other platelet aggregation inhibitors, such as sevoflurane and before or after surgery.   
Compounds contained within Aloe vera can cause a reduction in prostaglandin synthesis, which may inhibit secondary
aggregation of platelets. [13] For details about Aloe Vera Side Effects, please click
Aloe Vera Side Effects

[1] Davis K et al, Randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial of aloe vera for irritable bowel syndrome. Int J Clin Pract.
2006 Jun 2. [2] Boudreau MD, Beland FA. An evaluation of the biological and toxicological properties of Aloe barbadensis (miller),
Aloe vera. J Environ Sci Health C Environ Carcinog Ecotoxicol Rev. 2006 Apr;24(1):103-54. [3] Eamlamnam K, Effects of Aloe vera
and sucralfate on gastric microcirculatory changes, cytokine levels and gastric ulcer healing in rats. World J Gastroenterol. 2006
Apr 7;12(13):2034-9. [4] Rajasekaran S et al, Beneficial effects of aloe vera leaf gel extract on lipid profile status in rats with
streptozotocin diabetes. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2006 Mar;33(3):232-7. [5] Rajasekaran S et al, Mineral contents of aloe
vera leaf gel and their role on streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2005 Winter;108(1-3):185-95. [6] Vinson
JA, et al, Effect of Aloe vera preparations on the human bioavailability of vitamins C and E. Phytomedicine. 2005
Nov;12(10):760-5. [7] Zhang XF, Isolation, structure elucidation, antioxidative and immunomodulatory properties of two novel
dihydrocoumarins from Aloe vera. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2006 Feb 15;16(4):949-53. Epub 2005 Nov 15. [8] Wu JH et al,
Antioxidant properties and PC12 cell protective effects of APS-1, a polysaccharide from Aloe vera var. chinensis. Life Sci. 2006
Jan 2;78(6):622-30. Epub 2005 Sep 8. [9] Paulsen E, A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of a commercial Aloe vera gel in
the treatment of slight to moderate psoriasis vulgaris. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2005 May;19(3):326-31. [10] Rajasekaran
S et al, Antioxidant effect of Aloe vera gel extract in streptozotocin-induced diabetes in rats. Pharmacol Rep. 2005
Jan-Feb;57(1):90-6. [11] Bezakova L, et al, Antilipoxygenase activity and the trace elements content of Aloe vera in relation to the
therapeutical effect. Ceska Slov Farm. 2005 Jan;54(1):43-6. [12] Rajasekaran S, et al, Modulatory effects of Aloe vera leaf gel
extract on oxidative stress in rats treated with streptozotocin. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2005 Feb;57(2):241-6. [13] Rabe al, Acute
hepatitis induced by an Aloe vera preparation: a case report. World J Gastroenterol. 2005 Jan 14;11(2):303-4. [13] Lee A, et al
Possible interaction between sevoflurane and Aloe vera. Ann Pharmacother. 2004 Oct;38(10):1651-4. Epub 2004 Aug 3. [14]
Bolkent S Effect of Aloe vera (L.) Burm. fil. leaf gel and pulp extracts on kidney in type-II diabetic rat models. Indian J Exp Biol.
2004 Jan;42(1):48-52. [15] Syed TA et al, Management of psoriasis with Aloe vera extract in a hydrophilic cream: a
placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Trop Med Int Health. 1996 Aug;1(4):505-9. [16] Yusuf S et al, The effect of Aloe vera A.
Berger (Liliaceae) on gastric acid secretion and acute gastric mucosal injury in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Jul;93(1):33-7. [17]
Can A et al, Effect of Aloe vera leaf gel and pulp extracts on the liver in type-II diabetic rat models. Biol Pharm Bull. 2004
May;27(5):694-8. [18] Rajasekaran S, et al, Hypoglycemic effect of Aloe vera gel on streptozotocin-induced diabetes in
experimental rats. J Med Food. 2004 Spring;7(1):61-6. [19] Parihar MS et al, Susceptibility of hippocampus and cerebral cortex to
oxidative damage in streptozotocin treated mice: prevention by extracts of Withania somnifera and Aloe vera. J Clin Neurosci.
2004 May;11(4):397-402.
This website discusses the benefits and side effects of various supplements, herbs and drug products.
Different people may experience different side effects and benefits of a product. You are encouraged to report
adverse side effects to FDA, its website is, or report the adverse side effects to the
manufacturer, you should be able to find the contact information on the label.

There are always new information. Please, send me an email ( to correct my mistake(s).
Reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document and the information provided herein is believed
to be accurate. The information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is
important to seek the advice of a physician about any medical condition or symptom or the benefits and side
effects of a supplement or a drug product. Finally, please, do not transfer the article to other website. Thank