Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine

, Volume 18, Issue 8, pp 635–640 | Cite as

Potential prevention: Aloe vera mouthwash may reduce radiation-induced oral mucositis in head and neck cancer patients

  • Amirhossein AhmadiEmail author


In recent years, more head and neck cancer patients have been treated with radiotherapy. Radiation-induced mucositis is a common and dose limiting toxicity of radiotherapy among patients with head and neck cancers. Patients undergoing radiation therapy for head and neck cancer are also at increased risk of developing oral candidiasis. A number of new agents applied locally or systemically to prevent or treat radiationinduced mucositis have been investigated, but there is no widely accepted prophylactic or effective treatment for mucositis. Topical Aloe vera is widely used for mild sunburn, frostbites, and scalding burns. Studies have reported the beneficial effects of Aloe gel for wound healing, mucous membrane protection, and treatment of oral ulcers, in addition to antiinflammatory, immunomudulation, antifungal, scavenging free radicals, increasing collagen formation and inhibiting collagenase. Herein the author postulates that oral Aloe vera mouthwash may not only prevent radiation-induced mucositis by its wound healing and antiinflammatory mechanism, but also may reduce oral candidiasis of patients undergoing head and neck radiotherapy due to its antifungal and immunomodulatory properties. Hence, Aloe vera mouthwash may provide an alternative agent for treating radiation-induced oral mucositis and candidiasis in patients with head and neck cancers.


Aloe vera mouthwash radiotherapy mucositis head and neck cancer candidiasis 


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© Chinese Association of the Integration of Traditional and Western Medicine and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Faculty of PharmacyMazandaran University of Medical SciencesSariIran

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