Aloe is also an excellent treatment for skin conditions such as burns and eczema. It is often reported that burns can be healed remarkably quickly and the pain reduced very quickly with topical application of Aloe Vera to the burn area. As well as applying topically, Aloe can also be taken internally so it is just as useful for internal epithelial tissue as it is for the skin. For example, mouth and stomach ulcers, nasal and sinuses, bowels, lungs and genital tracts. Aloe works on membranes and surfaces.
Aloe also seems to be excellent at regulating the immune system (an immunomodulator). This means it can both stimulate the immune response for those with weakened immune systems either from exisiting conditions or post-illness fatigue. It can also calm the immune response, such as for Hayfever where less immune reaction is beneficial.
Although Aloe is about 99% water, the remaining 1% is extremely powerful and it is thought this is because the close to 100 ingredients work extremely well together (synergistically). Aloe vera contains many minerals vital to the growth process and healthy function of all the body's systems. The ingredients in Aloe can be grouped into the following categories: Vitamins, Minerals, Sugars, Enzymes, Lignins, Amino Acids, Anthraquinones, Saponins, Fatty Acids, Salicylic Acid.
Each of these categories could be discussed at length in their own right regarding individual molecules and ongoing studies into their remarkable effects. Combined together it's easy to see why Aloe Vera is such an effective healing plant.
It is often reported Aloe Vera is one of the only known natural vegetarian sources of Vitamin B12, however it appears there are only trace amounts of B12 at best in Aloe Vera. What DOES seem to be the case is that taking Aloe vera at the same time as a Vitamin B12 supplement increases the absorption and bio-availability of the B12 to the body. The B vitamins range, along with Vitamin C, are all water soluble, whereas the rest of the vitamins are fat soluble. Aloe vera seems quite special in that it appears to also enhance the absorption of Vitamin E (fat soluble) as well as Vitamin B12, which suggests it can help absorp the full range of fat and water soluble vitamins. It would therefore be a great addition to your daily regime as it may help adults, children, and even pets receive more value from their foods and supplements.
Numerous studies worldwide indicate that it is a general tonic for the immune system, helping it to fight illness of all kinds. Various research studies are underway to explore the potential of the components to boost immunity and combat the HIV virus, and to treat certain types of cancer (particularly leukemia). It may even have a role to play in managing diabetes.
Over 200 worldwide scientific research papers have been published on the effects. The three main categories of research include anti-inflammatory, anti- bacterial, and anti-viral actions of the plant. The juice is said to soothe digestive tract irritations such as colitis, ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome. It's ability to encourage the release of pepsin (a gastric juice enzyme necessary for digestion) when the stomach is full is a possible reason for its ulcer-healing effects (Journal of the American Osteopathic Society, 1963, vol.62). In one study, oral use for six months helped mitigate asthma symptoms in almost half of the participants. Eleven of twenty-seven patients studied who drank Aloe reported feeling better at the end of the study. Researchers think that results might be due to stimulation of the immune system, as well as naturally occurring anti-inflammatory agents in the plant.
In 1994, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Aloe vera for the treatment of HIV. On-going studies worldwide show that taken in highly concentrated doses can stimulate the production of white blood cells that may help fight viruses and also tumours.
Aloe vera contains protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamins A and E and is naturally rich in:
Vitamin C which helps maintain tone of blood vessels and promotes good circulation and is essential to the health of the adrenal gland which supports our body in times of stress.
Amino acids which are chains of atoms constructing protein in our body.
Enzymes, which are the life-principle in every live, organic atom and molecule of natural raw food, rejuvenate aged tissues and promote healthy skin.
Germanium which is a mineral that some health authorities claim therapeutic benefits for: immunodeficiency, pain, cardiac disorders, circulatory disturbances and eye problems.
The juice is said to be one of the finest body cleansers, cleaning morbid matter from the stomach, liver, kidneys, spleen, bladder, and is considered the finest, known colon cleanser. Studies have shown that it is healing and soothing in the relief of indigestion, stomach distress and ulcers. People claim relief from arthritis, bladder and kidney infections; leg cramps, constipation, hemorrhoids, insomnia, and for vaginitis, it is said to be an excellent vaginal douche. An excellent internal tonic for energy and well being Aloe juice may add greatly to the strength of the food fed, digestive tract, skin, and overall good health and happiness.
It is also used to ease heartburn, ulcers, diverticular disorders, and other types of digestive upset. It is used as an anti-inflammatory and may be taken internally as a remedy for certain digestive complaints. European folk medicine calls for using the juice to relieve heartburn and ulcers. Preliminary research has shown promising results. Clinical trials in Japan indicate that certain compounds in the herb reduce the secretion of stomach juices and the formation of lesions.
Animal studies and anecdotal reports claim that drinking the juice or taking it as a tablet or capsule can reduce swelling and inflammation in arthritic joints. Drinking the juice may also help those asthmatic patients who are not dependent on cortico-steroids.
In 1997, University of San Antonio researcher Jeremiah Herlihy, Ph.D., conducted a study to observe any negative effects of drinking it daily. Rather than exhibiting negative effects, however, test animals receiving daily Aloe showed a remarkable reduction in leukemia, heart disease, and kidney disease. Dr. Herlihy concluded, "We found no indication of harm done to the rats even at high levels." In fact, the Aloe-drinking animals actually lived 25 percent longer than those in the control group (IASC Conference, Texas, 1997).
There is no single ingredient that makes it very potent and healthful. Researcher Robert Davis, Ph.D., an endocrinologist-biologist, explains that fifteen different compound groups of nutrients work together to make the plant effective. This means that Aloe vera's effects cannot be synthesized easily in a laboratory. On the upside, this makes the plant useful across a wide spectrum of circumstances. And because the various elements that make it effective are nutrients rather than drugs, the juice may complement medical treatments. In fact some cancer patients state that Aloe vera seems to reduce nausea, increase energy, and may help to minimize low blood counts caused by chemotherapy or radiation.
L. Aloe vera, Aloe barbadensis var miller, Aloe vera var. chinensis, Aloe vulgaris, Aloe vera var. lanzae, Aloe indica, Aloe barbadensis var. chinensis, Aloe vera var. wratislaviensis, Aloe elongata, Aloe vera var. littoralis, Aloe perfoliata var. vera, Aloe perfoliata var. barbadensis, Aloe flava, Aloe chinensis, Aloe barbadensis, Aloe lanzae.
Aloe vera, True Aloe
Anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and energy tonic
Digestive tract irritations such as colitis, ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome, cleansing stomach, liver, kidneys, spleen, bladder and colon, arthritis, asthma, bladder and kidney infections, cancer, constipation, diverticular disorders, haemorrhoids, heartburn, heart disease, HIV, immune stimulation, indigestion, insomnia, kidney disease, leg cramps, leukemia, skin health, stomach distress, tumours, vaginitis, vaginal douche, viruses, white blood cell production and general health tonic.
If you are using oral corticosteroids, such as beclomethasone, methylprednisolone, or prednisone, it is important not to overuse or misuse Aloe vera juice. A potassium deficiency can develop, and you may experience toxic effects from the medication.
Although it is removed, in practice Aloe vera juice may sometimes still contain tiny quantities of the laxative compound found in aloe latex. Should you begin to have cramps or diarrhea do not ingest any more of the juice.
Allergies to aloe vera are very rare. Yet any food can be a potential allergen. Test a small amount on the inner arm to see if any reaction takes place. If no irritation on the skin is observed then it is generally tolerated. If ingestion causes diarrhea, then reduce the amount you ingest, increasing use slowly over several days until the desired amount is tolerated.