Aloe vera

Chinese Name: Lu hui
Medical Name:
Latin Name: Aloe vera
Origin: Leaf
Taste: Bitter

Quotes from Chinese historical sources:

KAI-BAO MATERIA MEDICA: "In flavour it is bitter, cold and not poisonous. It is mainly used to treat depressions due to hot-wind-evil; heat-evil in the chest; to clear the vision; and to calm the heart."

ANNOTATION ON THE HERBAL CLASSIC OF SHEN NONG: "Aloe vera contains feminine-cold energy from the whole universe, giving it a bitter taste and cold, non-poisonous qualities. This cold can drive out hot-fevers, while the bitterness can release hot dryness and dampness. The bitterness can also eliminate parasites. In fact, this extrmeme bitterness and cold, makes it an important medicine for the treatment of fevers and parasitic infestations. it is mainly used to treat unhappiness due to wind-heat-evil; heat-evil in chest; to clear the vision and calm the heart."

INTERPRETATION OF THE PROPERTIES OF MEDICINES: "Aloe Vera is bitter in taste, and in properties cold and not poisonous. It acts on the heart and liver channels to dispel wind-fevers, alleviate unhappiness, clear the vision, relieve panic-related digestive symptoms and kill the Three Parasites."

Western Research:

Oral Oncol. 2007 Jan 24;
Aloe-emodin induces in vitro G2/M arrest and alkaline phosphatase activation in human oral cancer KB cells.
Xiao B, Guo J, Liu D, Zhang S.
School of Medicine, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China.
Aloe-emodin is a natural anthraquinone compound from the root and rhizome of Rheum palmatum. In this study, KB cells were treated with 2.5, 5, 10, 20, and 40muM aloe-emodin for 1 to 5 days. The results showed that aloe-emodin inhibited cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner. Treatment with aloe-emodin at 10 to 40muM resulted in cell cycle arrest at G2/M phase. The alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity in KB cells increased upon treatment with aloe-emodin when compared to controls. This is one of the first studies to focus on the expression of ALP in human oral carcinomas cells treated with aloe-emodin. These results indicate that aloe-emodin has anti-cancer effect on oral cancer, which may lead to its use in chemotherapy and chemopreventment of oral cancer.

Bosn J Basic Med Sci. 2006 Nov;6(4):79-84.
Efficacy in treatment of cervical HRHPV infection by combination of beta interferon, and herbal therapy in woman with different cervical lesions.
Iljazovic E, Ljuca D, Sahimpasic A, Avdic S.
Pathology Department, Polyclinic for Laboratory Diagnostic, University Clinics Center Tuzla, Trnovac 1, Gradina, 75,000 Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Cervical dysplasia, a premalignant lesion that can progress to cervical cancer, is caused primarily by a sexually transmitted infection with an oncogenic strain of the human papillomavirus (HPV). The HPV infections are treated through destroying the clinical lesions: laser, cryotherapy, podophyllin... The hope is that by causing local tissue inflammation that the body will be stimulated to mount an antibody response and thereby prevent recurrence. Aloe vera has also been reported to retard tumour growth and stimulate the immune response to viruses. A list of possible actions of propolis includes: antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, antithrombotic and immunomodulatory. Fifty five woman affected by HPV genital infection were enrolled in the study from September 2005 to April 2006. The first group was HPV positive woman treated with other than recommended therapy (n=20), (control group); the second group was pharmacologically treated with intravaginal administration of an interferon and aloe vera-propolis in recommended scheme (n=35) with treatment of the possible fungal or bacterial genital infection prior to the specific therapy. The almost same therapy was recommended to the male partner. Patients from the second group used B complex during the therapy. Patients were retested for the HPV presence after three or six month from therapy depend of the presence bacterial or fungal genital coinfection. Three months after applied therapy HPV infection was still present in more than 90% of the patients in the first group. In the second group treated according to the recommended therapy scheme HPV infection disappeared in 71.42% of the patients after three months and in 100% of patients after six months.

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2004 Mar 1;19(5):521-7.
Anti-inflammatory effects of aloe vera gel in human colorectal mucosa in vitro.
Langmead L, Makins RJ, Rampton DS.
Centre for Adult and Paediatric Gastroenterology, Institute of Cellular and Molecular Science, Barts and the London, Queen Mary School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK.
BACKGROUND: Oral aloe vera gel is widely used by patients with inflammatory bowel disease and is under therapeutic evaluation for this condition. AIM: To assess the effects of aloe vera in vitro on the production of reactive oxygen metabolites, eicosanoids and interleukin-8, all of which may be pathogenic in inflammatory bowel disease. METHODS: The anti-oxidant activity of aloe vera was assessed in two cell-free, radical-generating systems and by the chemiluminescence of incubated colorectal mucosal biopsies. Eicosanoid production by biopsies and interleukin-8 release by CaCo2 epithelial cells in the presence of aloe vera were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. RESULTS: Aloe vera gel had a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on reactive oxygen metabolite production; 50% inhibition occurred at 1 in 1000 dilution in the phycoerythrin assay and at 1 in 10-50 dilution with biopsies. Aloe vera inhibited the production of prostaglandin E2 by 30% at 1 in 50 dilution (P = 0.03), but had no effect on thromboxane B2 production. The release of interleukin-8 by CaCo2 cells fell by 20% (P < 0.05) with aloe vera diluted at 1 in 100, but not at 1 in 10 or 1 in 1000 dilutions. CONCLUSION: The anti-inflammatory actions of aloe vera gel in vitro provide support for the proposal that it may have a therapeutic effect in inflammatory bowel disease.