Aloe vera is found in the Northern Africa and the Mediterranean areas while Aloe ferox is found in Southern Africa. Aloe ferox and Aloe vera prepared by different methods have been shown to possess the following properties: Stimulatory effects on different cell types (e.g human fibroblasts, rat adrenal cells, calf pulmonary artery endothelial cells etc.), wound healing, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antidiabetics etc.
In this study solvent extracted gel powders and whole leaf juice of Aloe ferox and Aloe vera prepared specifically without bitter components were tested. The aim was to assess if the samples could be used orally for therapeutic purposes with regards to wound healing, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties avoiding the laxative effects of the bitter components.
The following were used: Human lymphocytes cells to determine cytotoxicity effects, chicken fibroblasts cells for potential wound healing properties, Candida albicans, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomona aeruginosa microorganisms for antimicrobial properties and ORAC, DPPH, TEAC and chemiluminescence assays for antioxidant properties.
Most of the results obtained were contrary to the bulk of the literature available about these beneficial plants’ extract. Bitter components have been reported to stimulate different cell types and to have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Thus the removal has been suggested as the main reason why the effects of the tested extracts did not correspond to much of the reported literature. From the results obtained from various aspects of this study it could be concluded that the removal of bitter components contributed to the apparently contradictory results.
From this study it might be concluded that the four Aloe extract samples tested could not be used therapeutically for wound healing, antimicrobial or antioxidant properties. However they could still be effective for cosmetics purposes as obtained from the literature.