Introduction of Lu Hui:Aloes or Aloe.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Aloes, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source three plant species, ①.Aloe vera L., ②.Aloe vera L.var.chinensis (Haw.) Berg., ③.Aloe ferox Mill., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these three plants, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these three plants, the features of the herb Aloes, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.


Aloe:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Lú Huì.
 English Name: Aloes.
 Latin Name: Aloe.
 Property and flavor: cold nature, tastes bitter.

 Brief introduction: The herb Aloe is the dried leaf juice of Aloe barbadensis Mill., Aloe ferox Mill., or related species, used (1).as a purgative for constipation, (2).to clear the liver for treating liver fire with dizziness, headache and irritability, and (3).to kill intestinal parasitic worms. The herb is commonly known as Aloe, Lú Huì.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Aloes(Lu Hui) as the dried juice of the plant species (1).Aloe vera L., or (2).Aloe vera L. var. chinensis (Haw.) Berg., or (3).Aloe ferox Mill. They are plant species of the Aloe L. genus, the Liliaceae family (lily family) of the Liliflorae order. Some other classification systems classified them into the Xanthorrhoeaceae family. These 3 commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Aloe vera L.

 Aloe vera L.:growing plant Botanical description: The Aloe vera L., is a plant of the Liliaceae family (lily family) and Aloe genus, it is commonly known as "Aloe barbadensis miller, or Curacao aloe", "Kù Lā Suǒ Lú Huì" (literally it means Aloe of Curacao), a perennial herb. Very short stems. Leaves are clustered on top of the stem, upright or nearly upright, hypertrophic and juicy; narrowly lanceolate, 15~36 cm long, 2~6 cm wide, apex is long acuminate, base is broad, pinkish green, with spiny teeth on the edge. Flowering stems are solitary or slightly branched, 60~90 cm tall; racemes are evacuated; flower sinuate, ca. 2.5 cm, yellow or with red spots; perianth tube, 6-lobed, lobes are slightly curved outward; 6 stamens, anther is t live; 1 pistil, 3 rooms, each room has a majority of ovules. Capsule, triangular, cracking at the back of the chamber. Its flowering period is from February to March.

 Aloe vera L.:growing plant Ecological environment: The Aloe vera L., grows in the forest edge, thickets, or sparse forest, also found in the hillside meadow or meadow, bush wood, sandy land. Geographical distribution: This species was native to the northern part of africa and is currently widely cultivated in the west indies islands of South America, it now grows wild in tropical climates around the world and is cultivated in many countries for agricultural and medicinal uses, also cultivated in China. There are 2 varietas of Aloe Vera L. in China, one is Aloe chinensis Baker, another is Shangnong Big-leaf Aloe.

 Aloe vera L.:growing plant The species is also used for decorative purposes and grows successfully indoors as a potted plant. It is found in many consumer products including beverages, skin lotion, cosmetics, or ointments for minor burns and sunburns.

 Characters of herbs: The herb is an irregular block, often broken into polygonal shapes of different sizes. The surface is dark reddish-brown or dark brown, dull. The herb is light, the texture of the herb is hard, not easily broken, the fracture surface is coarse or pitted lines. It has good hygroscopicity. The herb has a special odor, and it tastes extremely bitter.

(2).Aloe vera L. var. chinensis (Haw.) Berg.

 Aloe chinensis Berger.:growing plant Botanical description: The Aloe vera L.var.chinensis(Haw.) Berg., is a plant of the Liliaceae family (lily family) and Aloe genus, it is commonly known as "Aloe chinensis Baker, or Aloe chinensis Berger", or "Zebra Aloe", "Bān Wén Lú Huì" (literally it means Aloe with stripes), it is one varietas of Aloe vera L., perennial herb. Root is segmental. Stems are short or stemless. Leaves are clustered, spirally arranged, upright, hypertrophic; leaf blade is narrowly lanceolate, 10~20 cm long, 1.5~2.5 cm wide, 5-8 mm thick, apex is acuminate, base is broadly phimosis, margins are spicular-dentate, there are markings. Flowering stems are solitary or branched, height 60~90 cm; racemes are evacuated; pedicels are ca. 2.5 cm; flowers are yellow or purple, with membranous bracts; perianth tube, 6-lobed, lobes are slightly curved outward; 6 stamens, sometimes prominent, anthers are 2-locule, dorsifixed; ovary is superior, 3-locule, style is linear. Capsularfruit is triangle, about 8 mm long. Its flowering period is from July to August.

 Ecological environment: The Aloe vera L.var.chinensis(Haw.) Berg., grows in the sunny grass and wild sunny hillside. Geographical distribution: It is mainly cultivated in Yuanjiang of Yunnan province, the Zhujiang river area, and the southwest area of China, also cultivated in Southeast Asian countries, mainly in areas with more overseas Chinese.

 Aloe chinensis Berger.:growing plant Growth characteristics: Aloe chinensis Baker grows in well-drained soils that are well-drained and hard to compact. In general, some gravel ash can be added to the soil. It is better to add turfgrass ash. Drainage poor permeability of the soil will block the roots to breathe, rot, and necrosis, but too much sandy soil often causes the loss of water and nutrients, making the aloe poor growth.

 Temperature: Aloe chinensis Baker is afraid of the cold. It grows in a frost-free environment throughout the year. The growth is stopped at about 5 °C (Celsius, or 41 degrees Fahrenheit). At 0 °C (Celsius, or 32 degrees Fahrenheit), the life process is disturbed. If the temperature is below 0 °C (Celsius, or 32 degrees Fahrenheit), it would cause frostbite. The most suitable temperature for growth is 15~35 °C (Celsius, or 59~95 degrees Fahrenheit) and the humidity is 45-85%.

 Aloe chinensis Berger.:growing plant Moisture: Like all plants, Aloe chinensis Baker also needs water, but it is most afraid of stagnant water. In the rainy and humid season or when the drainage is not good, the leaves will easily shrink and the roots will rot and die.

 Sunshine: Aloe chinensis Baker needs sufficient sunlight to grow. It should be noted that the newly planted aloe is not suitable for the sun. It is best to see the sun only in the morning. The plant will slowly adapt to thrive in the sun in the next ten days and a half months.

 Fertilizer: Fertilizer is indispensable for any plant. Aloe chinensis Baker not only needs NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium) but also some trace elements. To ensure that aloe vera is a green natural plant, it is necessary to use fermented organic fertilizer as much as possible. Cake, chicken manure and compost can all be used. Manure is more suitable for planting aloe vera.

(3).Aloe ferox Mill.

 Aloe ferox Mill.:growing plant Botanical description: The Aloe ferox Mill., is a plant of the Liliaceae family (lily family) and Aloe genus, it is commonly known as "Aloe ferox", "bitter aloe", or "Cape Aloe", "Giant Aloe", "Spiny Aloe", "Hǎo Wàng Jiǎo Lú Huì" (literally it means Aloe of the Cape of Good Hope), stems are upright, 3~6 meters high, 30~50 leaves, clustered on stem top; leaf blade is lanceolate, up to 60~80 cm, width is 12 cm, spiny, dark green to blue-green, covered with white powder. Cone-like inflorescences are about 60 cm long; peduncles are about 3 cm long; 6 tepals are tubular, basally commissure, upper part separate, slightly revolute, pale red to yellow-green, with green stripes; 6 stamens, anthers and styles are exposed. Fruit.

 Aloe ferox Mill.:growing plant Ecological environment: The Aloe ferox Mill., grows in rocky areas-on hills, in grassy fynbos, and on the edges of the Karoo. Geographical distribution: This species is mainly distributed in Southern Africa, across the southern Cape, from Swellendam and the Overberg District in the west, throughout almost the whole extent of the Eastern Cape Province, eastwards as far as southern KwaZulu-Natal, and northwards into the southern parts of the Free State and Lesotho.

 Growth characteristics: The Aloe ferox Mill., prefers to warm environment, afraid of cold, should be planted throughout the frost-free areas, if frosted, winter cultivation temperature of not less than 5 °C (Celsius, or 41 degrees Fahrenheit). Aloes are happy and drought-tolerant, requiring soil moisture, fertility, loose air, taboo, avoid clay.

 Characters of herbs: The surface is dark brown, slightly green, and glossy. The herb is light, the texture of the herb is loose, fragile, the fracture surface is glass-like and has layered patterns.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.purgative effect; ②.liver protection effect; ③.protective effect of the stomach; ④. bacteriostasic activity: Aloe water extract has an inhibitory effect on a variety of dermatophytes and Mycobacterium Tuberculosis; ⑤.anti-cancer effect.

 Medicinal efficacy: Relieving constipation by purgation, clear liver and purging fire, clear heat, kill parasites and treat malntrition. It is indicated for heat accumulation and constipation, liver-fire headache, convulsive epilepsy and hyperspasmia, women's amenorrhea, red eyes and infantile convulsion, infantile malnutritional stagnation, infantile convulsive epilepsy, infatile malnutrition with fever and parasitic malnutrition, parasitic malnutrition and abdominal pain, atrophic rhinitis, scrofula (lymphoid tuberculosis); detoxify poisoning of croton seed, externally for tinea sore, hemorrhoid and fistula, etc. 

 Administration of Aloe (Lú Huì): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Aloe (Lú Huì)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:2~5 grams, better prepare to pill, powder. Externally:proper amount, prepare to finely ground herb powder, apply stick at affected area; ②.Internally:prepare to pill, powder, 0.5~1.5 qian (about 1.5~4.5 grams). Externally:prepare to finely ground herb powder, apply stick at affected area; ③.Internally:prepare to pill, powder,or prepare to finely ground herb powder and pack in capsule,0.6~1.5 grams;not prepare to decoction. Externally:proper amount, prepare to finely ground herb powder, apply stick at affected area.
 Contraindications,Precautions and Adverse Reactions:the herb Aloe should avoid using during pregnancy.

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