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Aloes | Aloë vera

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Aloe vera is the primary species of the Aloe genus used in medicine. The group of over three hundred aloe varieties includes the cape aloe (Aloe ferox), which has also found use in medical treatment with organic components.

What does Aloe vera look like and where does it come from?

To say that the appearance of the aloe is "ferocious" is justified. The Aloe vera leaves are in the form of thick tongues with numerous sharp-pointed outgrowths (spikes). The central section of the plant, i.e. between the leaves arranged like spokes, is the perianth collected into a bunch. The predominant colours of the perianth are red, orange and yellow. It is the perianth that contains the abundance of aloe nectar.

Aloe vera grows naturally on the Arabian Peninsula, in Africa and in Madagascar. Currently its cultivation is very widespread.

Active ingredient contents in Aloe vera

Aloe vera is used in medicine because of its abundance of healing components. The juice flowing from cuts on aloe leaves is used therapeutically. The juice contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carbohydrates, enzymes, anthranoid compounds, as well as analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral substances.

Aloe vera – a valuable source of vitamins and minerals

Aloe vera contains high levels of B group vitamins, vitamin A and C, folic acid, and mineral compounds of calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, iron, phosphorus, chromium, copper and manganese. These components are essential for the proper functioning of the human body. They should be provided in food, but food is usually too poor in vitamins and minerals. This is why it is good to seek natural extracts which comprehensively supplement the body. An ideal plant extract in terms of vitamin supplementation is the juice of Aloe vera.

Aloe vera and its effect on the human body

The contents of vitamins and microelements (as explained before) are not the only strength of the Aloe vera juice. The liquid also contains amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins, enzymes and hormones, and thus essential for the correct functioning of the system. The importance of amino acids cannot be overstated in terms of body growth and regeneration, metabolism, maintenance of adequate immunological response, acid-base balance; good sight and internal transport of life-critical elements (e.g. iron).

Another advantage of the Aloe vera extract is its property in boosting the defence response to infections and ability to inhibit the spread of the resulting inflammation. This is because the aloe vera juice is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral.

The most frequently employed characteristic of the Aloe vera extract is the stimulation of peristaltic movement for easier defecation. The anthranoid compounds in the extract alleviate constipation-related disorders. The mechanism of anthranoid action consists in limiting the discharge of water and sodium ions from the intestines to the blood stream. This in turn liquefies the faecal mass and facilitates its movement towards the rectum. Anthranoid compounds also affect the nerve endings in the intestines and increase intestinal contractions (resulting in increased peristalsis). Due to this phenomenon, the faecal matter transits much faster.

Therapeutic indications for the Aloe vera extract

The properties of active ingredients in the Aloe vera extract endow the product with a wide range of therapeutic indications. They range from dietary supplementation with minerals and vitamins to immediate removal of bothersome constipation, immunity boosting and infection control. Depending on the indication, one of two therapeutic forms is used, i.e. juice or tablets. The Aloe vera juice is used to strengthen the body and supplement vitamin deficiency. The dry extract of aloe in the form of tablets and rich in anthranoid compounds (the medical preparation Alax) is used to treat constipation.

The properties of the aloe are also used in cosmetics, mainly due to its moisturizing, soothing, as well as skin anti-ageing and regeneration action. The antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory effectiveness enables the aloe extract to be used in treatment of skin lesions (e.g. acne, furunculosis, psiorasis, dermatomycosis) and treatment of ulceration, frostbite, bedsores and swelling. The antiviral properties of the Aloe vera leaf extract have found use in the treatment of herpes.

 

Products containing Aloe

Alax®

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