Review Article

Phytotherapeutic effects of Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis Miller): A mini-review


Objective: Despite several modern pharmacological treatments, there is still an increasing demand for traditional, accessible and affordable natural treatments with less adverse effects such as medicinal plants. The aim of this review was to summarize the published data on several therapeutic effects of aloe vera.
Methods: A literature search was carried out using Google scholar, PubMed and Science direct with keywords such as bioactive compound, hyperlipidemia, hyperglycemia, antioxidant, inflammation, body immune system, cancer, wound healing, and antimicrobial activity, in combination with Aloe vera and Aloe barbadensis Miller. The search was limited to studies published in English.
Results: A total of 54 papers out of 63 randomized controlled trials and review articles were finally selected. Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis Miller) is one of the most well-known herbal medicines with considerable medicinal properties such as hypolipidemic, hypoglycemic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory, anticancer, wound healing, antibacterial and antiviral activities. Many of the health benefits associated with aloe vera have been attributed to its various bioactive natural components such as vitamins, anthraquinones and polysaccharides.
Conclusion: Chemical compounds contained naturally in A. vera are expanding our disease treatment choices and benefit us with their wide range of properties for the management of diverse disorders. Therefore, it would be worthwhile to conduct further intensive scientific studies on this multipurpose medicinal plant to promote its large-scale utilization.

Joseph B, Raj SJ. Pharmacognostic and phytochemical properties of Aloe vera linn an overview. Int J Pharm Sci Rev Res. 2010;4(2):106-10.

Lima SCdS, Arruda GOd, Renovato RD, Alvarenga MRM. Representations and uses of medicinal plants in elderly men. Rev Lat Am Enfermagem. 2012;20(4):778-86.

Dagne E, Bisrat D, Viljoen A, Van Wyk B. Chemistry of Aloe species. Curr Org Chem. 2000;4(10):1055-78.

Chinchilla N, Carrera C, Durán AG, Macías M, Torres A, Macías FA. Aloe barbadensis: how a miraculous plant becomes reality. Phytochem Rev. 2013;12(4):581-602.

Pothuraju R, Sharma RK, Onteru SK, Singh S, Hussain SA. Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of Aloe vera extract preparations: A review. Phytother Res. 2016;30(2):200-7.

Surjushe A, Vasani R, Saple D. Aloe vera: A short review. Indian J Dermatol. 2008;53(4):163-66

Hamman JH. Composition and applications of Aloe vera leaf gel. Molecules. 2008;13(8):1599-616.

Huseini HF, Kianbakht S, Hajiaghaee R, Dabaghian FH. Anti-hyperglycemic and anti-hypercholesterolemic effects of Aloe vera leaf gel in hyperlipidemic type 2 diabetic patients: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Planta Med. 2012;78(04):311-6.

Misawa E, Tanaka M, Nabeshima K, Nomaguchi K, Yamada M, Toida T, et al. Administration of dried Aloe vera gel powder reduced body fat mass in diet-induced obesity (DIO) rats. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol. 2012;58(3):195-201.

Misawa E, Tanaka M, Nomaguchi K, Yamada M, Toida T, Takase M, et al. Administration of phytosterols isolated from Aloe vera gel reduce visceral fat mass and improve hyperglycemia in Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats. Obes Res Clin Pract. 2008;2(4):239-45.

Ralph A, Provan G. Phytoprotectants.In: Human Nutrition and Dietetics.10th ed. English. Edinburgh : Churchill Livingstone, 2000. p 417-26.

Rajasekaran S, Ravi K, Sivagnanam K, Subramanian S. Beneficial effects of Aloe vera leaf gel extract on lipid profile status in rats with streptozotocin diabetes. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2006;33(3):232-7.

Desai BN, Maharjan RH, Nampoothiri LP. Aloe barbadensis Mill. formulation restores lipid profile to normal in a letrozole-induced polycystic ovarian syndrome rat model. Pharmacognosy Res. 2012;4(2):109-15

Kim K, Kim H, Kwon J, Lee S, Kong H, Im S-A, et al. Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of processed Aloe vera gel in a mouse model of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Phytomedicine. 2009;16(9):856-63.

Maharjan R, Nagar PS, Nampoothiri L. Effect of Aloe barbadensis Mill. formulation on Letrozole induced polycystic ovarian syndrome rat model. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2010;1(4):273-79

Agarwal O. Prevention of atheromatous heart disease. Angiology. 1985;36(8):485-92.

Iji O, Oyagbemi A, Azeez O. Assessment of chronic administration of Aloe vera gel on haematology, plasma biochemistry, lipid profiles and erythrocyte osmotic resistance in Wistar rats. Niger J Physiol Sci. 2010;25(2):107–13.

Alinejad-Mofrad S, Foadoddini M, Saadatjoo SA, Shayesteh M. Improvement of glucose and lipid profile status with Aloe vera in pre-diabetic subjects: a randomized controlled-trial. J Diabetes Metab Disord. 2015;14(1):22.

Yavari Z, Moradi H, Sadeghi H, Golchini BB. Evaluation of Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis Miller) Antioxidant Activity and Some of the Morphological Characteristics in Different Vermicompost Field. Journal of Chemical Health Risks. NLM ID:101657803 [Serial]. 2013;3(4).19-28

Shahidi F, Janitha P, Wanasundara P. Phenolic antioxidants. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1992;32(1):67-103.

Radha MH, Laxmipriya NP. Evaluation of biological properties and clinical effectiveness of Aloe vera: A systematic review. J Tradit Complement Med. 2015;5(1):21-6.

Saini DK, Saini MR. Evaluation of radioprotective efficacy and possible mechanism of action of Aloe gel. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2011;31(3):427-35.

Yen G-C, Duh P-D, Chuang D-Y. Antioxidant activity of anthraquinones and anthrone. Food Chem. 2000;70(4):437-41.

Subhash AV, Suneela S, Anuradha C, Bhavani S, Babu MSM. The role of Aloe vera in various fields of medicine and dentistry. J Orofac Sci. 2014;6(1):5-9

Arosio B, Gagliano N, Fusaro LMP, Parmeggiani L, Tagliabue J, Galetti P, et al. Aloe‐emodin quinone pretreatment reduces acute liver injury induced by carbon tetrachloride. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2000;87(5):229-33.

Budai MM, Varga A, Milesz S, Tőzsér J, Benkő S. Aloe vera downregulates LPS-induced inflammatory cytokine production and expression of NLRP3 inflammasome in human macrophages. Mol Immunol. 2013;56(4):471-9.

Im S-A, Oh S-T, Song S, Kim M-R, Kim D-S, Woo S-S, et al. Identification of optimal molecular size of modified Aloe polysaccharides with maximum immunomodulatory activity. Int Immunopharmacol. 2005;5(2):271-9.

Madan J, Sharma A, Inamdar N, Rao H, Singh R. Immunomodulatory properties of aloe vera gel in mice. Int J Green Pharm. NLM ID:101474101 [Serial]. 2008;2(3):152-54

Dog TL. A reason to season: the therapeutic benefits of spices and culinary herbs. Explore (NY). 2006;2(5):446-9.

Fazio VA, Inge K. Health benefits of herbs and spices: the past, the present, the future. Med J Aust. 2006;185:4-24.

Pérez YY, Jiménez-Ferrer E, Zamilpa A, Hernández-Valencia M, Alarcón-Aguilar FJ, Tortoriello J, et al. Effect of a polyphenol-rich extract from Aloe vera gel on experimentally induced insulin resistance in mice. Am J Chin Med. 2007;35(06):1037-46.

Salem MY, El-Azab NE-E. The possible protective role of aloe vera extracts in pancreatic β cells of experimentally induced diabetic rats: a histological and immunohistochemical study. Egyptian Journal of Histology. NLM ID:9885166 [Serial]. 2014;37(3):571-8.

Tanaka M, Misawa E, Ito Y, Habara N, Nomaguchi K, Yamada M, et al. Identification of five phytosterols from Aloe vera gel as anti-diabetic compounds. Biol Pharm Bull. 2006;29(7):1418-22.

Noor A, Gunasekaran S, Manickam AS, Vijayalakshmi M. Antidiabetic activity of Aloe vera and histology of organs in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Curr Sci. 2008:1070-6.

Maithani A, Parcha V, Pant G, Dhulia I, Kumar D. Studies on phytochemical screening and hypoglycemic evaluation of Aloe vera leave extracts on alloxan induced diabetic rats. Int J Res Phytochem Pharmacol. 2011;1(4):207-10.

Devaraj S, Jialal R, Jialal I, Rockwood J. A pilot randomized placebo controlled trial of 2 Aloe vera supplements in patients with pre-diabetes/metabolic syndrome. Planta Med. 2008;74(09):SL77.

Tizard I, Ramamoorthy L. Aloes and the immune system. In: Tom Reynolds editor. Aloes. eBook ISBN: 978-0-203-47634-5, 2004;38:311-32.

Zhang L, Tizard IR. Activation of a mouse macrophage cell line by acemannan: the major carbohydrate fraction from Aloe vera gel. Immunopharmacology. 1996;35(2):119-28.

Boudreau MD, Beland FA. An evaluation of the biological and toxicological properties of Aloe barbadensis (miller), Aloe vera. J Environ Sci Health C Environ Carcinog Ecotoxicol Rev. 2006;24(1):103-54.

Nićiforović A, Adžić M, Zarić B, Radojčić M. Adjuvant antiproliferative and cytotoxic effect of aloin in irradiated HeLaS3 cells. Russ J Phys Chem A. NLM ID:0025452 [Serial]. 2007;81(9):1463-6.

Pan Q, Pan H, Lou H, Xu Y, Tian L. Inhibition of the angiogenesis and growth of Aloin in human colorectal cancer in vitro and in vivo. Cancer Cell Int. 2013;13(1):69.

Steenkamp V, Stewart M. Medicinal applications and toxicological activities of Aloe. Products. Pharm Biol. 2007;45(5):411-20.

Harris C, Pierce K, King G, Yates K, Hall J, Tizard I. Efficacy of acemannan in treatment of canine and feline spontaneous neoplasms. Mol Biother. 1991;3(4):207-13.

Lin J-G, Chen G-W, Li T-M, Chouh S-T, Tan T-W, Chung J-G. Aloe-emodin induces apoptosis in T24 human bladder cancer cells through the p53 dependent apoptotic pathway. The J Urol. 2006;175(1):343-7.

Chithra P, Sajithlal G, Chandrakasan G. Influence of Aloe vera on the healing of dermal wounds in diabetic rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 1998;59(3):195-201.

Reynolds T, Dweck A. Aloe vera leaf gel: a review update. J Ethnopharmacol. 1999;68(1):3-37.

Liu L, Chen X, Wu B, Jiang Q. Influence of Aloe polysaccharide on proliferation and hyaluronic acid and hydroxyproline secretion of human fibroblasts in vitro. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2010;8(3):256-62.

Vera A. Wound healing, oral & topical activity of Aloe vera. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 1989;79:559-62.

Pandey R, Mishra A. Antibacterial activities of crude extract of Aloe barbadensis to clinically isolated bacterial pathogens. Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2010;160(5):1356-61.

Alves DS, Pérez-Fons L, Estepa A, Micol V. Membrane-related effects underlying the biological activity of the anthraquinones emodin and barbaloin. Biochem Pharmacol. 2004;68(3):549-61.

Pugh N, Ross SA, ElSohly MA, Pasco DS. Characterization of Aloeride, a new high-molecular-weight polysaccharide from Aloe vera with potent immunostimulatory activity. J Agric Food Chem. 2001;49(2):1030-4.

Tan Z, Li F, Xing J. Separation and purification of aloe anthraquinones using PEG/salt aqueous two-phase system. Sep Sci Technol. 2011;46(9):1503-10.

Olatunya OS, Olatunya AM, Anyabolu HC, Adejuyigbe EA, Oyelami OA. Preliminary trial of aloe vera gruel on HIV infection. J Altern Complement Med. 2012;18(9):850-3.

Li S-W, Yang T-C, Lai C-C, Huang S-H, Liao J-M, Wan L, et al. Antiviral activity of aloe-emodin against influenza A virus via galectin-3 up-regulation. Eur J Pharmacol. 2014;738:125-32.

IssueVol 4, No 1 (Winter 2018) QRcode
SectionReview Article(s)
Autism Behavior Aloe barbadensis Miller Medicinal plant Antioxidant Inflammation Anthraquinone

Rights and permissions
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
How to Cite
Sherafatmanesh S, Ekramzadeh M. Phytotherapeutic effects of Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis Miller): A mini-review. J Nutr Sci & Diet. 4(1).