By Robert E. Willner, M.D., Ph.D.
The Aloe plant has become the basic ingredient of a large number of commercial preparations in the form of creams, lotions, gels and shampoos. The juice of the Aloe is being used for cleansing of the colon and intestinal problems. Toxicity and side effects are relatively rare and not usually severe. Almost every conceivable benefit has been claimed for Aloe over the centuries – most of them justified.
Because it is a plant, chemical analysis has revealed a host of substances, one of which has been shown in mice to have anti-leukemic activity. (S.N. Kupchan, 1976)
The anti-cancer activity of Aloe indicate that its action is through stimulation of the scavenging white blood cells of the immune system. (L. Ralamboranto, Archives of the Pasteur Institute, 1982)
The many studies carried out by Russian scientists have done more to establish a respectable place in modern medicine for Aloe than any other group of investigators. N.V. Gribel and V.G. Pashinskii, in Vopr Onkol., 1986, showed that Aloe juice reduced tumor mass and the frequency of metastases in rats.
R. Berkow in the Merck Manual, wrote of Aloe’s ability to protect individuals with weakened immune systems against infection.
S. Solar, publishing in the Archives of the Pasteur Institute in 1980, showed that Aloe could prevent infection in mice if used several days before exposure.
J.Y. Brossat and his group, in the same journal the following year, demonstrated that Aloe was effective in preventing serious infections from bacteria, parasites and even fungus. These studies give great credence to those individuals who drink Aloe on a daily basis as a protective against disease.
Y. Sato wrote of Aloe’s protective effect on the skin against X-rays and K. Saki demonstrated its protection of the liver, particularly against alcohol. All of this evidence makes Aloe a logical choice in health maintenance and, in particular, as a cancer preventative because of its obvious protection and benefits to the immune system.