Aloe Vera


Aloe vera is the extract of the cactus-like plant Aloe which is believed to have originated in Africa, but is now found in many different, warm countries in the world. The gel extracted from aloe vera has been used since earliest times by Egyptians and other civilisations, a Sumerian clay tablet dating from 2200 B.C. mentions its healing properties. The healing properties of the plant are believed to be contained in the green skin and yellow sap, and the most effective products are said to be those made from the whole leaf. Aloe vera has nine out of ten of the most important amino acids, a wide range of trace element minerals such as calcium, chromium, copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc and potassium. It also contains natural agents like saponins which have antiseptic properties and anthraquinones which have antibiotic, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. It is thought to stimulate the immune system, help heal wounds by increasing blood flow, relieve itching and have antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Aloe vera can be used externally, it is an ingredient of a wide range of cosmetics, and internally diluted with water.

Conditions That Respond To Aloe Vera

There is a long history of aloe vera being used for skin complaints such as:

It is also thought to ease bowel symptoms arising from such conditions as:
Irritable bowel syndrome

It has been seen to offer relief for other conditions including:
Rheumatic and arthritic states

Where To Obtain

It is available from most health shops. Some aloe vera drinks are said to be watered-down, ask your local heath store for some advice on the quality of the products they sell. Please see the website at the bottom of this fact sheet which is a link to a site where aloe vera products can be purchased. 


Mantle D, Gok MA, Lennard TW. Adverse and beneficial effects of plant extracts on skin and skin disorders. Adverse Drug React Toxicol Rev 2001 Jun;20(2):89-103. “Beneficial aspects of medicinal plants on skin include: healing of wounds and burn injuries (especially Aloe vera); antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial and acaricidal activity against skin infections such as acne, herpes and scabies (especially tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil); activity against inflammatory/immune disorders affecting skin (e.g. psoriasis); and anti-tumour promoting activity against skin cancer.“

Okyar A, Can A, Akev N, Baktir G, Sutlupinar N.Effect of Aloe vera leaves on blood glucose level in type I and type II diabetic rat models. Phytother Res 2001 Mar;15(2):157. The authors wrote that the gel could be useful in the treatment of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.



These are some of the references that have been passed to us; the list is not exhaustive. We haven't necessarily read the books and cannot say how easy it will be to get them.

- Davis R. Aloe Vera: A Scientific Approach In A Nutshell: Aloe Vera ISBN: 186204709X
- Barcroft A. Aloe Vera: Nature's Legendary Healer. ISBN: 028563352X
- Bremness L. The Complete book of Herbs. ISBN: 0670818941


The following websites give information on aloe vera.

http://www.arubaaloe.com this website is where aloe vera products can be purchased. 

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