Aloe Ferox
April 20 2016
by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Antioxidant benefit of aloe ferox
Analysis of the aloe ferox leaf indicates this plant has many substances that are of benefit. These include various phenolic acids, polyphenols, phytosterols, fatty acids, indoles, alkanes, pyrimidines, alkaloids, organic acids, aldehydes, dicarboxylic acids, ketones, and alcohols. Due to the presence of the antioxidant polyphenols, indoles, and alkaloids, the Aloe ferox leaf gel shows antioxidant capacity as confirmed by ORAC and FRAP analyses. Both analytical methods used show the non-flavonoid polyphenols to contribute to the majority of the total polyphenol content.

Historical uses
Plants of the genus Aloe have perhaps the longest recorded history of medicinal usage and are amongst the most widely used plants for traditional medicinal purposes worldwide. Aloe vera, Aloe ferox, Aloe arborescens and Aloe perryi are the best known and most widely used, but many other species are also used for their therapeutic properties. The Aloes have been used since ancient times, particularly for the treatment of microbial infections, gastrointestinal disorders and inflammatory conditions. In addition to their myriad uses in traditional therapeutics, the Aloes have also been used as components of cosmetic formulations, and in the food and beverage industries.

Skin diseases
J Altern Complement Med. 2013. A comparative study of three Aloe species used to treat skin diseases in South African rural communities. Aloe species have been noted to be a miracle cure used by indigenous people of southern Africa. Geographically, each of the three Aloe species-Aloe arborescens, Aloe excelsa, and Aloe ferox-has a specific habitat. Although some species overlap in geographical regions, the species most abundant in a region is most often utilized by indigenous people. All three species display similar curative properties, aiding in wound healing, cures against other skin ailments, and some systemic conditions.RESULTS:All three Aloe species indicated high inhibitory activity against all gram-positive bacteria under investigation. The ethanol extract was most effective and inhibited all gram-positive bacteria and two gram-negative bacteria (i.e., Proteus vulgaris and Escherichia coli). All fungal species under investigation were successfully inhibited by both the boiled water as well as the ethanol extract, substantiating the traditional usage of this species.

Aloe Ferox grows naturally in South Africa and many products are formulated using the raw extracts without isolating the active ingrediants. Aloesin can be extracted from this plant to a highly pure chromatographic have a quality. Aloesin is a skin lightener having similar action to Arbutin, an ingredient in Meloderm. Arbutin is however regulated in certain European countries. Do you use Aloesin in formulations at present. Will there be benefit in extracting the Aloesin from Aloe Ferox plant? Is Aloesin safer to use than arbutin at comparable dosages? Arbutin can hydrolise to hydroquinone.
   I have not studied these topics well enough yet.