Friday, July 9, 2010

Herb 101 - Aloe vera

Aloe Vera has been used as medicinal herb since ancient times. Evidence was found on a Mesopotamian Clay tablet dating back to 2100 BC. It is used as topical  treatment for wound, burns, and other skin conditions and internally as general tonic, anti-inflammatory agent, carminative, laxative, aphrodisiac and anthelmintic by ancient Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Indians and Spaniards. Today, Aloe Vera is use to soothe skin disorder and heal burns, and is one of the most common ingredient for cosmetic products.

The leaves, from which several different products are made, namely the exudate, gel, extract and juice. The exudate is a thick residue, yellow in color and bitter in taste, that comes from the latex that oozes out when leaf is cut. The gel refers to the clear gel or mucilage produced by the inner parenchymal cells in the central part of the leaf. Diluted Aloe Vera gel is commonly known as aloe extract or aloe juice.

Aloe Vera has other many uses, some them are the following;
  • Anti-ulcer because of its anti-inflammatory properties and cytoprotective effect.
  • Hypoglycaemic as it slows down carbohydrate absorption
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-viral
Dosage limitations;
  • Gel, fresh from living plant or as stabilized juice up to 25ml, four times daily
  • Extracts standardized to acemannan: preparation containing up to 800 mg per day
  • Topical application; gel, cream or ointment as needed
  • Tincture of resin (latex); 1.5 to 4.5 ml per day
Aloe very has no side effects, safe to use and most of all non-toxic.

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