Aloe vera inhibits inflammation and adjuvant-induced arthritis. The authors' laboratory has shown that A. vera improves wound healing, which suggests that it does not act like an adrenal steroid. Diabetic animals were used in this study because of their poor wound healing and anti-inflammatory capabilities. The anti-inflammatory activity of A. vera and gibberellin was measured in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice by measuring the inhibition of polymorphonuclear leukocyte infiltration into a site of gelatin-induced inflammation over a dose range of 2 to 100 mg/kg. Both Aloe and gibberellin similarly inhibited inflammation in a dose-response manner. These data tend to suggest that gibberellin or a gibberellin-like substance is an active anti-inflammatory component in A. vera.
Administration of air under the skin produced a pouch wall that closely resembled a synovium in that the inner lining was made up of macrophages and fibroblasts. Administration of 1% carrageenan directly into the 7-day-old air pouch produced an inflammation characterized by an increased number of mast cells in pouch fluid as well as an increase in wall vascularity. A punch biopsy weight of the pouch wall did not reveal an increase in 1% carrageenan-treated animals. However, a 10% Aloe vera treatment of carrageenan-inflamed synovial pouches reduced the vascularity 50% and the number of mast cells in synovial fluid 48%. The pouch wall punch biopsy weight was increased by A. vera, which was verified by histologic examination of the inner synovial lining. Aloe vera stimulated the synovial-like membrane, as evidenced by an increased number of fibroblasts, suggesting that A. vera stimulated fibroblasts for growth and repair of the synovial model. The synovial air pouch can be used to study simultaneously the acute anti-inflammatory and fibroblast stimulating activities of A. vera.
Aloe vera, as a biological vehicle for hydrocortisone 21-acetate, was tested topically and systemically against acute inflammation. Systemically, the combination of A. vera and hydrocortisone produced a maximum 88.1% inhibition of edema. Polymorphonuclear leukocyte infiltration was reduced 91.1%. The topical inhibition of edema peaked at 97%. The possibility that A. vera has significant potential as a biologically active vehicle for steroids is discussed.