Overview of Aloe
Scientific Name: Aloe vera / Aloe barbadensis
Do not confuse with krantz aloe (Aloe arborescens), Zimbabwe aloe (Aloe excelsa), or cape aloe (Aloe ferox). According to the State of California, non-decolorized Aloe vera whole leaf extracts cause cancer [Proposition 65 Warning]. Non-decolorized means that extracts from the plant's leaves have not been filtered to remove cancer-causing chemicals found naturally in aloe. Look for decolorized aloe whole leaf extracts, which have been filtered to remove the cancer-causing chemicals.
- Moisturizer for Dry Skin, a hand sanitizer containing aloe / copper biocide, and gloves with aloe gel appear to be effective [1-3]
- Oral Lichen Planus, a gel containing aloe [4-7]
Conflicting (Unclear):insufficient information
- Alveolar Osteitis (Dry Socket), a patch containing aloe to reduce inflammation after tooth extraction may be effective 
- Alzheimer’s Disease 
- Anti-Oxidant, oral ingestion of aloe may enhance the bioavailability of Vitamins C, B12, and E [10-11]
- Anti-Tumor, aloe in combination with melatonin 
- Burning Mouth Syndrome, tongue protector containing aloe 
- Constipation (Laxative), a capsule containing aloe / celandine / psyllium 
- Diaper Induced Dermatitis, a gel containing aloe in combination with an ointment containing calendula 
- Dry Mouth, a mouth rinse containing aloe 
- Frostbite 
- Gingivitis and Plaque, toothpastes and mouthwashes containing aloe may be slightly effective [18-21]
- Hand Sanitizer, a sanitizer containing aloe / copper biocide 
- HIV 
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) 
- Liver Fibrosis (Hepatic Fibrosis) 
- Mustard Gas Exposure, a cream containing aloe / olive oil 
- Nasal Irritation from Ozone, an essential oil containing aloe / coconut / orange / peppermint / Vitamin E 
- Oily Skin, a cream containing aloe / 4% hydroquinone / 10% L-ascorbic acid / witch hazel / vitamin E / zinc oxide / octinoxate 
- Oral Submucous Fibrosis, a gel containing aloe 
- Oral Ulcers, a patch containing aloe 
- Pre-Diabetes [31-32]
- Pressure Ulcers (Bedsores), a hydrogel dressing containing aloe 
- Psoriasis, creams containing aloe [34-36]
- Scabies, a gel containing aloe 
- Second-Degree Burns, gels containing aloe [38-39]
- Skin Damage from Breast Radiotherapy, topical application of aloe may be slightly effective; however, an aloe / ginkgo combination may be more effective [40-45]
- Sunburn and Suntan, creams containing aloe [46-47]
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Vulva Lichen Planus, a gel containing aloe 
- Weight Loss 
- Wound Healing, gels containing aloe and it appears that aloe gel may delay wound healing after C-section and laparotomy [51-53]
- Canker Sores, a gel containing aloe / silicon dioxide / allantoin 
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) 
- Skin Damage from Head-and-Neck Radiotherapy 
No Clinical Research:All other conditions.
- Delayed Healing of Wounds (from topical application of aloe)
- Gastrointestinal Upset
- Intestinal Spasms
- Rashes (from topical application of aloe)
- Avoid or contact a licensed healthcare practitioner, if you have intestinal/bowel obstruction, fecal impaction, inflammatory bowel diseases (such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis), acute abdomen, appendicitis, abdomen pains of unknown reason, liver, kidney, heart, and other gastrointestinal problems, allergies to plants in the order Asparagales (asparagus, onions, etc.).
- You should not ingest aloe latex, and use caution if you take products containing the outer part of the aloe leaf, since these products may contain some aloe latex. The FDA in 2002 required that all aloe laxative products should be removed from stores or reformulated because manufacturers did not provide the necessary safety information.
- Consumption of large doses and long-term use of aloe may cause body salt imbalances, severe stomach discomfort, dehydration, reddish urine, bloody diarrhea, kidney damage or failure, edema, accelerated bone deterioration, blood build-up in the pelvis, irregular heartbeat, weak muscles, severe diarrhea (aloe is a strong laxative), albuminuria, melanosis coli (usually a reversible condition after discontinued use of aloe), severe weight loss.
- Consumption of aloe has caused a few cases of liver inflammation (hepatitis); these incidences may have been due to long-term use of aloe and hypersensitive allergic responses to aloe.
- Use caution and monitor your blood sugar levels, if you are taking aloe and have diabetes. If you have low blood sugar symptoms, contact a licensed healthcare practitioner.
- Children younger than 12 years of age should not ingest aloe because of its strong laxative properties or, in other cases, it may instead cause constipation.
- There are reports of serious adverse events (and possibly death) from aloe injections, aloe overdose, and ingestion of aloe latex.
- After applying aloe to areas of skin treated by dermabrasion and chemical peel, patients had severe dermatitis.
- Long-term use of topical and oral products containing aloe may cause minor to severe allergic skin reactions.
- Especially avoid aloe latex if you have hemorrhoids; it may worsen the condition.
- Aloe can cause contact dermatitis.
Do not use aloe if you are or may be pregnant. There are concerns that aloe can cause miscarriage, premature births, or congenital malformations. Though, there is not enough research on the use of supplements containing aloe during pregnancy and breast-feeding, you should consult a licensed healthcare practitioner. [57-71]
- Avoid aloe use at least 2 weeks before surgery; it may interact with anesthetics
- Digoxin; aloe appears to interact with digoxin and can cause hypokalemia
- Drugs that may cause potassium loss (Hypokalemia Drugs)
- Drugs to Treat Irregular Heartbeats
- Sevoflurane, an anesthetic
- Thiazide Drugs
- Anti-Diabetic Drugs (such as glimepiride, glyburide, insulin, metformin, pioglitazone, rosiglitazone)
- Anti-Platelet Drugs
- Diuretics (Water Pills)
Aloe is not a "drug", so the best doses have not been thoroughly established. Make sure to follow the specific product instructions and take as directed on the label, or consult a licensed healthcare practitioner before use.
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