Aloe vera can help with a variety of human health problems.
The benefits come from its unique consistency of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, sugars, anthraquinones, lignin, saponins, fatty acids, salicylic acid and amino acids. Aloe vera is most effective on two areas of the body – the immune system and epithelial tissue.
Known to herbalists and medical folklorists for centuries as the " medical plant " or "the potted physician", this cactus-like plant with green dagger-shaped leaves filled with a clear, viscous gel was brought from Africa to North America in the sixteenth century. But long before this, Aloe Vera, whose name means "shining bitter substance," was widely regarded as a master healing plant. The ancient Egyptians referred to Aloe Vera as the "plant of immortality" and included it among the funerary gifts buried with the pharaohs. In recent decades, medical research has confirmed and extended many of the health claims for the shining bitter substance (used topically or consumed as a liquid) that is the heart of Aloe Vera. Here is a brief review of its merits.
Aloe VERA HELPS HEAL WOUNDS!
The bulk of the Aloe Vera leaf is filled with gel, 96% water with the other 4% containing 75 known substances. Applied to wounds, Aloe Vera gel is a mild anesthetic, relieving itching, swelling, and pain: it also is antibacterial and antifungal, increases blood flow to wounded areas, and stimulates fibroblasts, the skin cells responsible for wound healing.
Aloe VERA GEL SOOTHES BURNS!
In a study in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, 27 patients with moderate burn wounds were treated with a gauze coated in either Aloe Vera gel or Vaseline? (petroleum jelly). The burns healed more quickly in the Aloe group, with an average healing time of 12 days compared to 18 days for the group using Vaseline.
Aloe VERA MINIMIZES FROSTBITE DAMAGE!
A study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine established that Aloe Vera works for frostbite as well. Researchers gave standard treatments for frostbite (antibiotics, ibuprofen, and rewarming) to 154 patients with mild to severe frostbite.
Of patients who additionally received Aloe Vera gel, 67.9% healed without any tissue loss (amputation) compared to 32.7% in the control group.
Researchers concluded that Aloe prevented a decrease of blood flow to the frozen tissues, a common cause of tissue loss in frostbite.
Aloe VERA SCREENS OUT RADIATION!
Aloe Vera gel protects against skin damage from X rays, according to researchers at Hoshi University in Japan publishing in the journal Yakugaku Zasshi. They found that Aloe was an effective antioxidant, mopping up the free radicals caused by radiation,
and that it protected two of the body’s healing substances, superoxide dismutase (an antioxidant enzyme) and glutathione (an amino acid which stimulates the immune system).
Aloe VERA PROTECTS FROM LUNG CANCER!
Aloe Vera juice protective effect was confirmed in a study of 673 lung cancer patients in Okinawa, Japan, published in the Japanese Journal of Cancer Research. This survey looked at the connection between smoking, comparative amounts of 17 plant foods in the diet; and the occurrence of lung cancer over a five-year period. Aloe Vera was the only one of the plant foods that was protective against cancer."The results of plant epidemiology suggests that Aloe Vera juice prevents human pulmonary carcinogenesis (lung cancer)," stated the researchers. Further, Aloe is "widely preventive or suppressive against various human cancers."
Aloe VERA EASES INTESTINAL PROBLEMS!
Aloe Vera juice can be effective for treating inflammatory bowel disease, according to a study in the Journal of Alternative Medicine.
Ten patients were given two ounces of Aloe Vera juice, three times daily, for seven days. After one week, all patients were cured of diarrhea, four had improved bowel regularity, and three reported increased energy(!). Researchers concluded that Aloe was able to rebalance the intestines by "regulating gastrointestinal pH while improving gastrointestinal motility, increasing stool specific gravity, and reducing populations of certain fecal microorganisms, including yeast.", Other studies have shown that Aloe Vera juice helps to detoxify the bowel, neutralize stomach acidity, and relieve constipation and gastric ulcers.
Aloe VERA REDUCES BLOOD SUGAR IN DIABETES!
Aloe Vera juice reduced the blood sugar levels in diabetics, as reported in Hormone Research. Five patients with adult (non-insulin- dependent) diabetes were given 1/2 teaspoon of Aloe Vera extract juice daily for up to 14 weeks.. Blood sugar levels were reduced in all patients by an average of 45%!, with no change in their total weight.
The Effects of Lifelong Aloe Ingestion on Aging and Pathology!
The use of Aloe Vera has crossed the barriers of time and culture in its promise to alleviate a broad range of illnesses. The basis of its reputation resides mainly with the steadfast beliefs in claims of its curative properties but without hard scientific evidence. The objective of our study was to initiate a systematic and scientific investigation of the effects of long-term Aloe ingestion on laboratory rats. Utilizing well-characterized inbred male F344 rats, housed under specific pathogen-free barrier conditions, we determined longevity, age-related pathology, and selected physiological and metabolic parameters.
A total of 360 rats were divided into four groups:
Group 1 (control) was fed a semi-synthetic diet without Aloe;
Group 2 was fed a diet containing a 1% freeze-dried Aloe filet;
Group 3 was fed a diet containing a 1% charcoal-processed, freeze-dried Aloe filet;
Group 4 was given whole leaf Aloe (0.02%) in drinking water.
For the longevity and pathological studies, 60 rats from each group were used.. For the physiological and metabolic studies, 30 rats were sacrificed at 4, 8, and 16 months of age.
A summary of results are as follows: Aloe ingestion, both crude and processed, was shown to extend (-10%) average life span and slow the mortality rate doubling time. Also, several beneficial effects from Aloe ingestion on age-related disease were found: Group 2 and 3 showed a lower incidence of atrial thrombosis than Group 1. Furthermore, Group 2 showed a significantly lower incidence of fatal chronic nephropathy and occurrence of multiple causes of death compared to the control group. All groups ingesting Aloe showed a slightly lower incidence of fatal leukemia. Moreover, no adverse, toxic effects were found with the ingestion of Aloe Vera.