Introduction: The Aloe vera and its components has been widely suggested for its ulcer protective action. Traditional Indian Siddha medical literature claims that washing the fresh Aloe vera gel (FAVG) has improved ulcer protective action due to the removal of bitter yellow latex. In this study, we compared the ulcer protective effect of unwashed as well as washed fresh Aloe vera gel in rats. Methods: We prepared washed and unwashed FAVG. Albino rats were fed with normal saline, ranitidine suspension, washed and unwashed FAVG for 8 days. Drugs have been tested in two ulcer models, in which indomethacin (20mg/kg) and ethanol (80%) were used for the induction of ulcer after animals were fasted for 24 hours. The animals were sacrificed and stomach was cut open to calculate mean ulcer index and a section was sent for histopathological examination. One Way ANOVA was done for analysis. Results: In indomethacin induced ulcer model, the mean ulcer index in control, ranitidine, washed and unwashed FAVG treatment groups were 7.67 ± 1.51, 1.92 ± 1.12, 2.17 ± 1.16 and 4.0 ± 1.09 respectively. The percentage of ulcer protection in washed FAVG treatment (71.71%) is comparable with ranitidine treatment (74.97%), whereas the unwashed FAVG showed only 47.84% ulcer protection. In ethanol induced ulcer model, the mean ulcer index in control, ranitidine, washed and unwashed FAVG treatment groups were 7.83 ± 1.51, 1.83 ± 0.82, 2.33 ±1.37 and 4.17 ± 1.47 respectively. The percentage of ulcer protection in washed FAVG treatment (70.24%) is comparable with ranitidine treatment (76.63%), whereas the unwashed FAVG showed only 46.74% ulcer protection. In both the above ulcer models, washing the FAVG showed statistically significant (p<0.05) reduction in ulcer index and improved ulcer protection. Conclusions: Washed fresh Aloe vera gel has shown higher ulcer protective activity compared to unwashed gel.
Key words: Aloe vera gel, Aloe latex, Gastric Ulcer, Indomethacin, Ethanol, Siddha, Ayurveda.