Background: Aloe vera is commonly used in the primary health care of human beings since time immemorial. It is an herb widely used in various traditional systems of medicine worldwide. Systematic and scientific investigation on A. vera as a medicinal plant has drawn considerable attention, and many laboratories are involved in isolation, characterization and evaluation of phytoconstituents for their nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications.
Purpose: The aim of this study was to provide an overview of the phytochemical, biological and medicinal attributes of A. vera against various diseases with special emphasis on underlying mechanisms of action.
Methods: PubMed, EBOSCO host, Science Direct, Scopus, and Cochrane library databases were utilized to search literature published between1977 and 2019 (till March). Major keywords used in various combinations included: Aloe vera, phytochemistry, metabolism, pharmacological activity, prevention, treatment, health, disease, in vivo, in vitro, and clinical studies.
Results: Various biological and pharmacological activities of A. vera, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immuno-modulatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, anticancer, and skin-protective and wound-healing responses, have been attributed to the presence of many active compounds, including anthraquinones, anthrones, chromones, flavonoids, amino acids, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
Conclusion: Based on various preclinical studies, A. vera constituents have enormous potential to prevent and treat various diseases. Randomized clinical trials are needed to understand the full therapeutic potential of this unique medicinal plant.
Keywords: Aloe vera; Anti-inflammatory; Anticancer; Antioxidant; Health benefits; Phytochemicals.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.