Perennial bush, it grows in any type of soil, but is better adapted to the lighty and sandy ones. Original from Africa, it is harvested in Southern and Eastern Africa. In Portugal, it grows as an ornamental. It belongs to the Asphodeloideae family and the part of the plant used is the concentrated and dry juice from the latex obtained through incisions in the new leaves. The concentrated and dry juice has hydroxyanthracene derivatives, C-glucosides (alloins A and B) and alloinosides A and B, small amounts of allo-emodin and chrysophanol. It also contains chromic derivatives: alloerins A, B and C, isoaloerresin, aloenins A and B (bitter constituents). The concentrated and dry juice at low doses increases secretions and bile production at higher doses causes irritation of the intestinal mucosa causing an increase in mucus secretion and stimulation of peristalsis, while inhibiting the reabsorption of water and electrolytes. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral effects. The concentrated and dry juice of aloe is traditionally used in constipation.
Cunha AP, Silva AP, Roque OR (2012). Plantas e Produtos Vegetais em Fitoterapia, 4ª Edição, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian Serviço de Educação e Bolsas, 102-105.
Cunha AP, Roque OR (2011). Plantas Medicinais da Farmacopeia Portuguesa, 2ª Edição, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian Serviço de Educação e Bolsas, 103-105.
Physicians Desk Reference for Herbal Medicines (2000), 2nd Edition, Thomson Medical Economics, 16-20.