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Aloe Vera Antibacterial Activity

by Nurfadillah
(Medan, Indonesia)

This page is one of Your Questions Answered pages.   (  Greek Version Ελληνική έκδοση***Greek version  )




- Please, give me information about the antibacterial effects of Aloe Vera and its mechanism .... such as anthraquinones, tannins and saponins.

Strato's answer:

Hello Nurfadillah, thanks for asking. I will try to answer your question as comprehensive as I can.

Scientific Studies

There are several scientific studies supporting antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory activity of substances found in Aloe Vera, such as:

  • Anthraquinones
  • Flavonoids
  • Saponins
  • Tannins
  • Polysaccharides
  • Essential Oils


Aloe Vera gel contains small amounts of some components called Anthraquinones. These ingredients act as natural antibiotics and form a protective shield against bacteria, fungi and viruses. Anthraquinones have several properties:

  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Antiviral
  • Antibiotic
  • Anti-inflammatory and
  • Analgesic

Aloe contains anthraquinones compounds, the C-glycosides of anthraquinones such as:

  • Barbaloin
  • Isobarbaloin
  • Stereoisomers of C-10-glycosides of anthrone
  • Aloe emodin
  • 8-O-methyl-7-hydroxy-aloin A and B
  • Aloinozides A and B, and
  • Chrysophanol

and chromones (flavonoids) such as:

  • Aloesin
  • Aloeresin R
  • Aloeresin D
  • 8-C-glycosyl-7-O-methyl-aloesol and related glycosides

Orally taken glycosides are metabolized by intestinal flora in glucosidase and form active anthrones. In humans, the intestinal flora breaks completely the O-glycosides and C-glycosides. The main active metabolite is aloe emodin -9-anthrone. An important anthraquinone is aloin, which helps in cleansing the bowel and has a mild laxative effect.

Related research has investigated the relationship between antibacterial activity of aloe and aloe's content in anthraquinone compounds and analyzed the effect of glycosides in the antibacterial activity of aloin. The results showed that antibacterial activity of aloe depends on the content of anthraquinones and that glycosides make it easy for aloin to invade into the cells, while enhancing its potency.

That means, anthraquinone compounds are the active antibacterial ingredients in aloe and aloin is the main active compound. Other studies by Italian researchers of University of Padua showed that aloin along with the anthraquinone aloe emodin has encouraging results in children with tumors.


Saponins are naturally occurring substances - sparkling microorganisms - with anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and cleansing properties. With a strong antimicrobial activity against bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeasts while stimulating immune system.

There are two types of saponins:

  • Triterpenoid saponins that have expectorant action
  • Steroid saponins, which resemble those of the human body and have anti-inflammatory action

Statistically, people who eat food rich in saponins exhibit fewer cases of Colon Cancer (Colorectal Cancer), Prostate cancer, Breast cancer, as also less heart diseases.


Tannins are substances - defense compounds - contained in the husk, leaves and seeds of almost all plants in all climates around the world and they inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi on their surface. The strong sour and bad taste of bark and leaves due to tannins. So tannins protect plants from insects and herbivorous animals, who are repelled by this astringent taste and the astringent effect in the mouth.

Tannins offer to the humans resistance against tissue infection and they fight back bacteria and various viruses, including influenza, herpes, etc. and have also anti-parasitic effects. Generally, they exercise astringent action and they form a protective layer over the mucous membranes and the skin.


Polysaccharides are sugars, ie organic compounds containing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen - carbohydrates - which, like the fat, are supplying our organism with the necessary energy that needed daily. Aloe contains the most important polysaccharides:

  • Mannose: Stimulates the immune system, particularly the T-4 cells and the white blood cells that react and fight infections.
  • Glucuronic acid: It has a strong detoxifying effect.
  • Rhamnose: Polysaccharide in the primary cell wall.
  • Cellulose: It is the most common form of carbohydrates in nature. It is the main component of plant cell walls. From cellulose we take glucose.
  • Glucose: The main source of energy for living organisms. Main source of energy for the body and the sole source of nutrients for the brain tissue.
  • Hexouronic acid: It is involved in energy production.
  • Lactose: Herbal low calorie sweetener, added to sweets and energy drinks.
  • Xylose: Also low calorie herbal sweetener.
  • Galacturonic acid: Nutritional additive.
  • Arabinose: Pentose used for weight reduction, treatment of hepatitis-B and inhibitor and sucrose in diabetics.
  • Aldopentose: Another pentose.
  • Acetyl mannose or acemannan.

Acemannan or acetylated mannan

One miracle ingredient of aloe is acemannan or acetylated mannan which acts as a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Protects the spinal cord from damage due to chemical poisons and harmful drugs. Detoxifies, cares and stimulates the cells of the immune system, improves metabolism and provides increased energy levels. It is the natural bio-stimulant of the body.

Acemannan is stored in all cell membranes and thus it achieves an immune enhancing of whole our body against pathogenic parasites, bacteria, fungi and viruses. Acemannan has shown several positive results as an aid in the treatment of immunodeficiency. Another important activity of acemannan is that disrupt the wrapper of proteins surrounding the tumor cells and thus makes them vulnerable to the defensive cells that can more effectively eliminate cancer.

An injectable form of acemannan is manufactured by Carrington Laboratories as Acemannan Immunostimulant approved in the U.S., after clinical trials, for the treatment of Kaposi fibroblast - fibrosarcoma or fibroblastic sarcoma - a type of cancer in dogs and cats. It is not approved for use by humans and although is not a drug, its sale is controlled and can only be obtained through prescription from a veterinarian.

Finally, acemannan until puberty is produced by the body. After we need to supply it from the food.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are antiseptic, bactericidal and have the ability to act against viruses. There are no side effects and germs do not develop resistance to them.

Joy and Health,

Strato - AloeveraChangeslives

Comments for Aloe Vera Antibacterial Activity

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Jun 21, 2011
by: Anonymous

I think Acemannan will help people a lot in the recent years.

Feb 03, 2012
by: ketaki

you never think rather you never know that nature has made everything available for us.
good information you guys have collected.
thanks cz its gonna help mr wid my project.

Feb 17, 2012
aloe vera
by: Anonymous

i want the antibacterial activity of aloe vera for my project.u give some information about this one.thank you

Sep 03, 2014
"sparkling micro organisms"
by: VonDankenhoek

that phrase on its own reveals a dubious grasp of science.

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