Aloe property

Aloe property


There are more than 200 species of aloe. The plant is native to South Africa, then spread to the hot and desert regions of America and Asia. The plant is part of the Liliacee family, it can reach 3 or 4 meters in height, due to the growth of its central axis or trunk. The leaves are fleshy, and have thorny edges. The flowers are yellow or red, depending on the variety they all hang from a long stem. The parts of the plant used are the juice of the leaves. Aloe belongs to the group of xeroid plants, characterized by the ability to close the stomata of the leaves once they have been cut or engraved, thus avoiding the loss of water. The doctors of antiquity had observed that if an incision was made in one of the leaves of the plant, it quickly healed, to retain the precious liquid contained in it. Following an inductive reasoning, doctors thought that if aloe was able to effectively regenerate the damaged surface of its leaves, it would do the same with men's wounds once applied to the skin.

Properties and indications

The active ingredients of aloe are made up of cathartic anthraquinones that have the same effect as antibiotics but less toxic to the body.

As has already been said, two main products are obtained from aloe leaves: juice and gel.

Aloe juice is obtained by etching the surface of the leaves. The juice contains from 40 to 80% of resin and up to 20% of aloin, an anthraquinone glucoside, which is its active ingredient.

Depending on the daily dosage, aloe has two distinct applications:

Up to 0.1 g it is an aperitif, stomachic and cholagogue and therefore facilitates digestion. Starting from 0.1 g, it acts as a laxative and as an emmenagogue (increases menstrual flow). In doses of 0.5 g (maximum recommended daily dose) it acts as a powerful purgative and also as an oxytocic (causes uterine contractions).

Aloe gel is obtained from the pulp of the fleshy leaves, which contain a sticky, almost transparent juice. It is composed of a mixture of more than 20 substances, such as polysaccharides, glycosides, enzymes and minerals. Contains glucomannan, a substance that increases the immune system. Unlike juice, the gel has no laxative properties.

Aloe applied locally can exert beneficial effects in many cases such as:

Clean or infected wounds: the gel can be applied as a compress to the wound, or the pulp of the leaf can be used directly.

Burns: the aloe gel is applied in compresses during the days following the burn. In first degree burns, two or three days of application are sufficient, while in severe cases it is advisable to consult a doctor.

Skin diseases: applied as a lotion, the aloe gel has a beneficial action in cases of psoriasis and skin eczema, as well as acne, athlete's foot (mycosis), herpes and other ailments. To enhance its effect, it is recommended to also take it orally.

For children, aloe gel lotion is used to treat eczema caused by diapers, to relieve burning and promote skin healing in exanthematous diseases such as measles, rubella and chicken pox.

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Preparation and use

For internal use, aloe is used in the form of juice and gel. As a laxative and purgative, aloe juice acts slowly and therefore must be taken in the evening if it is to take effect the following day. The gel should be taken 1-2 tablespoons 3 or 4 times a day, dissolved in water, fruit juice or milk. It is normally taken with meals. In case of gastroduodenal ulcer it is recommended to take it half an hour before meals and before going to bed.

For external use, compresses, lotion and creams are used. For the pack, it must be applied throughout the day, moistening it with more gel every time it dries. The gel dehydrates the skin, so at night you can apply a cream or a little olive oil. The lotion is applied 2-3 times a day on diseased skin. On the market there are various aloe-based products, such as creams to relieve sunburn due to excessive exposure to the sun, or to soothe pinches of insects and hives, etc.

Aloe property: To know that

Regarding aloe, it is necessary to know that recent studies have shown how the plant is able to prolong and improve the life of cancer patients because it stimulates their immune system. The experiment was carried out on human cancer cells. Lecithin, a compound of aloe, was injected directly into the diseased cells, this would activate a part of the immune system, which in turn produces substances to attack cancer.

There are many people who ask how to prepare the drink with aloe leaves. To tell the truth, the do-it-yourself method is not recommended, because aloe leaves are rich in aloin which, if present in excessive quantities, can be fatal for the body as it is a powerful anthraquinone drug. It is preferable to buy the product already prepared in specialized shops, free of aloin and of quality.

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