Abhilash A*, Prabhu Raj KJ, Gopi Krishna B,Hemalatha M, Dr. Hindustan Abdul Ahad
B. Pharmacy, Balaji College of Pharmacy, Anantapur, AP, India.
Aloe vera, commonly known as Barbados or Curaçao Aloe, is an herbal medicine with a long tradition of use by a variety of cultures. The succulent plant grows in arid and subtropical climates and is best known for 2 distinct preparations: the clear mucilaginous gel that is widely used for the treatment of minor burns, especially sunburns, and the thick sap of the leaves that turns yellow-brown and has strong laxative effects that caution its use. The traditional uses of the clear mucilaginous gel are manifold, ranging from topical applications to reduce perspiration to oral dosing for diabetes and a range of gastrointestinal ailments. The efficacy of aloe vera gel to treat burn wounds, genital herpes, and seborrheic dermatitis have been shown in clinical trials, but other indications such as psoriasis or internal application for the treatment of type 2 diabetes remain inconclusive. The main limitation of the current clinical knowledge about aloe vera gel is small clinical studies that often lack rigorous methodology. Several clinical trials are being conducted to further evaluate the use of aloe vera gel for a variety of disorders, as well as to further confirm traditional uses of the plant extract.
Aloe vera (syn. Aloe barbadensis Mill., Fam. Liliaceae), also known as Barbados or Curaçao Aloe, has been used in traditional and folk medicines for thousands of years to treat and cure a variety of diseases. Although the plant is native to northern parts of Africa, it has rapidly spread across the world because its cultivation is easy. An important distinction has to be made between the strongly laxative and purgative latex derived from the bundle-sheath cells and the clear mucilaginous gel. The plant has been used by Egyptians, Assyrians, and Mediterranean civilizations, as well as in Biblical times. A variety of aloe species are still used in folk medicines of Africa and Asia. Hunters in the Congo reportedly rub their bodies in the clear mucilaginous gel to reduce perspiration; some African tribes apply the gel for chronic conjunctivitis; the gel is used in India for the treatment of asthma
In conclusion, the use of aloe vera gel or its components for the treatment of a variety of conditions and diseases needs further clinical evidence through well-designed studies with defined aloe extracts and matching placebo controls. Currently (June 2012), 5 national and international clinical studies are listed by the United States National Institutes of Health clinical trial database with a major emphasis on the use of aloe vera in the treatment of wounds.This indicates the scientific significance of aloe vera gel and the need to establish it as a valid treatment option for wounds. However, the use of aloe vera gel in topical applications has widely been confirmed in the clinical studies as safe.