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Aloe vera - know all about this nature's wonder

What is Aloe Vera?

Latin name: Aloe barbadensis.

Aloe Vera is a cactus-like plant but is actually part of the lily family. There are over 300 varieties of the Aloe plant, but it is the Aloe barbadensis variety that exhibits the best medicinal properties.

Benefits of Aloe Vera

External Benfits:

Burn and Wound Healing: Aloe Vera is best known for its soothing and healing effects on burns and other wounds. Studies show that Aloe Vera when applied to a wound increases both the rate of wound closure and the tensile strength of the wound via the proliferation of cells, including skin, liver, nerve and blood cells.

Aging Of The Skin: Aging of the skin is characterized by thinning and wrinkling of the epidermis, combined with the appearance of lines, creases, age spots and furrows in the face. Components of Aloe Vera have been found to reverse degenerative skin changes by stimulating collagen and elastin synthesis, in essence turning back the clock on the effects aging has on skin.

Immune System Restoration: Research has proven that Aloe Vera prevent suppression of the skin's immune system. This suppression may be one of the causes of skin cancer. In addition, topical application of the Aloe Vera can be made up to 24 hours after exposure to ultraviolet light without reducing the degree of prevention regarding immune system suppression.

Moisturizer: One of the main reasons Aloe Vera has become so popular among consumers is that it possesses incredible moisturizing properties. Studies show that Aloe Vera improves the skin's ability to hydrate itself, aids in the removal of dead skin cells and has an effective penetrating ability that helps transport healthy substances through the skin. Each of these factors make Aloe Vera an ideal ingredient in cosmetic and dermatological products. In fact, Aloe Vera is currently one of the most important ingredients in the cosmetics industry, being utilized in over 95% of the dermatologically valuable extracts manufactured worldwide.

Arthritis, Joint and Muscle Pain: Aloe Vera is believed to reduce severe joint and muscle pain associated with arthritis, as well as pain related to tendinitis and injuries. When applied directly to the area of pain, Aloe Vera penetrates the skin to soothe the pain. Studies have also found that ingestion of Aloe Vera on a daily basis can help prevent and cause a regression of adjutant arthritis.

Anti-Inflammatory: Aloe Vera promotes a variety of anti-inflammatory responses in the body, reducing swelling from injuries and promoting recovery from infections. Such anti-inflammatory responses not only aid in the relief of pain and discomfort, but also enhance the overall wound process.

Biological Vehicle: Acts as a biological vehicle to aid penetration and absorption of other bio-active ingredients into deep tissue.

Internal Benefits:

Arthritis, Joint and Muscle Pain: Aloe Vera is believed to reduce severe joint and muscle pain associated with arthritis, as well as pain related to tendinitis and injuries. When applied directly to the area of pain, Aloe Vera penetrates the skin to soothe the pain. Studies have also found that ingestion of Aloe Vera on a daily basis can help prevent and cause a regression of adjutant arthritis.

Relieve Gastrointestinal Problems: Aloe Vera juice can relieve gastrointestinal problems and may be one of the plant's most ancient uses. Even today, people drink the juice to help relieve ulcerous, gastrointestinal and kidney problems. People have described improved regularity, greater intestinal comfort and enhanced energy levels after ingesting Aloe Vera juice. In addition, many who have suffered from indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, increased stomach acid, peptic and duodenal ulcers, and colitis have reported relief from these conditions following ingestion of Aloe Vera juice.

Coronary Heart Disease: Coronary heart disease is one of the major causes of death in the United States. However, studies suggest that the ingestion of Aloe Vera gel may have a beneficial effect to the accumulation of blood fat lipids associated with the disease. Test groups given Aloe Vera showed a decrease in total cholesterol, triglyceride, phospholipid and nonesterified fatty acid levels, each of which, when elevated, seem to accelerate the accumulation of fatty material in large and medium sized arteries, including the coronary arteries of the heart.

Antioxidant: Antioxidant, anti-microbial and anti-viral--Aloe vera contains vitamin C, E, zinc and seven superoxide dismutases.

Blood circulation - a number of constituents have beneficial effects on blood pressure and coagulation.

Detoxification - amino acids assist the liver and kidneys.

Digestion - One of its most popular useages these days is in helping any type of digestive or bowel disorder. Aloe Vera has received an enormous amount of positive Press for its benefits in helping IBS, irritable bowel syndrome. It is also useful with other digestive problems, including peptic ulcers or any type of stomach inflammation. Its properties are those of healing and soothing and so it is worth using as a part of a healing programme on any digestive complaint.

Laxative - It has a gentle laxative effect on the bowels.

Immune system - contains many ingredients providing antibacterial, antiviral and analgesic elements.

Burns and Sunburn - The soothing and healing qualities of Aloe Vera are well known for any type of burn and is especially popular for sunburn.

The precise method by which Aloe Vera works is not yet fully understood, but it is a great stimulator of the body's own immune system, which counteracts disease and disorder.

Aloe Vera - Properties

Aloe Vera contains an array of materials, including the following.

Acids - antimicrobial, anti-helminitic (anti-parasitic worms), wound healing for skin tissue and ulcers.
Amino Acids - required for repair and growth. Aloe Vera contains twenty of the twenty two essential amino acids.
Enzymes - catalysts enabling chemical reactions to take place.
Lectin - anti-tumour effects.
Lipids - principle structural components of living cells.
Minerals - calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium are all present in significant quantities.
Lactates and Salicylates - analgesic properties.
Phenolics - mild antiseptics and antimicrobials.
Polysaccharides - long chain sugars broken down to smaller ones via enzymes.
Urea-Nitrogen - pain killing effect.
Vitamins - contains 8 of the 13 recognised vitamins.

Contra-indications/Precautions
Not recommended during pregnancy.

Recommended Aloe Vera Products: Aloe Vera at vitacost.com

 

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