Aloe Vera

The aloe “cactus,” actually a desert succulent, has been touted as a “miracle plant,” and its antibiotic activity is definitely a part of its reputation.  The gel in the leaves of the aloe plant contains a fairly long list of unique substances that account for many of its healing properties.



Fighting viruses is not aloe’s only antibiotic activity, however.  It is also an antibacterial and antifungal.  Aloe is a known bactericide against a dozen or so different kinds of bacteria, including the pneumonia-causing bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae.  It has also been shown to inhibit the fungus Candida albicans, responsible for most yeast infections.


The common oral preparation of the aloe plant currently available is aloe vera juice, a partially refined and diluted extract of the active gel.  It is important to select a high-quality product that is as much like the inner gel of the plant as possible and that has not been subjected to high heat or unnecessary filtering during its manufacture.  Aloe also has a low risk of toxicity, enabling it to be consumed as a drink on a regular basis.


Many people start out with 1 ounce twice daily and increase to about 6 ounces per day.  Many users describe positive health effects from drinking aloe vera juice on this kind of routine basis.

Source: Haas, E. (2006) Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet &      Nutritional Medicine. New York, Ten Speed.