Aloe vera ( lú huì) is well known for its considerable medicinal properties. This plant is one of the richest natural sources of health for human beings coming. The chemistry of the plant has revealed the presence of more than 200 different biologically active substances. Many biological properties associated with Aloe species are contributed by inner gel of the leaves. Most research has been centralized on the biological activities of the various species of Aloe, which include antibacterial and antimicrobial activities of the nonvolatile constituents of the leaf gel. Aloe species are widely distributed in the African and the eastern European continents, and are spread almost throughout the world. The genus Aloe has more than 400 species but few, such as A. vera, Aloe ferox, and Aloe arborescens, are globally used for trade. A. vera has various medicinal properties such as antitumor, antiarthritic, antirheumatoid, anticancer, and antidiabetic properties. In addition, A. vera has also been promoted for constipation, gastrointestinal disorders, and for immune system deficiencies. However, not much convincing information is available on properties of the gel. The present review focuses on the detailed composition of Aloe gel, its various phytocomponents having various biological properties that help to improve health and prevent disease conditions.
Keywords: Aloe vera; biological properties; clinical effectiveness; phytocomponents; review.