Biosci. Biotech. Res. Comm. 9(2): 273-288 (2016)

Recent update on the medicinal properties and use of Aloe vera in the treatment of various ailments

Gajendra Mahor1 and Sharique A Ali*

1Rajeev Gandhi National Fellow UGC New Delhi

Department of Zoology and Biotechnology, Saifia Science College, Bhopal- 462001, India


Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) an herb is widely used in Ayurvedic, Homoeopathic and Allopathic streams for its marvelous medicinal properties. This plant is one of the richest natural sources of health for mammals including human beings. The chemistry of the plant has revealed the presence of more than 200 different biologically active substances, which include antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, activities of the nonvolatile constituents of the leaf gel. Aloe species are widely distributed in the African and the eastern European continents, and are spread almost throughout the world. The genus Aloe has more than 400 species but few, such as A. vera, Aloe ferox, and Aloe arborescens, are globally used for trade. Many biological properties associated with Aloe species are contributed by inner gel of the leaves. anti diabetic, anti-inflammatory, peptic ulcers, antitumor, anticancer Properties, activity effects on the Immune System, adverse reactions, Laxative effects, wound healing, antiseptic, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, stress, sugars. It is known to help slow down the appearance of wrinkles and actively repair the damaged skin cells that cause the visible signs of aging. Aloe is a powerful detoxifier, antiseptic and tonic for the nervous system. Aloe vera gel contains a large range of vitamins even vitamin B12, Vitamin A, contains B-Group vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and folic acid. Aloe vera gel contains important ingredients including 19 of the 20 amino acids needed by the human body and seven of the eight essential ones that just cannot be made. The plant leaves and inner gel contains numerous help it has potential to cure sunburns and minor cuts, and even skin cancer and acts as also acts as extremely powerful laxative. Various parts of the plant have different effects on the body. The present review is an attempt to highlight the proven research related botanical and pharmacological medicinal properties of Aloe vera.



*Corresponding Author: Received 5th April, 2016

Accepted after revision 15th June, 2016 BBRC Print ISSN: 0974-6455 Online ISSN: 2321-4007

Thomson Reuters ISI SCI Indexed Journal NAAS Journal Score : 3.48

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Gajendra Mahor and Sharique A Ali


Aloe barbadensis Miller, commonly referred to as Aloe vera, is one of more than 400 species of Aloe belong- ing to family Liliaceae that originated in South Africa, but have been indigenous to dry subtropical and tropical climates, including the southern USA, (Reynolds et al., 1999). Aloe vera has been used for medicinal purposes in several cultures for millennia: Greece, Egypt, India, Mexico, Japan, and China, (Foster et al., 2011). There is broad list of the therapeutic claims of different parts of Aloe vera due to its Pharmacological activities which are employed in traditional management of diverse vet- erinary and human diseases, (Blumenhal et al., 1998). The herb is used internally to combat most digestive problems, including constipation, poor appetite, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome as well as, asthma, diabetes, immune system enhancement, peptic ulcers, (Brusick et al., 1997; Mansour et al., 2013; Ezuruike et al., 2014; Kavyashree et al., 2015; Pandey et al., 2016).

A. vera is a succulent plant. Succulents are xero- phytes, Storage tissue has higher water holding capac- ity ranging from 99–99.5% (Hamman et al., 2008) and 0.5–1.0% solid material has over 75 different potentially active compounds including water and fat-soluble vita- mins, minerals, enzymes, simple and complex polysac- charides, phenolic compounds, and organic acids. Stud- ies on the structural components of the A. vera plant leaf portions, the rind was found to be 20–30% and the pulp 70–80% of the whole leaf weight. on a dry weight basis, the percentages of the rind and pulp represented as lipids (2.7% and 4.2%) and that as proteins (6.3% and 7.3%) only accounted for a minor fraction, (Femenia et al., 1999). However, the nonstarch polysaccharides and lignin were found to be 62.3% and 57.6% of the dry weight of the rind and pulp, respectively. A. vera gel polysaccharides consist of linear chains of glucose and concentrated mannose molecules, there arrangement linear chains ranging in size from a few to several thou- sand molecules, (Hutter et al., 1996) is referred as poly- mannans, (Ni Y et al., 2004; Davis et al., 2006; Chang et al., 2011; Boonyagul et al., 2014; Aranda et al., 2016).

The major polysaccharide, acemannan, repeating units of glucose and mannose in a 1:3 ratio, (Feme- nia et al., 1999; Ni Y. et al., 2004; Chow et al., 2005). molecular weights ranging from 30 kDa to 40 kDa. Many investigators have endeavored to establish the active principles in A. vera gel, (Habeeb et al., 2007). polysaccharides found in the inner leaf parenchyma- tous tissue or pulp contains proteins, lipids, amino acids, vitamins, enzymes, inorganic compounds, with different carbohydrates, (Hamman et al., 2008). Over 75 active ingredients from the inner gel have been identified, to have therapeutic effects. Different Aloe species would

have varying phytochemical contents due to interspecies variation and varying climate and soil conditions, the species of Aloe selected for commercial exploitation or selected by the traditional healer, would be based on its local availability and distribution. Biological activities of a plant are due to synergistic action of the different compounds together, (Avijgan et al., 2014; Esmaeilia et al., 2015; Taukoorah et al., 2016).

In South Africa, the most widely distributed Aloe spe- cies are Aloe greatheadii var. davyana (Asphodelaceae) and Aloe ferox Mill. (Asphodelaceae). A. greathea- dii grows wild in the northern parts of South Africa, whereas A. ferox grows wild primarily in the Eastern and Western Cape provinces. A. ferox contains various com- binations of glucose and galactose as main monosaccha- rides, while A. vera yields only mannose. A. vera is rich in secondary metabolites. Anthraquinones (Aloe emo- din), tricyclic aromatic quinines and chrysophanol are the major secondary metabolites, (Tan et al., 2011; Xua et al., 2016).

The tricyclic aromatic quinines of Aloe were synthe- sized via the type III polyketide biosynthesis pathway. Recently, novel these novel plant enzymes plant-specific type III polyketide synthases (PKS), octaketide syn- thase, PKS4, and PKS5 were isolated from Aloe arbores- cens and their functions examined in E. coli, (Mizuuchi et al., 2009). their fuction is associated with biosynthesis of natural tricyclic aromatic quinines in Aloe, Aloesin, aloin and Aloe-emodin (oxidative product of aloin) are the most important secondary metabolites found in A. vera gel. Many secondary metabolites reported to have potent anti-inflammatory, lipid lowering, and anti- oxidant activities, (Rajasekaran et al., 2006).

Aloe is used against skin irritation, skin exposure to UV and gamma radiation, scalds, sunburn wounds, eczema, psoriasis, acne, dermatitis, ulcers, to stimulate cell regeneration. Plants have hypoglycemic, cytotoxic, antiulcer, antidiabetic effects, antibacterial, antioxidant, cardiovascular effect on human. Healing properties, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antitumor, moistur- izing, anti-aging effect, antiseptic properties of plant stimulates the immune system, only a few species of Aloe have been considered for commercial impor- tance, of which A. vera is considered the most potent and, thereby, the most popular plant in the research field, (Surjushe et al., 2008; Davis et al., 2012; Mahari- jan et al., 2015; Saito et al., 2016).



The leaf is long triangular sheaf with two external mem- branes which are green and leathery. Inside this tough

resistant covering is the gel, which presents itself as a compact, gelatinous mass with a translucent pearly aspect, (Vogler et al., 1999; et al., 2002; Ramachan- dran et al., 2012; Poor). Leaf pulp having unpleasant sensations was used to extract the juice by a decorti- cations process. It contains some active compounds which detoxified the body stimulating property worthy of highlighting. The nutritional components of Aloe are equally distributed between the pulp and the cortex of the leaf, (Hatano et al., 2005).


The botanical genus of Aloe is Liliaceae, because it ger- minates from an original bulb in the same way as lil- ies. Tom Reynolds, a researcher from London, England, coined a new classification. In assessing the specifica- tions and particular characteristics of the Aloe plant, they inserted it into a new botanical family, that of the Aloaceae. Aloe is a perennial evergreen shrub with suc- culent leaves having flowers of an elongated tubular form varying in color according to the species, from orange to bright scarlet red, particularly spectacular and reminiscent of an autumn landscape. The Aloaceae fam- ily contains approximately three hundred and fifty vari- eties of the plant throughout the planet.

In South Africa alone, in 1955, a total of 132 spe- cies were catalogued The range spanned from the min- iature type like Aloe aristata and Aloe brevifolia, to one which can be defined as the most beautiful in existence in the world, the Aloe striata. Among the larger-sized Aloes, and those having a cosmetic, curative value, we can mention Aloe arborescens Miller, Aloe ferox, Aloe Barbadensis Miller Vera, Aloe chinensis, (Kokate et al., 2005). Aloe saponaria, and Aloe succotrine. A more

FIGURE 1. Aloe vera plant (Chatterjee et al., 2013)

Gajendra Mahor and Sharique A Ali

generalized botanical distinction is achieved by observ- ing the trunk and leaves.

In this way, we can distinguish three large groups of Aloe: acauleas (without a trunk), subcauleas (visible trunk but with a reduced size), (Davis et al., 1994; Das et al., 2015; Sayed et al., 2016).


Aloe vera is a unique plant which is a rich source of many chemical compounds (Fig. I) and plays an impor- tant role in the international market. Chemistry of the plant revealed the presence of more than 200 different biologically active substances including vitamins, min- erals, enzymes, sugars, anthraquinones or phenolic com- pounds, lignin, saponins, sterols, amino acids and sali- cylic acid (Chauhan et al. 2007). Studies have found that there are 75 ingredients contained in the Aloe leaf. These ingredients have a variety of medical benefits. They are divided into the following categories, (Rodriguez et al., 2005; Davis et al., 2006).


Twelve different types of anthraquinones are present in the sap of Aloe Vera: Aloin, Isobarbaloin, Anthracene, Emodin, Ester of Cinnamonic acid, Chrysophanic acid, Barbaloin, Anthranol, Aloetic acid, Aloe Emodin, Ethe- real oil and Resistannol. They act as natural laxatives, painkillers and analgesics, and they contain powerful antibacterial, antifungal and virucidal properties.


Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein, which manufacture and repair muscle tissue. The human body requires 22 amino acids and needs 8 essential ones. Aloe Vera provides 20 of 22 required amino acids and 7 of 8 essential ones. These amino acids are.


Enzymes are natural protein molecules with highly spe- cialized catalytic functions in biochemical reactions produced by all living organisms (microorganisms, plants, animals, and human beings). Although like all other proteins, enzymes are composed of amino acids, they differ in function in that they have the unique abil- ity to facilitate biochemical reactions without under- going change themselves. Some of the most important enzymes in Aloe Vera are: Peroxidase, Aliiase, Catalase, Lipase, Cellulose, Carboxypeptidase, Amylase and Alka- line Phosphates.

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FIGURE 2. Components of Aloe vera (Chauhan et al., 2007)


Aloe Vera contains numerous vitamins: Vitamins A, C, & E (crucial antioxidants that combat dangerous free radi- cals in the body). Vitamin B & Choline (concerned with the production of energy, amino acid metabolism and developing muscle mass). Vitamin B12 (responsible for the production of red blood cells) and Folic acid (helps develop new blood cells).


Aloe Vera contains the following minerals: Calcium: (essential for proper bone and teeth density). Manga- nese: (a component of enzymes necessary for the activa- tion of other enzymes). Sodium: (ensures that the body fluids do not become too acidic or too alkaline). Cop- per: (enables iron to work as oxygen carriers in the red blood cells). Magnesium: (used by nerves and muscle membranes to help conduct electrical impulses). Potas- sium: (regulates the acidic or alkaline levels of body fluid). Zinc: (contributes to the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats), Chromium: (necessary for the proper function of insulin, which in turn controls the sugar levels in the blood). Iron: (controls the transpor- tation of oxygen around the body via the red blood cells.


This cellulose substance is found in the gel has no known medical properties except it posses the property of penetrating the human skin.

Table 1: Amount of amino acids in Aloe vera gel (Mulu et al., 2015)

Table 2: Percentage of Minerals in

Aloe Vera (Mulu et al., 2015)

2Phosphorous 0.02


These form soapy lathers when mixed and agitated with water. They have been used in detergents, foaming agents and contain antiseptic properties.


Aloe Vera contains both monosaccharide, such as glu- cose and fructose, and polysaccharides. Polysaccharides are the most important types of sugars. They aid in proper digestion, maintain cholesterol levels, improve liver functions and promote the strengthening of bones.


Sterols are important anti-inflammatory agents. The ones found in Aloe Vera are: Cholesterol, Sitosterol, Campesterol and Lupeol. These sterols contain antisep- tic and analgesic properties. They also have pain killing properties similar to aspirin.




The wound healing property of Aloe vera gel has been attributed to Mannose-6-phosphate used for first to sec- ond degree burns, (Davis et al., 1994; Maenthaisong et al., 2007).Wound healing is a dynamic process, occurring in 3 phases. The first phase is inflammation, hyperaemia and leukocyte infiltration. The second phase consists of removal of dead tissue. The third phase of prolifera- tion consists of epithelial regeneration and formation of fibrous tissue, (Reddy et al., 2011).

Gajendra Mahor and Sharique A Ali

Glucomannan and plant growth hormone gibberellin interacts with growth factor receptors of fibrobroblast and stimulate its activity and proliferation for increased collagen synthesis in topical and oral administration of Aloe, (Hayes et al., 1999). The Aloe gel has been used for the treatment of radiation burns and radiation ulcers, (Syed et al., 1997) and complete healing has been observed in two radiation burns patients, (Yeh et al., 2003).

The fresh gel was more effective than the cream, (Visuthikosol et al., 1995) as Aloe gel treated lesions healed faster (11.8 days) compared to burns treated with petroleum jelly gauze (18.2 days) by Fulton, (Fulton et al., 1990). The 27 patients with partial thickness burns have been treated with Aloe gel in a placebo-controlled study, (Montaner et al., 1996). The Aloe administra- tion influence collagen composition (more type III) and increased collagen cross linking for wound con- traction and improving breaking strength, (Reynolds et al., 1999). It also increases synthesis of hyaluronic acid and dermatan sulfate in the granulation tissue of a healing wound, (Chithra et al., 1998 Joshy et al., 2016).


In vitro and In vivo studies of Aloe vera gel in experi- mental model shows the anti-inflammatory activity due to bradykinase activity, (Che et al., 1991; Tyler et al., 1994). The peptidase bradykinase was isolated from aloe break down the bradykinin, an inflammatory substance that induces pain, (Ito et al., 1993).

A novel anti-inflammatory compound, C-glucosyl chromone, was isolated from gel extracts, (Haller et al., 1990). Aloe vera inhibits the cyclo-oxygenase pathway and reduces prostaglandin E2 production from arachi- donic acid. Fresh Aloe vera gel significantly reduced acute inflammation in rats (carrageenin-induced paw oedema), but not in chronic inflammation, (Che et al., 1991).

The aloe sterol includes campesterol, β-sitosterol, lupeol, and cholesterol which are anti-inflammatory in nature, helps in reducing the inflammation pain and act as a natural analgesic. Other aspirin like compound pre- sent in Aloe is responsible for anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, (Sydiskis et al., 1991; Ferro et al., 2003; Agarry et al., 2005). Even, Aloe vera extract (5.0% leaf homogenate) decreased inflammation by 48% in a rat adjuvant-induced arthritic inflammatory model, (Hanley et al., 1982; Davis et al., 1991).

Three Aloe vera gel sterols were able to reduce inflammation by up to 37%. Lupeol, the most active antiinflamatory sterol, reduced inflammation in a dose dependent manner. The data suggest that specific plant

Gajendra Mahor and Sharique A Ali

sterols may also contribute to the anti-inflammatory activity of gel, (Haller et al., 1990; Jensen et al., 2015).


In a study on mice that had previously been implanted with murine sarcoma cells, acemannan stimulates the synthe- sis and release of interleukin-1 (IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor from macrophages in mice, which in turn initiated an immune attack that resulted in necrosis and regres- sion of the cancerous cells, (Peng et al., 1991). Alprogen inhibit calcium influx into mast cells, thereby inhibiting the antigen-antibody-mediated release of histamine and leukotriene from mast cells, (Hansel et al., 1994).

Several low-molecular-weight compounds are also capable of inhibiting the release of reactive oxygen free radicals from activated human neutrophils, (Hart et al., 1990; Lee et al., 2001; Zanuzzo et al., 2015).


Muco-polysaccharides of Aloe vera has Agent which help in binding moisture into the skin. The amino acids also soften hardened skin cells and zinc acts as an astringent to tighten pores. Its moisturizing effects have also been studied in treatment of dry skin associated with occupa- tional exposure where Aloe vera gel gloves improved the skin integrity, decrease appearance of acne wrinkle and decrease erythema, (West et al., 2003).

The Aloe gel gives cooling effect and also acts as a moisturizing agent. It also has role in gerontology and rejuvenation of aging skin. This property of Aloe is because it’s biogenic material. Aloe vera is used as skin tonic in cosmetic industry, (Kaushik et al., 2016)


Glycoproteins present in Aloe vera gel have been reported to have antitumor and antiulcer effects and to increase proliferation of normal human dermal cells, (Yagi et al., 1997; Choi et al., 2001; Yagi et al., 2003). In recent studies, a polysaccharide fraction has shown to inhibit the binding of benzopyrene to primary rat hepat- ocytes, thereby pre- venting the formation of potentially cancer-initiating benzopyrene DNA adducts. An induc- tion of glutathione S-transferase and an inhibition of the tumor-promoting effects of phorbol myristic acetate has also been reported which suggest a possible benefit of using aloe gel in cancer chemoprevention, (Kim et al., 1997; 1999; Yonehara et al., 2015).


Anthraquinones present in latex are a potent laxative; its stimulating mucus secretion, increase intestinal water

content and intestinal peristalsis, (Ishii et al., 1994). The laxative effect of Aloe is not generally observed before 6 hours after oral administration, and sometimes not until 24 or more hours after. The Aloe effects are primarily due to the 1, 8-dihydroxyanthracene glycosides, Aloin A and B (formerly designated barbaloin) (Tyler et al., 1988; 1994).

After oral administration Aloin A and B, which are not absorbed in the upper intestine, are hydrolysed in the colon by intestinal bacteria and then reduced to the active metabolites (the main active metabolite is aloe- emodin-9-anthrone), (Che et al., 1991), which like senna acts as a stimulant and irritant to the gastrointestinal tract. Aloe latex is known for its laxative properties, (Reynolds et al., 1993 Haque et al., 2014).


Aloe vera is anthelmintic, aperients, carminative, deob- struent, depurative, diuretic, stomachic and emmena- gogue. Juice is used in skin care medicine, dyspepsia, amenorrhea, burns, colic, hyperadenosis, hepatopathy, splenopathy, constipation, span menorrhea, abdominal tumors, dropsy carbuncles, sciatica, lumbago and flatu- lence. It is used in ayurvedic formulations as appetite- stimulant, purgative, emmenogogue and antihelmin- thic, for treating cough, colds, piles, debility, dyspnoea, asthma and jaundice, (Joseph et al., 2010).

Traditionally, Aloe vera gel is used both, topically (treatment of wounds, minor burns, and skin irritations) and internally to treat constipation, coughs, ulcers, dia- betes, headaches, arthritis, immune-system deficiencies, (Vogler et al., 1999; Eshun et al., 2004). The bioactive compounds are used as astringent, haemostatic, anti- diabetic, antiulcer, antiseptic, antibacterial, anti inflam- matory, antioxidant and anticancer agent also, effective in treating stomach ailments, gastrointestinal problems, skin diseases, constipation, radiation injury, wound heal- ing, burns, dysentery, diarrhoea and in the treatment of skin diseases, (Baker et al., 1975; Ali SA et al., 2012).

The Egyptians used the Aloe vera to make papyrus like scrolls as well as for treatment of tuberculosis, (Nadkerni et al., 1976). Nadkerni stated various prepa- rations of Aloe barbadensis like confection, lotion and juice, useful remedies for curing various diseases. Aloe contains mixture of glucosides collectively called aloin which is the active constituent of various drugs. Tradi- tionally Aloe is extensively used in treating urine related problems, pimples and ulcers etc. It is also used in ger- ontology and rejuvenation of aging skin.

The juice of Aloe vera leaves is used as stomachic tonic and purgative. Scientific evidence for the cosmetic and therapeutic effectiveness of Aloe vera is limited and

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FIGURE 3. Representing the medicinal utilities of Aloe vera (Sahu et al., 2013)

when present is frequently contradictory, (Ernst et al., 1998; Marshall et al., 2000). Despite this, the cosmetic and alternative medicine industries regularly make claims regarding the soothing, moisturizing, and healing properties of Aloe vera, especially via internet advertis- ing, (Kunkel et al., 1984; Boudreau et al., 2006, Sahu et al., 2013, Figure 3).


The antiseptic property of Aloe vera is due to presence of six antiseptic agents namely lupeol, salicylic acid, urea nitrogen, cinnamonic acid, phenols and sulphur. These compounds have inhibitory action on fungi, bacteria and viruses, (Zawahry et al., 1973; Qian et al., 2015; Anjum et al., 2016).


Aloin and its gel are used as skin tonic against pimples. Aloe vera is also used for soothing the skin, and keep- ing the skin moist to help avoid flaky scalp and skin in harsh and dry weather. The Aloe sugars are also used in moisturizing preparations, (Barcroft et al., 2003). Mixed with selected essential oils, it makes an excellent skin smoothening moisturizer, sun block lotion plus a whole range of beauty products.

Due to its soothing and cooling qualities, Aloe vera extracts have antibacterial and antifungal activities, which may help in the treatment of minor skin infec- tions It reduces the production and release of skin keratinocyte derived immunosuppressive cytokines such as interleukin-10 (IL-10) and hence prevents UV-induced suppression of delayed type hypersensitivity, (Byeon et al., 1988).

Aloe vera gel has an antioxidant protein, metal- lothionein, is generated in the skin, which scavenges hydroxyl radicals and prevents suppression of superox- ide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase in the skin. Skin burns effect is reported and radiation dermatitis, (Shelton et al.,1991; Visuthikosol et al. 1995; Bosley et al., 2003; Vastrad et al., 2015).


Reviewed the beneficial effects of selective medicinal plant species such as Allium cepa, Allium sativum, Aloe vera, Azadirachta indica, Gymnema sylvestre, Syzygium cumini and Pterocarpus marsupium, and emphasize on the role of active bio-molecules which possess anti-diabetic activ- ity. The five phytosterols of A. vera, lophenol, 24-methyl- lophenol, 24-ethyl-lophenol, cycloartanol and 24-methy- lenecycloartanol showed anti-diabetic effects in type-2 diabetic mice, (Tanaka, et al., 2006; Noor et al., 2008). Traditional anti-diabetic plants might provide new oral anti-diabetic compounds, which can counter the high cost and poor availability of the current medicines for many rural populations in developing countries.

Extracts of Aloe gum increases glucose tolerance in both normal and diabetic rats, (Awadi et al.,1987) and Aloe vera sap taken for 4 - 14 weeks has shown a significant hypoglycaemic effect both clinically and experimentally, (Ghannam et al., 1986). The treatment of diabetes mellitus has been attempted with various indig- enous plants and polyherbal formulations, (Chaurasia et al., 1994; Mitra et al., 1996). Aloe vera contains poly- saccharides which increase the insulin level and show

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hypoglycemic properties, (Yagi et al., 2006; Epifanoa et al., 2015; Muammar et al., 2016).


Aloe vera juice enables the body to heal itself from can- cer and also from the damage caused by radio and chem- otherapy that destroys healthy immune cells crucial for the recovery. Aloe vera emodin, an anthraquinone, has the ability to suppress or inhibit the growth of malignant cancer cells making it to have antineoplastic properties, (Thomson et al., 1971). The role of Aloe in carcinogenic- ity has not been evaluated well. The chronic abuse of anthranoid-containing laxatives has been hypothesized to play a role in colorectal cancer, and (Siegers et al., 1992; 1993). Aloe vera tincture and melatonin admin- istration was studied as standard therapy against meta- static solid tumors, (Furukawa et al., 1991; Fenig et al., 2004; Shalabia et al., 2015; Chouhan et al., 2016).


Aloe vera is an excellent example of a functional food that plays a significant role in protection from oxidative stress, (Barcroft et al., 2003; Joseph et al., 2010). Aloe juice is helpful in smooth functioning of the body machinery, (Saroj et al., 2004). It reduces cell-damaging process dur- ing stress condition and minimizes biochemical and phys- iological changes in the body, (Foster et al., 1999).

Oxidative stress refers to chemical reactions in which compounds have their oxidative state changed. Some antioxidants are part of the body’s natural regulating machinery while other dietary antioxidants are derived from diet sources, (Kaithwasa et al., 2014; Zhou et al., 2015; Cartera et al., 2016).


It improves joint flexibility and helps in the regenera- tion of body cells. It strengthens joint muscles, which therefore reduces pain and inflammation in weakened or aged joints. (Sahgal et al., 2015; Susman et al., 2016)


Our diets include many substances which can cause fatigue and exhaustion. Taken regularly, Aloe vera juice ensures a greater feeling of well-being, allowing energy levels to increase and also helps maintain a healthy body weight, (Lad et al., 2013; Kumbhar et al., 2015; Pani et al., 2016)


It is especially great for those who have chronic immune disorders like polysaccharides or fibromyalgia since

the polysaccharides in Aloe vera juice stimulate mac- rophages, the white blood cells that fight viruses, (Hart et al., 1989; Turner et al., 2004; Algieri et al., 2015; Shokri et al., 2016).


Aloe vera juice is a great natural aid to detox. With our stressful lives, the pollution around us and the junk foods we eat, we all need to cleanse our systems from time to time. Drinking Aloe vera juice provides a fan- tastically rich cocktail of vitamins, minerals and trace elements to help our bodies deal with these stresses and strains every day, (Chaturved et al., 2007; Cellini et al., 2014; Lee et al., 2015; Mehta et al., 2016)


Aluminium sulphate has significantly altered the normal levels of acetyl cholinesterase, sodium potassium ATPase and glutathione of rat brain. The levels of brain enzymes were found to be highly decreased in both the alumi- uium treated groups. But in contrast to this, elevated levels of acetyl cholinesterase, sodium potassium ATPase and glutathione were noticed in aloin and aluminium sulphate co treated groups, indicating the protective role of aloin against aluminium sulphate toxicity, (Jakkala and Ali 2015).


Aloin has been recently found to ameliorate the toxic effects of aluminium sulphate, the histological structures of the seminiferous tubules and their cell cytoplasm, nuclei, nutritive cells, which were found to become near normal by treatment of aloin for more than 30 days, (Miraj et al., 2014; Jakkala and Ali 2016).



The Aloe extract was potent against three strains of Mycobacterium (M. fortuitum, M. smeg- matis and M. kansasii) and a strong anti-mycobacterial activity against M. tuberculosis ss well as antibacterial activity against P. aeruginosa, E. coli, S. aureus and S. typhi. Streptoccocus pyogenes and Streptococcus faecalis are two microorganisms that have been inhibited by Aloe vera gel. Glucomannan and acemannan have been

proved to accelerate wound healing, activating mac- rophages, stimulating immune system as well antibac- terial and antiviral effects, (Davis et al., 1987; 1988; Kaufman et al., 1989; Visuthikosol et al., 1995; Djeraba et al., 2000).

Aloe vera gel was bactericidal against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and acemannan prevented it from adhering to human lung epithelial cells in a monolayer culture, a processed Aloe vera gel preparation inhibited the growth of fungus Candida albicans, (Heggers et al., 1979; Stan- ley et al., 2014; Kumar et al., 2015; Rezazadeh et al., 2016).


Electron micrograph examination of anthro-quinone treated herpes simplex virus demonstrated that the envelopes were partially disrupted. Such results indicate that anthraquinones extract from variety of plants are directly virucidal to enveloped viruses.. The anthraqui- none aloin also inactivates various enveloped viruses such as herpes simplex, varicella zoster and influenza, (Sydiskis et al., 1991). Several ingredients in Aloe vera gel have been shown to be effective antiviral agent. ace- mannan reduced herpes simplex infection in two cul- tured target cell lines, (Kemp et al., 1990).

Lectins, fractions of Aloe vera gel, directly inhibited the cytomegalovirus proliferation in cell culture, per- haps by interfering with protein synthesis. A purified sample of aloe emodin was effective against infectiv- ity of herpes simplex virus Type I and Type II and it was capable of inactivating all of the viruses, including varicella zoster virus, influenza virus, and pseudorabies virus, (Jia et al., 2008; Silvaa et al., 2014; Sadeghi et al.,2015; Rezazadeh et al., 2016).


Aloe vera was evaluated on the mycellium development of Rhizoctonia solani, Fusarium oxysporum, and Colle- totrichum coccodes, that showed an inhibitory effect of the pulp of A. vera on F. Oxysporum, R. solani reduced the rate of colony growth, (Cheesbrough et al.,1984; Rodríguez et al.,2005), (Agarry et al., 2005). reported that the Aloe gel inhibited the growth of Trichophyton men- tagrophytes, while the leaf possesses inhibitory effects on both Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida albicans. In contrast, Aloe vera extracts failed to show antibiotic proper ties against Xanthomonas species, (Satish et al., 1999). The saponins perform strongly as anti-microbial against bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeasts, (Joerger et al., 2001; Peter et al., 2002; Moghadamtousi et al., 2014; Shireen et al., 2015; Ahmed et al., 2016).

Gajendra Mahor and Sharique A Ali


Abdominal spasms and pain may occur after even a single dose and overdose can lead to colicky abdomi- nal spasms and pain, as well as the formation of thin, watery stools. Chronic abuse of anthraquinone stimulant laxatives can lead to hepatitis, (Beuers et al., 1991) and electrolyte disturbances (hypokalaemia, hypocalcaemia), metabolic acidosis, malabsorption, weight loss, albumi- nuria, and haematuria, (Godding et al., 1976; Muller et al., 1993).

Secondary aldosteronism may occur owing to renal tubular damage after aggravated use. Weakness and orthostatic hypotension may be exacerbated in elderly patients when stimulant laxatives are repeatedly used, (Rockville et al., 1992). Steatorrhoea and protein-losing gastroenteropathy with hypoalbuminaemia have also been observed, as have excessive excretion of calcium in the stools and osteomalacia of the vertebral column, (Heizer et al., 1968; Ernst et al., 2000; Hajheydari et al., 2014; Miroddi et al., 2015; et al., 2016).



It may cause redness, burning, stinging sensation and rarely generalized dermatitis in sensitive individuals. Allergic reactions are mostly due to anthraquinones, such as aloin and barbaloin. It is best to apply it to a small area first to test for possible allergic reaction, (Davis et al., 1989; Heggers et al., 1995; Dhikav et al., 2002; Sharma et al., 2014; Ahluwaliaa et al.,2016).


Abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, red urine, hepatitis, dependency or worsening of constipation. Prolonged use has been reported to increase the risk of colorectal cancer. Laxative effect may cause electrolyte imbalances (low potassium levels), (Chinnusamy et al., 2009; Sala- zar et al., 2010; Sundarkar et al., 2011; Kareman et al., 2013; Akev et al., 2015; Ahmada et al.,2016).


In recent years, ethnobotanical and traditional uses of natural compounds, especially of plant origin received much attention as they are well tested for their efficacy and generally believed to be safe for human use. They obviously deserve scrutiny on modern scientific lines such as physiochemical characterization, biological

Gajendra Mahor and Sharique A Ali

evaluation, toxicity studies, investigation of molecular mechanism of action of isolated phytoprinciple and their clinical trials. These are necessary classical approaches in search of new lead molecule for management of vari- ous diseases.

Many Indian herbs are being used in traditional prac- tices to cure various human ailments. Aloe vera, has an important place among such wound healing medicinal plants, it can also be used in treating inflammation, pain, ulcer and antihyperglycaemic agent. Furthermore, in future study, the isolated principles from Aloe vera needs to be evaluated in scientific manner using various innovative experimental models and clinical trials to understand its mechanism of action, in search of other active constituents, so that its other therapeutic uses can be widely explored.

Aloe vera is a medicinal plant and due to its exten- sive medicinal, nutraceutical and other uses it’s enjoy a great demand in the market across the globe. The major markets for Aloe vera and its extracts are Australia, US and the entire Europe. Given the exponentially grow- ing demand for it in the international market, Aloe vera presents the finest commercial opportunity among the various medicinal plants. India is among the few coun- tries gifted with the unique geographical features essen- tial for cultivation of Aloe vera and other high potential medicinal plants.


Authors are thankful to UGC, New Delhi for providing financial support for research work. We are also thank- ful to Principal and Secretary, Saifia Science College, Bhopal for providing necessary facilities and support.


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