Aloe vera may anti-inflammatory effects. It is widely used by patients with inflammatory bowel disease.
In this study, researchers from England evaluated the efficacy and safety of aloe vera gel for the treatment of mildly to moderately active ulcerative colitis.
|Adverse events were minor.|
|Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics|
The team randomized 44 hospital out-patients to receive oral aloe vera gel or placebo, 100 mL twice daily for 4 weeks, in a 2:1 ratio.
They measured clinical remission (Simple Clinical Colitis Activity Index ≤2), sigmoidoscopic remission (Baron score ≤1) and histological remission (Saverymuttu score ≤1).
The team also evaluated changes in the Simple Clinical Colitis Activity Index, Baron score, histology score, hemoglobin, platelet count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein and albumin.
The researchers found that clinical remission occurred in 30%, improvement in 37% and response in 47% of patients in the aloe vera group. This compared with 7%, 7%, and 14%, respectively, of patients in the placebo group.
In addition, the team found that the Simple Clinical Colitis Activity Index and histological scores decreased significantly during treatment with aloe vera, compared to placebo.
Sigmoidoscopic scores and laboratory variables showed no significant differences between aloe vera and placebo.
Adverse events were minor and similar in both groups of patients.
Dr Langmead's team concluded, "Oral aloe vera taken for 4 weeks produced a clinical response more often than placebo."
"It also reduced the histological disease activity and appeared to be safe".
"Further evaluation of the therapeutic potential of aloe vera gel in inflammatory bowel disease is needed".