Aloe barbadensis (Miller), Aloe vera, has a long history of use as a topical and oral therapeutic. The plant is the source of two products, gel and latex, which are obtained from its fleshy leaves. Aloe vera products contain multiple constituents with potential biological and toxicological activities, yet the active components elude definition. Ingestion of Aloe vera is associated with diarrhea, electrolyte imbalance, kidney dysfunction, and conventional drug interactions; episodes of contact dermatitis, erythema, and phototoxicity have been reported from topical applications. This review examines the botany, physical and chemical properties, and biological activities of the Aloe vera plant.