Aloe (biochemistry)

Aloe – species Aloe L.

Aloe vera L. – present aloe (syn. A. vulgaris Lam.) with many varieties taken (or being taken) as independent species. It grows wild in North and East Africa (from the Red Sea to South Africa). Naturalized and cultivated in all the hot states of Asia: on the Arabian Peninsula, in Syria, India, Sri Lanka (var. litoralis-A. litoralis Kbto), China (var. chinensis-A. chinensis Backer). It has long been cultivated in the Antilles – Jamaica, Curacao, Barbados and Venezuela (var. barbadensis – A. barbadensis Mill.).

Aloe ferox Mill and some of its hybrids are native to South East and South West Africa.

Aloe soccotrina Lam. in East Africa and the Cape of Good Hope.

Aloe Peirryi Backer is a species specific to Fr. Socotra and Somalia.

Aloe arborescens Mill. – Aloe arborescens and its varieties (with appropriate synonyms). Distributed in South Africa. Cultivated in the same place in the Mediterranean. In Europe and North America – greenhouse culture; in the USSR (Adzharia), in addition, it is found as an annual crop.

All types of aloe are succulents adapted to dry places of growth. They have thick and juicy xiphoid leaves up to 60 cm long, dark green, with parallel venation (seen in the cut), with sharp-toothed edges; they are crowded at the top of a thick woody annulated trunk. The height of the trunk depends on the species – in A. vera it is no more than 60 cm, in A. soccotrina it is up to 3 m, in A. arborescens it is even more. Inflorescence – apical long brush from 0.5 to 1 m tall with yellow flowers in A. vera and with red flowers in other species and varieties.

In the leaves, outside of the phloem, are giant “aloin cells” with yellowish cell sap. Along the length of the leaf, aloin cells, like tubes, reach significant sizes. The method of extracting juice is based on this leaf structure. The leaves are cut off at the base, placed vertically and the juice spontaneously flows into the substituted vessels. Then it is evaporated to dryness and turned into pieces. The production of sabur in each country has its own peculiarities.

Sabur is brittle shapeless pieces of black-brown color, with a slight odor, extremely bitter in taste. Sabur dissolves easily in hot water, leaving a resin residue, and completely dissolves in alcohol.

There are several commercial varieties of sabura depending on the type and area of ​​\u200b\u200bgrowth (cultivation) of aloe: capaloe (South Africa), uganda-aloe (Southeast Africa), socotra-aloe (East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula), Curacao-aloe (Antilles and Venezuela), Indian aloe, etc. These varieties differ in purity and content of the main active ingredients – aloe-emodin glycosides: aloin (glucosylaloe-emodinantrone), aloinoside (aloin-11-aL-rhamnoside).

The content of aloin (the main substance) can vary widely – from 5 to 40%. The free anthraquinones alose-emodin and chrysophanol may be present. In addition to anthraglycosides, sabur contains up to 20% resinous substances and up to 15% aloesin.

Sabur obtained from A. arboresceus Mill. contains a derivative of chromoia aloearboiazid with a slightly different structure.

Anthraglycosides have a laxative property based on irritation of the colon mucosa: their action is delayed, manifesting itself after 6-8 hours. Smol also acts as a laxative. An extract and tincture are prepared from sabur, which are used per se (pills, drops) or are part of complex laxatives (with rhubarb, coloquint, etc.). Large doses of aloe have abortive properties. Small doses are taken as an appetite stimulant due to the bitter taste. Fresh liquid aloe juice is drunk for tuberculosis and general weakness.

In the USSR, an aqueous extract containing biogenic stimulants and used in tissue therapy is obtained from the leaves of A. arborescens using a special technology (according to the method of V.P. Filatov).

Sabur has long been used in Africa and India as a laxative. The ancient Greeks got acquainted with aloe during the campaigns of Alexander the Great; the plant is described in the book of Dioscorides. Sabur penetrated into Western European medicine through Arab doctors.

The plant contains chrysacin derivatives.


The most common derivatives of chrysacin are emodin, chrysophanol, rhein, aloe-emodin, fiscion.

Anthraquinones often form dimeric compounds, which can be formed from 2 identical (isodianthrones) or 2 different (heterodianthrones) compounds.


In anthracene glycosides, aglycones are anthracene derivatives of different degrees of oxidation:

Anthraquinones, in turn, can be divided into two large classes of natural compounds:

In anthraquinone glycosides, sugars are found at C 1 , C 6 and C 8 ; In antronols and antrons – also in position C 9 and C 10 . Glycosides are mostly monosides, but biosides are also quite frequent. Along with glycosides, raw materials traditionally contain free aglycones.

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