Botanical Name: Aloe Barbadensis Miller
Aloe Barbadensis Miller
Shrubby or arborescent, succulent, long leaves that keep water inside.
The plant is green in colour and has an ornamental appearance.
Usually, Aloe Vera grows in the dry areas of Asia, Africa, Europe and America
- Arabian Peninsula
- Grows wild in tropical climates
- Vitamins A, C and E (antioxidants)
- Folic acid
- Enzymes (amylase, aliase, alkaline, bradykinase, catalase, cellulase, peroxidase)
- Minerals (calcium, copper, selenium, magnesium, potassium, zinc)
- Sugars (glucose, fructose, monosaccharides)
- Lignin, saponins, salicylic acids, amino acids
- lupeol, salicylic acid, urea nitrogen, cinnamonic acid, phenols and sulfur. They all have an inhibitory action on fungi, bacteria and viruses.
In the past, Aloe Vera has been used as the best vegetal laxative.
Nowadays, aloe is used to stimulate digestion, blood circulation, lymph circulation, liver function, cholecystitis and kidneys.
In noninsulin-dependent diabetes, it regulates the metabolism of the pancreatic gland.
In gastroduodenal ulcer, it has healing and antibacterial action.
In eye disorders, it reduces lens opacity in cataracts and relieves vision in case of myopia and hypermetropia.
In external treatment is recommended in wounds, rheumatic pain, sunburn.
Also, the gel of Aloe increases the collagen of the wound, accelerating its contractions and increasing the breaking strength of resulting scar tissue.
At first glance, the recommendations for using Aloe-based preparations would seem too much. But these products can not be considered as drugs targeting an affected organ; they are addressed to the entire organism. Due to the complexity of the chemical composition, the active substances, through their synergistic action, have favourable effects on the whole body. Nowadays, in the experimental stage, there are other products from this miraculous plant, as a collagen factor, in topical applications, on the immune system and for the anti-inflammatory effects, as antioxidants in malignant diseases, psoriasis, peptic ulcer, etc. As clinical results confirm these effects and therapeutic applications, the range of conditions that can benefit from Aloe products will expand.
Side Effects of Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera can cause side-effects. When using the plant, look out for these:
- Aloe latex is commonly recommended by homoeopathic doctors to relieve constipation, but it should be known that excessive consumption can lead to serious kidney problems and even cancer. The American Food and Drug Administration has also expressed concern about the latex content of certain laxatives some years ago. According to specialists, administering laxatives containing aloe latex would result in resistance to beneficial active ingredients and implicitly to increased dosage and health risks. Consequently, the FDA banned the use of aloe latex in the composition of laxatives in 2002.
- Studies have also shown that long-term administration of aloe supplements may lead to a decrease in blood glucose, which is particularly dangerous for patients suffering from hypoglycaemia.
- At the same time, aloe vera may increase the risk of bleeding if given incorrectly.
- People who suffer from heart disease and digestive disorders and who undergo medical treatment should avoid taking aloe vera because they may alter or make them ineffective.
- Aloe vera should also be avoided if you suffer from severe abdominal pain, appendicitis, intestinal obstruction and liver problems.
- Used in the long run, cosmetic preparations with high aloe gel strength can cause irritation and thickening of the skin, itching, hives and redness.
- Aloe juice and supplements should not be consumed by pregnant women because they can cause uterine contractions and possible spontaneous abortion.
- It is also contraindicated for the consumption of aloe in breastfeeding women.