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Aloe Vera - Uses and Benefits

Alternative Names: Aloe, Aloe Vera, Indian Alces, Kumari, Ghirita, Barbados aloe, Aloe barbadensis (Mill.), Curacao Aloes, Gawarpaltra, Barbados Aloes, Curacao Aloe, Lu hui, First-Aid Plant, Medicine Plant.

The succulent, cactus-like Aloe vera plant, one of over 300 Aloe species, was previously known as Aloe barbadensis and Aloe vulgaris. Aloe gel is a clear viscous liquid obtained from the inner portion of the long, fleshy leaves.

Nevertheless, simple emollient and occlusive properties may be soothing. Consistent healing benefits were not demonstrated in studies of open surgical wounds and in studies examining prevention of radiation-induced dermatitis, aphthous ulcers, and pressure sores.

Description of Plant

Aloe Vera is a large succulent perennial plant growing up to 1.5 metres in height, with a strong fibrous root and a large stem supporting a rosette of narrow lanceolate leaves up to 60cm long. The leaves are whitish green on both sides and bear spiny teeth on the margins. The yellow to purplish drooping flowers grow in a long raceme at the top of the flower stalk. Aloe Vera is found predominately in hotter climates such as South America, but is also found in some southern portions of Northern America. It is cultivated in the West Indies and other tropical countries. The tissue in the center of the aloe leaf contains a gel which yields aloe gel or aloe vera gel. Aloe is believed to have been used to preserve body of Jesus Christ.

Uses

Aloe Vera is a virtual necessity for many minor emergencies. This herb has many healing, soothing and cleansing properties making it an ideal addition to any medicine cabinet. And Aloe soothes the intestinal system, too.

Although widely applied as an easy-to-use household remedy, aloe vera has been recognized for centuries for its remarkable health-enhancing properties. Although known specifically for external application to the skin, Aloe Juice is now widely used to help a variety of conditions of the digestive tract.

Some of the Main Uses of Aloe Vera are:

  • Aloe Vera is very commonly used for its antibacterial, anesthetic and antiseptic properties, and is good to use as a tool for restoration of tissue.
  • When Aloe Vera is used cosmetically, its helps in softening the skin.
  • When aloe vera is applied externally, aloe vera restores skin tissues and is very good in treating burns, minor cuts and sores.
  • It is also used as a beauty aid for the skin.
  • Aloe Vera is especially good in healing sunburns, although it is being used for the treatment of skin cancer.
  • It can also be used on blemishes and dandruff.
  • Traditionally it has been known to influence digestion.
  • Other traditional uses have been in treating stomach disorders, diabetes , scrapes, ulcers , arthritis and constipation, arteriosclerosis, amenorrhea , or suppressed menses, menstrual complaints, infections, herpes simplex viruses, .and skin diseases.

Dosage for Different Types of Aloe Vera

Aloe vera comes in a number of forms: natural gel, powdered form, prepared ointment, salve or lotion and fluid extract.

  • When intaking a powder of Aloe, 1-5 gram dosage is recommended.
  • In a fluid extract, anywhere from 5-30 drops is what is taken.
  • Aloe Vera Eye Wash - To create an eye wash from Aloe, use 1/2 tsp. of Aloe juice and dissolve it in 1 cup of water. A 1/2 teaspoon of Boric Acid may be added to preserve it.
  • Aloe Vera Poultice - A poultice of Aloe can be made by slicing a leaf lengthwise and pressing the gelled side toward the cut or burn, and then wrapping.

Dosage for Diseases

  • For constipation, a single 50-200 mg capsule of aloe latex can be taken each day for a maximum of ten days.
  • For minor burns, the stabilized aloe gel is applied topically to the affected area of skin three to five times per day. Treatment of more serious burns should only be done under the supervision of a renowned healthcare professional.
  • However, the most common way to utilize the healing powers of Aloe is to rub the gelled juice from inside the leaves onto the affected area.

Aloe Vera Side Effects

Except in some rare persons, who are allergic to aloe, topical application of the gel is generally safe. There are no reported adverse effects with oral ingestion of the gel. Topically applied aloe gel is generally well tolerated, with occasional reports of stinging sensation, mild itching, or hypersensitivity reactions. For any burn that blisters significantly or is otherwise severe, medical attention is absolutely essential. In some severe burns and wounds , aloe gel may actually impede healing.

Interactions:

There are no recognized drug interactions with topical or oral administration of aloe gel.

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