Natural Healing Search:

Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis) is a succulent plant which has been widely cultivated throughout the world. Most of the beneficial properties related to the aloe plant have been associated with the polysaccharides present in its gel. The composition and structural features of these polysaccharides, as well as the beneficial properties associated with them, may be altered by different factors, such as the climate, soil, post-harvest treatments, and processing.[1]

Healing Properties

  • Anti-cancer: Numerous studies have shown that different components in Aloe vera leaves provide anti-cancer efficacies by modulating the growth of various cancers.[2]
    • Aloe-emodin has been widely studied in various cancer cell lines, with regard to its cellular growth inhibition efficacy on a number of tumor cells, such as lung carcinoma.[2]
    • Aloe-emodin can inhibit the formation and growth of tumor blood vessels by blocking signal transducers and transcription activators, and exhibits anticancer activities, as promising candidates for cancer treatment.[2]
    • glycoproteins present in Aloe vera demonstrated anti-tumor efficacies.[2]
  • Anti-Inflammatory: Aloe vera has shown anti inflammation activity.
    • Aloe vera extracts exhibit anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting prostaglandin E2 production from arachidonic acid both in vitro and in vivo.[2]
    • Aloe can reduce inflammatory response from arthritis by 48%.[2]
    • Studies on the anti-inflammatory substances present in Aloe vera extracts showed that lupeol was the most active anti-inflammatory steroid in aloe extract.[2]
    • The sterols present in Aloe Vera extracts are able to reduce edema inflammation by up to 37%.[2]
  • Antimicrobial: multiple components found in the Aloe vera plant exhibit anti-microbial activities. Aloe vera has the ability to kill certain microorganisms and inhibit their growth. Aloe vera can inhibit the ability of microbes to synthesize proteins, thus impeding their growth. Aloe vera can also inhibit bacterial growth via the activation of phagocytic cells (i.e. stimulating the hosts' own immune system cells).[2]
    • Antibacterial: The juice from the cold pressed leaves as well as the raw inner gel of Aloe leaves have demonstrated antibacterial effects against Streptococcus mutans, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Helicobacter pylori (previously known as Campylobacter pylori).[3] [4] [2]
      • Aloe vera gel can aid in the treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection by modulating the drug resistant behavior of Helicobacter pylori towards anti-microbial agents.[2]
    • Antiviral: Aloe vera has been shown to have good anti-viral activities.[2]
      • Lectin isolated from Aloe vera leaf gel could interfere with viral protein synthesis and inhibit the proliferation of Cytomegalovirus.[2]
      • Aloe vera emodin can effectively reduce the Influenza virus via galectin-3 up-regulation.[2]
      • Aloe vera is also effective against infections of type I and type II Herpes simplex virus and it is capable of deactivating other viruses, including Varicella Zoster virus, Influenza virus, and Pseudo Rabies virus by partially disrupting the envelopes of those viruses.[2]
  • Antioxidant: Aloe vera contains many antioxidants, including α-tocopherol (vitamin E), carotenoids, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), flavonoids and tannins.[2]
    • Aloe vera exhibits anti-oxidation activities in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that Aloe vera could be beneficial in combating diseases related to oxidation stress in the body such as cancer, diabetes, as well as cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.[2]
    • Polysaccharide-rich A. vera extracts may exhibit a radical scavenging potential.[1]
  • Hypoglycemic:
  • Immune System: (immunomodulatory activity) Aloe vera consumption improves the immune system by increasing 9the CD4 count which may be beneficial to HIV-infected patients.[2]
  • Insulin-sensitizing: Acemannan, one of the active ingredients in Aloe vera gel, may reduce hepatic fat accumulation, enhancing insulin signaling in adipose tissue.[1]
  • Oral Health: Aloe vera can also be used to eliminate cariogenic (causing tooth decay) bacteria in the mouth, such as Streptococcus sanguinis (S. sanguinis), Streptococcus salivarius (S. salivarius) and Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans).[4]
  • Skin Health: extract of Aloe vera gel can prevent immune suppression caused by UV exposure and reduce the risk of skin cancer.[2]
    • Skin Hydration: Aloe mucopolysaccharides help to combine water with the skin, thus providing moisturizing effects.[2]
      • Aloe vera gel improves skin entropy, homogeneity and energy at 30 and 90 min after application and has a hydrating effect that is superior to deionized water.[2]
    • Skin protection: Aloe vera also exhibits skin protective properties, and it has been used as in this role throughout history since the ancient times.[2]
      • Aloe vera keeps the skin moist and thus it is widely used as a moisturizer for the treatment of dry skin.[2]
      • Aloe vera gel can improve skin integrity and reduce the appearance of fine lines and erythema (superficial reddening of the skin, usually in patches, as a result of injury or irritation causing dilatation of the blood capillaries).[2]
      • Acne: Aloe vera gel can be used as a curative for the treatment of pimples.[2]
  • Wound Healing: Acemannan helps accelerate wound healing and activate macrophages to stimulate the release of fibrotic cytokines.[2]
    • Aloe vera gel and Cape Aloe (Aloe ferox, commonly known as bitter aloe) extract help promote wound closure by enhancing the migration of keratinocytes during the healing process.[2]

Disease / Symptom Treatment

  • Cancer: Aloe vera treatment containing aloin and aloe-emodin can significantly reduce the proliferation of carcinoma cells.[2]
    • Breast Cancer: Aloe-emodin could suppress the transcription of estrogen receptor (ER) α protein and down regulate ERα levels, thus inhibiting breast cancer cell proliferation.[2]
    • Colon Cancer: aloe-emodin caused cell apoptosis in human colon cancer cells by the activation of caspase-6 within cancer cells.[2]
    • Lung Cancer: Aloe-emodin shows cellular growth inhibition efficacy on a number of tumor cells, such as lung carcinoma.[2]
    • Skin Cancer: extract of Aloe vera gel can prevent immune suppression caused by UV exposure and reduce the risk of skin cancer.[2]
  • Diabetes: Aloe vera helps increases insulin sensitivity and decreases blood glucose in diabetics.[1]
    • Acemannan is degraded by the intestinal microbiota to form oligosaccharides that inhibit intestinal glucose absorption, which has been associated to a significant reduction in blood glucose, blood pressure, and the improvement of the lipid profile in diabetic patients.[1]
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: acemannan may reduce hepatic fat accumulation.[1]
  • Viral Infections: The anti-viral constituents from Aloe vera leaves could be developed to treat diseases caused by viral infections such as HIV and other viruses.[2]
    • HIV: - Aloe vera consumption improves the immune system by increasing 9the CD4 count which may be beneficial to HIV-infected patients.[2]
  • Inflammation: Aloe vera extracts hold great potential for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.
    • Edema: The sterols present in Aloe Vera extracts are able to reduce edema inflammation by up to 37%.[2]

Sources:

  1. Title: Compositional and Structural Features of the Main Bioactive Polysaccharides Present in the Aloe vera Plant
    Author(s): Minjares-Fuentes R, Femenia A, Comas-Serra F, Rodríguez-González VM
    Institution(s): Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Av. Artículo 123 s/n, Fracc. Filadelfia, 35010, Gómez Palacio, Durango, México; University of the Balearic Islands, Department of Chemistry, Ctra Valldemossa Km 7.5, 07122, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
    Publication: Journal of AOAC International
    Date: June 2018
    Abstract: Aloe vera (A. barbadensis Miller) is probably one of the most popular plants, widely studied because of numerous properties associated with the polysaccharides present in its gel. In particular, two main types of bioactive polysaccharides can be distinguished in the A. vera gel: an acetylated mannose-rich polymer that functions as storage polysaccharide, and a galacturonic acid–rich polymer as the main component comprising the cell walls of the parenchymatous tissue. Interestingly, most of the beneficial properties related to the aloe plant have been associated with the acetylated mannose-rich polysaccharide, also known as acemannan. However, the composition and structural features of these polysaccharides, as well as the beneficial properties associated with them, may be altered by different factors, such as the climate, soil, postharvest treatments, and processing. Further, different analytical methods have been used not only to identify but also to characterize the main polysaccharides found in parenchyma of A. vera leaf. Within this context, the main aim of this review is to summarize the most relevant information about the structural and compositional features of the main polysaccharides found in the A. vera gel as well as the most relevant analytical techniques used for their identification and their influence on the technological, functional, and beneficial properties related to the A. vera plant.
    Link: https://doi.org/10.5740/jaoacint.18-0119
    Citations:

  2. Title: Biomedical Applications of Aloe vera
    Author(s): Ruibing Wang, Ying Jin, Kit Leng Kuok, Yan Gao
    Institution(s): State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, and Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Taipa, Macau SAR, China
    Publication: Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
    Date: 12 Jul 2018
    Abstract: Over the last centuries, Aloe vera, a plant species belonging to the genus Aloe, have been extensively studied for various therapeutic activities, including anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-cancer activity, as well as immunoregulative and hepatoprotective properties, although some of these claimed efficacies are controversial as demonstrated by some of the recent studies. In spite of the intensive historic and recent use of this herb and its extracts in various areas, a well-balanced, systematic review seems crucial in order to gain in-depth comprehensive knowledge about this plant and to reflect and revive the use of Aloe vera in biomedical sciences. This review will focus on summarization of the pharmacological activities and clinical studies of Aloe and various extracts, as well as its extensive application in food chemistry, and will also discuss the future prospects of biomedical applications of this herb.
    Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2018.1496320
    Citations:

  3. Title: Is Incorporation of Aloe Vera Encapsulated By Chitosan Nano-Spheres To Compomer A Valid Antibacterial Approach? An In-Vitro Study
    Author(s): Nouran Hussein, Rania Ahmed Salama, Abdelhady Amin
    Institution(s): Biomaterials department, Faculty of Dentistry / Misr International University, Egypt
    Publication: IOSR Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences
    Date: June 2018
    Abstract: Introduction: This study investigated the effect of incorporation of Aloe Vera (AV) as a filler to compomer on its antibacterial activity, solubility and surface roughness. Method: Compomer (Dyract XP), the control; Group 1, was modified by adding 15wt% of experimentally-prepared AV encapsulated by chitosan nano-spheres; Group 2. Discs (15x1mm) of each group were prepared and characterized. For each test, 21 discs/group were investigated. The antibacterial activity against Streptococcus mutans (ATTCC 25175) was evaluated by agar diffusion test by measuring the inhibition zone on inoculated discs. Solubility and surface roughness were investigated on discs stored in artificial saliva at 37ºC with five-minute lactic acid (pH=5.2) cycling three times daily, after one week and one, three and six months. Results were statistically significant at p≤0.05. Results: Group 2 had higher antibacterial activity (2.21±0.21 mm) than group 1(0.05±0.22 mm). The only significant change in solubility between the groups was at (0-7) days where group 1 (0.390±0.016 μg/mm3) had higher solubility than group 2 (0.158±0.039 μg/mm3). Solubility within groups took place over a longer time for group 1; 90 days (0.690±0.022 μg/mm3) compared to group 2; 30 days (0.577±0.044 μg/mm3). The mean surface roughness values revealed that the baseline roughness of group 1 (0.2572±0.0017μm) was lower than group 2 (0.2587±0.0020μm). This was reversed at 7 and 30 days. Conclusion: Incorporating 15wt% freeze-dried AV encapsulated by chitosan nano-spheres to compomer imparted an antibacterial effect against Streptococcus mutans. The change in solubility and surface roughness lied within the values accepted by ISO standards for resin-based restorative materials.
    Link: http://www.iosrjournals.org/iosr-jdms/papers/Vol17-issue6/Version-9/D1706091626.pdf
    Citations:

  4. Title: In Vitro Effect of Hydroalcoholic Extract of Aloe Vera and 0.2% Chlorhexidine Mouthwash on Streptococcus Sanguinis, Streptococcus Salivarius and Streptococcus Mutans
    Author(s): Mohadese Shakerian ,Mohamad Mahdi Yaghooti Khorasani, Soheila Doostaki
    Institution(s): Dental School, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran.; Dental School, Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.
    Publication: Journal of Dental School Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences
    Date: 2018-07-15
    Abstract: Objectives This study aimed to assess the antimicrobial effects of aloe vera hydroalcoholic extract and 0.2% chlorhexidine (CHX) mouthwash on Streptococcus sanguinis (S. sanguinis), Streptococcus salivarius (S. salivarius) and Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) in vitro. Methods Four concentrations (25%, 50%, 75% and 100%) of hydroalcoholic extract of aloe vera were prepared. S. sanguinis, S. salivarius and S. mutans were cultured on tryptic soy agar, and a single colony was removed from each microorganism and the opacity of pure microbial suspension was set at 0.5 McFarland standard concentration. Brain heart infusion broth culture medium, different concentrations of aloe vera extract, 0.2% CHX mouthwash, negative (distilled water) and positive (penicillin) controls and 0.5 McFarland bacterial suspension were added to the tubes and incubated at 37°C for 5, 10, and 15 minutes. Then, the samples were cultured on tryptic soy agar and incubated at 37°C for 48 hours. Number of colony forming units (CFUs) in the groups was compared with two-way repeated measures ANOVA. For paired comparisons, Tukey's multiple comparisons test was used (P˂0.05). Results The results showed significant effect of hydroalcoholic extract of aloe vera (25, 50, 75, and 100%) on the tested microorganisms but the mean CFUs following the use of 0.2% CHX was significantly less than that after using different concentrations aloe vera extract (P<0.001). Regardless of the type of the material, the number of CFUs decreased with increased exposure time. Conclusion Aloe vera can be used alone or with CHX mouthwash to eliminate cariogenic bacteria.
    Link: http://www.jdentsch.com/index.php/jdsch/article/view/108/52
    Citations: