Nature: bitter, cold
Enters: Liver, Large Intestine, Stomach
Actions: Clears liver heat; kills parasites (especially roundworms) and strengthens the stomach; purges accumulation and stagnation; drains fire.
• Heat accumulation (liver and/or large intestine): constipation, dizziness, headache, tinnitus, irritability, fever. Also used for chronic constipation.
• Roundworms. Also for ringworm.
• Childhood nutritional impairment, especially when due to roundworms: abdominal pain, sallow face, thin muscles.
• Stronger than Da huang, but can be mild when dosed appropriately.
• Very bitter. Often encapsulated.
• As effective in enema form as when taken orally.
Liu: Less likely to cause griping than Da huang.
Hsu: Low doses are a cholagogue, stimulate intestinal peristalsis.
• High doses induce abdominal pain and congestion of the pelvic cavity.
• Anti-carcinogenic effect.
• Aloe ulcin inhibits histamine synthesis.
IBIS: Note: The leaf gel, commonly consumed as a cleansing juice preparation, is a different product. (McGuffin, p.7).
• Affinities: intestines, skin.
• Actions: laxative on lower gastrointestinal (slow acting 10-15 hours), can also be a purgative; cathartic; bitter tonic, stomachic, hepatic; vermifuge/ anthelmintic; emmenagogue; vulnerary, demulcent, and emollient.
• Dosage: tincture: 1 – 4 mL. resin [Lu hui]: 100 – 300 mg.
• Therapy: atonic constipation; burns; to increase menstrual flow; insect bites; asthma.
• Toxicity varies between different species and varieties of Aloe; barbaloin can be very griping (especially in dried form) and cause severe intestinal irritation; Aloe vera [Lu hui], which has very little, if any, barbaloin, is usually considered non-toxic.
• Contraindicated in pregnancy and cases of menorrhagia or metrorrhagia; also in patients with gastrointestinal inflammation, irritable plethoric conditions and hemorrhoids; not to be used by patients with chronic constipation (Felter and Lloyd, pp. 151-152; Morton, pp. 47-50; U.S. Dispensatory, pp. 46-50).
• Produces catharsis in nursing child (Morton, pp. 47-50).
• May cause or potentiate kidney irritation (Brooks).
• Contraindicated in children younger than 12 due to depletion of electrolytes and water (De Smet).
• Extended use of more than 8-10 days may cause loss of peristalsis from intestinal smooth muscle and mesenteric plexi damage (De Smet).
• Drug interactions: Aloe can cause potassium loss which may lead to increased toxicity of cardiac glycosides such as those in Adonis, Convallaria, Urginea, Helleborus, Strophanthus, and Digitalis (De Smet; Wichtl). Aloe can reduce the absorption of oral drugs and increases potassium loss caused by diuretics (De Smet).
Dose: 0.3-3g (usually taken directly as powder or in capsules)
Aloe in various forms (fresh gel, extract, powder):
BII: Cancer: contains a potent immunostimulant polysaccharide – acemannan – especially effective for leukemia, but also should be considered for: HIV, bronchial asthma, diabetes mellitus, immunodepression.
• May have an anti-ulcerative effect on the GI tract.
Yoga: Kumari: A young girl/virgin, called so because it imparts the energy of youth and brings about the renewal of the female nature.
• Bitter, astringent, pungent, sweet/cooling/sweet.
• VPK= (gel). The powder, except in very low doses, will aggravate Vata.
• Alterative, bitter tonic, rejuvenative, emmenagogue, purgative, vulnerary.
• Regulates sugar and fat metabolism.
• Tonifies all Agnis. Reduces Pitta.
• Fever, constipation, obesity, inflammatory skin diseases, swollen glands, conjunctivitis, bursitis, jaundice, hepatitis, enlarged liver or spleen, herpes, venereal disease, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menopause, vaginitis, tumors, intestinal worms.
• The powder is a strong purgative. Caution: take with a carminative (turmeric, rose, etc.).
DH: For a dry person/constitution. Doctrine of signatures: Aloe retains moisture, even in extremely dry environments.