- 1 The Health Benefits of Aloe Vera For Specific Ailments
- 1.1 Three Natural Anti-Ulcer Mechanisms Of Aloe Vera For Ulcer
- 1.2 Aloe Vera For Asthma | Natural Anti-Inflammatory Agent And Immunity Modulator
- 1.3 Aloe Vera For Diabetes | The Effects Of Phytosterols In Reducing Glucose Levels
- 1.4 6 Reasons For The Effectiveness Of Aloe Vera Against Inflammation
- 1.5 Beneficial Effects Of Aloe Vera For Skin Problems
- 1.6 Aloe Vera For High Cholesterol And Its Cholesterol-Lowering Property
- 1.7 The Effect Of Aloe Vera For Burns | The Process of Healing
- 1.8 Healing Wonders Of Aloe Vera For Psoriasis
- 1.9 Aloe Vera For Constipation | The Importance of Aloe Latex
- 1.10 Aloe Vera For Frostbite | The Ideal Natural Treatment
- 1.11 Aloe Vera And Acne | Its Antibacterial and Anti-Inflammatory Activity
- 1.12 What Are The Beneficial Effects Of Aloe Vera For Hair Issues?
- 1.13 The Anti-Arthritic Activity Of Aloe Vera For Osteoarthritis
The Health Benefits of Aloe Vera For Specific Ailments
Three Natural Anti-Ulcer Mechanisms Of Aloe Vera For Ulcer
Everyone experiences gastric problems, whether major or minor, at some point in life. If you do not take certain precautions, such seemingly commonplace problems may lead to ulcers. Before, consumption of spicy foods and stress used to be blamed for the open wounds that develop inside digestive linings. However today, it now known that one perhaps even more common cause of peptic ulcer is bacterial infection, which can be treated within a couple of weeks. While modern medicine helps, there are many natural remedies for stomach ulcers and one is aloe vera. The use of aloe vera for ulcer has been proven by a number of studies to be an effective solution in alleviating the symptoms of ulcer due to the herb’s anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and demulcent properties.
Stomach ulcer is characterized by distinct pain caused by an open sore or wound appearing inside the stomach or small intestine. Even though this gastric complaint causes excruciating pain, the condition is treatable and quite common. The location of the ulcer is what determines its name. When the ulcer develops inside the stomach, it is referred to as gastric ulcer. If it develops in the first section of small intestine, it is called duodenal ulcer. Esophageal ulcer is found in the lower portion of the esophagus and often associated with chronic GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
Aloe vera for ulcer has been proven by numerous researches as a natural treatment for peptic ulcer. In a study conducted in Ukraine, some interesting facts have been learned of a ‘wound hormone’ in plant tissues that helps in accelerating healing of injured plant parts. Besides the Ukrainian findings, aloe vera gel was submitted to many other studies and these studies found out three mechanisms that could possibly lead to its therapeutic effects.
- First, the aloe vera gel inactivates pepsin in a reversible manner. When the stomach is empty of food, the release of pepsin is blocked by aloe vera gel but in the presence of food, it is released to aid in digestion.
- Second, aloe vera for ulcer has the ability to inhibit the release of hydrochloric acid from the stomach’s parietal cells. Gastric acid is formed by the interaction of sodium chloride and carbonic acid, which is catalyzed by carbonic anhydrase. The role of aloe vera gel in this body process is that it halts the exchange of sodium and hydrogen ions in whatever mechanism involved, forming sodium bicarbonate and hydrochloric acid.
- Lastly, aloe vera is found out to be a remarkable demulcent, consisting of glucuronic and mannuronic units that bind to form a polymer with great molecular weight. In addition, the gel is quite tenacious and exceeds other reputed gums such as methycellulose. Unlike methycellulose that is inert in a biochemical sense, aloe gel is definitely reactive as it acts as a ‘bandage’ or ‘protective covering’, keeping irritants from getting through to the irritated ulcer.
Aloe vera for ulcer is indeed an effective and safe alternative treatment for people with stomach ulcers. One can find aloe vera juice in a nearby health food store or in many online health shops. In California, one of the most popular healing herbs is aloe vera, as evidenced by the different skincare products and herbal drinks containing aloe as a main ingredient. The market of aloe vera products keeps on increasing as many people are going back to more natural treatment options.
Aloe Vera For Asthma | Natural Anti-Inflammatory Agent And Immunity Modulator
Asthma is a common inflammatory disorder affecting the air passages. While asthma is generally not considered a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), they share some similar symptoms. The use of herbal remedies in treating asthma and its symptoms has been proven since time immemorial. One such remedial herb is aloe vera. Aloe vera has a known anti-inflammatory quality and bronchodilating effect that makes it an ideal herbal remedy for asthmatic people.
The signs/symptoms of asthma consist of wheezing, chest tightness, coughing and difficulty breathing. With the fast-changing lifestyle and environment of today, the severity and prevalence of asthma is at steadily increasing rates. Currently, it is one of the most common and perhaps costly diseases in the United States, affecting 1 out of 4 Americans.
Modern therapeutic management for asthmatics includes long-term medication and emergency treatment such as inhalers. Since this is a chronic condition and incurable, treatment will be required throughout life. However, long before these modern treatments were discovered, people relied on Chinese, Ayurvedic and traditional medicine to alleviate asthma symptoms by various ways, such as reducing inflammation, decreasing congestion and opening airways.
The most common drug of choice for asthma would be an anti-inflammatory drug, particularly corticosteroids or simply, steroids. Steroids are perhaps the most commonly prescribed medication as they cause mucus production and reduction of swelling in the air passages. As a result, the air passage becomes less sensitive and thus less likely to suffer from asthma triggers. While steroids have wonderful effects in the body, they also have chunks of side effects, particularly immunosuppresion.
Aloe vera for asthma rarely causes side effects. Numerous studies have also tested the anti-asthma and anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera, and fortunately the studies went well. Aloe vera contains certain unique compounds that act in a steroid-like manner. It reduces inflammation by inhibiting bradykinin, the main asthma mediator that causes inflammation with its potent bronchoconstricting effect. It is also thought to block the production of prostaglandins and leukotrienes, which are known as the central mediators of asthmatic reaction by inducing edema, hence bronchoconstriction.
In addition, aloe vera is a natural immune system modulator, which promotes balance and brings back the immune system to the natural state. It is because of asthma that the immune system is constantly on ‘red alert’ against potential allergens like pollen. By taking aloe vera, your immune system can rest and stop over-reacting when it does not need to.
One should remember that aloe vera would not be helpful during actual asthma attack, as it can only be used as a supplementary long-term preventative treatment rather than for short-term relief. In a study, it was showed that a combination of modern and natural treatments such as aloe vera for asthma along with asthma meds provides more relief than using conventional treatments alone. Always consult your naturopathic doctor for possible options when treating asthma.
Aloe Vera For Diabetes | The Effects Of Phytosterols In Reducing Glucose Levels
Aloe vera isn’t usually associated with diabetes in lists like this. However, based on historical records and recent evidence, it is revealed that aloe vera for diabetes could be a strong medical possibility. The herb can help diabetics in achieving a better life, with fewer symptoms experienced and a feeling of improved health and strength.
Aloe vera is known to be a traditional herbal remedy for diabetes mellitus in many parts of the world, particularly in the Arabian Peninsula and Latin America. Some evidence in both humans and animals showed that taking aloe vera might able to alleviate chronic hyperglycemia or increased blood sugar levels and abnormal lipid profiles, which are common characteristic of diabetics and major risk factors in developing cardiovascular disease.
Moreover, the hypolipidemic and hypoglycemic effects of the dietary consumption of 100g Aloe vera gel along with 20g Psyllium seed husk has been reported. A study has been conducted involving 5000 patients aged from 35 – 65 years old diagnosed with atherosclerosis and diabetes mellitus type 2. Results in this study showed marked reduction on the serum triglycerides, cholesterol and lipid level, together with a rise in High-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Except for 177 patients, all diabetic subjects demonstrated normal results on post-prandial and fasting blood glucose levels, which necessitated withdrawal of every oral hypoglycemic agent after the 2-month therapy.
Another study was conducted to prove the effectiveness of aloe vera gel alone. In the first trial, 72 diabetic subjects without medication were given one tablespoon of aloe gel for 6 weeks. Results revealed that both blood glucose levels and serum triglycerides were remarkably reduced with aloe treatment, although the concentration of cholesterol remained unaffected. On the next trial, the effect of aloe gel combined with glibenclamide, an oral hypoglycemic agent, was investigated. Similar to the first trial, it still resulted to huge reduction of serum triglycerides and blood glucose in the aloe vera group.
It is believed that the aloe vera compound responsible for lowering lipids and glucose is the one made up of the five phytosterols that are isolated in aloe vera gel. Each phytosterol was shown to reduce fasting blood glucose in mice. Phytosterols are not greatly absorbed in the intestine but have the ability to bind with cholesterol (including plaque-forming LDL or bad cholesterol) and prevent its absorption. The true mechanism of aloe vera for diabetes in connection to blood glucose remains unknown but it is believed to interact with insulin. Certain theories suggest the ability of aloe to stimulate insulin synthesis or secretion from pancreatic beta cells.
Diabetes is a chronic disorder that must be controlled and maintained at all times. While diet and exercise help a lot in maintaining a healthy disposition, taking aloe vera may alleviate the symptoms associated with hyperglycemia, thus achieving a healthier and stronger mind and body.
6 Reasons For The Effectiveness Of Aloe Vera Against Inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to damaged body tissue exposed to harmful stimuli, irritants or pathogens. It is the body’s attempt to eliminate injurious stimuli and set off the healing process. During inflammation, swelling, redness and pain occur. While the inflammatory process promotes healing, there are ways to speed up this healing process and that is by using herbal remedies such as aloe vera.
There are six known mechanisms of how aloe vera attacks inflammation.
- Aloe vera is thought to have anti-bradykinin activity. Bradykinin is one of the inflammation mediators that cause the pain response during inflammation. Out of the 400 components of aloe vera, experts managed to separate and identify bradykinase, an enzyme that can destroy bradykinin. With this, one can expect aloe vera to be a great help in different body pains such as joint pain, back pain and knee pain.
- The plant sterols in aloe vera are known to be anti-inflammatory agents. Plant sterols can be considered natural steroids with their ability to counteract inflammation. While steroid drugs inhibit tissue regeneration, aloe vera promotes it. Experts found out that the most active anti-inflammatory components in aloe vera are campesterol, beta-sitosterol and lupeol.
- Recent research found that aloe vera has the ability to inhibit COX-2 (cyclooxygenase), an enzyme that encourages inflammation through the arachidonic acid pathway. While aloe vera could be considered a COX-2 inhibitor, it does not cause negative side effects like the conventional COX-2 drugs. Once again, it helps alleviate pain symptoms for different body pains.
- Aloe vera for inflammation has salicylates, which possess the same anti-inflammatory properties that can inhibit prostaglandins, hormones responsible for inflammation. Like aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid, which is chemically derived from salicylates, it effectively helps reduce pain response. However, unlike aspirin, which can be irritating to your stomach, the pure inner gel of aloe vera does not cause any stomach discomfort in almost all cases.
- Aloe vera can reduce inflammation by promoting cell and tissue regeneration. This is the miracle of aloe vera. Due to its unique polysaccharides, it stimulates the fibroblasts to grow and repair damaged tissues. However, due to the synergistic effect of aloe vera, you have to take the whole aloe vera leaf as the polysaccharides need other aloe nutrients. Another thing is that aloe vera, being an immune system booster, removes toxins, which contributes to alleviation of inflammation.
- Aloe vera for inflammation promotes proper digestion and bowel function. You may not know it but a healthy digestive system is important for avoiding poor absorption and impaired digestion, which creates ‘attackers’ that the immune system sees as threats, prompting inflammation. This is the cause of certain autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel movement.
Aloe vera consists of more than 400 active constituents, all working synergistically to provide a wide range of healing benefits. For many centuries, aloe vera has been a reliable natural remedy for different forms of body inflammation, and we may only now be at the threshold of discovering how else it can help us.
Beneficial Effects Of Aloe Vera For Skin Problems
While aloe vera is often associated with burn treatment, it is actually a natural cure for skin disease. In fact, aloe vera gel and juices are being used as basic ingredients for multitudes of cosmetic and skincare products. The plant is also noted for its remarkable effect in slowing down the aging process. The topical use of aloe vera for skin problems is proven effective and safe, due to its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing properties.
The aloe vera plant is reputed for its ability to speed up the healing process and aid in treating cuts, wounds, psoriasis and burns. When it is applied to the afflicted area, you can clearly see how it efficiently and quickly heals. The anti-inflammatory activity of aloe gel is most likely its biggest lead in the cosmetics industry. Nowadays, cosmetics are thought of as being part of women’s basic needs and as such, the market prefers beauty products that are mild and natural in soothing and treating the skin.
Aloe vera for skin problems promotes temporary relief for mild irritations. It can also be applied to the skin before ultrasonic treatment. Hairdressers even use it on the hairline to protect the skin when coloring or perming. The gel is highly effective as an itching remedy from insect bites, prickly heat and rashes. The oil free types are ideal for impetigo, seborrhea, acne, alopecia, dandruff, scleroderma and other skin problems. It is also a bedsore cure and an aid in refining pores and controlling oiliness when used regularly. The shaving lotion containing aloe vera provides a cooling and soothing property on the skin. Sunburn has become one of the major issues for people due to climate changes and global warming. Aloe vera has been popular in protecting the skin from the sun. Apply aloe ointment on the sunburnt part. For dark circles under your eyes, you can apply the gel every night before bedtime to achieve less tired and glowing eyes. It may also help on skin irritations due to bacteria and other irritants.
Aloe vera is often found in makeup, facemasks, anti-aging creams and hydrating body creams that can be absorbed by the skin easily and quickly. Packed with vitamin C, E, and other minerals, it moisturizes the skin and prevents premature aging as it nourishes the skin with the said nutrients.
To improve skin problems, aloe vera can be used topically, internally or both. When used topically, the healing effects involve promotion of healing on damaged tissues by stimulation of fibroblasts. When taken internally, aloe vera for skin problems helps in digestion and absorption, regulates blood sugar and boosts the immune system. The rich cocktail of nutrients, plant compounds and enzymes provides a synergistic effect, in which each ingredient balances and complements the others, hence making the sum more potent than the individual components.
Aloe Vera For High Cholesterol And Its Cholesterol-Lowering Property
Cholesterol issues can be handled by the herb too. Many Americans suffer from high cholesterol each year. Although heredity is a major factor for other people, the principal causes are high-fat diets and lack of exercise. One can prevent high cholesterol levels by lifestyle modifications alone but if these do not work, doctors recommend medications to lower the cholesterol level. However, there are natural ways to lower high cholesterol. One popular herb that effectively targets triglycerides in the body is aloe vera. It contains active components that naturally lower lipids and bad cholesterol in the body.
Also referred to as hypercholesterolemia, it occurs when there is excess cholesterol in the body. The body produces the cholesterol it needs. Any extra cholesterol comes from the food you eat, which often causes harm. High cholesterol increases the risk for heart disease and stroke. When there is excess cholesterol in the bloodstream, it can develop plaque on the artery walls. This plaque will eventually narrow or partially block the blood flow going to the vital organs such as the brain and heart. Besides affecting blood circulation, blood cells that stick to the plaque form clots, which can loosen up and totally impede blood flow in tiny blood vessels, causing heart attacks or strokes.
As such, the best way to prevent it is to start changing an unhealthy lifestyle by exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet. In addition, taking herbal remedies such as aloe vera supplements helps a lot instead of taking statin drugs, which can cause negative side effects in the body.
Aloe vera is proven to lower triglycerides and cholesterol. When taken internally, it promotes overall health of the circulatory system and aids in improving blood chemistry in a way that reduces elevated blood lipids and triglycerides. This is much safer than taking statin drugs and other cholesterol-lowering agents that have negative side effects such as depleting the body of essential nutrients like CoQ10.
In an animal study in South Korea (2003), experts revealed that aloe vera indeed lowers high cholesterol. The group given aloe supplements saw an approximately 30% reduction of cholesterol levels. In a 5-year clinical human trial in 1980 involving 5000 patients diagnosed with angina showed that administration of psyllium seed husk and aloe vera resulted to significant reduction in blood cholesterol and triglyceride level. A drop of about 40-80% of bad cholesterol and 20-70% for triglycerides was found.
Nowadays, aloe vera products include juices, gels and capsules. In California, aloe vera products are becoming mainstream, with more and more people using alternative forms of treatment like herbal remedies. When shifting from statin drugs to aloe vera, it is best to ask for the supervision of a naturopathic doctor to have safety in the transition. Aloe vera for high cholesterol rarely causes side effects and is rich in minerals and vitamins. There are other natural alternatives to lower cholesterol but always remember to maintain a healthy lifestyle while taking herbal remedies like aloe vera, as the herb cannot do all the work for you.
The Effect Of Aloe Vera For Burns | The Process of Healing
Most mild burns don’t require medicines, and simple home treatment is only needed to alleviate symptoms, promote healing and eventually, reduce scarring. Perhaps the quickest way to treat the burned area is to rinse in cold water or apply cold compress on the affected part for 10 minutes, even after the pain subsides. For medium-sized burns, though, you may require first aid or herbal remedies to relieve painful symptoms. As for serious cases (anything going into the 3rd-degree) medical attention is required for proper treatment.
Herbal remedies for burns can be applied for non-serious cases of burns. One popular herbal treatment is aloe vera. The herb remains an acceptable herbal treatment in most countries, including the United States. In California, many skin therapists and naturopathic doctors believe in the effectiveness of aloe vera in treating minor cases of burns. While the FDA has not approved the plant’s properties for any serious condition except as a minor first-aid measure, several studies have recorded the medicinal powers of aloe vera in treating even severe burns.
Some university studies showed that the use of aloe-based creams in the treatment of thermal injuries could reduce the damaging effects of burns and rejuvenate damaged skin. In such studies, they were able to show how aloe vera heals burns. According to research, when taking a close look at the burn wound, the tissue at the center receives most the heat, which leads to coagulation of protein and destruction of skin tissue. The tissues on the sides are partially injured. When left untreated within 24 – 48 hours, the adjacent skin tissue will die. When skin cell injury from burn wounds occurs, prostaglandins and thromboxanes are released. It is thought that thromboxanes are the principal mediators of cell death after thermal injury.
As such, it is important to treat the burn area within this time period to prevent death of adjacent tissue. The use of 70 percent aloe vera in a pharmaceutical cream base has been proven effective against cell death in burns by acting as a substrate inhibitor, meaning that it binds to the enzyme, preventing the production of thromboxanes. Aloe vera has a potent inhibitory effect to prevent the production of mediators that can cause progressive dermal necrosis (skin death).
Besides preventing skin cell death, aloe vera also aids in reducing scarring. It speeds up the healing process, encourages the growth of healthy skin cells and retards the production of scar tissue. Aloe vera interferes with the process of scar formation although the mechanism behind this process is not well understood yet. More research has to be done before anything definite is said by way of explanation.
That said, do not apply aloe vera to an open wound or open burn. Allergic reactions to the use of aloe vera for burns seem rare, but if you develop rashes, discontinue the use. Many drugstores sell aloe vera gel. To enhance wound healing, you can also dab on Vitamin E cream as adjunct to the aloe gel.
Healing Wonders Of Aloe Vera For Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a common skin condition affecting millions of people each year. Many people fear psoriasis, thinking it is contagious but it’s not. Actually, it is caused by a faulty immune system causing skin regeneration to form in days instead of weeks. Every psoriasis sufferer wants a reliable cure for his condition, but is also hesitant about the medication he is taking. While modern medicine experts think that psoriasis is incurable, herbal specialists claim that it is curable. That is why alternative remedies for treating psoriasis and alleviating symptoms are very popular. One natural remedy, aloe vera, is thought to be an effective and safe treatment for this skin condition.
Psoriasis is a permanent skin condition that develops when skin cells regenerate at an abnormally fast rate. It is caused by a flaw in the body’s immune system that causes new skin cells to emerge in days instead of weeks. The body cannot get rid of these excess skin cells, and thus the cells stack on the skin surface and later, lesions develop.
One should know that there are different types of psoriatic lesions, namely plaque, pustular, inverse, erythrodermic and guttate. Nearly 80% of people suffering from psoriasis develop plaque, referred to as ‘psoriasis vulgaris’. Plaque psoriasis is characterized by patches of scaly, thick skin, ranging from white to red to silvery in color. These plaques can form anywhere on the skin, but the most common areas for plaques are the knees, scalp, back and elbows. On the other hand, psoriatic arthritis is characterized by seeing abnormal changes on the finger and toenails. If left untreated, psoriatic arthritis can be a debilitating condition so it’s best to visit a dermatologist if joint pains start to develop.
The use of aloe vera for psoriasis found a great reduction in the disease’s symptoms for people affected with plaque psoriasis compared to topical steroids. This is good news for people suffering from psoriasis who usually depend on different topical treatments that include prescription steroids, which can cause serious side effects with long-term use and are oftentimes quite costly to obtain.
Numerous researches have been conducted to prove the efficacy of aloe vera in treating psoriasis. In a study involving 80 patients, the first group received 70% aloe vera cream while the second group received 0.1% triamcinolone acetonide cream, a topical steroid. After the 2-month treatment period, the aloe vera group showed significant reduction in the PASI or Psoriasis Area and Severity Index compared to the steroid group. At the end of the study, the aloe vera group got 7.7 on their PASI score while the other group dropped 6.6. Overall, the aloe vera group got PASI 75, which means they got a 75% reduction on their PASI score. The group’s PASI score is considered to signify remarkable improvement.
There are many aloe vera creams in the market, with varied percentages of aloe content available. In the United States, particularly in California, a wide range of quality aloe vera creams and gels are sold as the use of herbal remedies like aloe vera for psoriasis is becoming mainstream. To use the cream, apply it to the affected part three times a day for 5 days or for a minimum of one month.
Aloe Vera For Constipation | The Importance of Aloe Latex
Constipation is a condition that is experienced by almost everyone at some point in life. It refers to incomplete or irregular bowel movement. There are several causes of constipation. Some cases could be caused by a disease prevailing in the body but the most common cause of constipation is inadequate fluid intake and an unhealthy diet. An ideal diet for people with chronic constipation is a high fiber diet. To treat constipation, we often rely on conventional medicines prescribed by physicians but many different herbal remedies can be used, such as aloe vera for constipation.
Aloe latex is usually used in treating constipation. It owes its laxative effect to the three active latex constituents, namely barbaloin, isobarbaloin and major C-glycosides, all found in aloin, causing the catarrhal feeling. Both isobarbaloin and barbaloin undergo breakdown in the gut forming the active metabolites aloe-emodin and aloe-emodin-9-anthrone, which is known to induce laxation through multiple mechanisms. However, the main mechanism of these metabolites is to reduce water absorption and form softer stools.
To support this claim, a double-blind, controlled random trial of 28 adults has been conducted. Results showed aloin to have a laxative effect compared to the placebo that was even stronger than phenolphthalein, a stimulant laxative. In another 28-day double-blind trial, subjects with chronic constipation were given a novel preparation of aloe vera, psyllium and celandine. Results showed improvement in the signs of constipation indicators such as consistency of stools, laxative dependence and bowel movement frequency. However, the effectiveness of aloe vera for constipation alone was not investigated in this research.
Aloe latex is the yellow substance found underneath the outer layer of aloe leaf. It is commercially sold in the market in different forms and preparations such as tablets, juice and capsules. To treat constipation, the ideal dosage is one 50 to 200 mg capsule per day for ten days.
Aloe vera is a very powerful herb that must be used with caution. Drinking a large amount of aloe vera juice or taking it for a long-term period can be risky as it can lead to serious side effects such as weight loss, kidney problems, bloody diarrhea, electrolyte depletion and dehydration and muscle weakness.
If you prefer a gentler preparation of aloe vera for constipation, allow the aloe leaf to stand for a few minutes to drain the latex, then rinse the bitter sap and take only the clear gel to encourage production of digestive enzymes, regulate metabolism and sugar and balance gastric acid.
Aloe vera has long been used as traditional medicine for a wide range of illnesses, particularly on wounds, burns and constipation. Actually, the latex is a potent laxative and has long been an ingredient in most over-the-counter laxatives in US. But due to safety concerns, the FDA banned the use of aloe vera for constipation in the market back in 2002, due to its side effects such as abdominal griping and diarrhea as well as lack of evidence to support its effectiveness in treating constipation. Just like any supplement, it is best to consult your healthcare provider before using aloe vera as laxative.
Aloe Vera For Frostbite | The Ideal Natural Treatment
Literally, frostbite is a frozen body tissue, commonly affecting the skin but also occasionally deeper tissue that must be treated carefully to avoid permanent tissue damage. Degrees of frostbite depend on the depth of tissue damage, which ranges from a superficial spot of the skin going down to the muscles and even to the bones, which is the most severe. It is mainly caused by exposure of the skin to freezing temperatures. It may develop within several minutes after exposure to cold temperatures. While frostbite requires immediate medical attention, one of the best first aid tips you can use is aloe vera plant.
Frostbite usually affects the nose, cheeks, ears, hands and feet. Children are at a higher risk for frostbite compared to adults, because they lose body heat from their skin faster and they are more reluctant to stay away from the winter fun. The initial symptoms of frostbite would be the ‘pins and needles’ sensation following numbness. There may be an early aching or throbbing and after that, the inflicted areas become numbed. Frostbitten tissue may look extremely pale, red, white or blue. It is hard and cold. When thawed out, the area turns red and very painful (referred to as early frostbite). For severe frostbite, the skin appears white and insensate, since the tissue begins to freeze. Very severe cases of frostbite cause gangrene, blister and tissue injury to deep body part such as muscles, nerves, bones and tendons.
Aloe vera gel is known to be the best treatment for frostbite due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Just like burn wounds, which are caused by extreme thermal heat, frostbite is caused by extreme cold and likewise, results to localized skin tissue injury. As such, it is best to use a natural remedy that can speed up the healing process in the affected area.
If you think you are getting frostbite, it is best to consult with your healthcare provider for proper assessment and diagnosis rather than self-medicating. Frostbite needs immediate medical attention so that you know the condition of the cells and tissues affected. With a doctor’s supervision, using aloe vera for frostbite has been proven to have a remarkable effect on the healing process and treatment of mild to moderate degrees of frostbite.
To prove the effectiveness of aloe vera gel, a study was conducted to determine and compare the medicinal effects of systemic pentoxifylline and aloe vera cream in treating frostbite. In the study, 10 white rabbits with frostbitten ears were grouped in one of the four treatment groups: the untreated group, the aloe vera cream group, the pentoxifylline group and the aloe vera cream+pentoxifylline group. Results of tissue survival were calculated with 6% for the untreated group, 20% tissue survival for pentoxifylline group, aloe vera cream group with better percentage at 24, and the highest, combination therapy at 30%. To conclude, pentoxifylline and aloe vera cream are most effective when taken together in terms of tissue survival after frostbite damage.
Using aloe vera for frostbite is a natural solution that has no side effects. Besides frostbite, you can get a wide range of benefits from using aloe vera cream as a moisturizer, treatment for acne, burns and other skin problems. As such, it is best to buy high quality aloe vera creams that do not include harsh additives. Always keep an aloe vera cream in your medicine kit for immediate first-aid treatment when these conditions, like frostbite, are experienced.
Aloe Vera And Acne | Its Antibacterial and Anti-Inflammatory Activity
For the past years, there has been quite a bit of medical news on the harsh side effects of many conventional acne medications. Both OTC and prescription acne products contain strong chemicals that cause excessive skin dryness, redness and irritation. Fortunately, there are good herbal remedies for acne out there that you can use to aid you in treating acne. One good herbal option is the aloe vera herb.
Acne is perhaps the most common skin disease affecting teenagers and young adults. It forms when skin pores are clogged up. It is not a serious disease but it causes scarring that can present serious psychological issues having to do with self-esteem. Acne commonly forms on the face, back, chest, shoulders and neck. No one knows the exact cause of acne. Hormonal imbalances could perhaps play a role. There is also a tendency for acne to run in families. High glycemic diets can worsen existing acne as well as proliferation of Propionibacterium acnes, which is commonly concluded to be the main cause of acne.
Many conventional acne products also add aloe gel to fortify overall effectiveness. In an experiment of aloe vera gel combined with essential oil of Ocimum gratissimum Linn leaf, results showed the synergistic effect of these two ingredients, with its efficacy comparable to 1% Clindamycin phosphate in treating Acne vulgaris. The product uses 50% aloe gel, which caused reduction of inflammatory lesions quicker than other standard products.
Aloe vera for face problems may well be possible, because the plant contains active antibacterial and anti-inflammatory components that make up its curative activity against acne. Aside from that, it is also a potent astringent. The astringent activity of aloe counteracts acne infection and aids in curing blemishes with minimal to no scarring. When used as a cosmetic ingredient, aloe’s ability to penetrate allows water and other moisturizing agents to sink in to the skin and replenish fluids. As it begins to penetrate, the hyaluronic acids in aloe deeply submerge into the pores, getting rid of toxins and letting the aloe’s astringent property work effectively.
In addition, aloe vera for acne pulls moisture in the air and brings it into the skin. It helps keep the pores unclogged and provides the skin that healthy glow due to enzymatic activity of the plant that intensifies blood flow and sloughs off dead skin cells. Aloe’s amino acids also help in promoting skin cell regeneration and coat the skin with a protective shield to retard bacterial growth.
Aloe vera for acne could possibly be the breakthrough acne sufferers have been waiting for. The aloe vera plant has been recognized for its medicinal potential and is usually used as a base ingredient for many skin lotions and cream treatments. In California, for instance, the popularity of aloe vera in treating skin problems led manufacturers to create aloe vera-based products for different skin needs. Besides being effective, the cream is extremely soft and soothing on the skin, which has caused many acne sufferers to turn to this product to help them in their skin problems. The key ingredient of aloe vera is perhaps its astringent, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps hasten the healing process, and in turn causes a soothing effect and relieves blotchiness, swelling and redness of the skin.
What Are The Beneficial Effects Of Aloe Vera For Hair Issues?
It is no secret that aloe vera is ideal for a healthy hair and scalp. For many years, aloe vera hair products such as shampoos, hair gels and conditioners have been around, especially after the boom of aloe vera skincare products. What are the benefits of aloe vera for hair? There are three reasons that figure in how aloe vera promotes hair health.
First is its natural activity of reducing sebum. While sebum is a natural body substance secreted by hair glands and used for keeping the hair moisturized, in excess, sebum can accumulate on the scalp and lead to seborrhea. The antibacterial properties of aloe vera help reduce excess production of sebum, allowing the scalp to breathe and renew follicles before they end up being so choked they cannot produce hair as they should.
Second, aloe vera also activates existing hair growth by increasing blood circulation going to the follicle root. It cleanses the pores and brings the right pH to the scalp, promoting balance.
Third, it is packed with over 20 vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12, C and E, choline, calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, selenium, copper, etc. It is also a great source of natural moisture for hair follicles and scalp. Personally, I use it with my regular intake of blackstrap molasses.
There are many aloe vera hair products in the market. One is aloe vera hair gel, which is specifically created to treat excessive hair loss. To add to this, it is also ideal for itchy/scaly scalps, dandruff and oily hair. An ideal aloe vera hair gel contains zero preservatives, coloring agents and any other type of harsh chemical. It should also be non-greasy, easy to use and leave no persistent smell.
As mentioned earlier, another indication of aloe vera for hair is seborrhea, a condition caused by accumulated sebum on the skin that mixes with dirt, forming a certain incrustation. It is often seen on the head, which can interfere with nutrient absorption and even cause partial baldness. Aloe vera won’t only curb excess hair loss by curing seborrhea but it can also rejuvenate follicular cycles, aiding the scalp in returning to its normal state. It stimulates existing hair growth; hence it is particularly effective when used at the initial stages of hair loss.
Balding (Alopecia) can be caused by internal or external factors. If the balding is concentrated on a single spot, it is best to visit a physician to know the real cause of problem. Aloe vera may help prevent alopecia by restoring pH balance and fortifying hair follicles. Most commercial products available in the market that include aloe vera shampoo, bar, liquid or gel are certified by the USDA (United State Department of Agriculture).
Most aloe vera hair product manufacturers use up to 70% of aloe vera in their products. The rest are other ingredients, which usually have cleaning actions on the scalp. With this, the final product is capable of removing dandruff, excess oil and dirt from the scalp. Some products containing aloe vera for hair use jojoba oil with it, which can help with dry dull hair. Other common valuable ingredients to look out for include panthenol, tocopherol and deionized water, to enhance your product’s benefits to the hair.
The Anti-Arthritic Activity Of Aloe Vera For Osteoarthritis
Today, osteoarthritis is considered the most common degenerative joint disease, affecting more than 20 million Americans. A chronic physical distress affecting the joints, it is almost universal in the elderly over the age of 80. As such, it is important for people to understand the indicators and cause of this disease and the alternative treatments one can use. Because osteoarthritis is a chronic condition, using herbal remedies such as aloe vera for osteoarthritis must be considered as part of an alternative or complementary treatment plan.
Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis, is a type of arthritis caused by the degradation of cartilage in joints. Cartilage is an important part of the body that acts as a ‘cushion’ between bones of the joints. With over 100 different types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common. It usually affects the spine, feet, hands and weight-bearing joints like the knees and hips. Majority of cases of osteoarthritis do not have any known cause besides aging and are called primary osteoarthritis.
Perhaps the major benefit of aloe vera in relieving osteoarthritis is its potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Aloe acts as an anti-inflammatory agent due to the presence of naturally occurring substances such as plant sterols, anthraquinones, and other substances acting synergistically together.
Aloe vera has proven its anti-inflammatory qualities in numerous studies by its ability to block the production of inflammatory mediators bradykinin and thromboxanes. It is believed that the combination of glycoprotein, some anthraquinones and salicylates collectively blocks and breaks down bradykinin, a major pain and inflammation mediator. Aloe vera can be used for both rheumatoid and degenerative arthritis without side effects. It can reduce the pain, swelling and redness associated with this condition. It can also treat other musculo-skeletal ailments such as muscular pain, strains, sprains, bruising and tendonitis.
The biological activity of aloe vera for osteoarthritis is not well understood besides acting in an additive or synergistic manner with some of the 200 components of aloe vera. In addition to aloe vera anti-arthritis functions, researchers also noted its biological activity to be comparable to Vitamin C and amino acids, as well as growth factors like auxin and gibberellin. In fact, a lab study has been conducted using aloe vera and gibberellin, a known plant hormone, over a dose range of 2 to 100 mg/kg in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. Results showed that both aloe vera and gibberellin alike reduced inflammation in a dose-response approach. It is possible that gibberellin is one of the anti-arthritic ingredients in aloe vera. Unlike steroids, gibberellin and aloe vera hinder inflammation but do not slow down wound healing.