Aloe species are frequently cultivated as ornamental plants both in gardens and in pots. Many Aloe species are highly decorative and are valued by collectors of succulents. Aloe vera is used both internally and externally on humans, and is claimed to have some medicinal effects, which have been supported by scientific and medical research. The gel in the leaves can be made into a smooth type of cream that can heal burns such as sunburn. They can also be made into types of special soaps.
Historical use of various Aloe species by humans is well documented. Documentation of the clinical effectiveness is available, although relatively limited.
Of the 500+ species of Aloe, only a few were used traditionally as a herbal medicine, aloe vera again being the most commonly used version of aloe in herbal medicine. Also included areAloe perryi (found in northeastern Africa) and Aloe ferox (found in South Africa). The Greeks and Romans used aloe vera to treat wounds. In the Middle Ages, the yellowish liquid found inside the leaves was favored as a purgative. Unprocessed aloe that contains aloin is generally used as a laxative, whereas processed aloe vera juice does not usually contain significant aloin.
Some species, particularly Aloe vera are used in alternative medicine and in the home first aids. Both the translucent inner pulp and the resinous yellow aloin from wounding the Aloeplant are used externally to relieve skin discomforts. As an herbal medicine, aloe vera juice is commonly used internally to relieve digestive discomfort. Some modern research suggests Aloe vera can significantly slow wound healing compared to normal protocols of treatment. Other reviews of randomised and controlled clinical trials have provided no evidence that Aloe vera has a strong medicinal effect.
Today, aloe vera is used both internally and externally on humans. The gel found in the leaves is used for soothing minor burns, wounds, and various skin conditions like eczema and ringworm. The extracted aloe vera juice aloe vera plant is used internally to treat a variety of digestive conditions. The use of this herbal medicine was popularized in the 1950s in many Western countries. The gel’s effect is nearly immediate; it also applies a layer over wounds that is said to reduce the chance of any infection. Despite its popularity, aloe is an allergen and should always be tested before use.
There have been relatively few studies about possible benefits of Aloe gel taken internally. Components of Aloe may inhibit tumor growth. There have been some studies in animal models which indicate that extracts of Aloe have a significant anti-hyperglycemic effect, and may be useful in treating Type II diabetes. These studies have not been confirmed in humans.
The Aloe Vera extract is extremely beneficial for patients who have lost a large amount of blood. In fact, even a small amount of Aloe Vera extract helps in the healing of wounds. It dissolves easily in blood and multiplies the effectiveness of the blood in a body. Records tell us that Alexander the Great (356–323 BC) used this quality of Aloe Vera for healing battle wounds suffered by his soldiers. Egyptian queen and legend, Cleopatra, used this herb extract for entirely different reasons, as an agent for skin care.
The extract is made by grinding the plant’s leaves and is extremely popular and appreciated in cosmetology. Its extract contains calcium, amino acids, sodium, nitrogen and vitamins. The plant’s properties find expression in several cosmetic products in the form of creams, gels, lotions, cleansers, moisturizers, anti-ageing products, acne and pimple creams, and hair lotions. It is an important ingredient in health drinks and can also be taken as a dietary supplement. Listed below are some of its uses:
Influenza or Flu: Researchers at Texas A&M University are developing an Aloe Vera nose spray that can effectively treat influenza. Aloe Vera leaves are put through a series of complex extraction steps to produce a chemically pure powder, which is combined with the flu vaccine. The special carbohydrate in the plant’s leaves is perfect for forming the gel-like substance needed to act as a carrier for the vaccine.
Acidity: Fresh Aloe Vera juice when taken in a dose of 10ml to 20ml, two or three times a day, is a good cure for relieving acidity.
Burns: The juice extracted from the plant’s pulp is applied to burnt skin as it acts as a soother and healer.
Swelling: Mix some turmeric powder in Aloe Vera pulp and heat the paste slightly; apply it to the affected part for instant relief.
Hair loss: Aloe Vera is considered to be one of the best treatments for hair loss. It has anti-inflammatory properties that prevent hair loss and are even beneficial for curing Alopecia. Moreover, the herb is very effective for hair growth. It also maintains the pH balance of the scalp and helps in cleaning of pores. Aloe Vera juice, coconut milk and wheatgerm oil can be mixed and applied to the scalp for combating dandruff.
Skin care: A miracle worker on skin, Aloe Vera is used for treating wounds and cuts, burns, blisters, rashes, fungal infections, pain and inflammation. This wonder herb is a very common ingredient in moisturizer creams, which help reduce pigmentation, freckles, sunburn, dark spots, acne, and dry and patchy skin. Its creams are good for allergies and skin eruptions. For people suffering from eczema and psoriasis, Aloe Vera offers relief from reducing pain and itching. It also keeps ageing at bay.
Stomach disorders: The juice of Aloe Vera helps in curing ulcers, heartburn and other digestive disorders. It also keeps the digestive system healthy by playing the role of a laxative that helps in controlling bowel movement.
Vigour and strength: It is recommended to take Aloe Vera pulp with milk twice a day for renewed energy levels.
Female disorders: The herb is beneficial for the healthy working of the uterus, and especially helps in regulating menstrual flow.
According to recent research, Aloe Vera can also be used as a food preservative. Aloe Vera gel can be used as an edible coating to prolong the quality and safety of fresh fruit and vegetables. The gel does not affect food taste or appearance, and acts as a safe, natural and environmentally-friendly alternative to conventional synthetic preservatives.