Aloe Vera is known to the Egyptians as a plant of immortality and the Indians as a magic wand in the sky, because they were convinced of the “healing power” of the plant. It has a variety of health benefits and medical applications, some of which may already be known.
You may even have your own aloe vera plant in your home to treat minor emergencies such as scratches, cuts, and burns. But did you know that aloe vera is not just limited to topical use and is even more beneficial to your body when consumed internally?
The leaves of Aloe Vera are juicy, upright and form a dense rosette. The gel obtained from the leaves of the plant is used for a wide variety of purposes.
Aloe vera has been the subject of numerous scientific studies on several claimed therapeutic properties in recent years. In this article we will look at some of these claims and examine the research behind them.
What is aloe vera?
According to Kew Gardens, England’s royal botanical center of excellence, aloe vera has been used for centuries and is currently more popular than ever.
It is grown worldwide mainly as a harvest for “aloe gel”, which comes from the leaf.
Aloe vera is widely used today in:
- Dietary supplements
- Herbal remedies
The earliest record of a human use for aloe vera comes from the Ebers Papyrus (an Egyptian medical record) from the 16th century BC. According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, they called aloe vera in ancient Egypt “this plant of immortality”. The authors added that the plant has been used therapeutically for many centuries in China, Japan, India, Greece, Egypt, Mexico and Japan.
The medicinal claims to aloe vera are, as with many herbs and plants, endless. Some rely on rigorous scientific studies, others do not. This article focuses mainly on those who are supported by the research.
1. teeth and gums
A study published in General Dentistry reports that aloe vera is as effective in tooth gels in controlling cavities as toothpaste.
The researchers compared the antimicrobial ability of an aloe vera tooth gel with two popular toothpastes. They found that the gel was just as good, and in some cases even better, than the commercial toothpastes to combat mouth bacteria that cause cavities.
The authors explain that aloe latex contains anthraquinones, compounds that actively heal and relieve pain through natural anti-inflammatory effects.
The scientists warned that not all the gels they analyzed contained the correct form of aloe vera – they must contain the stabilized gel that is present in the center of the plant to be effective.
The German regulatory authority for herbs – Commission E – has approved the use of aloe vera for the treatment of constipation. Doses of 50-200 milligrams of aloe latex are usually taken once a day for up to 10 days in liquid or capsule form.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled in 2002 that there is insufficient data on the safety and efficacy of aloe products. Therefore, they can not be sold in the US for the treatment of constipation.
3. Diabetes-induced foot ulcers
A study conducted at the Sinhgad College of Pharmacy in India and published in the International Wound Journal examined the ability of aloe to treat ulcers.
They reported that “a gel made with carbopol 974p (1 percent) and aloe vera significantly promotes wound healing and wound closure in diabetic rats compared to the commercial product and is a promising product for use in diabetes-induced foot ulcers.”
4. Antioxidative and possible antimicrobial properties
Researchers from the University of Las Palmas on Gran Canaria, Spain, have published a study in the journal Molecules.
The team investigated whether the methanol extract from the hides and flowers of aloe vera could have beneficial effects on human health. The scientists focused on the possible antioxidant and antimycoplasmic activities of the extract.
Mycoplasmas are bacteria that lack a cell wall. They are not affected by many common antibiotics. Antimicrobial substances destroy these bacteria.
They reported that both aloe vera blossom and leaf extracts had antioxidant properties, especially leaf extract. The honeydew extract also showed antimycoplasmic properties.
The authors concluded that “A. Vera extracts from leaf skin and flowers can be considered as good natural antioxidant sources. ”
5. Protection against ultraviolet (UV) radiation
Scientists from Kyung Hee University’s Global Campus in South Korea wanted to find out if aloe sprout extract for infants and adult aloe sprout extract could have a protective effect on UVB-induced skin aging. in other words, whether they could protect the skin from the aging effects of sunlight.
Baby Aloe shoot extract (BAE) comes from 1-month old shoots, while the adult Aloe shoot extract (AE) comes from 4-month-old shoots.
In an article published in Phytotherapy Research, the authors concluded, “Our findings suggest that BAE may protect the skin more effectively from UVB-induced damage than AE.”
6. Protection against skin damage after radiotherapy
In a study conducted at the University of Naples, Italy, five different topical creams were tested to determine how effectively they can protect the skin of breast cancer patients receiving radiotherapy. One of these creams contained aloe.
They divided 100 patients into five groups of 20; each was prescribed a different topical treatment. They applied the creams twice a day, starting 15 days before the radiation therapy, and then applied them for a month.
During the 6-week period, participants underwent weekly skin examinations.
In the journal Radiation Oncology, the scientists reported that the preventive use of topical moisturizing creams reduced the incidence of skin side effects in women treated with breast cancer treatment, with no significantly better outcome.
“All moisturizers used in this study were equally valid in the treatment of skin damage caused by radiotherapy.”
7. Depression, learning and memory – an animal experiment
A study published in Nutritional Neuroscience found that aloe vera reduces depression and improves memory in mice.
After experiments with laboratory mice, they concluded: “Aloe vera improves learning and memory and also relieves depression in mice.”
Further studies are needed to determine if people may also receive the same benefits.
8. Wounds from second degree burns
A team of plastic surgeons compared Aloe Vera Gel with 1 percent silver sulfadiazine cream for the treatment of second-degree burns.
They reported in the Journal of Pakistan Medical Association that the burn wounds on aloe vera treated patients healed significantly faster than those treated with 1 percent silver sulfadiazine (SSD).
The researchers added that those in the aloe vera group experienced significantly more and earlier pain relief than those in the SSD group.
The authors wrote: “Patients with thermal burns treated with aloe vera gel showed an advantage over early epithelialization, earlier pain relief, and cost-effectiveness compared to patients with SSD.”
9. irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Aloe and IBS were studied in a randomized, double-blind study at St. George’s Hospital Medical School in London, UK. Their findings have been published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice. Participants with IBS received either aloe vera or a placebo. At 3 months there were no significant differences in the symptoms of diarrhea.
However, the researchers wrote:
“There was no evidence that AV [aloe vera] is beneficial for patients with IBS. However, we did not rule out improvement in patients with diarrhea or alternating IBS while taking AV. Further investigations are indicated in patients with predominantly diarrhea-related IBS. in a less complex group of patients. ”
Most global health authorities say that many of the dozens of therapeutic benefits associated with aloe vera require more scientific evidence. This does not mean that the claims are necessarily inaccurate.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) in the US, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, aloe latex contains strong laxatives.
Products containing aloin, aloe-emodin and barbaloin (ingredients of aloe) were once regulated by the FDA as oral OTC laxatives. In 2002, the FDA requested that all OTC Aloe laxatives be withdrawn or reformulated due to lack of safety data.
However, the application of aloe vera for external use is probably safe. If you want to use it, do an allergy test (apply a small circle on the skin and wait 24 hours) before applying it to your body.
Some studies have shown that topical aloe gel can help with abrasions and burns. However, the NCCAM wrote: “There is not enough scientific evidence to support Aloe Vera for any of his other applications.”
There is a selection of Aloe Vera products that can be bought online.
Important: The information does not replace professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized physicians. The contents of medicine-today.net can not and should not be used to independently diagnose or start treatment.