Aloe vera is a plant that is used in gel, cream, and pills. It has been used to help promote healing and ease swelling in skin problems, such as wounds and psoriasis.


There are no advised doses for aloe vera.

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • Acne —may improve symptoms when used with standard treatmentA1
  • Aphthous stomatitis—may ease symptoms (canker sores) and help with healingB1
  • Burns/wounds—may ease burn and wound pain and help them heal fasterC1-C4
  • Diabetesmay reduce symptoms, lower bad cholesterol, and raise good cholesterol in people with prediabetes and newly diagnosed diabetes who are not receiving standard care yetE1
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)—may reduce symptomsF1
  • Oral lichen planus—may improve symptoms and improve quality of lifeG1-G6
  • Pressure ulcers—may prevent skin sores in those that are on bedrest or sit in one position for long periods of time.H1
  • Psoriasis —may reduce symptomsI1-I2

Unlikely to Be Effective

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to use aloe vera on the skin. It may be safe to take aloe orally for a short time, but abdominal cramps and diarrhea are possible. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Aloe can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse such as:

  • Aloe is a laxative. It will make food, fluids, or medicine move through your bowels faster. It may make any medicines you take less effective.
  • People with diabetes should talk to their doctors before taking aloe. It may interact with their medicines.



REFA1 Hajheydari Z, Saeedi M, et al. Effect of aloe vera topical gel combined with tretinoin in treatment of mild and moderate acne vulgaris: a randomized, double-blind, prospective trial. J Dermatolog Treat. 2014 Apr;25(2):123-129.

REFB Aphthous Stomatitis

REFB1 Mansour G, Ouda S, et al. Clinical efficacy of new aloe vera-and myrrh-based oral mucoadhesive gels in the management of minor recurrent aphthous stomatitis: a randomized, double-blind, vehicle-controlled study. J Oral Pathol Med. 2014 Jul;43(6):405-409.

REFC Burn and Wound Healing

REFC1 Khorasani G, Hosseinimehr SJ, et al. Aloe versus silver sulfadiazine creams for second-degree burns: a randomized controlled study. Surg Today. 2009;39(7):587-591.

REFC2 Dat AD, Poon F, Pham KB, et al. Aloe vera for treating acute and chronic wounds. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Feb 15;2:CD008762.

REFC3 Shahzad MN, Ahmed N. Effectiveness of aloe vera gel compared with 1% silver sulphadiazine cream as burn wound dressing in second degree burns. J Pak Med Assoc. 2013 Feb;63(2):225-230.

REFC4 Molazem Z, Mohseni F, et al. Aloe vera gel and cesarean wound healing; a randomized controlled clinical trial. Glob J Health Sci. 2014 Aug 31;7(1):203-209.

REFD Cancer Treatment Support

REFD1 Hoopfer D, Holloway C, et al. Three-arm phase III trial: quality aloe and placebo cream versus powder as skin treatment during breast cancer radiation therapy. Clin Breast Cancer. 2015 Jun;15(3):181-190.

REFE Diabetes

REFE1 Zhang Y, Liu W, et al. Efficacy of Aloe Vera Supplementation on Prediabetes and Early Non-Treated Diabetic Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients. 2016 Jun 23;8(7).

REFF Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

REFF1 Panahi Y, Khedmat H, et al. Efficacy and safety of aloe vera syrup for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease: a pilot randomized positive-controlled trial. J Tradit Chin Med. 2015 Dec;35(6):632-636.

REFG Oral Lichen Planus

REFG1 Salazar-Sánchez N, López-Jornet P, et al. Efficacy of topical Aloe vera in patients with oral lichen planus: a randomized double-blind study. J Oral Pathol Med. 2010 Nov;39(10):735-740.

REFG2 Thongprasom K, Carrozzo M, et al. Interventions for treating oral lichen planus. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Jul 6;(7).

REFG3 Mansourian A, Momen-Heravi F, et al. Comparison of aloe vera mouthwash with triamcinolone acetonide 0.1% on oral lichen planus: a randomized double-blinded clinical trial. Am J Med Sci. 2011 Dec;342(6):447-51.

REFG4 Cheng S, Kirtschig G, et al. Interventions for erosive lichen planus affecting mucosal sites. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Feb 15;(2).

REFG5 Reddy RL, Reddy RS, et al. Randomized trial of aloe vera gel vs. triamcinolone acetonide ointment in the treatment of oral lichen planus. Quintessence Int. 2012 Oct;43(9):793-800.

REFG6 Ali S, Wahbi W. The efficacy of aloe vera in management of oral lichen planus: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Oral Dis. 2017 Oct;23(7):913-918.

REFH Pressure Ulcers

REFH1 Hekmatpou D, Mehrabi F, et al. The effect of Aloe Vera gel on prevention of pressure ulcers in patients hospitalized in the orthopedic wards: a randomized triple-blind clinical trial. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2018 Sep 29;18(1):264.

REFI Psoriasis

REFI1 Choonhakarn C, Busaracome P, et al. A prospective, randomized clinical trial comparing topical aloe vera with 0.1% triamcinolone acetonide in mild to moderate plaque psoriasis. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2010;24(2):168-172.

REFI2 Farahnik B, Sharma D, et al. Topical Botanical Agents for the Treatment of Psoriasis: A Systematic Review. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2017 Aug;18(4):451-468.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
  • Review Date: 03/2019
  • Update Date: 03/02/2019