Aloe barbadensis Mill

Synonym ► A. vera Tourn. ex Linn. A. indica Royle A. littoralis Koening

Family ► Liliaceae; Agavaceae.

Habitat ► Cultivated throughout India, wild on coasts of Maharashtra, Gujarat and South India.

English ► Curacao Aloe, Barbados Aloe, Indian Aloe, Jaffarabad Aloe.

Ayurvedic ► Kanyaasaara, Eleyaka (dried juice of the leaves). Kumaari, Kumaarikaa, Kanyaa, Grihkanyaa, Ghritkumaarika (plant).

Siddha/Tamil ► Sotru Kattraazhai, Kumaari. Moosaambaram (dried juice).

Folk ► Elwaa, Musabbar (dried juice of leaves).

Action ► Purgative (causes griping), emmenagogue. Gel—topically emollient, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial (used for wound healing, sunburn).

Key application ► In occasional constipation; contraindicated in intestinal obstruction and acutely inflamed intestinal diseases, ulcerative colitis, appendicitis. (German Commission E, ESCOP, WHO.)

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India recommends the use of dried juice of leaves in dysmenorrhoea and diseases of the liver.

Aloe vera improved the hypoglycemic effect of glyburide (gliben-clamide) when one tablespoonful aloe juice was given orally in the morning and at bedtime to 36 diabetic patients for 42 days. The juice (same dose) showed antihyperglycaemic activity (independently). (Francis Brinker.)

Anthraquinone glycosides, known as aloin, in small doses act as a tonic to the digestive system, and at higher doses become a strong purgative, as well as increase colonic secretions and peristaltic contractions. Resin fraction is also as important as aloin in cathartic action. In A. barbadensis the highest percentage of aloin is 21.8%.

Aloe produces pelvic congestion and is used for uterine disorders, generally with Fe and carminatives. The pulp is used in menstrual suppressions.

A molecule in the Aloe vera gel, ace-mannan, stimulates macrophages and releases immune system potentiators; enhances function of T cells and interferon production. Animal studies have shown promising results in sarcoma.

The carboxypeptidase and salicylate components of Aloe gel can inhibit bradykinin, a pain-producing agent; C-glycosyl chromone appears to reduce topical inflammation. Aloe gel also slows or inhibits the synthesis of thromboxane, which may accelerate the healing of burns. (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.)

Alpinia officinarum Hance 37

Dosage ► Leaf pulp juice—10-20 ml. (CCRAS.) Dried leaf pulp juice— 125-500 mg powder. (API Vol. I.)

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