For 6,000 years, aloe vera has been used in herbal medicine, dermatology and cosmetology. Clinical studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of its therapeutic properties in the treatment of certain dermal conditions, gastrointestinal disorders and it is an excellent antioxidant to fight against cellular aging.
Scientific name: Aloe vera, Aloe barbadensis
Common names: aloe, desert lilies
English name: Aloe vera
Botanical classification: family of liliacs (Liliaceae)
Forms and preparations: gel, milk, juice, capsules, lotions, creams, drinks
Medicinal properties of Aloe vera
Hypoglycemic (lower blood glucose) and cholesterol-lowering (lower lipid) effects: management of diabetes 2 and high cholesterol.
Gastrointestinal disorders: point constipation, flatulence.
Antioxidant effect: acts against cellular aging.
Others: effective against chronic fatigue, candidiasis and periodontitis. Its gel minimizes the risk of infection and has superior nutritional properties.
Relieves skin conditions: acne, eczema, psoriasis, burns, boils, itching. Mild analgesic effect: joint, muscle and neuralgic pain.
USUAL THERAPEUTIC INDICATIONS
To relieve gastrointestinal problems, soften dehydrated, irritated or dry skin.
Proven therapeutic indications
In the case of diabetes, for its hypoglycemic effect. To treat irritable bowel syndrome and chronic constipation.
History of the use of Aloe vera in herbal medicine
The Aloe vera is believed to have originated in Africa and a few islands in the Indian Ocean. The gel of this plant was already used to cure skin problems and constipation in Ancient Greece and ancient Egypt. According to some historians, the Spanish imported the first aloe plants into America around the 16th century. In 1820, Aloe vera was mentioned in the official pharmacopoeia of the United States, and in 1935, a group of American physicians used it to treat burns from X-ray exposure. Since then, interest in this plant of a hundred virtues has continued to increase throughout the world.
Botanical description of Aloe vera
Alea vera is one of the monocoty madonnas, such as asparagus, tulip, lily, onion, garlic and chives, such as asparagus, lily, garlic and chives. The plant is about 70 cm tall, its roots are shallow, and it consists of a variable number of fleshy, triangular and pointed leaves at the ends. Small pale yellow spines are often present around the edges of its leaves. Its flowering, light yellow, appears on trumpet-shaped poles and its fruit is capsular. Its gel, a pale green viscous material, is taken from the centre of its leaves, while its latex is extracted from the small channels in its stem. This plant grows on limestone and sandy soils, in a warm and rather dry atmosphere. It is grown industrially in the United States, the Caribbean, the Philippines and Mexico.
Composition of Aloe vera
Its gel and latex are used in herbal medicine and naturopathy; dermatology and cosmetology, only the gel is exploited.
Anthraceic derivatives of sap: aloin, aloe émodine, aloinosides and hydroxy-aloins.
Mono and polysaccharides: cellulose, mannose, glucose, aldopentosis and L-rhamnose.
Amino acids: aspartic, isoleucine, hydroxiproline, lysine, methotionine, phenylalanine, theonine, valine, leucine (essential amino acids) and proline, serine, tyrosine, glutamic acid, alanine, arginine, cystine, glycine, histidine (secondary amino acids). Vitamins: A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, B12 and PP.
Mineral elements: calcium, copper, chromium, chlorine, lithium, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium and zinc. Enzymes: catalase, amylase, lipase, cellulase, oxydase and phosphatases.
Other elements: aloenin, aloesin, cinnamic acid, resistanol, lignin, chrysophanic acid, saponins, volatile oils and choline.
Use and dosage of Aloe vera
- In gel, Aloe vera should be applied in thin layers, directly on the skin.
- In juice, a consumption of 50 ml per day is a maximum dose.
- In the form of capsules, the recommended dosage is 200 to 300 mg per day.
Precautions for the use of Aloe vera
It is best to focus on brands that do not contain aloe. Sun exposure should be avoided after applying Aloe vera gel to the skin, due to the risk of photosensitization.
The consumption of its latex is not suitable for pregnant women, young children as well as people with irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, heart or kidney disorders. It is ineffective in applying to infected lesions.
Abdominal cramps and diarrhea can occur when Aloe vera latex is used in high doses or for a long period of time.
INTERACTIONS WITH MEDICINAL PLANTS OR SUPPLEMENTS
Gel and latex should not be taken at the same time as laxative, hypoglycemic or cholesterol-lowering plants.
INTERACTIONS WITH DRUGS
Avoid taking latex or gel as a drink at the same time as laxative drugs or that lower sugar and cholesterol levels.
Aloe vera is a true ally, on a daily basis, on a nutritional level. Eighty of the 200 elements that make up it are important nutrients for better health (amino acids, vitamins, minerals, mono and polysaccharides, enzymes). The presence of choline helps control cholesterol, allows the liver to function properly and participates in the memorization process. Aloe vera is particularly useful in preventing or fighting constipation.
Aloe gel improves the condition of mature skin because it has biogenic stimulation properties. It multiplies, by 7 or 8, the production of fibroblasts, which create human collagen. Moisturizing and emollient, it softens irritated, surface-burnt or very dry skin.
For ingestion of the Aloe vera drinkable gel or its latex, in liquid or capsules, follow the dosage indicated on the containers. If in doubt, it is best to seek advice from your doctor or pharmacist.
Aloe vera research
The latest scientific research has focused on Aloe vera-based gels and creams and has been conducted in dermatology. Further research on the action of Aloe vera gel on gingivitis has not confirmed its effectiveness. In addition, further clinical trials have been conducted in the treatment of diabetes, genital herpes, and chronic constipation. Some results indicated that a topical product containing 0.5% Aloe vera extract was much more effective than a placebo in helping to treat lesions caused by genital herpes.