Internally, Aloe Vera is used in the following Industries:
1. Natural Health Care Industry (Complementary and Alternative Medicine): The bio-active properties of the Aloe Vera are therapeutic and the plant has a long established reputation in the world of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAMS). It is used for both topical (skin) and internal use.
Used internally it assists people who suffer from health concerns like immune deficiency (HIV, AIDS, flu, low energy, etc), digestive system (health concerns with stomach, intestine, ulcers, etc), cardiovascular concerns (high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels), diabetes (concerns with unstable blood sugar levels), arthritis (joint pain).
Research has also indicated that it is found in products related to animal health care. A lot of the healing properties which work on humans can also be applied to animals.
2. Food & Beverage Industry (Functional Food): In the beverage market, the drinkable juice provides beneficial properties due to its good regulating action in the digestive system and in complementary form for gastritis treatments, ulcers and others. It is also used in drinks for athletes and sportsmen, like tonic and purifier of the organism.
Aloe Vera is known to be used in assisting people with the following health conditions:
Diabetes mellitus is a disorder of carbohydrate metabolism characterized by lowered insulin secretion. Some patients take insulin daily to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and others only watch their diet to ensure that the blood sugar levels are maintained in a healthy way.
The wonder plant cannot replace or cure diabetes but is a great product to supplement diabetic treatments as it contains a large content of glycol-nutrients which will not elevate blood sugar levels and is also highly beneficial in wound healing. Wound healing with diabetic patients is very slow and sometimes in severe cases not present at all.
An early clinical trial in India was conducted where 3000 mildly diabetic patients were fed bread incorporating it’s gel – 90% showed a reduction in blood sugar levels. Many studies have been conducted in mice with very favorable results. However, fewer trials have been conducted on humans. Studies that have been conducted on humans have shown that it stimulates insulin secretion and lowers blood sugar down to its normal state.
Immune Deficiency Conditions
It has been shown to be a compound that may help neutralise the HIV by transforming the protein envelope, so it cannot invade human cells. This could help stop the virus from multiplying in the body and thereby helps to keep the immune system stronger. It also helps the absorption of vitamins and other minerals and nutrients. Additionally it lines the abdominal cavity and has been shown to reduce abdominal pains commonly associated with HIV patients.
Currently, more and more research is being conducted into the complimentary treatment of HIV/AIDS sufferers. Carrington laboratories have shown that the glycol-nutrients contained in it stimulate phagocytosis – where the cell can break down invading organisms and enhances antiviral activity of the HIV to produce a defective virus. Previously mentioned Aloe Vera contains, Beta-carotene, Vitamins C, E, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, Pyroxidien, Choline and Thiamine – These vitamins are all vital to keep up the immunity of the HIV patient.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) refers to shifting abdominal pain with alternating constipation and diarrhoea. This is sometimes described as irregular or disturbed bowel function. In earlier times it was called ‘spastic colon’.
It has a tonic effect on the intestinal tract and can allow for reduced transit time in the bowel. A very important note, it can improve the bacterial flora with a decrease in the presence of yeasts and a reduction in pH – so with Aloe Vera this is normalized naturally. Tests conducted confirm that bowel putrefaction was reduced and protein digestion and absorption improved with the ingestion of the plant.
Tests conducted by Doctor Jeffrey Bland of the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine in California confirm that bowel putrefaction was reduced and protein digestion and absorption improved with the ingestion of Aloe Vera. The study involved the results of Aloe Vera on the gastro intestinal tract. There was a faster movement of food through the bowel with better protein digestion and absorption, an increase in water in the stool made it bulkier, and a normalization of stool bacteria, where there had previously been high levels of yeasts in some of the subjects. With such benefits, many of those suffering from I.B.S and Ulcerative Colitis have enjoyed much relief and a reduction in their symptoms, after using Aloe Vera. As Aloe Vera is not a cure for either of these conditions, it has been noted that if the use of Aloe Vera is discontinued, the symptoms will return within a few days.
Aloe Vera contains a phyto-sterol/beta-sitosterol. Beta-sitosterol is a competing sterol that will enter the blood. The body can use and break down beta-sitosterol simply with no side effects. As a result the dangerous LDL cholesterol will pass out of the body without doing damage. With time – our body will produce less LDL cholesterol and so the levels will drop.
Natural News states that Aloe Vera Gel improves the quality of blood and helps re-balance the blood chemistry – this in turn lowers cholesterol and total triglyceride levels in people with elevated levels.
In a long term study conducted in Korea in 2003 revealed that the hepatic cholesterol levels significantly increased in a control group during aging versus the group that had been supplementing with Aloe Vera which decreased by more than 30%. The conclusion is that life-long supplementation with Aloe Vera suppressed free-radical oxidation damage and age-related increase in hepatic cholesterol.
High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is controlled by the balance of Calcium, magnesium and potassium in relation to sodium. Should these ratios be balanced – a large improvement in high blood pressure will occur quickly. Homocysteine – High levels of homocysteine in the blood cause sticky blood or blood cells to clot and these then would also battle to go through blocked arteries.
Homocysteine levels can be reduced by supplementation of Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is also one of the components of Aloe Vera. Aloe Vera should decrease these levels, thus blood will then be better able to deliver life giving oxygen to the cells in the body. Aloe Vera also contains Vitamin C and Salicylic acid which will help dilate capillaries and strengthen these capillaries, assisting blood to flow more freely and reduce blood pressure.
Osteoarthritis is common in elderly people and describes a condition in which the cartilage in the joints wears away, inducing pain and stiffness mainly in weight-bearing joints. Rheumatoid arthritis affects the whole body and not just certain joints. It is an inflammatory disease and joints become inflamed.
Aloe Vera is widely known to reduce inflammation and taking it orally will help with both the osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It is important to note, that for best results, Aloe Vera should be taken both orally and topically in such cases as rheumatoid and osteoarthritis; which will benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties of Aloe Vera – Topically Aloe Vera can be applied directly to the affected joints to reduce pain. Orally, Aloe Vera’s anti-inflammatory properties will reduce the inflammation in the body and so the inflammation will subside internally.
Regarding osteoarthritis, Aloe Vera stimulates collagen formation – Collagen makes up cartilage so will help to repair the joints where the cartilage has worn away. By taking Aloe Vera life-long, one could reduce their exposure to the inflammation or the wearing away of the cartilage leading to both forms of arthritis.
Commonly, consumers find Aloe Vera ingredients in products like:
Facial and body cleansing and moisturizing products like day & night creams, anti-aging creams, facial wash products and body lotions and scrubs.
After sun, skin burn and laser therapy treatments.
Hair and scalp products like shampoos and conditioners
Skin cleaning products like liquid- and solid soaps, hand creams and bath and shower products.
Deodorants and antiperspirants.
Insect repellent products.
Aloe Vera is therefore used a lot in amenities for the Spa and Hotel Industry.
Natural Health Care Industry (Complementary and Alternative Medicine)
The bio-active properties of the Aloe Vera are therapeutic as well and the plant has a long established reputation in the world of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAMS). The plant is well-known for its trans-dermal properties. It can reach deeper body tissues, allowing it to take all the nutrients of the aloe into the skin. Inflammatory type of skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne, can benefit from these high transdermal and anti-inflammatory properties. Further results have shown glycol-nutrients act as humectants- a substance that absorbs or helps another substance retain water and moisture. Aloe helps retain moisture in damaged tissue; the penetrating power of Aloe allows water and other moisturizers to sink deeply into the skin, replenishing lost fluids and restoring the fatty layer. Aloe Vera allows uronic acids (which strip toxic materials of their harmful effects) to penetrate deeply, making the cleansing astringent qualities of Aloe more effective.
Aloe Vera is known to be used in assisting people with the following skin conditions:
Some of the most dramatic results to date are in the treatment of burns. Studies have shown the application of an aloe vera gel can reduce the healing process by one-third the normal time. Aloe Vera is widely used in burn treatment at the trauma centres in California, Illinois, New York and Texas in the US. Aloe Vera possesses the type of enzymatic action that can absorb purulent matter and keep festering sores clean.
In studies conducted by Dr Ivan E. Danhof, M.D., Ph.D., president of North Texas Research Laboratories and a retired Professor of Physiology from the University of Texas, the interior gel from Aloe Vera was found to increase production of human fibroblast cells by six to eight times, as compared to normal cell reproduction. Fibroblast cells are found in the dermis of the skin and are responsible for fabricating collagen, the skin’s support protein. During sun exposure and through the normal aging processes, fibroblasts slow their collagen production. As aging continues, the quality of collagen is lessened and wrinkling becomes deeper. Dr Danhof found that it improved fibroblast cell integrity and also quickened the making of collagen.
Studies have shown that aloe in a gel form can be more effective than using a cortisone product on burns and wounds. A recent study also showed that it is more effective in reducing itchiness, burning, inflammation and irritation on psoriasis skin than a 0.1% cortisone type cream.
This is a fairly common skin condition, leading to oily, red, and scaly eruptions in areas such as the eyebrows, eyelids, nose, ear, upper lip, chest, groin, and chin. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 44 individuals found that four to six weeks of treatment with aloe ointment could significantly reduce symptoms of seborrhea.
Many users suffering from eczema have also reported that their symptoms reduced, with smoother and softer skin. It is not surprising that Dr Peter Atherton-a leading authority on Aloe Vera and a research Fellow at Oxford University studying the medicinal effects of the plant supports the claims that it can treat damaged eczematous skin.
Other valuable components found in it, such as Salicylic acid-an important acne treatment-contains anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and exfoliating properties, valuable components in dealing with painful acne type skin. An added advantage is that Salicylic acid found in it will not dry out acne skin, which is quite common when using other salicylic type of creams.