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Aloe in Re-establishing Physiological Equilibrium as Ani-inflammatory and Immunomodulator

Dr. Indu Vaid

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Many such patients with diarrhoea and extreme despair have been treated with this wondrous remedy with profound results.

Guiding Symptoms
  • Insecurity of rectum
  • Complaints aggravated by heat and relieved by cold applications
  • Itching and burning of anus
  • Morning diarrhoea-Patient has to hurry to the closet immediately after eating or drinking and early in the morning on waking
  • Haemorrhoids-Bleeding, blue like a bunch of grapes
  • Production of mucus in jelly like lumps
  • Fullness in the region of liver, abdomen, intestines and rectum
  • Adopted to weary people, dissatisfied and angry about themselves
Physiologically Active Compounds
The physiologically active compounds of aloe, responsible for the laxative activity are hydroxyanthracene derivatives, which are mainly found as glycosides. The presence of chromosome derivatives is also of interest.

Standards
The European Pharmacopoeia prescribes a minimum content of hydroxyanthracene derivatives, expressed as anhydrous barbaloin of 18% in Cape aloe and 28% in Curacao aloe. The European Pharmacopoeia also describes a standardised aloe dry extract (Aloes extractum siccum normatum), obtained from Cape aloe, in which a content of between 19.0 and 21% of hydroxyanthracene derivatives, expressed as anhydrous barbaloin, is specified. It is included in Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of India and standards for raw material as well as mother tincture have been prescribed.

Pharmacology
Internally: As a purgative aloes owes its property to the presence of glycosides or the anthraquine derivatives which are slowly hydrolysed in the intestine by the bile which irritate the colon and stimulate peristalsis. Its action takes 10 to 12 hours to purge. Large doses do not necessarily act earlier, but operate more violently and are accompanied by pains, griping, tenesmus and even bleeding from the rectum. In moderate doses the stools are soft, dark-coloured and formed and in large doses they are liquid. It increases the vascularity of the rectum, therefore the constant use of aloe may cause haemorrhoids. Aloin causes less griping.

Aloin injected into animals stimulates uterine muscle, and its administration by the mouth is followed by increased contraction. Moreover, by stimulating the pelvic contraction it causes congestion of the uterus. It is therefore and emmenagogue and may act as an abortifacient when given to pregnant women include form.

It is excreted in large quantities with the milk and suckling babies are purged when it is given to their mothers. Aloes is also eliminated to a slight extent with the urine.

Modern Pharmacological Investigations of Interest

Anti-inflammatory activity:
The anti-inflammatory activity has been the subject of many experimental investigations in an attempt to find the responsible principles and their mechanism of action.

Treatment of arthritis with aloe has been reported by some authors who found its action on arthritis and carrageenan induced oedema in rats.

The anti-inflammatory activity of aloe vera has been measured in ear swelling and in rat hind-paw oedema induced by a broad spectrum of irritants (kaolin, carrageenan, albumin, dextran, gelatin and mustard). Aloe vera was active in all models of inflammation, especially against gelatin-induced and kaolin-induced oedema. In contrast, it had minimal activity when tested against dextran-induced oedema. Although the oral activity of aloe, when tested against croton oil in a topical model of inflammation, was demonstrated to be dependent on the presence of anthraquinones.

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