Aloe Vera Supplement Review

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Aloe Vera
  Evaluated for:
Effectiveness Rating Effectiveness Rating
Genital Herpes (in males)
+2 (Moderate Evidence)
2nd Degree Burns
+2 (Moderate Evidence)
Psoriasis
0 (Effectiveness Unclear)

PRO

  • Aloe vera halved the healing time for genital herpes when used to treat patients’ first episodes. It also seems to prevent recurrent episodes.
  • Aloe vera cream improved the wound healing time of 2nd degree burns further than some conventional prescription therapies.
  • Aloe vera works better than a placebo and as well as steroid cream for the treatment of psoriasis.
  • Topical aloe vera has a long term history of safety. Side effects are uncommon, and mild when they do occur.

CON

  • Future studies are needed to confirm these benefits.
  • The psoriasis studies used a variety of different aloe vera preparations. It is unclear whether this affected the outcome.
  • Aloe vera has not shown any benefit in preventing radiation damage to the skin of patients undergoing radiation therapy for cancer. These aren’t exactly 2nd degree burns, but we still cannot recommend it for this indication.
  • Aloe vera may delay wound healing in injuries that are not burn related. There is no information about its effect on 1st degree burns.
  • Although rare, side effects include stinging at the site of application, local allergic rash, or mild itching.

* *ADVISORY* *
The outer leaf contains some toxic substances, so an aloe vera preparation should contain only the inner gel of the plant.

DOSAGE: Studies used 0.5% aloe vera cream. For genital herpes, apply aloe vera three times a day for up to two weeks. For burns, apply twice daily with dressing changes.

CONCLUSION: We conclude that aloe vera is a safe and effective product for the treatment of both genital herpes and 2nd degree burns. While it shows promise for treating psoriasis, there is not enough evidence for us to recommend its use for this indication. If you use it, remember to include it in your list of medications when you visit your doctor and other health care providers.

REFERENCES
“Aloe Vera.” Natural Standard –The Authority on Integrative Medicine. Natural Standard, 2013.
“Aloe.” Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2013. 8 November 2013.
Paulsen, E. et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of a commercial Aloe vera gel in the treatment of slight to moderate psoriasis vulgaris. JEADV (2005) 19, 326-331
Vogler, B.K., Ernst, E. et al. Aloe vera: a systematic review of its clinical effectiveness. British Journal of General Practice (1999) 823-828
Choonhakarn, C. et al. A prospective, randomized clinical trial comparing topical aloe vera with 0.1% triamcinolone acetonide in mild to moderate plaque psoriasis. JEADV (2010) 24, 168-172
Davis, S. Perez, R. et al. Cosmeceuticals and natural products: would healing. Clinics in Dermatology (2009) 27, 502-506
Khorasani, G. et al. Aloe Versus Silver Sulfadiazine Creams for Second-Degree Burns: A Randomized Controlled Study. Surgery Today (2009) 39:587-591
Rodriguez-Fragoso, L. et al. Risks and benefits of commonly used herbal medicines in Mexico. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology (2008) 227, 125-135


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