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J Altern Complement Med. 2013 May;19(5):425-8. doi: 10.1089/acm.2012.0087. Epub 2012 Dec 5.

A comparative study of three Aloe species used to treat skin diseases in South African rural communities.

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Department of Nature Conservation, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.



Aloe species have been noted to be a miracle cure used by indigenous people of southern Africa. Geographically, each of the three Aloe species-Aloe arborescens, Aloe excelsa, and Aloe ferox-has a specific habitat. Although some species overlap in geographical regions, the species most abundant in a region is most often utilized by indigenous people. All three species display similar curative properties, aiding in wound healing, cures against other skin ailments, and some systemic conditions.


All three Aloe species indicated high inhibitory activity against all gram-positive bacteria under investigation. The ethanol extract was most effective and inhibited all gram-positive bacteria and two gram-negative bacteria (i.e., Proteus vulgaris and Escherichia coli).


All fungal species under investigation were successfully inhibited by both the boiled water as well as the ethanol extract, substantiating the traditional usage of this species.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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