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Aloe vera (L.) Burm. f. (Family Liliaceae) is an evergreen perennial succulent plant widely used from antiquity. Aloe vera contains various carbohydrate polymers, notably glucomannans, along with a range of other organic and inorganic components. Phenolic compounds have been identified so far as chromone, anthraquinone or anthrone derivatives. Three distinct preparations of aloe plants are mostly used in medicinal practices that are quite different in their chemical composition and their therapeutic properties, aloe latex (aloe); aloe gel (Aloe vera); and, aloe whole leaf (aloe extract). Aloe latex is used for its laxative effect; aloe gel is used topically for skin ailments, such as wound healing, psoriasis, genital herpes and internally by oral administration in diabetic and hyperlipidaemic patients and to heal gastric ulcers; and, aloe extract is potentially useful for cancer and AIDS. Aloe vera possesses several pharmacological properties such as promoting and healing wound and burn, frost-bite healing, with addition to having antiinflammatory, antifungal, hypoglycemic and gastroprotective properties. This review explored the phytochemical and pharmacological knowledge as well as several promising aspects for research on aloe.

Keywords

Aloe vera, Aloe, Indian Aloe, Kumari, Ghritakumari, Aloin.
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