Healing Powers of Aloes: Pharmacology and Therapeutic Applications

Constipation Aloe latex possesses laxative properties and has been used traditionally to treat constipation. The old practice of using aloe as a laxative drug is based on its content of anthraquinones like barbaloin, which is metabolised to the laxative aloe-emodin, isobarbaloin and chrysophanic acid. The term ‘aloe’ (or ‘aloin’) refers to a crystalline, concentrated form of the dried aloe latex. In addition, aloe latex contains large amounts of a resinous material. Following oral administration the stomach is quickly reached and the time required for passage into the intestine is determined by stomach content and gastric emptying rate. Glycosides are probably chemically stable in the stomach (pH 1–3) and the sugar moiety prevents their absorption into the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract and subsequent detoxification in the liver, which protects them from breakdown in the intestine before they reach their site of action in the colon and rectum. Once they have reached the large intestine the glycosides behave like pro-drugs, liberating the aglycones (aloe-emodin, rhein-emodin, chyrosophanol, etc.) that act as the laxatives. The metabolism takes place in the colon, where bacterial glycosidases are Read more […]

Turmeric: Clinical Use. Dosage

In practice turmeric and the various curcuminoidsare used in many forms and administered via various routes. This review will focus mostly on those methods of use that are commonly used and preparations that are available OTC, such as oral dose forms and topical applications. CANCER Epidemiological data suggest that curcumin reduces the rate of colorectal cancer and curcumin has wide-ranging chemopreventive activity in preclinical carcinogenic models, most notably for gastrointestinal cancers. To date, however, there are no controlled trials to attest to turmeric’s efficacy in cancer treatment or prevention. In a phase 1 study, curcumin taken orally for 3 months at a starting dose of 500 mg/day was found to produce histologic improvement in cases of bladder cancer, oral leucoplakia, intestinal metaplasia of the stomach, cervical intraepithelial neoplasm and Bowen’s disease. An ethanol extract of turmeric, as well as an ointment of curcumin, were found to produce remarkable symptomatic relief in patients with external cancerous lesions and there are clinical reports to suggest that curcumin could be safe and effective in the treatment of idiopathic inflammatory orbital pseudotumours. DYSPEPSIA/PEPTIC ULCERS A Read more […]