Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera (Lu Hui)Aloe Vera (Lu Hui)

Botanical Name: Aloe vera, A. barbadensis, A. chinensis

Aloe is a genus containing over 500 species of flowering succulent plants. The most commonly known is Aloe vera. It is a cactus-like plant with a long history of being used internally and externally as a medicine to treat wounds and upset stomachs. Studies confirm the plants ability to effectively treat genital herpes, psoriasis, burns, and reduce the incidence of tumors in the liver, bone and spleen by 90%.

Below is an overview of Aloe Vera (Lu Hui), combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of Aloe Vera (Lu Hui).

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Western Name: Aloe Vera

Also Known As: Aloe, True Aloe

Organs/Systems: Digestion, Skin

Key Actions: Laxative, Analgesic, Antibacterial, Antiviral, Anti-inflammatory, Digestive, Immune Enhancing, Antioxidant, Emollient, Purgative, Vulnerary, Demulcent, Vermifuge, Emmenagogue.

Key Medicinal Uses: Acne, burns, wounds, upset stomach, laxative, psoriasis, dermatitis, diabetes, constipation, stomach ulcers, protects against liver, bone and spleen tumors, herpes, supports immunity, acne, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), stuck mensis.


Pin Yin: Lu Hui (Translates as “Aloe Vera Gel.”)

Also Known As: N/A

Meridians: Liver, Large Intestine, Stomach

Key Actions: Clears Heat and Cools the Liver. Purgative/Drains Fire/Guides out Accumulations. Kills Parasites/Strengthens the Stomach.

Key Medicinal Uses: Dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, irritability, constipation and fever due to heat in the Liver, convulsions, hemorrhoids, scabies, constipation, abdominal pain, painful swollen arthritic joints, childhood nutritional impairment (especially due to roundworm). Also used externally for ringworm.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

Aloe is a genus containing over 500 species of flowering succulent plants. Aloe leaves form a large, thick fleshy rosette of leaves. The flowers are tubular and most often yellow, orange, pink or red. The leaves vary in color from grey to bright-green.

Aloe vera is native to tropical and southern Africa, Madagascar, Jordan, the Arabian peninsula and various islands in the Indian Ocean. A few species have naturalized and are found in India, Australia and North and South America.

Aloe Vera (Lu Hui)Parts Most Frequently Used: Translucent Inner Pulp of the Leaves, Yellow Resin from Leaf Wounds, Juice

Flavors/Temps: Bitter, Cold

Caution: Considered safe. Not recommended for long term use due to its laxative capacities.

History/Folklore: Of the over 240 species of aloe, only four are recognized as having nutritional value. Aloe vera is recognized as the most medicinal and nutritional.

Aloe produces two substances, gel and latex, that are both used medicinally. The gel is a clear, jelly-like substance found in the inner part of the leaves and the latex comes from just under the plant’s skin and is yellow. Some aloe products are made from the whole crushed leaf and will therefore contain both the gel and the latex.

The gel is used for weight loss, diabetes, hepatitis, stomach ulcers, asthma, inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS) and radiation-related skin sores. The latex is mainly used as a laxative, but has been used to treat colds, bleeding, colitis, depression, glaucoma and hemorrhoids. Fresh aloe leaves are taken orally to help cancer.

Applied to the skin aloe gel is used to treat acne, sunburns, burns, burning mouth, radiation skin damage, diaper rash, frostbite, bedsores, scabies, wounds, and genital herpes.

Studies are indicating that aloe helps heal wounds by improving the circulation of blood flow and preventing cell death around the wound. The gel also appears to be harmful to certain types of bacteria and fungi improving its wound healing abilities.

A study completed in 1996 in Sweden focusing on using aloe vera to treat chronic psoriasis indicated a cure rate of 85% with no relapses reported within the next 12-month follow-up.

The constituent, acemannan, found in aloe helps treat canker sores and dry sockets in the mouth. The hormones, auxins and gibberellins, found in the plant help heal wounds and have anti-inflammatory properties. And the anthraquinones, are known as laxatives, analgesics, antibacterials and antivirals.

The Ancient Greeks and Romans are documented to have used aloe vera to treat wounds and ulcerated male genitals. The Ancient Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra, regarded aloe gel as a foundation of youth and used it to preserve her skin. The Egyptians also used aloe in their embalming processes.

The Chinese have long used aloe gel as a purgative and in India, the gel is regarded as an effective cooling tonic. The Chinese will also use aloe in pill or powdered form, but not in decoctions. Good quality gel is very dark green and lustrous with a strong taste.

The aloe that is referenced in the Bible is an unrelated fragrant wood used as incense.

One aloe leaf can be used for weeks. The severed end of the blade is self-healing and the thin film that develops can be easily broken with each use.

The unprocessed aloe contains aloin, a laxative, the processed juice does not contain significant levels of aloin and is used to soothe and aid digestion.

Some constituents in aloe may possibly be good for inhibiting the growth of tumors. As yet, studies have not confirmed these claims for human usage.

Aloe plants are popular as garden ornamentals.

Key Constituents:

Anthraquinones (including: Aloin (both Nataloins and Barbaloins) and Emodin), Volatile oil, Acemannan, Hormones (Auxins and Gibberellins), Vitamin A, C, B12 and E, Enzymes (including: Alkaline phosphatase, Amylase, Cellulase, LIpase), Polysaccharides, Calcium, Selenium, Chromium, Manganese, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium and Zinc.

Did you know?

“American Aloe”

American aloe (Agave americana) is not an aloe plant. It is a different plant, belonging to a different family of plants.



In the Middle Ages, the liquid in the leaves was used as a purgative.

Fun fact!

Build Immunity

Aloe vera is being recommended as a natural method for building immunity without causing allergic reactions or unwanted side effects.

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