Aloe barbadensis Common name: Aloe vera
Part used: Gel (clear mucilaginous product from inner portion of the leaf) & Latex (opaque product from shallow incisions in the skin of the leaf)
Constituents: Gel: Polysaccharides. Latex: Anthraquinone glycosides (anthrone, aloe-emodin), aloe resins B, C and D. Polysaccharides: Mannose-6-phosphate (acemannan), flavonoids.
Actions: Gel: inflammatory modulator, immunomodulating, vulnerary, demulcent, emollient, vulnerary. Latex: Catharsis (direct stimulation of bowel movement) laxative, purgative, emmenagogue, anthelmentic, antibacterial
Medical uses: Internally aloe has a use in gastrointestinal conditions and research suggests that regular Aloe vera juice consumption can lead to improved protein digestion and assimilation and/or reduced bacterial putrefaction. Can be used internally to treat peptic/duodenal ulcers and also inhibit the secretion of hydrochloric acid. For wound healing aloe includes vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc. Unlike many other anti-inflammatory substances, Aloe vera has been shown to stimulate fibroblast and connective tissue formation, thereby promoting wound repair. Aloe appears to stimulate the epidermal growth and repair process, presumably due to its polysaccharides. Mannose-6-phosphate, the major sugar in the Aloe vera gel, may be its most active growth promoting substance.
- Anthraquinone glycosides (anthrone, aloe-emodin) cause cathartic laxative effects of aloe latex. These molecules are split by the normal bacteria in the large intestines to form aglycones, which exert their laxative action.
- Stimulates the epidermal growth and repair process, presumably due to polysaccharides such as Mannose-6-phosphate, an active growth promoting substance.
- Acemannan is anti-tumor and beneficial against HIV.
- Various constituents have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects as well as to stimulate wound healing.
Pharmacy: 50-100 ml whole leaf concentrate (high acemannan). Juice or gel topically.
Toxicity: For laxative effects, do not use > 10 days consecutively. Topically is extremely safe.
Interactions: Due to decreases in transit time, when used internally can interfere with absorption of medications.