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Home » Natural Medicine

Aloe Vera as a Natural medicine

Article / Review by on January 9, 2010 – 4:45 am3 Comments

Aloe Vera

Basic information about aloe vera—common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information. Aloe vera’s use can be traced back 6,000 years to early Egypt, where the plant was depicted on stone carvings. Known as the “plant of immortality,” aloe was presented as a burial gift to deceased pharaohs.

Common Names—aloe vera, aloe, burn plant, lily of the desert, elephant’s gall

Latin NamesAloe vera, Aloe barbadensis

What Aloe Vera Is Used For

  • Traditionally, aloe was used topically to heal wounds and for various skin conditions, and orally as a laxative.
  • Today, in addition to traditional uses, people take aloe orally to treat a variety of conditions, including diabetes, asthma, epilepsy, and osteoarthritis. People use aloe topically for osteoarthritis, burns, and sunburns.
  • Aloe vera gel can be found in hundreds of skin products, including lotions and sunblocks.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved aloe vera as a natural food flavoring.

How Aloe Vera Is Used

  • Aloe leaves contain a clear gel that is often used as a topical ointment.
  • The green part of the leaf that surrounds the gel can be used to produce a juice or a dried substance (called latex) that is taken by mouth.

What the Science Says

  • Aloe latex contains strong laxative compounds. Products made with various components of aloe (aloin, aloe-emodin, and barbaloin) were at one time regulated by the FDA as oral over-the-counter (OTC) laxatives. In 2002, the FDA required that all OTC aloe laxative products be removed from the U.S. market or reformulated because the companies that manufactured them did not provide the necessary safety data.
  • Early studies show that topical aloe gel may help heal burns and abrasions. One study, however, showed that aloe gel inhibits healing of deep surgical wounds. Aloe gel does not prevent burns from radiation therapy.
  • There is not enough scientific evidence to support aloe vera for any of its other uses.

Side Effects and Cautions

  • Use of topical aloe vera is not associated with significant side effects.
  • Abdominal cramps and diarrhea have been reported with oral use of aloe vera.
  • Diarrhea, caused by the laxative effect of oral aloe vera, can decrease the absorption of many drugs.
  • People with diabetes who use glucose-lowering medication should be cautious if also taking aloe by mouth because preliminary studies suggest aloe may lower blood glucose levels.
  • Tell your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.
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3 Comments »

  • Virginia says:

    My house is never without Aloe Vera Skin Treatment and I’ve tried many kinds. Most of what has been available has been in gel form – which is full of chemicals! To make it gel-like, carcinogenic preservatives are used, as well as artificial colors, scents, etc. All I want is 100% aloe vera.

    Since finding Aloe Vera (including the Aloe & Jojoba for the body), I keep one bottle on the frig door at all times for a more immediate cooling, soothing effect. One bottle is in the bathroom medicine cabinet and one in the bedroom. Its not a gel – its a real aloe vera cream that is potent.

  • Ismail-28 says:

    I found your post comments while searching Google. Very relevant information.
    Natural health has been on the forefront of discovering how to naturally sanitize the body with various fruits, vegetables supplements and even beverages. In fact, many natural health cleanses use simple facts like: high water-soluble fibers (many fruits) will naturally flush the body of numerous toxins and keep you regular.Regards

  • Zoomit says:

    Aloe Vera as a Natural medicine ……

    Aloe vera’s use can be traced back 6,000 years to early Egypt, where the plant was depicted on stone carvings. Known as the “plant of immortality,” aloe was presented as a burial gift to deceased pharaohs. Traditionally, aloe was used topically to heal…

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