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What is Aloe Vera Plant

Health Benefits of Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in tropical climates, and it is also a popular house plant. Aloe vera is widely used in cosmetic products, alternative medicine, and aloe vera juice is often promoted as a health juice for healing and soothing the digestive system. It has had a long history of being used as a multipurpose folk remedy.

Aloe vera is generally separated into two types of products - aloe vera gel and aloe vera juice (Aloe latex) - each with different uses and medicinal applications. Aloe vera gel is widely believed and promoted as an excellent treatment for wounds, burns, and other skin ailments - claims include speeds up healing, reducing risk of infection, among others.

While aloevera gel is used externally, aloe vera juice is taken internally to treat various digestive disorders. Aloe vera juice is a bitter yellow liquid that are beneficial for the digestive system. It is often used as a laxative, and used to treat constipation. There are numerous other health benefits of aloe vera which we will explore below.

Medicinal Uses of Aloe Vera Plant - Aloe Vera Gel and Burns

Aloe vera gel and cream has been traditionally used to heal burns. It is widely believed that aloe vera helps to treat all types of burns, and you will often see aloe vera gel being recommended and promoted as an ideal solution to treat sun burns. However, there are conflicting clinical evidence on the efficacy of aloe vera gels for treating various types of burns - including sun burns. In our aloe vera research, we came across a large body of studies providing rather conflicting evidence on aloe vera gel's effectiveness in treating burns.

We came across studies which demonstrates positive benefits of aloe vera gel on burns, and other studies which found no apparent benefit of aloe vera gel on burns. In one study involving twenty-seven patients with partial thickness burn wound, they were treated with aloe vera gel compared with vaseline gauze. This study found that the aloe vera gel treated lesion healed faster than the vaseline gauze area. The average time of healing in the aloe gel area was 11.89 days and 18.19 days for the vaseline gauze treated wound. This particular study showed the effectiveness of aloe vera gel on a partial thickness burn wound, and it might be beneficial to do further trials on burn wounds. [1]

In another systematic review of various clinical evidence of aloevera gel and burn wound healing, the researchers found that aloe vera is effective in burn wound healing. In this systematic review, all relevant studies (including controlled clinical trials for burn healing) dating from 1918 to June 2004 were reviewed. The review stated that cumulative evidence tends to support that aloe vera might be an effective interventions used in burn wound healing for first to second degree burns. [2]

On the opposing side, there are also numerous studies which were unable to determine any beneficial effects of aloe vera for healing burns. We present two other studies here which found no evidence of aloe vera gel being beneficial for burns.

The efficacy of Aloe vera, tea tree oil and saliva as first aid treatment for partial thickness burn injuries.
Cuttle L, Kempf M, Kravchuk O, George N, Liu PY, Chang HE, Mill J, Wang XQ, Kimble RM. Royal Children's Hospital Burns Research Group, University of Queensland, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Royal Children's Hospital, Herston Road, Herston, Queensland 4029, Australia.

In t his study, aloe vera, saliva, and tea tree oil were applied as first aid to a porcine deep dermal contact burn, compared to a control of nothing. After the burns, the 3 treatments were applied for 20 minutes to the wounds, and the wounds were observed weekly for 6 weeks. Results showed that the alternative treatments did significantly decrease subdermal temperature within the skin during the treatment period. However, these treatments did not  decrease the microflora or improve re-epithelialisation, scar strength, scar depth or cosmetic appearance of the scar and cannot be recommended for the first aid treatment of partial thickness burns. [3]

Aloe vera gel is widely recommended as a treatment for sunburns. However, many clinical studies found no apparent benefit of aloe vera in treating sunburns. In a study involving 20 participants, the efficacy of aloe vera cream in prevention of burn and tan from ultraviolet were studied. The aloe vera cream was applied by randomized double blind technique on the test sites 30 minutes before, immediately after, or both before and after then the serial ultraviolet UVB 40,50,60,70,80 mj were radiated. The aloe vera cream was continually applied at the test sites twice daily for the the next three weeks. The results showed that the aloe vera cream has no sunburn or suntan protection and no efficacy in sunburn treatment when compared to placebo. [4]

It is apparent that there is conflicting evidence on the effectiveness of aloe vera in treating burns. Personally, I've used various aloe vera gel products to treat sunburns I've had. I can't say whether it sped up the healing process, but I certainly found the aloe vera gel to be very soothing when applied to the sunburned areas. Even if aloe vera does not speed up burn healing, the simple fact that it is so soothing makes it a worthwhile product.

Other studies done on aloe vera gel has found it effective in treatment of scabies, and also found aloe vera to have anti-inflammatory potential. In a 2002 study involving 5 patients with scabies, they were successfully treated with aloe vera gel. Following this, it was further tested on 30 patients, where 16 patients were treated with aloe vera gel, and 15 patients were treated with benzyl benzoate lotion. The study found that scabies was successfully treated in both the aloe vera and benzyl benzoate groups, concluding that aloevera gel was as effective as benzyl benzoate in treating scabies. [5]

A study done to investigate the anti-inflammatory potential of aloevera gel was conducted with 40 participants in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Test areas on the back were irradiated with the 1.5-fold minimal erythema dose of UVB. Subsequently, the test areas were treated on 2 subsequent days with aloe vera gel (97.5%), and a placebo. They found that aloe vera gel significantly reduced UV-induced erythema after 48 hours, concluding that aloe vera gel displayed some anti-inflammatory effects, and that aloe vera could be useful as a topical treatment of inflammatory skin conditions. [6]

Health Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice

Aloe vera has traditionally been used for internal consumption to cure various digestion conditions including constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. However, currently there are very few limited studies performed on this, and the existing research shows conflicting data. Further research is needed in this area to further validate these claims. Despite the lack of evidence, and in some cases, conflicting evidence, health industries regularly make unsubstantiated claims of aloe vera. Aloe vera has a long history of being used in herbal medicine. It is a non-toxic, and has little to no reported side effects, as long as the aloin has been removed. Aloevera containing aloin has been associated with some side effects.

There are health claims that aloe vera helps with constipation, and provides health benefits for individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). While studies with human subjects have shown aloevera to help patients with constipation, other studies found it to have no apparent effects on patients with IBS.

In a study involving 35 men and women  with chronic constipation, a placebo or a laxative preparation composed of celandin, aloe vera and psyllium was administered for 28 days. Symptoms in the final 2 weeks of the treatment period was compared to the 14 day pre-trial basal period. In the laxative treated group containing aloe vera, celandin, and psyllium, bowel movements became more frequent, and the stools were softer. The dependence on laxative was reduced. In the placebo group, no changes were reported. The results of this study show that the laxative preparation containing aloe vera, celandin, and psyllium is an effective laxative in the treatment of constipation. [7]

In another study determining the effects of aloe vera on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), patients with IBS were randomised to receive aloevera or a placebo for 1 month. Symptoms were assessed at baseline, 1 and 3 months. Fifty-eight patients took part in the study. They found that there was no evidence that aloe vera benefits patients with IBS. At the same time, they could not rule out the possibility that improvement occurred in patients with diarrhea or alternating IBS whilst taking aloe vera. The inconclusive results requires further investigation of aloe vera's benefits on patients with IBS. [8] Studies done on mice have found aloe vera to act as a gastroprotective agent against mucosal injury, and concluding that Aloe vera is endowed with gastric acid anti-secretory activity and could protect the gastric mucosa at low concentrations against injurious agents. [9]

As you can clearly see, undoubtedly, there are numerous health benefits of aloe vera. Some of these health benefits include: effective in treating burns; speeds up wound healing; works as an effective treatment of scabies; has anti-inflammatory qualities; works as a laxative and helps with constipation. However, it is also important to note that aloe vera does not appear to prevent sunburns or help treat sunburns, and that it does not appear to have any beneficial effect for patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Aloe vera supplements are generally inexpensive, and if you're considering using aloe vera, take a look at these sources.

>> Click here for HCBL Aloe Vera

>> Click here for HCBL Aloe to the Rescue

>> Click here for HCBL Aloe All Over Cream



1. J Med Assoc Thai. 1995 Aug;78(8):403-9.
Effect of aloe vera gel to healing of burn wound a clinical and histologic study.
Visuthikosol V, Chowchuen B, Sukwanarat Y, Sriurairatana S, Boonpucknavig V.
Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.

2. Burns. 2007 Sep;33(6):713-8. Epub 2007 May 17.
The efficacy of aloe vera used for burn wound healing: a systematic review.
Maenthaisong R, Chaiyakunapruk N, Niruntraporn S, Kongkaew C.
Pharmacy Practice Unit, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand.

3. Burns. 2008 Dec;34(8):1176-82. Epub 2008 Jul 7.
The efficacy of Aloe vera, tea tree oil and saliva as first aid treatment for partial thickness burn injuries.
Cuttle L, Kempf M, Kravchuk O, George N, Liu PY, Chang HE, Mill J, Wang XQ, Kimble RM.

4. J Med Assoc Thai. 2005 Sep;88 Suppl 4:S173-6.
Efficacy of aloe vera cream in prevention and treatment of sunburn and suntan.
Puvabanditsin P, Vongtongsri R.
Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

5. Phytother Res. 2009 Mar 9. [Epub ahead of print]
Preliminary study of effectiveness of aloe vera in scabies treatment.
Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria.

6. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2008;21(2):106-10. Epub 2008 Feb 5.
Investigation of the anti-inflammatory potential of Aloe vera gel (97.5%) in the ultraviolet erythema test.
Reuter J, Jocher A, Stump J, Grossjohann B, Franke G, Schempp CM.
Department of Dermatology, University Medical Center Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.

7. Digestion. 1991;49(2):65-71.
A double-blind trial of a celandin, aloevera and psyllium laxative preparation in adult patients with constipation.
Odes HS, Madar Z.
Intestinal Diseases Unit, Soroka Medical Center, Beer Sheva, Israel.

8. Int J Clin Pract. 2006 Sep;60(9):1080-6. Epub 2006 Jun 2.
Randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial of aloe vera for irritable bowel syndrome.
Davis K, Philpott S, Kumar D, Mendall M.
St Georges Hospital Medical School, London, UK.

9. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Jul;93(1):33-7.
The effect of Aloe vera A. Berger (Liliaceae) on gastric acid secretion and acute gastric mucosal injury in rats.
Yusuf S, Agunu A, Diana M.
Department of Human Physiology, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.


April 2009