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Aloe vera quick review
Botanical description: a genus of plants belonging to family Asphodelaceae. Aloe vera is a stemless plant with rosettes of very thick fleshy leaves. Only the leaves are used for medicine.
Active constituents: water and polysaccharides (pectins, hemicelluloses, glucomannan, acemannan, and mannose derivatives), amino acids, lipids, sterols (lupeol, campesterol, and beta-sitosterol), tannins, enzymes, fatty acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and other substances.
Health benefits : helps the skin replenish lost moisture, helps heal burns and promote cell repair, speeds the healing of burns (from fire, sun or radiation) and insect bites, and relieves itching and dandruff, internally as a natural remedy in the treatment of stomach ulcer and mouth ulcers.
Dosage: available commercially in a stabilized gel form, incorporated into ointments, creams, and lotions. For internal use of aloe gel, two tablespoons (about 30 ml) three times per day for inflammatory bowel conditions. For constipation, dose of 40 to 170 milligrams of aloe latex per day.
Side effects : internal use of aloe vera latex may turn the urine red, and may also cause abdominal pain or cramps. Overuse may cause electrolyte imbalances. Chronic internal use may increase the likelihood of potassium loss.
 
Aloe Vera 200 by New Chapter
One tablet of Aloe Vera 200 equals two ounces of fresh aloe vera juice. Each tablet is an organic, freeze-dried concentrate created to promote normal tissue repair and may help to support immune functions. This highly concentrated tablet with no preservatives is cryo-dried for maximum activity to help promote a healthy inflammation response. Click here for more information.
 

Aloe vera


Aloe is a genus of plants belonging to family Asphodelaceae, with about 400 species distributed throughout Africa, Arabia, and Madagascar. Aloe vera, meaning true aloe, was originally spread throughout the Mediterranean region. Aloe vera is a perennial plant with yellow flowers. The plant can grow up to 4 feet in height and its tough, fleshy, spearlike leaves can grow up to 20 inches long. Aloe vera is a stemless plant with rosettes of very thick fleshy leaves. The aloe vera flowers are yellow or red clusters which are formed on long stems. The leaves are thick and fleshy and measure about 15 to 20 inches in length. The leaf margins contain a row of pale teeth that are about one tenth of an inch long. Aloe vera comes in powder, liquid and chunk form. It can be used to develop soothing dairy-based beverages or can be used like a fruit prep in yogurt and other cultured products. Only the leaves are used for medicine, but different parts of the leaves can be used for different purposes. The clear, thick gel found in the inner part of the leaf is most commonly used for minor cuts and burns. The bitter yellow juice found between the gel and the outer skin of the leaf is dried and commonly used for laxative purposes.
 

Active constituents of aloe vera


Aloe vera is a source of energy containing over 200 nutrients, including 18 amino acids and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Aloe vera gel consists primarily of water and polysaccharides (pectins, hemicelluloses, glucomannan, acemannan, and mannose derivatives). Polysaccharides are a type of carbohydrate that stimulates skin growth and repair. It also contains amino acids, lipids, sterols (lupeol, campesterol, and beta-sitosterol), tannins, enzymes. Mannose 6-phosphate is a major sugar component. Aloe latex contains compounds known as anthraquinones that stimulate the activity of the gastrointestinal tract. The anthraquinones include the hydroxyanthracene derivatives, aloins A and B, barbaloin, isobarbaloin, aloectic acid, and emodin. Aloe vera also contains fatty acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and other substances. Aloe juice (also known as aloe latex or aloe sap) is a yellow, bitter liquid derived from the outer layer of the aloe leaf. It contains substances that, when taken by mouth, have very strong laxative effects.
 

Medicinal uses and health benefits


Aloe vera is a plant that has wonderful healing and softening properties. Historically aloe vera is known to soften and soothe and skin. Aloe has been long been used for its medicinal and skin care benefits. The aloe vera plant has been used for thousands of
years to heal a variety of conditions ranging from skin lesions to constipation. The gel from the inner leaf is applied externally to soothe skin, help heal burns and promote cell repair. Aloe vera is one of the most widely recognized skin care ingredients. It helps the skin replenish lost moisture and when applied to skin injuries, minor wounds, burns, rashes, or lesions, it works immediately and effectively to heal and soothe. It promotes the healing of burns and superficial wounds, but should not be used on deep or surgical wounds of punctures.

Aloe vera is one of the most widely used substances in the world for the treatment of bruises and burns. Aloe gel speeds the healing of burns (from fire, sun or radiation) and insect bites, and relieves itching and dandruff. Aloe vera heals third degree burns up to six times faster than traditional medical treatments. Aloe contains active compounds that stop pain and inflammation and stimulate skin growth and repair. Aloe vera is able to promote the formation of collagen when applied to skin wounds (collagen is a vital substance in skin that provides strength and structure). Healing is promoted by the anti-inflammatory components, including several glycoproteins and salicylates, and substances that stimulate growth of skin and connective tissue. Aloe helps promote healthy digestive surfaces throughout the esophagus and stomach. A. vera helps encourage normal muscle and joint functions.

Aloe vera has been widely marketed as having a number of benefits when taken internally. For example, Aloe has been marketed as a remedy for coughs, wounds, ulcers, gastritis, diabetes, cancer, headaches, arthritis, immune-system deficiencies, and many other conditions. However, these uses are unproven. The only substantiated internal use is as a laxative. Preliminary studies suggest that aloe juice may help lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 (adult onset) diabetes.

Aloe vera gel products may also be used internally. Aloe vera juice can be used as a natural remedy in the treatment of stomach ulcer and mouth ulcers because of its anti-inflammatory effect. It appears to have a soothing effect on the ulcer, and interferes with the release of hydrochloric acid by the stomach. Oral aloe gel supplements may lower blood glucose levels in people who suffer diabetes. The anti-inflammatory effects of aloe gel may be of benefit in arthritis for the control of joint inflammation. The stimulating effects of Aloe on the uterus may also help to induce suppressed menstruation.

 

Dosage and administration


Aloe gel is available commercially in a stabilized gel form, incorporated into ointments, creams, and lotions. Aloe latex is available in a powdered form or in 500 mg capsules for use as a laxative. Different brands may have different formulations and effects, taking aloe vera should be careful and under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional for serious health problems. Apply aloe gel to affected area two or three times a day, to treat burns, cuts, scrapes, shingles, and other skin problems. For internal use of aloe gel, two tablespoons (about 30 ml) three times per day is used by some people for inflammatory bowel conditions, including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. For constipation, dose of 40 to 170 milligrams of aloe latex per day, for no longer than seven days, has been taken by mouth. The use of oral aloe latex is not currently recommended for children.
 

Side effects, precautions, interactions of aloe vera


Internal use of aloe vera latex may turn the urine red, and may also cause abdominal pain or cramps when products containing anthraquinones are consumed. Occasionally, some people develop a mild allergic reaction marked by itching or a rash, when used as topical treatment. Due to improper processing, aloe vera juice sometimes contains small quantities of the laxative compound in aloe latex. Because of the laxative effects of latex, overuse may cause electrolyte imbalances. Aloe latex may cause severe intestinal cramps or diarrhea. Pregnant women should not take aloe latex because it may cause uterine contractions and trigger miscarriage. Aloe latex is not recommended for people with gastrointestinal illness, intestinal obstruction, appendicitis, or stomach pain. It may worsen ulcers, hemorrhoids, diverticulosis, colitis, or irritable bowel syndrome. Children and the elderly should not consume an aloe vera latex laxative internally. Chronic internal use of products containing aloe vera latex may increase the likelihood of potassium loss when used concomitantly with diuretics or corticosteroids. Internal use of aloe vera is not recommended for people taking digoxin, diuretics, topical or oral steroids, medication for arrhythmia (irregular heart beats) and drugs which cause potassium to be lost from the body.