Topical Aloe Vera Gel for Lichen Planus

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We shouldn’t ever swallow aloe vera, however how does utilizing it topically for a persistent inflammatory autoimmune illness evaluate to steroids?

Lichen planus is a persistent autoimmune illness, usually of our moist membranes, resembling the within of our mouth, however it will probably additionally have an effect on different physique surfaces, like our “pores and skin, hair, nails and genitalia.” It isn’t that uncommon. Its prevalence is round 1%, which “makes it one of many commoner circumstances seen in oral medication clinics.” 

Present therapies should not healing however relatively palliative, geared toward relieving ache. We’ve tried steroids, antibiotics, chemotherapy, and surgical procedure, and none seems to be significantly efficient. So, even for palliative ache reduction, we don’t have nice choices, which is why a case report like this one is so thrilling: After drinking two ounces of aloe vera juice a day and making use of aloe topically, enchancment was seen, which you’ll be able to see for your self at 0:46 in my video Is Aloe Vera Gel the Best Treatment for Lichen Planus?. A majority of these handled circumstances have led to journal articles with titles like “Aloe Vera as Remedy for Lichen Planus.” However, is ingested oral aloe vera a “potion or poison?” “Inner use of aloe might trigger acute hepatitis,” liver irritation, and electrolyte imbalances, and also you undoubtedly mustn’t inject aloe, as “deaths have occurred after aloe was injected in people, however oral use can also be not advisable.” 

This is primarily due to case reviews of aloe-induced hepatitis. Satirically, aloe “is presented as a detoxifying product” however can really find yourself inflicting liver injury. In a single case, for instance, a man who had been attempting to guard his liver ended up within the hospital. How do we all know it was the aloe, although?

The evaluation of suspected herbal-induced liver harm is difficult, as a result of there are a whole lot of issues on the market that may injury your liver. As you’ll be able to see at 2:01 in my video, there is an extended guidelines it’s a must to undergo as a health care provider to rule out different causes earlier than you blame it on the plant. Do you might have some type of viral hepatitis or one other type of liver an infection? Or, might it have been attributable to any considered one of numerous medication, toxins, or illnesses? Perhaps the liver harm might have been attributable to considered one of these different issues, and it was only a coincidence that the issue began after consuming aloe. How do we all know? When it comes to attempting to show cause-and-effect, the gold commonplace is a optimistic re-exposure check. That’s how one can diagnose drug-induced liver harm, for example: Liver irritation disappears while you take away the drug and reappears while you add the drug again, which “isn’t carried out because of the dangers concerned,” clearly. Has there ever been a re-challenge case revealed for aloe? Sure. As you’ll be able to see at 2:45 in my video, aloe-induced poisonous hepatitis shot up once more after stopping after which restarting aloe ingestion.

Aloe consumption has additionally been linked to thyroid dysfunction. A lady with lichen planus began swallowing 2 teaspoons of aloe vera juice a day. She began feeling “unjustifiably drained,” and labwork confirmed her thyroid operate was low. However, she perked proper again up after stopping the aloe, and her thyroid operate returned to regular. As an alternative of swallowing, although, what if she simply swished the aloe round in her mouth to attempt to assist the lichen planus after which spit it out? Wonderful query. We didn’t know, till it was put to the check.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 54 sufferers had been randomized to obtain a topical aloe vera gel or placebo gel for eight weeks. Eighty-one % within the aloe group obtained higher in comparison with simply 4 % within the placebo group. “Moreover, two sufferers handled with AV [aloe vera]…had an entire medical remission.” That’s uncommon. Bear in mind, lichen planus is taken into account to be a persistent situation. But, after a number of weeks making use of aloe, the erosive lesions disappeared, as you’ll be able to see at 3:51 in my video.

How about compared to a steroid ointment? Topical aloe vera gel was discovered to be superior—simpler than the steroids and inflicting a major distinction inside two weeks, as you’ll be able to see at 4:05 in my video. So, “though corticosteroids are nonetheless the gold commonplace, aloe vera reveals promising outcomes particularly with no opposed results [when applied topically] in contrast with numerous opposed results of corticosteroids.” 

That’s for oral lichen planus, although. What in regards to the efficacy of aloe vera gel within the therapy of lichen planus of the genitals? “Vulval lichen planus is fairly frequent, affecting 1-2% of the inhabitants.” And, lichen planus of the vulva could also be even more durable to deal with. “There are flares and partial remissions however no tendency for full remission.” Certainly, that’s what researchers noticed within the placebo group. As you’ll be able to see at 4:45 in my video, one girl had a great response, however most had little or no response. Nonetheless, of these making use of aloe vera gel, 9 out of ten responded, and one girl had an entire medical remission. The researchers concluded that aloe vera gel is “a protected and efficient therapy for inducing remission in vulval lichen planus.”

Is Aloe Efficient for Blood Stress, Inflammatory Bowel, Wound Therapeutic, and Burns? Nice query! Take a look at the video to seek out out. You may additionally be occupied with:

I’ve talked about lichen planus earlier than. Take a look at Diet and Lichen Planus for extra.


  • Present therapies for lichen planus, a persistent autoimmune illness, are palliative, relatively than healing. Steroids, antibiotics, chemotherapy, and surgical procedure haven’t been discovered to be significantly efficient.
  • A case report claimed that enchancment was seen after consuming two ounces of aloe vera juice each day and making use of aloe topically, however inner oral use of aloe might trigger liver irritation, electrolyte imbalances, and acute hepatitis, and injection might end in dying.
  • Though aloe “is offered as a detoxifying product,” it will probably trigger liver injury. When examined, aloe-induced poisonous hepatitis shot up once more after stopping after which restarting aloe ingestion.
  • Consumption of aloe has additionally been linked to thyroid dysfunction.
  • A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled examine discovered enchancment in 81 % of individuals with lichen planus within the aloe group, who acquired a topical aloe vera gel for eight weeks, in comparison with simply 4 % within the placebo group. And, regardless of lichen planus being thought-about a persistent situation, the erosive lesions disappeared after a number of weeks of aloe utility.
  • Topical aloe vera gel was discovered to be simpler than a steroid ointment and has no opposed results, “in contrast with numerous opposed results of corticosteroids.”
  • Aloe vera gel has additionally been discovered to securely and successfully induce remission in lichen planus of the vulva.

Enthusiastic about different topical different therapies? See:

In well being,

Michael Greger, M.D.

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