Lu Hui (Aloe)

Lu Hui is the concentrated leaf juice of Aloe vera or Aloe ferox, which is an evergreen perennial herb belonging to the family Liliaceae. It is a relatively practical and common Chinese herbal medicine, which first appeared in <Yaoxing Lun> (Discourse on the Properties of Pharmaceutical Substances) in the 7th century.

There are about 300 species of Aloe, which are widely distributed all over the world. Because it is beautiful and easy to grow, it is often used as an ornamental. Among them, Aloe vera or Aloe ferox have medicinal value.

Aloe vera has some synonyms: A. barbadensis Mill., Aloe Indica Royle, Aloe perfoliata L. var. vera, and A. Vulgaris Lam. Its common names are Chinese Aloe, Indian Aloe, True Aloe, Barbados Aloe, Burn Aloe, First Aid Plant. This plant originated in the Arabian Peninsula and has been widely cultivated around the world. It is one of the few edible species in the genus Aloe and is widely used in many fields, such as food, beauty, health care, medicine, etc.

Aloe ferox likes light and a warm environment. It is mainly produced in Cape State of the Republic of South Africa. It is for medicinal use only, and there are few reports on its application in food and cosmetics.

The leaf juice of Aloe vera or Aloe ferox can be gathered in any season. People cut their leaves, collect the effluent juice, concentrate them into pastes, cool them, cut them into small pieces, and make them into Chinese herbs

Lu Hui contains aloin, aloesin, isobarbaloin, 5-hydroxyaloin A, quercetin, rutin, luteolin -7-glucoside, homo-orientin, isovitexin, oleic acid, linolenic acid, pentadecanoic acid, succinic acid, isocitric acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, P-coumaric acid, β-sitosterol, lupeol, cholesterol, campesterol, superoxide dismutase, oxidase, cellulase, phytagglutinin, carboxypeptidase, amylase, glutamic-pyruvic transaminase, polysaccharoses, vitamins and a variety of trace elements.

According to <Yaoxing Lun> (Discourse on the Properties of Pharmaceutical Substances), the medicinal property of Lu Hui is relatively cold, with a bitter taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the liver, stomach, and large intestine meridians.

In traditional Chinese medicine, Lu Hui is often used to induce diarrhea, clear liver and kill insects, treat constipation, oral ulcers, diabetes, phlebitis, irritability, convulsion, insomnia, acne, freckles, burns, and sunburns.

There are about 30 kinds of Chinese medicine prescriptions containing it, such as Dang Gui Long Hui Wan, Fei Er Wan, and Bu Dai Wan.

Health benefits of Lu Hui

  • Anti-inflammation, anti-influenza A virus, and anti-tumor.
  • Enhancing the ability of gastric mucosa to scavenge free radicals, promoting the repair of damaged gastric mucosa, and resisting gastric ulcer.
  • Increasing the total antioxidant capacity of plasma, reducing the number of lactic acid bacteria, and preventing oral bacterial infection.
  • Reducing the exudation and edema of the burn wound, enhancing the collagen synthesis of the wound, and promoting the healing of the wound.
  • Reducing fatty acid synthesis and preventing fatty liver induced by ethanol.
  • Inhibiting lipopolysaccharide-mediated proliferation and phagocytosis of peritoneal macrophages in mice and reducing the immunity of mice.
  • Lowering blood sugar, plasma triacylglycerol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, increasing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and treating type 1 diabetes.
  • Stimulating the peristalsis of the intestinal wall, inducing diarrhea, and treating constipation in the elderly, and constipation caused by heat retention.
  • Clearing liver fire, relieving insomnia and irritability caused by the exuberance of liver fire.
  • Treating constipation, scanty dark urine, dizziness, headache, irritability, and convulsive epilepsy caused by the exuberance of liver fire.
  • Treating infantile malnutrition, abdominal pain, and emaciation caused by a parasitic infestation.
  • The topical application of it can treat tinea and scabies.
  • Its water infusion can inhibit a variety of skin fungi and human Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  • Studies have confirmed that it contains acemannan, which has been used as an adjunct to the treatment of AIDS.

Lu Hui is used with other Chinese herbs

Side effects of Lu Hui

Excessive use of it may cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, tenesmus, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, or contact dermatitis.

In severe cases, it may cause acute nephritis.

Precautions of Lu Hui

  • The dosage of Lu Hui should be controlled at 1-2g.
  • It can be made into pills, powders, or ground for external use.
  • People with allergic constitutions should not take it.
  • People with weakness of spleen and stomach should not take it.
  • People with poor appetite or loose stools should not take it.
  • Women should not take it during menstruation or pregnancy.
  • Children should not take it.