Also known as: aloe barbadensis, aloe indica, aloe ferox.
Potential uses: Aloe vera is most commonly used to soothe skin irritation. It is also taken orally to treat swelling, osteoarthritis, and inflammatory bowel diseases.
Usual dose: A cream or gel with 0.5% extract is applied to skin 3 times a day.
Are there any risks? When used on the skin, aloe vera is well tolerated. When taken orally, aloe vera may lower blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, you probably shouldn't consume aloe vera.
What does the research show? So far, no research shows benefits for women with breast cancer from aloe vera, either used as a cream or taken orally. Preliminary studies show that aloe gel may help burns on the skin heal, but it does not prevent burns from radiation therapy.