Scientific name: Aloe barbadensis

Common names: Aloe vera

Ayurvedic names: Kumari

Chinese names: Lu hui

Bangladesh names: Ghrita kumari, Kumari

Arabic names:     صبر جزر بربادوس (Sabir jazar barbados)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Fabaceae

Approximate number of species known: 200

Common parts used: Whole herb, sprouts


Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Height: 1 to 2 feet

Actions: Emollient, purgative, vulnerary, tonic, demulcent, vermifuge, antifungal, alterative, emmenagogue

Known Constituents:  Generally >28% hydroanthracene derivates expressed as barbaloin C21H22O9, vitamin A, C, E, K and B vitamins, a variety of minerals and trace minerals

Constituents Explained: Partly soluble in boiling water, soluble in hot ethanol (96%)


Regarded as a nutritious green plant, famed for its high chlorophyll content. 

Prickly, gray-green succulent leaves reach two feet in length and produce spikes of yellow or orange flowers.

The leaves contain two different fluids — the inner portion is filled with a clear gel and the thick aloe skin contains a bitter yellow juice or latex.

Traditional Use:

Aloe extract is used for beauty treatments: lotions, shampoos, creams, suntan lotions.

Gel is used for minor wounds,minor burns, scalds, sunburns, preventing scar, skin irritation and inflammation from stings or bites, treats external hemorrhoids.

Powdered gel extract treats ulcers, diverticulitis and inflammatory bowel disease.

It is also believed to treat fungal diseases, stomach tumors, constipation, colic, skin disorders, amenorrhea, worm infestation, and infections, eye inflammations and syphillis.

Dried latex is used as a laxative. 

Clinical Studies:

Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3-K) amplification and phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) deletion-caused Akt activation contributes to development of prostate cancer. It is reported that Mammalian target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2) plays an important role in PC3 androgen refractory prostate cell proliferation and anchorage-independent growth. 

Aloe-emodin, a natural compound found in aloe barbados, inhibited both proliferation and anchorage-independent growth of PC3 cells. Protein content analysis suggested that activation of the downstream substrates of mTORC2, Akt and PKCα, were inhibited by aloe-emodin treatment. 

Pull-down assay and in vitro kinase assay results indicated that aloe-emodin could bind with mTORC2 in cells and inhibit its kinase activity. Collectively, the data suggest that mTORC2 plays an important role in prostate cancer development and aloe-emodin suppresses prostate cancer progression by targeting mTORC2.

Aloe emodin (AE), a natural anthraquinone, is reported to have antiproliferative activity in various cancer cell lines. A study was conducted which analyzed the molecular mechanisms involved in the growth-inhibitory activity of this hydroxyanthraquinone in colon cancer cell.

In the observation, AE inhibited cell proliferation by arresting the cell cycle at the G2/M phase and inhibiting cyclin B1. AE appreciably induced cell death specifically through the induction of apoptosis and by activating caspases 9/6. 

Apoptotic execution was found to be solely dependent on caspase-6 rather than caspase-3 or caspase-7. This is the first study indicating that the AE induces apoptosis specifically through the activation of caspase-6.


Liu K, Park C, Li S, Lee KW, Liu H, He L, Soung NK, Ahn JS, Bode AM, Dong Z, Kim BY, Dong Z. “Aloe-Emodin Supresses Prostate Cancer By Targeting The mTOR Complex 2.” 2012 April.

Suboj P, Babykutty S, Srinivas P, Gopala S. “Aloe Emodin Induces G2/M Cycle Arrest And Apoptosis Via Activation Of Caspace-6 in Human Colon Cancer.” 2012