This article, available for free download, describes the beneficial effect of aloe vera (Aloe vera) inner leaf juice (the crushed, filtered, and sterilized inner leaf gel) used topically to treat leg ulcers. Thirty patients with nonhealing, infected leg ulcers from various causes were matched to controls being treated with topical antibiotics and not responding to therapy. Bacteria were cultured from both groups, most of which were found to be multidrug resistant.
The growth of bacterial cultures in the controls persisted into the 11th day of the study when all but two of the aloe vera-treated patients produced no viable bacteria. Concurrent clinical improvements in wound healing were observed in the aloe vera–treated group. This cheap, low-cost, generally available therapy that can be self-administered appears to be effective without side effects and without leading to drug resistance.
Australasian Medical Journal
June 30, 2012
“Efficacy of fresh Aloe vera gel against multi-drug resistant bacteria in infected leg ulcers”
Infected leg ulcers are major health problems resulting in morbidity and disability and are usually chronic and refractory to antimicrobial treatment.
The present study is aimed at determining the bacteria involved in leg ulcers and their resistance patterns to commonly used antibiotics as well as to determine whether Aloe Vera has antibacterial activity against multi-drug resistant organisms and promotes wound healing.
A total of 30 cases with leg ulcers infected with multi-drug resistant organisms were treated with topical aloe vera gel and 30 age and sex-matched controls were treated with topical antibiotics. Culture and sensitivity was done from the wounds on alternate days and the ulcer was clinically and microbiologically assessed after 10 days. The results were compiled and statistically analysed.
Cultures of the study group who were using aloe vera dressings showed no growth by the fifth day in 10 (33.3%) cases, seventh day in another 16 (53.3%) and ninth day in two of the remaining four cases (6.7%) while in two (6.7%) cases there was no decrease in the bacterial count. This means that of the 30 cases, 28 showed no growth by the end of 11 days while two cases showed no decrease in bacterial count. Growth of bacteria in study group is decreased from 100% (30 cases) to 6.7% (2 cases) by day 11 with P<0.001. Cultures of the control group did not show any decrease in the bacterial growth by day 11.
Aloe vera gel preparation is cheap and was effective even against multi-drug resistant organisms as compared to the routinely used topical anti-microbial agents.