Real aloe

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Real aloe
Aloe vera A.jpg

Real aloe ( aloe vera )

Order : Asparagales (Asparagales)
Family : Grass trees (Xanthorrhoeaceae)
Subfamily : Affodilla family (Asphodeloideae)
Genre : Aloes ( aloe )
Type : Real aloe
Scientific name
Aloe vera
( L. ) Burm.f.
Real aloe ( Aloe vera ), habit
Inflorescence of Aloe vera in bloom
Aloe vera fruits and seeds

The real aloe ( Aloe vera ) is a type of plant from the genus of the aloes ( Aloe ) in the subfamily of the Affodil family (Asphodeloideae). The specific epithet vera comes from Latin and means 'true'.


Vegetative characteristics

Aloe vera grows without or with short stems, sprouts and forms dense groups. The trunk reaches a circumference of up to 30 centimeters. The approximately 16 lanceolate, tapered leaves are arranged in a tight rosette on the trunk. Their 40 to 50 centimeters long and 6 to 7 centimeters wide leaf blades are gray-green and sometimes tinged with reddish. The leaf surface is smooth. On the slightly pink edges are about 2 millimeters long, solid pale teeth at a distance of 10 to 20 millimeters. The dried leaf juice is yellow.

Inflorescences and flowers

The single or once or twice branched inflorescence is 60 to 90 centimeters long and bears cylindrically tapering grapes 30 to 40 centimeters long and 5 to 6 centimeters wide. The ovate-pointed, folded back bracts are 10 millimeters long and 3 to 5 millimeters wide. The yellow flowers sit on about 5 millimeter long Pedicellussen (flower stalks). The approximately 28 to 30 millimeters long flowers are slightly bulbous and rounded at their base. At the level of the ovary , they have a diameter of 7 millimeters. Above that they are expanded and finally narrowed at the mouth. Your outer tepals are not fused together over a length of 18 millimeters. The stamens and the pen stand out 3 to 5 millimeters from the flower.


The number of chromosomes is 2n = 14.

Systematics and distribution

Aloe vera's original homeland may be on the Arabian Peninsula . It is cultivated in all subtropical and tropical regions of the world. The species is now considered naturalized in numerous regions, including the Mediterranean region, India , the West Indian Islands , the Canary Islands and Mexico .

The first scientific description as Aloe perfoliata var. Vera was made in 1753 by Carl von Linné . Nicolaas Laurens Burman raised the variety to the rank of a species in 1768. In the same year Philip Miller suggested the name Aloe barbadensis , referring to the name Aloe vulgaris, which was used by Caspar Bauhin as early as 1620 . Due to Miller's later publication, the species name Aloe vera has priority over the name Aloe barbadensis .

Further synonyms are Aloe perfoliata var. Barbadensis (Mill.) Aiton (1789), Aloe vulgaris Lam. (1783), Aloe elongata Murray (1789), Aloe flava Pers. (1805), Aloe barbadensis var. Chinensis Haw. (1819), Aloe chinensis (Haw.) Baker (1877), Aloe vera var. Chinensis (Haw.) A.Berger (1908) Aloe indica Royle (1839), Aloe vera var. Littoralis J. King ex Baker (1880) , Aloe lanzae death. (1891), Aloe vera var. Lanzae (death.) Baker (1908) and Aloe vera var. Wratislaviensis Kostecka-Madalska (1953).


"Curacao Aloe"

The real aloe is the official parent plant of aloe , a pharmaceutical drug obtained from the leaf sap by evaporation until it is dry . The sap flows out spontaneously after the leaves are knocked off at the base of the plant. Slow, gentle evaporation in the sun or in a vacuum creates the dull brown aloe hepatica type (“liver aloe”), and rapid, hard-wearing evaporation creates the deep brown, glassy aloe lucida type with shiny fracture surfaces. The "Curaçao-Aloe" obtained from real aloe contains the 1,8-dihydroxy anthracene derivative aloin (25 to 40%, or 35 to 38%), which is a diastereomeric mixture of aloin A and aloin B, as an essential ingredient . It also contains the anthranoids aloe-emodin and chrysophanol as well as the bitter-tasting polyketide aloeresin (mainly aloeresin B). Characteristic is the occurrence of 7-hydroxyaloin A and B, which serves to differentiate it from Cape aloe . Aloinosides are largely absent.

The aloin contained in aloe has a strong laxative effect, which is why standardized aloe or its preparations can be used for the short-term treatment of occasional constipation (constipation). Long-term intake of aloe can lead to disturbances in the water and electrolyte balance, in particular to potassium losses. Protein and blood can appear in the urine ( proteinuria , hematuria ). Overdosing leads to symptoms of intoxication, which manifest themselves in cramp-like pain and severe diarrhea, which can lead to life-threatening electrolyte and water losses. Also nephritis (kidney inflammation) is described. The therapeutic importance of "aloe" has declined against the background that there are better tolerated substances.

The plant is said to increase the outflow of menstruation in low doses and the fresh juice can be used externally for minor burns , sunburn and insect bites . By stimulating uterine reactions and excreting in breast milk , the plant is said to be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding .

Aloe vera gel

Another product derived from real aloe is “aloe vera gel”, which is obtained from the water storage tissue of the leaves. Due to the content of polysaccharides , mainly composed of D-glucose and D-mannose , it has a slimy consistency. The gel can also contain simple sugars such as glucose , mannose , galactose and xylose as well as water-soluble vitamins, amino acids , amylase , alkaline phosphatase , lipase and salicylic acid , as well as glycoproteins and aloenins. If carefully extracted, aloe vera gel is free of the laxative aloin that occurs outside of the water storage tissue in the yellow juice under the leaf bark.

Aloe vera gel is used cosmetically and in folk medicine in a number of applications. The gel is said to have anti-inflammatory, wound-healing and immune-stimulating properties.



Individual evidence

  1. Urs Eggli, Leonard E. Newton: Etymological Dictionary of Succulent Plant Names . Springer, Berlin / Heidelberg 2010, ISBN 978-3-642-05597-3 , p. 251.
  2. Urs Eggli (Ed.): Succulents Lexicon. Monocotyledons . Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-8001-3662-7 , pp. 189 .
  3. Species Plantarum . Volume 1, 1753, pp. 320-321 (on- line ).
  4. Flora Indica . 1768, p. 83 ( online ).
  5. ^ The Gardeners Dictionary . 8th edition, 1768 (without page numbers) ( online ).
  6. a b K. Hardtke et al. (Ed.): Commentary on the European Pharmacopoeia Ph. Eur. 4.00, Curaçao-Aloe. Loose-leaf collection, 17th delivery 2004, Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft Stuttgart
  7. a b c E. Teuscher: Biogenic drugs. 5th edition, Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft, 1997, ISBN 3-8047-1482-X , p. 218 f.
  8. T. Dingermann, K. Hiller, G. Schneider, I. Zündorf: Schneider drug drugs. 5th edition, Elsevier 2004, ISBN 3-8274-1481-4 , p. 158 ff.
  9. a b David Hoffmann : Naturally healthy - herbal medicine . Over 200 herbs and medicinal plants and their effects on health. Ed .: Element Books . 1st edition. Element Books, Shaftesbury , England , UK 1996, Part Three: The Plant Directory, pp.  58 (256 pp., English: The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal . Shaftesbury, England 1996. Translated by Mosaik Verlag).
  10. Final community herbal monograph on Aloe barbadensis Miller and on Aloe (various species, mainly Aloe ferox Miller and its hybrids) (PDF; 109 kB) Committee on Herbal Medicines of the European Medicines Agency, October 26, 2006
  11. a b Aloe , Cooperation Phytopharmaka GbR, accessed June 7, 2012
  12. a b W. Brodschelm: Aloe vera on the test stand , Pharmazeutische Zeitung, 4th edition 2004

Web links

Commons : Aloe vera  - Collection of images, videos and audio files