Aloe ferox, also known as Cape Aloe, is a succulent with thick, fleshy, jagged leaves arranged in a spiral formation. This polymorphic species is part of the Xanthorrhoeaceae family and is indigenous to South Africa (Morton, 1961). Cape aloe has been long used for an extensive range of therapeutic purposes due to its antimicrobial, fungicidal and antiviral properties, showing little to no side effects observed on the skin (Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel, 2007; Jia, Zhao, & Jia, 2008). It was traditionally used to treat sexually transmitted infections and tumors (Chen, Van Wyk, Vermaak, & Viljoen, 2012; Kambizi & Afolayan, 2008; Kambizi, Sultana, & Afolayan, 2005). Documented records demonstrate its usage in medicine, treating infections and injuries, pregnancy, skin problems, inflammation, pains and genito-urinary system problems (Grace, Simmonds, Smith, & van Wyk, 2008).
Modern research supports its effectiveness against Candida albicans and inhibiting Neisseria gonorrhoea, two typical causes of sexually transmitted illnesses in the rural areas of South Africa. Due to its beneficial, therapeutic and skin-conditioning properties, Aloe ferox is extensively used in cosmetics (Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel, 2007). It is also a natural and nutritious food additive that can be incorporated to provide extra flavour.
Chen, W., Van Wyk, B.-E., Vermaak, I., & Viljoen, A. M. (2012). Cape aloes—A review of the phytochemistry, pharmacology and commercialisation of Aloe ferox. Phytochemistry Letters, 5(1), 1–12. doi:10.1016/j.phytol.2011.09.001
Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel. (2007). Final report on the safety assessment of AloeAndongensis Extract, Aloe Andongensis Leaf Juice, aloe Arborescens Leaf Extract, Aloe Arborescens Leaf Juice, Aloe Arborescens Leaf Protoplasts, Aloe Barbadensis Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, Aloe Barb. International Journal of Toxicology, 26(1), 1–50. doi:10.1080/10915810701351186
Grace, O. M., Simmonds, M. S. J., Smith, G. F., & van Wyk, a E. (2008). Therapeutic uses of Aloe L. (Asphodelaceae) in southern Africa. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 119(3), 604–14. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2008.07.002
Jia, Y., Zhao, G., & Jia, J. (2008). Preliminary evaluation: the effects of Aloe ferox Miller and Aloe arborescens Miller on wound healing. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 120(2), 181–9. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2008.08.008
Kambizi, L., & Afolayan, A. J. (2008). Extracts from Aloe ferox and Withania somnifera inhibit Candida albicans and Neisseria gonorrhoea. African Journal of Biotechnology, 7(1), 12–15.
Kambizi, L., Sultana, N., & Afolayan, a. J. (2005). Bioactive Compounds Isolated from Aloe ferox .: A Plant Traditionally Used for the Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Infections in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Pharmaceutical Biology, 42(8), 636–639. doi:10.1080/13880200490902581
Morton, J. F. (1961). Folk Uses and Commercial Exploitation of Aloe Leaf Pulp. Economic Botany, 15(4), 311–319.