Aloe Vera and Cancer
Ahmet ÜNLÜ,1 Erdinç NAYIR,2 Hale AY,1 Önder KIRCA,3 Mustafa ÖZDOĞAN3
1Akdeniz University Faculty of Medicine, Antalya-Turkey
2Department of Medical Oncology, Kahramanmaraş Necip Fazil City Hospital, Kahramanmaraş-Turkey
3Department of Medical Oncology, Antalya Memorial Hospital, Antalya-Turkey
Aloe vera, a succulent plant species, has a long history in folk medicine. Its clear, viscous liquid has been used to treat skin problems and other disorders since ancient times. In the last century, oral consumption and the injection of aloe have also come to popular attention. Its topical use is effective in the treatment of burns and abrasions, and oral use is effective in the treatment of constipation. However, it has not been found to be superior to standard treatments. Most recently, claims of anti-cancer properties are prevalent. It has been found to inhibit proliferation and angiogenesis, and to induce apoptosis in cancer cells. Yet other clinical studies indicate that Aloe vera did not prevent or reduce the number of radiotherapy-related lesions; it merely delayed onset. Furthermore, many instances of toxicity and mortality have been reported in the literature. Today, it is better to avoid it, especially forms taken orally or by injection. Keywords : Aloe barbadensis; Aloe capensis; Aloe vera; alternative medicine; cancer; phytotherapy