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The Medicinal Uses of Aloe Vera (Sabila)

Medically reviewed by Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD · Pharmacology

Written by Kathy Kenny Ylaya Ngo · Updated Dec 19, 2022

The Medicinal Uses of Aloe Vera (Sabila)

Sabila is the Spanish word for aloe vera, which is botanically known as Aloe barbadensis Miller. Aloe is a succulent plant that that can grow to a height of 30 to 40 centimeters with leaves sprouting from the ground.

It is thick and fleshy, with little prickly protrusions adorning the leaves. The leaves can grow between 20 to 50 centimeters long, 5 to 8 centimeters wide. It is light green with white patches and spiny-toothed margins. 

History of Aloe Vera (Sabila)

Though not technically an herb, it has acted as a reliable, herbal medicine for centuries in many countries and civilizations around the world.

It is frequently lauded for its anti-inflammatory, regenerative, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal and healing properties.

Aloe vera can be used as a food supplement, cosmetics base, and flavoring, as approved by the FDA. Aloe vera medicinal uses are plenty and proven effective.

This plant thrives in sub-temperate and tropical regions, which is why aloe vera plants can easily be grown in all areas of the Philippines.

In ancient times, aloe vera medicinal uses have been recorded in Egypt by the Assyrians and Mediterranean civilization as well as in Biblical times.

There has been proof that as early as the 16th Century BC, aloe vera was a component of the beautifying regime of Egyptian Queens Nefertiti and Cleopatra. 

However, aloe vera was not only prized for its aesthetic purposes. Some of the most renowned aloe vera medicinal uses also included wound treatment and as a herbal cure all for treatment of chronic and severe radiation dermatitis during the mid-1930s. 

Properties of Aloe Vera 

Sabila or aloe vera medicinal uses or properties also includes antitoxic, antimutagenic, and anticancer.

It also functions as a laxative, radioprotective, antiviral, anti-leukemic, antigenotoxic, antiproliferative, immunomodulatory, antidiabetic, wound healing, antimicrobial, anti-ageing, anti-wrinkle, hepatotoxic, antioxidant, sedative properties.

Different uses of Aloe Vera (Sabila) 

Sabila is one of the few herbal plants that is widely used all over the world, including Western society. Aloe vera is included in different skin care, health, and beauty products.

You can find aloe vera in skin moisturizers, shampoos, soaps, makeup creams, sun lotions, perfumes, shaving creams, and other bathing products.

The leaves, sap, and pulp can be also used. The leaves can be harvested and rinsed with water and turned into juice.

Sabila has two medicinally useful parts. The clear gel within its leaves that can help treat skin conditions.

The second substance is called aloe latex, which can be used to treat digestive conditions, such as constipation.

Aloe Vera Medicinal Uses 

There are many ways to use sabila or aloe vera medically. Some of them are:

  • Sabila is used to treat wounds and other skin conditions such as psoriasis, burns, sunburns, insect bites. 
  • It can help treat arthritis, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and osteoarthritis.
  • In small doses, it can be used as a tonic.
  • It heals conjunctivitis by applying the leaf juice to the outer eyelid. 
  • It helps with heartburn relief. Consuming 1 to 3 ounces of aloe gel at mealtime could reduce the severity of GERD
  • Sabila can also help lower blood sugar. Taking in at least 2 tablespoons of sabila juice daily helps to lower the blood sugar content of people with type 2 diabetes.  
  • For hemorrhoids, Sabila cuticles found on the leaves can be used as a suppository. When taken orally, it serves as a laxative.
  • It can also work as a powerful antioxidant. Sabila contains various antioxidant compounds that inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.
  • It can treat canker sores that form underneath the lip, inside the mouth, and last for about 7-10 days. Aloe vera helps to accelerate the healing of mouth ulcers

Aloe Vera as Skin and Hair Treatment 

It can help improve hair condition 

It can treat baldness, dandruff, and thinning or falling hair by massaging the fresh juice to the affected scalp area letting it dry for a few minutes, and then washing the hair. 

Aloe vera can also be used as a body scrub. You just cut a slice of aloe vera, add sugar, and two tablespoons of lemon juice, mix it together and use it to scrub your skin during bath time.

It will help to deep clean your skin while the sugar exfoliates dead skin cells and the lemon helps to make scars and tan lines fade. 

Other Uses for Aloe Vera 

There are other uses for aloe vera. One study shows that aloe gel may help fruits and vegetables stay fresh. This eliminates the need for dangerous chemicals to be used to extend the shelf life of produce. This is an organic way to keep your produce fresh. 

You can also use aloe vera as mouthwash. The plant has a big dose of vitamin C which can block plaque and provide relief if you have bleeding gums or swollen gums. The sabila in tooth gels is as effective as toothpaste in fighting cavities. 

Key Takeaways

Sabila or aloe vera is a wonder plant. There are many aloe vera medicinal uses as well as many purposes aesthetically, herbally, and as a food supplement.

It is organic and does not do any harm to the body as well as to the skin when used. It’s easy to cultivate and grow at home and it does not require a lot of attention. It has been around for over thousands of years and it is one of the plants that will be here to stay. 

Learn more about medicinal plants and herbs, here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD


Written by Kathy Kenny Ylaya Ngo · Updated Dec 19, 2022

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