Specification & Spread
Fresh aborescent aloe leaves and shoots — folia aloës arborescentis recentia
Fresh aborescent side aloe shoots — cormi lateralis aloës arborescentis recentes
Dry arborescent aloe leaves — folia aloës arborescentis sicca
Arborescent aloe — Aloë arborescens Mill.
Asphodelaceae family — Asphodelaceae
Other names: agave.
It is an evergreen succulent tree plant, widely cultivated in room and greenhouse culture. The leaves are alternate, fleshy, juicy, stem-wide, xiphoid, from 20 to 65 cm long. On the upper side the leaves are concave, on the bottom is convex, on the edge is prickly-toothed. The flowers are red and purple in racemes.
Naturally it grows in South Africa. It is cultivated in specialized farms of Transcaucasia, in conditions of semi-humid subtropics of Georgia.
In winter, aloe is stored in greenhouses, and planted in the spring in the ground. Of the many species of aloe, only the aloe tree is the most frost resistant.
The aloe leaves contain:
- the amount of anthracene derivatives - aloemodin (about 2%), C-glycosides - barbaloin, isobarbaloin, homonataloine, aloinozidy A and B;
- up to 20% of resinous substances;
- succinic acid;
- traces of essential oil.
Harvesting and storage of raw materials
Harvesting. During the summer, the most developed lower and middle leaves are periodically cut. It is separated from the stem along with dry axils covering the stem. It is forbidden to break off and cut leaves in order to avoid loss of juice. The aloe shoots with a stem thickness up to 12 mm are also subject to harvesting. It is cut to a length of 3-15 cm. The raw materials after harvesting should not be stored for more than 3-4 hours.
To obtain the raw materials «Dry leaves of aloe tree», the harvested leaves are preserved according to the method of V.P. Filatov, keeping them in the dark at a temperature of 4-8 ºС for 12 days, and then dried in vacuum-drying cabinets at a temperature of 75-80 ºС to a residual moisture content of not more than 10%. Currently, it is proposed to dry the raw materials without the use of vacuum drying cabinets.
Security measures. It is not allowed to cut poorly developed leaves with a small mass.
Storage. The fresh leaves and side shoots are packed in boxes with holes in the side walls and covers. The fresh juice is stored in dark glass flasks. The freshly harvested raw materials are sent to the plants no later than 24 hours after harvesting, where it is immediately processed.
The dry leaves are stored in a dry and dark place.
External signs of raw materials
The fresh and succulent leaves of the xiphoid shape are 15–45 cm long, 2–5.5 cm wide at the base and 0.7–1.5 cm thick. It is concave on the upper side. It is convex, bare, thick, fleshy, covered with a waxy coating, with a prickly-toothed edge on the lower side. The leaves have a faint odor and a very bitter taste.
The dry leaves are entire or broken pieces of dried leaves are up to 45 cm long, up to 5.5 cm wide at the base, up to 2.5 cm thick, brittle, wrinkled, xiphoid with stalky membranous axils. Along the edge it is prickly-toothed. Cellular fracture. The colour is from greenish-brown to brownish-brown. The smell is weak and peculiar. The taste is bitter.
The side shoots are from 3 to 15 cm long with 3-12 leaves.
The leaves are succulent, with amphibious membranous axils, concave at the top and convex at the bottom. The edge is prickle. The leaf length is from 5 to 25 cm, the width is from 1 to 2.5 cm. The stem thickness is from 6 to 12 mm.
Properties and application
The aloe preparations have:
- total bio-stimulating and
- stimulating immunity action, which is explained by the presence of biogenic stimulants formed in aloe tissues under adverse conditions (low temperature, lack of light); biostimulants have the ability to increase the protective functions of the body and enhance reparative processes in tissues.
When it is applied topically, aloe preparations have:
- wound healing
- anti-inflammatory and
- radioprotective action.
Aloe syrup with iron stimulates blood formation.
The aloe leaf juice has:
- bacteriostatic and
- bactericidal action against various groups of microbes (staphylococcus, streptococcus, typhoid bacillus, diphtheria corynebacterium, shigella).
The sabur (dried aloe juice) has:
- laxative property
- stimulates digestion due to the presence of antraglycosides, aloemodin in the alkaline medium of the intestine.
Aloe is an old remedy. It was used for the treatment of purulent wounds, ulcers in ancient Egypt and Greece more than 3000 years ago. In the past century, aloe was used only as a laxative agent. Interest in aloe increased in the 30s of XX century.
The concept of the biostimulating properties of plant and animal tissues was first substantiated by V.P. Filatov. According to the teachings of V.P. Filatov in isolated tissues or organs that are in dying conditions, are formed and accumulate substances that resist dying and mobilize all life processes in tissues and cells, aimed at preserving life.
He found that if isolated plant tissue (leaves of aloe) were placed in adverse conditions (kept in the dark at low positive temperatures), biochemical changes would occur in the cells of the tissue, resulting in the production of specific biologically active substances.
These substances were called biogenic stimulants that can activate the vital functions of the body.
The preparations based on biogenic aloe stimulants are used:
- in ophthalmology for various diseases of the eye,
- as well as with gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer
- as a means of nonspecific stimulation in the form of subcutaneous injections and ingestion.
Aloe liniment is applied:
- for the prevention and treatment of skin lesions in patients undergoing radiation therapy for malignant tumors.
- In addition, aloe liniment is used for:
- eczema and
When it is applied topically, aloe juice is effective in:
- trophic ulcers,
- infected wounds,
- osteomyelitis with open suppurative focus,
- phlegmon etc.
During pregnancy, in the case of active internal bleeding (uterine, gastrointestinal, hemorrhoidal).
Aloe preparations are contraindicated in case of exacerbation of diseases of any category, but especially if organic lesions of the liver or kidneys are observed.