Aloe vera leaf gel: a review update

J Ethnopharmacol. 1999 Dec 15;68(1-3):3-37. doi: 10.1016/s0378-8741(99)00085-9.


Research since the 1986 review has largely upheld the therapeutic claims made in the earlier papers and indeed extended them into other areas. Treatment of inflammation is still the key effect for most types of healing but it is now realized that this is a complex process and that many of its constituent processes may be addressed in different ways by different gel components. A common theme running though much recent research is the immunomodulatory properties of the gel polysaccharides, especially the acetylated mannans from Aloe vera, which are now a proprietary substance covered by many patents. There have also been, however, persistent reports of active glycoprotein fractions from both Aloe vera and Aloe arborescens. There are also cautionary investigations warning of possible allergic effects on some patients. Reports also describe antidiabetic, anticancer and antibiotic activities, so we may expect to see a widening use of aloe gel. Several reputable suppliers produce a stabilized aloe gel for use as itself or in formulations and there may be moves towards isolating and eventually providing verified active ingredients in dosable quantities

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aloe / adverse effects*
  • Aloe / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Interactions
  • Gels
  • Humans
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry*
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Polysaccharides / adverse effects
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*


  • Gels
  • Polysaccharides