Evidence

These uses have been tested in humans or animals.  Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven.  Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Key to grades

A
Strong scientific evidence for this use
B
Good scientific evidence for this use
C
Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D
Fair scientific evidence against this use (it may not work)
F
Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work)

Grading rationale

Evidence gradeCondition to which grade level applies
B

Constipation

Anthraquinone glycosides, a component of aloe, have well established laxative effects. However, case reports have associated hepatitis with aloe taken by mouth. Further research is needed on the efficacy and safety of aloe as a laxative.
B

Genital herpes

Research suggests that aloe may be an effective treatment for genital herpes. Additional research is needed in this area.
B

Psoriasis (skin disease)

Evidence suggests that aloe cream is an effective treatment for psoriasis. Additional research is warranted in this area.
B

Seborrheic dermatitis (seborrhea, dandruff)

Early evidence supports aloe for treating seborrheic dermatitis, flaky skin found at oily areas. Further research is needed before a firm conclusion can be made.
C

Cancer prevention

There is preliminary evidence that aloe consumption may reduce the risk of lung cancer or tumor growth. Further research is needed in this area.
C

Canker sores

Evidence that aloe gel reduces canker sore pain and prolongs ulcer-free intervals is unclear. Further research is needed.
C

Chemotherapy adjuvant

Early evidence suggests that aloe, in addition to chemotherapy, may improve chemotherapy effects on tumor growth and survival. Further evidence is needed in this area.
C

Chemotherapy side effects

There is early evidence that aloe applied to the skin may improve hand-foot syndrome due to chemotherapy. Further high-quality trials are needed in this area.
C

Common cold / upper respiratory tract infection

A combination treatment containing aloe may benefit lung cells. Further research on aloe alone is needed before conclusions may be drawn.
C

Dental conditions

Aloe may benefit inflammation of a bone in the mouth. Further research is needed in this area.
C

Dental plaque

Aloe lacked benefit in reducing plaque and gingivitis. Further research is needed before conclusions can be drawn.
C

Diabetes

The effect of aloe gel taken by mouth on lowering blood sugar is unclear. More studies are needed to explore the efficacy and safety of aloe in diabetics.
C

Dry mouth

Limited research using a combination aloe product has benefitted dry mouth. Further research using aloe alone is needed before firm conclusions may be drawn.
C

Dry skin

Aloe has been traditionally used to accelerate wound healing and as a moisturizer. Early research reports that aloe may reduce skin dryness. Higher-quality studies are needed in this area.
C

Gum disease

A toothpaste containing aloe may benefit gum disease. Further research is needed on this topic.
C

High cholesterol

Aloe has been reported to safely control cholesterol levels in diabetic patients. Further research is needed before firm conclusions may be drawn.
C

Inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis)

Aloe gel may be beneficial in people with ulcerative colitis. Further research is needed to confirm these results.
C

Itching

A cream with aloe has been used to treat skin lesions and has shown some evidence of benefit. Further studies are needed using aloe alone.
C

Lichen planus

Lichen planus causes an itchy rash of small purplish bumps, often on the arms, legs, back, or inside the mouth. Research has found that aloe may benefit lichen planus on the mouth or genitals. Additional research is needed.
C

Mucositis (mouth ulcers)

Cancer treatment is often associated with side effects, such as mouth ulcers. Early evidence suggests that aloe use lacks improvement in mucositis symptoms. Further research is needed on this topic.
C

Scabies (itchy skin condition)

Aloe has been studied for use in scabies treatment, with little evidence of benefit. Additional research is needed before firm conclusions may be drawn.
C

Skin burns

Preliminary evidence suggests that aloe may be effective in promoting healing of skin burns. Further research is needed in this area.
C

Skin damage caused by the sun

A study has evaluated an aloe combination treatment for sun damaged skin, with some evidence of benefit. Further research using aloe alone is needed in this area.
C

Skin inflammation (tungiasis)

A combination aloe product for control of tungiasis showed some evidence of benefit. Further research using aloe alone is needed before firm conclusions can be made.
C

Skin ulcers

A dressing containing aloe and Mimosa tenuiflora had positive results on skin ulcers. Further research using aloe alone is needed before firm conclusions may be drawn.
D

Colorectal cancer

Aloe use may not reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Further studies are needed before firm conclusions can be made.
D

Diaper rash

Early research suggests that aloe cream may not benefit diaper rash. Further research is needed before a firm conclusion may be drawn.
D

Heart disease

The evidence for aloe in treating heart disease is unclear. Further research is needed before firm conclusions may be drawn.
D

HIV infection

Acemannan, a component in aloe gel, has been shown to stimulate the immune system and fight the HIV virus. Early results from human trials are mixed. Further research is needed.
D

Liver disease

Early research suggests that aloe lacks benefit in people with liver disease. Additional research is needed in this area.
D

Pressure ulcers

Wound cleansing using an aloe solution has shown a lack of benefit. Further research is needed on this topic.
D

Radiation dermatitis (skin damage from radiation exposure)

Preliminary research suggests that aloe applied to the skin may lack improvement for pain or skin peeling related to radiotherapy. Additional well-designed studies are needed in this area.
D

Wound healing

Aloe may alter immune function and reduce inflammation. However, evidence is lacking for aloe use in wound healing. Further research is needed in this area.

Uses based on tradition or theory

The below uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Alzheimer's disease, anthelmintic, antibiotic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiseptic, antiviral, arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis), asthma, bacterial skin infections, chronic fatigue syndrome, corneal abrasions/ulcers, frostbite, functional bowel disorders, gastric acid reduction, hair loss, hemorrhoids, human papilloma virus (HPV), immunomodulator, lupus, parasites, Parkinson's disease, peptic ulcer, periodontal surgical rinse, tic douloureux (nerve disorder), urolithiasis (bladder stones), uterine stimulant, vaginal contraceptive, yeast infections of the skin.

This evidence-based monograph was prepared by The Natural Standard Research Collaboration

www.naturalstandard.com