Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) is a perennial, succulent plant, native to Africa. The plant can grow up to 4 feet tall. The plant’s thick, fleshy, spear-like leaves can grow up to 36 inches long. The clear, thick gel is found in the inner part of the leaf.
In 1500 B.C. Egyptians recorded use of the herbal plant in treating burns, infections and parasites. As early as the 6th century B.C., the Greek physician, Dioscorides, discovered aloe vera was effective in treating a wide range of ailments, from kidney problems and constipation, to severe burns of the skin.
Extensive research since the 1930′s indicates that when used topically, aloe gel’s properties may help promote healing to minor burns and scratches by putting a protective coating on the affected. Aloe is one of the most commonly used herbs in the United States. Today, Aloe gel is commonly used topically to sooth minor skin irritations. It is found in a number of high-grade skin care products.
Aloe Vera is 99 percent water and contains substances known as glycoproteins and polysaccharides. Research has shown aloe has anti-inflammatory properties for reducing common, every day inflammation. Aloe also has antioxidant properties, which may translate to skin protection when applied topically, or internal protection against oxidative damage when consumed as a drink. Cleopatra, who lived from 68 to 30 B.C., is said to have used the gel on her skin as protection from the sun, and to have thought the gel helped to keep her skin young-looking!
Aloe Vera Hydrates and Moisturizes the Skin
Aloe soothes and hydrates the skin. Aloe ability to promote healing may also help accelerate the regeneration of new skin tissue. Research shows that the polysaccharide-rich composition of Aloe vera extracts is a natural and effective ingredient for improving skin hydration. It is therefore an effective cosmetic in the treatment of dry skin.
Clinical research has shown positive, yet inconclusive results, showing that Aloe vera extracts have the potential to assist the body in stimulating the synthesis of collagen and elastin fibers
Aloe Vera’s Helps in Quick Healing of Burns, Cuts and Scrapes
Extracts of aloe vera are widely used as therapeutic agents for the treatment of minor cutaneous injuries. It is also used by dermatologists to speed healing after facial dermabrasion, which removes scars from the skin’s top layers. These properties also support aloe vera’s potential in removing stretch marks.
Studies done by the Department of Surgery in Ramathibodi Hospital, Bangkok on the Effect of aloe vera gel to healing of burn wound a clinical and histologic study validate aloe vera’s use in speeding the healing process, particularly in burns.
Aloe Vera Helps Heal Sunburns
Aloe vera is a natural product that is frequently used as a soothing skin care product such as aftersun lotions. Studies indicate it has soothing and healing properties on topical application to sunburned skin. A supportive study of these properties has been done in Germany by the Department of Dermatology in University Medical Center Freiburg.
Aloe can be grown as a houseplant and aloe gel can be obtained by breaking off leaves of the plant. Aloe vera is also available commercially in ointments, creams, and lotions. Because of aloe gel’s moisturizing, soothing and quick-healing properties for our skin, it is a handy gel to keep at all times.
Despite the confidence and optimism expressed by the researchers, and the weight of evidence gathered from numerous studies, according to FDA standards, the findings expressed here should still be considered as inconclusive and further studies must be done before a positive health claim can be made. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Written by Kevin Agrawal
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