Learn About Chinese Herbs: Lu Hui(Aloe)


Natural aloe, also known as Lu Hui in mandarin, is packed with tons of health benefits. Its plant is native to the Mediterranean and Africa. According to research, there are more than 500 species of aloes in the world and most of them grow mainly in Africa. This plant enjoys great popularity thanks to its easy maintenance, ornamental value, and food and medicinal uses. What’s more, it can help increase negative ion concentration, inhibit harmful microorganisms, capture dust, and purify formaldehyde, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and other harmful gases in the air. No doubt this is a “wonder plant”.

Aloe plant is a perennial herb. Stems are very short. Succulent leaves are erect or nearly erect and cluster at the top of the stem; they are green, narrowly lanceolate, with long acuminate apex, broad base, and margin with small spiny teeth. 

Although aloe was introduced to China only a few centuries ago, and thus has a relatively shorter application history, it has become an important part of Chinese medicine.

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Aloe as an Chinese medicinal herb:

Origin:The concentrated juice exsiccation of Aloe barbadensis Miller. or A. ferox Miller of family Lily. The former is called Lao Lu Hui, while the latter is known as Xin Lu Hui.

Harvest:The juice of aloe plant can be gathered and then decocted into dense paste all over the year.

Properties: bitter, cold

Channels Entered: Large Intestine, Liver, Stomach

Key Characteristics: cools the Liver, relieves constipation, kills parasites

Dosage: 1.5-4.5g. Used in pills or capsules; do not decoct.

Cautions and Contradictions: contraindicated in those with cold from deficiency of the Spleen and Stomach, and during pregnancy. Use with caution during lactation.


Actions and Indications:

  1. Drains fire and guides out accumulation: for constipation, dizziness, red eyes, and irritability due to heat accumulation.

  2. Clears heat and cools the Liver: for epigastric discomfort, dizziness, headache, tinnitus, irritability, constipation, and fever due to abundant heat in the Liver channel.

  3. Kills parasites and strengthens the Stomach: for childhood nutritional impairment, especially due to roundworm.


Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica, 3rd edition, 2004, Eastland Press.