Background: Aloe barbadensis (Miller) is one of the most used medicinal herbs in the
world since antiquity due to its valuable pharmacological properties. The species of A. vera are
widely distributed and cultivated throughout the world.
Objective: This review article aims to present an account of information on the phytochemistry and
pharmacological properties of bioactive compounds from A. vera, highlighting their mechanism of
action and function as food supplement to improve human health. The development of A. vera
based phytomedicines and its future trends were also evaluated.
Methods: A bibliographic search of scientific literature published till March 2020 was carried out
from the scientific databases and different search engines such as PubMed, ScienceDirect,
Cochrane library, and Scopus. The keywords used in several combinations included: Aloe vera,
phytochemistry, pharmacological activity, treatment, prevention, disease, health, in vitro, in vivo
and clinical studies. From eligible articles, the data were independently extracted by the standard
data extraction method.
Results: A. vera is a good source of bioactive compounds. A. vera has been reported for its numerous
therapeutic applications. Besides, several valuable therapeutic potentials, the plant has also
been used as crop and food preservation as well as a functional food supplement due to the presence
of high content of carbohydrates, vitamins and several antioxidant molecules. Its oral ingestion
has been related to diarrhea, electrolyte imbalance, kidney dysfunction, drug interactions, dermatitis,
erythema, and phototoxicity.
Conclusion: Although there are several A. vera-based products available, the knowledge on the relationship
between biological and therapeutic properties should be clearly defined to ascertain the
exact action mechanism(s) to develop new drugs.