Review of Clinical Pharmacology of Aloe vera L. in the Treatment of Psoriasis

Phytother Res. 2015 May;29(5):648-55. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5316. Epub 2015 Mar 10.


Aloe vera L., is a plant used worldwide as folk remedy for the treatment of various ailments, including skin disorders. Its gel is present in cosmetics, medicinal products and food supplements. Psoriasis, an immune-mediated chronic inflammatory disease, involving mainly the skin, affects about the 2-3% of general population. Conventional pharmacological treatments for psoriasis can have limited effectiveness and can cause adverse reactions. For this reason often psoriatic patients look for alternative treatments based on natural products containing Aloe vera. We conducted a systematic review of clinical trials assessing effectiveness and safety of aloe for the treatment of psoriasis. Clinical studies published in English were considered; a total of four clinical trials met inclusion criteria. Studies were also evaluated by using the Jadad scale and Consort Statement in Reporting Clinical trials of Herbal Medicine Intervention. Quality and methodological accuracy of considered studies varied considerably, and some crucial information to reproduce clinical results was missing. We conclude that administration of aloe as cutaneous treatment is generally well tolerated, as no serious side effects were reported. Results on the effectiveness of Aloe vera are contradictory; our analysis reveals the presence of methodological gaps preventing to reach final conclusions.

Keywords: Aloe vera; aloe; cutaneous psoriasis; psoriasis.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Aloe / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Skin / pathology