Aloe vera

Authors: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer, Prof. Dr. med. Martina Bacharach-Buhles

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Synonym(s)

Aloe elongata Murray (1789) and others; Aloe perfoliata var. barbadensis (Mill.); Aloe vulgaris Lam.; Curacao Aloe; genuine aloe

Definition
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Aloe vera, the real aloe, is a widespread plant species of the genus "Aloe" from the grass family (Xanthorrhoeaceae).
The plant usually grows trunkless, forming 10-16 elongated, rosette-like, fleshy, grey-green, smooth 4-7 cm wide, marginally toothed leaves that can reach a length of 40 to 50 cm. The flowers are clustered on a 60 to 90 cm long inflorescence.
Aloe vera is cultivated in all subtropical and tropical regions of the world. Also in the Mediterranean region.

General information
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Aloe is the official parent plant of "Aloe", a pharmaceutical drug (Aloe inspissatus; bear's gall) obtained from the leaf juice by evaporation to drying. The juice spontaneously flows out at the base of the plant after the leaves are cut off. Basically 2 starting substrates are obtained by different processing methods of the extract:

Aloe hepatica: is produced by slow, gentle evaporation as a matt brown liver-coloured solid, the so-called "Aloe hepatica type".

Aloe lucida: Formed by rapid evaporation as a deep brown, glassy solid, the "Aloe lucida type".

Aloe has a very bitter taste, is not very soluble in cold water and very soluble in hot water.

The following are referred to as medicinal products:

  • Curaçao Aloe (Barbados Aloe); Curaçao Aloe is obtained from Aloe barbadensis Miller (Aloe vera L) and contains as essential ingredient the strongly laxative 1,8-dihydroxyanthracene derivative Aloin.
  • Cape aloe (Aloe capensis) is extracted from Aloe ferox Miller Art.

Outgoing links (1)

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