Effect of the combination of Aloe vera, nitroglycerin, and L-NAME on wound healing in the rat excisional model

John P. Heggers, Haissam Elzaim, Robert Garfield, Rick Goodheart, Dmitry Listengarten, Jiangang Zhao, Linda G. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Purpose: Many systemic and topical therapeutic agents such as growth hormone, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) have been used as vulnerary agents. However, the role of nitric oxide (NO) as a wound-healing stimulant has been received with mixed reviews. NO is a potent vasodilator that is thought to be an endothelium-dependent relaxing factor, and a regulator of blood pressure and regional blood flow. It affects vascular smooth muscle proliferation and inhibits platelet aggregation and leukocyte adhesion. Therefore we compared the effects of several topical substances that have similar or reverse properties. Methods: Using the excisional rat wound model, we evaluated the topical effects of Dermaide Aloe (D-Aloe, Dermaide Research Corp, Falos Heights, IL), nitroglycerin, Aquaphor® (Beuersdorf, Inc., Norwalk, CT) alone, with D-Aloe with nitroglycerin, 2%, and L-NAME (NO inhibitor) with Aquaphor®, and L-NAME with Aquaphor® and D-Aloe for a 21-day period. All wounds were measured by planimetry at 1, 7, 10, 13, 16, 18, and 21 days. Results: At day 1, all wounds had an average wound size of 2.27 cm2 (SD ± 0.372) with no significant difference in wound size among the groups. Topically applied D-Aloe appeared to promote wound healing faster than the remaining other topicals (p < .05, Student-Newman-Keuls and Dunn's Method) over the study period. However, topicals combined with D-Aloe, the vehicle Aquaphor®, and L-NAME improved the wound healing process when compared with nitroglycerin alone (p < .05). Conclusions: D-Aloe appears to have a wound-healing advancement factor that can reverse the effects of petrolatum- and nitroglycerin-based products as observed in the remaining groups when compared with nitroglycerin alone. It appears that D-Aloe's effect of preventing dermal ischemia by reversing the effects of thromboxane synthetase (TxA2) may act synergistically with NO or could be an oxygen radical scavenger.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-153
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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