Medicinal Benefits of Aloe Vera
By Terri Yeager
There are many varieties of Aloe plants, some of which are very toxic. In this article I am referring only to the extract from the Aloe barbadensis plant, this is not a toxic variety.
History suggests that Aloe Vera has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. It is believed that a Sumerian clay tablet, written in approximately B.C.E. 2200, was the first document to list Aloe Vera as one of the "plants of great healing power". Around B.C.E. 1550, an Egyptian document was written that gave twelve formulas for combining Aloe with other agents to create a treatment for internal and external disorders. Since then, there have been numerous references in medical history to the healing powers of Aloe Vera.
Currently, Aloe Vera is not officially recognized by the medical community. In spite of this, it is one of the most widely used substances in the U.S. for the treatment of bruises and burns. More and more, attention is turning to the possibilities of Aloe as a powerful healing agent. Aloe Vera has many active ingredients, but only an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent have been identified. There is currently serious medical research being performed. For example, the FDA has approved research and development aimed at eventually using Aloe Vera as a treatment against cancer and AIDS. The FDA also admits that Aloe ointment regenerates skin cells, promotes regeneration of natural skin color, and eliminates scarring.
As recorded through history, Aloe has been used to treat a variety of conditions with wonderful success, it has been called a universal healing agent in many countries. Authorities have determined that the healing agents are found in the yellow sap and green skin of the leaf, not in the gel (the tasteless and colorless jelly like center of the leaf). The most effective products are made from the whole leaf. Mixtures of Aloe may contain the whole leaf, sap, or sap and gel, combined with many ingredients such as mineral oil, milk, wine, water, and honey. Whole leaf Aloe Vera juice has also been reported to be an excellent form of treatment.
Through the years, Aloe Vera has been reported to help ease or control
many conditions. Here are just some of the many areas that Aloe has been
reported to help:
* Burns, frostbite, and bruises
* Insomnia (induces sleep)
* Controls inflammatory pain
* Cleanses the stomach/digestive system (laxative)
* Helps normalize bowel habits, relieves indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, acid stomach, and peptic ulcers
* Hair loss and alopecia
* Skin disorders: acne, boils, chronic leg ulcers, skin allergies, and dry skin
* Lung disorders, heart disease, stress related disorders, and lowers blood glucose in diabetics
* Rheumatoid arthritis
**CAUTION: Ingestion of the latex from under the skin of the Aloe leaf
may cause a cathartic (vomitting) reaction because it irritates the large
intestine, and it causes alkaline urine to be red. An excessive dose may
cause nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys).