Cephas Hot Shop, Ybor City

Aloe vera and Frostbite (Research)


Peer-Reviewed Professional Journals

· Heggers, J. P., et al. Experimental & clinical observations on frostbite. Ann Emerg Med. 16(9):1056-1062, 1987.

Experimental ischemia by the classic frostbite rabbit ear model clearly defined the role of thromboxane as a mediator of progressive dermal ischemia in frostbite injuries. The therapeutic groups consisted of the antiprostanoids, methylprednisolone, and aspirin combined with anti-thromboxane agents Aloe vera and methimazole, while the control group received no therapy. Survival was measured by planimetry for all groups. No tissue survival was evident in the frostbite control group. Methimazole treatment allowed 34.3% survival, Aloe vera 28.2% survival, aspirin 22.5% survival, and methylprednisolone 17.5% survival.

· Heggers, J. P., et al. Beneficial effects of Aloe in wound healing. Phytotherapy Research. 7(Special Issue):S48-S52, 1993.

The therapeutic effects of Aloe vera were examined in preventing progressive dermal ischemia caused by burns, frostbite, electrical injury, distal dying flap and intra-arterial drug abuse in man and animal models. In vivo analysis of these injuries showed that the mediator of progressive tissue damage was thromboxane A2 (TxA2). Aloe vera was compared to a variety of antithromboxane agents (U38450, a lodoxamide, a lazaroid and a wound gel). In the burn injury, Aloe vera was comparable to the lodoxamide and lazaroid with an 82% to 85% tissue survival when compared with the control and the wound gel. Tissue survival in the experimental frostbite injury was 28.2% when compared with the control. Similar results were obtained for the electrical injury, and intra-arterial drug abuse. Clinical burn patients treated with Aloe vera healed without tissue loss as did those with frostbite. In the intra-arterial drug abuse patients, Aloe vera reversed tissue necrosis. This therapeutic approach was used to prevent progressive tissue loss in each injury by actively inhibiting the localized production of TxA2. Aloe vera not only acts as a TxA2 inhibitor but maintains a homeostasis within the vascular endothelium as well as the surrounding tissue.

· McCauley, R. L., et al. Frostbite, methods to minimize tissue loss. Postgrad Med. 88(8):67-77, 1990.

Rapid rewarming helps to preserve tissue by limiting the amount of direct cellular injury caused by frostbite. Selective management of blisters helps protect the subdermal plexus, and application of Aloe vera cream combats the local vasoconstrictive effects of thromboxane. Oral administration of ibuprofen decreases systemic levels of thromboxane.

· Miller, K. B., et al. Treatment of experimental frostbite with pentoxifylline and aloe vera cream. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 121(6):678-680, 1995.

The frostbitten ears of 10 New Zealand white rabbits were assigned to one of four treatment groups: untreated controls, those treated with Aloe vera cream, those treated with pentoxifylline, and those treated with Aloe vera cream and pentoxifylline. Tissue survival was calculated as the percent of total frostbite area that remained after 2 weeks. The control group had a 6% tissue survival. T issue survival was notably improved with pentoxifylline (20%), better with Aloe vera cream (24%), and the best with the combination therapy (30%).

Laypersons’ Publications

· Kent, S. New healing therapy for skin injuries: treating frostbite with Aloe vera. Life Extension. 2(11):18, 1996.