Friday, December 5, 2008

Aloe vera L.

Family : Liliaceae

Synonym(s) : Aloe vulgaris (Lam.), Aloe barbadensis (Mill.), Aloe Indica, Aloe barbados

English Name : Indian Aloe, Barbados Aloe and Aloe

Origin : Northern Africa


A short-stemmed succulent perennial herb. The succulent leaves are crowded on the top of their stems, spreading grayish green and glaucous; spotted when young, 20 to 50 cm long, 3 to 5 cm wide at the base, tapering gradually to the pointed tip. Flowers are borne in cylindrical terminal racemes on central flower stalks, 5 to 100 cm high. Each flower has 6 protruding stamens and three-celled ovary with long style. They are succulent plants belonging to the Lily family, with perennial, strong and fibrous roots and numerous, persistent, fleshy leaves, proceeding from the upper part of the root, narrow, tapering, thick and fleshy, usually beset at the edges with spiney teeth. The flowers are produced in erect, terminal spikes. There is no calyx, the corolla is tubular, divided into six narrow segments at the mouth and of a red, yellow or purplish colour. The capsules contain numerous angular seeds.


Sometimes found growing in poor soil conditions; on coasts of Maharashtra, Gujarat and southern India; northern Africa, Canary Islands, southern Spain, Greece, Sicily, West Indies, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbados.

Parts Used : Leaf (including the juice) and plant

Herb Effects

Anti-cancerous, emmenagogue, emollient, laxative, purgative, stimulant, stomachic, tonic, vermifuge, vulnerary, abortifacient. antiseptic. promotes or stimulates the flow of bile, decoagulant, antibacterial, demulcent, stimulates the secretion of gastric juices, ecbolic, insecticidal, anthlemintic (antitubercular), oxytocic and reduces fever.

Active Ingredients

Aloe-emodin, aspartic acid, barbaloin, benzyl-acetone, beta-sitosterol, choline, chrysophanic acid, chrysophanol, cinnamic acid, coumarin, emodin, formic acid, glycerol, lupeol, p-coumaric acid, rhein (plant); arginine, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, folacin, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, histidine, lysine, niacin, phenyl-alanine, riboflavin, serine, thiamin, tyrosine, valine (leaf).

Medicinal Use

As a tonic, in amenorrhea, asthma, boils, bruises, burns (including those from radiation), stomach cancer, common cold, cough, digestive disorders, fever, hemorrhages, hysteria, inflammation, eye problems, jaundice, cirrhosis, hepatitis, stomach ulcers, colitis, wound, scald, dry skin, conjunctivitis, psoriasis, hair fall, rosacea, warts and eczema; prevents opportunistic infections in cases of HIV and AIDS.


Pregnant women and children under five should not take Aloe vera internally.


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