Aloe vera improves memory and reduces depression in mice

Nutr Neurosci. 2013 Nov;16(6):250-4. doi: 10.1179/1476830512Y.0000000050. Epub 2013 Feb 5.


Objective: Aloe vera (barbadensis Mill., Family Liliaceae) since ancient times has been used for the treatment of skin disorders, infection, and as a laxative. The present study was undertaken to explore the effect of A. vera (Family Liliaceae) in animal models of learning and memory, depression, and locomotion.

Methods: To assess learning and memory, the passive avoidance task and elevated plus-maze were used. For evaluating depression, the forced swim test and tail suspension test were performed, and to assess locomotor activity, the rota rod test and photoactometer were used.

Results: A. vera (200 and 400 mg/kg, p.o.) was found to significantly increase the acquisition and retention step-down latency as compared to control in the passive avoidance task. In the elevated plus-maze, the highest administered dose (400 mg/kg, p.o.) of A. vera significantly reduced the transfer latency as compared to control. The forced swim test as well as tail suspension test showed that A. vera at all administered doses (100, 200, and 400 mg/kg, p.o.) decreased the period of immobility significantly. However, the locomotor activity did not show any significant change in the rota rod test and photoactometer.

Discussion: Thus from the above observations, it can be proposed that A. vera enhances learning and memory, and also alleviates depression in mice.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aloe / chemistry*
  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Avoidance Learning
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism
  • Depression / diet therapy*
  • Depression / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Ethnopharmacology
  • India
  • Male
  • Maze Learning
  • Memory
  • Mice
  • Motor Activity
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Nootropic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Nootropic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Reaction Time


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Nootropic Agents
  • Plant Extracts