Aloin: the key component of aloe vera

Aloin is a chemical compound found in aloe vera. It is a succulent plant popular for its medicinal properties. However, it is a controversial compound due to its possible adverse side effects. Therefore, it should be treated with caution.

What is aloin?

An anthraquinone glycoside found in the sap of many plants, including aloe. Its chemical composition varies slightly depending on the source and extraction process, but generally consists of several anthraquinone derivatives. Its main components are the following:

  1. Aloin A: Also known as barbaloin. It has been identified as responsible for the laxative and purgative properties of aloe vera.

  2. Aloin B: This is isobarbaloin. It is similar to aloin A with its laxative effects.

  3. Aloin C: It is present in smaller quantities than the previous ones.

  4. Aloesin: Although not exactly aloin, this is another compound present in aloe vera. It has antibacterial and antioxidant properties, and is responsible for its colour.

  5. Emodin: Another anthraquinone that contributes to its laxative and anti-inflammatory properties.

Aloin properties and contraindications

Many people ask us what aloin is for. Its properties include the following:

  • Laxative effect: Stimulates the movements of the intestinal tract and lubricates the stool. Thanks to its ability to increase the secretion of water and electrolytes in the intestine, it is useful for relieving the symptoms of occasional constipation.

  • Wound healing: When applied topically to minor wounds or burns, it accelerates the healing process and reduces skin inflammation.

  • Antimicrobial properties: It has antimicrobial properties that help fight mild skin infections.

  • Anti-inflammatory properties: It is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial in treating skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis.

Despite the many properties of aloin, it is important to be aware of its contraindications and the precautions to be taken. These include the following:

  • Gastrointestinal irritation: In excessive dosage, may cause gastrointestinal irritation. Therefore, side effects such as abdominal cramps, diarrhoea and an upset stomach are possible. Excessive or prolonged use of the aloin of aloe vera can be detrimental to digestive health.

  • Electrolyte imbalance: Excessive use of aloin as a laxative can lead to loss of essential electrolytes, such as potassium.

  • Pregnancy and lactation: Consumption is not recommended during pregnancy and lactation.

  • Drug interactions: May interact with certain medicines and decrease their effectiveness or increase their side effects. In these cases, it is essential to consult a health professional.

Skin allergies: Some people experience allergic reactions or skin irritation when applying products containing aloin. For this reason, we recommend testing a small area of skin before using aloin-containing products more extensively.

Uses of aloin

Throughout history, it has been used for various purposes, mainly for its medicinal properties. However, it has also been used in the manufacture of paints. For its medicinal properties, we highlight:

  • Occasional laxative: Traditionally, it has been used as a home remedy to relieve mild constipation.

  • Wound healing: One of the frequent uses is to accelerate the healing of minor wounds, burns and cuts due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It also stimulates tissue regeneration.

  • Treatment of skin conditions: Many cosmetic products, such as gels and creams, contain aloin to treat dermatological problems such as acne, psoriasis and mild skin irritation. This is due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

  • Burn relief: Mitigates redness and irritation caused by burns of any etiology, whether sunburn or those we get in the kitchen. This is due to its soothing and refreshing properties.

  • Oral health support: Thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it is effective against gum and mouth irritation.

  • Anti-ageing cosmetics: It has antioxidant properties that help to combat skin stress caused by free radicals.

Precautions when using aloin

Although the benefits of aloin are numerous, unsupervised use or excessive doses are not recommended. The basic precautions to be taken are:

  • Moderate doses: Avoid excessive consumption and follow the manufacturer's or professionals' instructions. Never exceed the recommended dose.

  • Topical use: It is advisable to test it before use if it is to be used topically, as some people are sensitive to it.

  • Pregnancy and lactation: Use during pregnancy and lactation is not recommended due to lack of evidence on its safety in these situations.

  • Drug interactions: If you are taking medications, especially those that affect the gastrointestinal system, it is necessary to consult a health professional beforehand.

  • Pre-existing medical conditions: If you suffer from gastrointestinal pathologies, diabetes or kidney disease, it is important to talk to a health professional before consuming products containing it.

  • Long-term use: We do not advise long-term use, as this can lead to health problems, such as electrolytes loss and body imbalance.

  • Children: Not recommended for use without the supervision of a health care professional. Children are more sensitive to side effects and should be closely supervised.

  • Product quality: It is essential to ensure that we use high quality products that have been properly processed and purified. In this way, we control the amount of this glycoside and minimise the associated risks.


In summary, aloin is very beneficial as a cosmetic and for relieving some ailments. However, we must be careful and moderate in the doses. On the other hand, we must make sure that we are dealing with a high quality product such as the ones we produce at Finca Canarias. Our organically grown, cold-pressed aloe vera contains just the right amount of this compound to minimise its adverse effects. Visit our shop and place your order with complete confidence!

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