The botanic species Aloe has always been included in the liliaceae family because it is joined in one original bulb, as with lilies, onions, garlic and asparagus. However, in view of the specific and particular characteristics of Aloe, it has been introduced in a new botanic family, Aloeaceae.
The Aloeaceae family includes around three hundred and fifty varieties of plant from around the world. It possesses long flowers whose colour varies among the diverse species, with a chromatic range from orange to scarlet.
Aloe Barbadensis Miller (Aloe Vera) stands out among these different varieties because of its special cosmetic-curative interest.
It is a perennial plant which grows in a cabbage like form, whose base is surrounded by a circle of rough spiny leaves which grow in a spiral. The structure and consistence is reminiscent of the cactus.
The Plant reaches maturity at four years; its vital cycle lasts twelve years.
When the leaves are cut, two or three times a year, the “wounds” heal quickly, almost immediately; in fact the plant produces a protective liquid which prevents the loss of sap.
Aloe Vera multiplies easily by means of cuttings of stems which grow from the base. This plant should not be exposed to extreme climates with large temperature differences or excessive humidity.
The rigid woody trunk of the flowers is formed in the central part of the clump of leaves of the Aloe Barbadensis once a year, and can reach one and a half metres in height. Flowering in summer produces tubular formations in clusters of yellow flowers on the tip.
The succulent, meaty light green leaf of the Aloe Vera is made up of an internal gel called parenchyma and a coriaceous green cuticle which constitutes the outer skin.
The entire plant is, in itself, a powerful mixture of antibiotics, astringents, bactericides, analgesics and anticoagulants, as well as a vigorous stimulant of cell growth, categorising itself as “the wound hormone”.
It is the synergic form (“group work”) in which all of the components act together which provides ALOE VERA with all of its properties.
Basically, the substances which are present in Aloe can be resumed in three large groups: Polysaccharides, among which acemannan stands out for its immuno-stimulant action; Anthraquinones; and Diverse substances with high nutritive, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antimycotic qualities as for example, mineral salts, vitamins, essential and non essential amino acids, organic acids, phospholipids, enzymes, lignin y saponins.1) Among the carbohydrates (Saccharides), glucose, mannose, acemannan and cellulose are the most important.
Both glucose and mannose contribute to the provision of the energy necessary for the processes of rehabilitation of the human body, in a very digestible and readily available form.
Acemannan retains moisture in the living leaf and provides the same action for skin treated with its gel, encouraging great hydration and softness of the epidermis. According to scientific studies acemannan develops important activities in the human organism and principally in the gastrointestinal and immune systems, two very interdependent systems. It contributes to the stimulation of immune defences, protects gastrointestinal lining, and presents bactericide, germicide and antimycotic activity.
The cellulose in Aloe constitutes the rigid structure of the stalk and outer part of the leaf. Nevertheless, it is an important element of Aloe preparations for its fibre content.
2) Anthraquinones give Aloe its typically bitter taste. Their effect on the organism is slow and can be observed between six and twenty-four hours after Aloe Vera use.
They are found in high concentration, especially in the lymph of the trunk, and are less present in the leaves (where they can be found in the outer cuticle layer). Existing studies emphasise the important antibacterial properties and provide evidence of their effectiveness in curing viral and bacterial pathologies.
There are many anthraquinones in Aloe, each with slightly diverse properties: Aloe emodin, aloetic acid, antranol …
Among these properties, we can highlight the intervention in inflammatory processes, producing an anaesthetic and analgesic effect, to which is added a notable radio-protective effect against the suns rays. In more recent studies they have even shown a marked anti-tumoral effect.
3) The plant is rich in minerals and the pure juice of the Aloe is comparable to the most modern multi-mineral and vitamin complexes, something which is not commonly found in nature.
Among those the most noteworthy are: Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, and Copper…
Vitamins are divided and classified according to their manner of absorption: fat-soluble, absorbed through fats and accumulated in the cells, and water-soluble, absorbed through aqueous solutions or those foods which contain water and not accumulated in great quantities. Vitamins A and E are included in the fat-soluble group of Aloe. In the water-soluble group, on the other hand, are the B group vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, B12, B15) and vitamin C. The absence of these eleven valuable substances and minerals in the body would cause a considerable obstacle in the road to good health.
Regarding amino acids, these are the principle elements of proteins and are the fundamental constituents of living organisms.
Proteins are such an important part of our nutrition that a diet without proteins can cause the reduction of muscular consistence, the diameter of the hair strands, skin pigmentation and a considerable increase in our physical fragility in just ten days.
This group of constituent substances is classified as essential and non-essential amino acids, according to their functional mode. Essential amino acids are those which our organism cannot synthesise and therefore must be introduced through our diet. For an adult there are eight essential amino acids, seven of which are present in Aloe: phenyalanine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, threonine and valine. The non-essential amino acids are those which the organism can produce in adequate quantities, in normal physiological conditions. There are nine of the twelve non-essential amino acids necessary for human life present in Aloe: aspartic acid, glutamic acid, alanine, arginine, asparagine, glycine, glutamine, praline and serine.
Practical use of Aloe Vera
Due to its innumerable components this plant can be used as treatment for a wide variety of minor and major pathologies and so it is indispensable in many ways..
It is important to know that only some of the uses mentioned have a medically or scientifically proven effect, while other recommendations have their roots in tradition, common sense and some authors` own experience.
Acne is an inflammation of the sebaceous glands, producing puss, generally located on the face and back. These glands are situated under the pilose bulb and produce the grease which covers, protects and softens our body with a thin layer.
It is advisable to cleanse the skin using an aloe-based soap and then apply pure Aloe juice three times a day for acute cases, and in the morning and at night for less serious cases. The treatment should be continued for one month.
When using Aloe, it is important to bear in mind the astringent effects it can have. If an excessive dryness of the skin is observed, hydrating dermic Aloe gel or Aloe cream should be used to moisturise. As we are using a natural product, the results are observed over a period of time.
Wrinkles are indentations which the skin produces as time passes, caused by the loss of elasticity in the collagen of the epidermis, which initiates structural failure. This phenomenon affects the entire body and especially the face, neck, chest and hands, areas which are more exposed to the rays of the sun and the dangerous consequences of Ultraviolet radiation.
If Aloe Vera is used over a period of time it will prevent deterioration and prolong the youthful, healthy condition of the skin.
The diverse nutritive substances which have a marked astringent effect, and acemannan which stimulates collagen production, both detain and fight against the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. As treatment, the face and neck should be cleansed every morning with 2 spoonfuls of pure Aloe Vera juice dissolved in 1 litre of hot water. After cleansing, rinse several times. This leaves the skin with a sensation of softness, luminosity and elasticity. To dry the skin, we should use a soft towel and lightly pat the skin dry without rubbing, so that the last of the water is evaporated by our own body heat. This gives the skin a more pleasurable sensation.
After cleansing with Aloe Vera juice, there are several cosmetic products which we can use, such as: Anti-ageing Cream, Moisturising-repairing Cream and Hand Cream.
The tissue which grows to cover a wound and which leaves a mark once closed is called scar tissue. The Acemannan contained in Aloe stimulates the correct production and coordination of scar tissue and together with the amino acids, vitamins and mineral salts favours rapid healing, thus avoiding lasting marks.
The use of pure Aloe juice or hydrating gel on older scars should be prolonged for several months, as this stimulates the production of collagen and connective tissue and provides excellent results.
This can also be applied in the same way to those stretch marks which often appear in the female body due to slimming. They often appear after a rapid gain or loss of weight, an excessively rapid gain of muscular tissue, or after an infectious illness.
In both cases pure Aloe juice or hydrating gel should be applied twice a day for several months until a noted reduction or complete elimination of this anti-aesthetic phenomenon is achieved.
In view of the rich nutritive and medicinal substances which Aloe contains, it is frequently used by the cosmetic industry to prepare creams, lotions and specific treatments designed to resolve a large quantity of dermatological pathologies.
Pure Aloe Vera juice applied daily cleanses, refreshes and regenerates the skin, providing the correct dose of vitamins and stimulating the circulation which in turn guarantees greater oxygenation and a more rapid expulsion of toxins.
The skin becomes smoother, hydrated and more elastic, favouring its defences against free radicals and the regenerative action of the epithelial tissue which produces an anti-oxidising and anti-ageing effect.
In this way, once the skin has absorbed the Aloe Vera juice, we can apply cosmetic Aloe products for normal, greasy or dry skin, depending on the area to be treated (Hands, Face, Body or Lips) as well as Aloe Vera After-Shave to combat the aggressiveness of shaving.
Aloe Vera should be considered a plant with multiple uses and its juice should form part of the first aid medicines kept in the home. It is very useful on wounds, especially grazes and burns.
It accelerates the regenerative stage of healing, blocks inflammatory reactions and stimulates the intervention of the immune system.
Pure Aloe juice is used by spreading a small amount over the open wound, cut or burn, and leaving it to work for several minutes. This should be repeated in the morning, afternoon and at night until the wound is completely healed.
To treat deeper cuts, it is important to apply a pure Aloe Vera compress during the day, keeping it in place with a bandage. This guarantees the reduction of swelling and limits the pain thanks to rapid healing.
This affliction of the skin of viral origin is extremely common around the world, especially in association with gastrointestinal disorders, fevers or menstruation. Once the human organism has come into contact with the virus it is possible that it will suffer from this pathology, especially when exposed to periods of great stress which affect the functioning of the immune system, making it vulnerable to attack.
Herpes is characterised by the formation of small water blisters which tend to swell, producing pus and extending to the surrounding zones. These herpetic formations usually itch, are anti-aesthetic and can produce skin infections.
There are various different types of herpes. The most widespread type of herpes is simple herpes, located on the lips, nose and genitals.
Given the known astringent, antibacterial anti-inflammatory and immuno-regulating effects of pure Aloe Vera juice, it is an obvious choice in the treatment of this pathology, with excellent and immediate results. Pure Aloe Vera juice, Moisturising Aloe skin cream or Hydrating lip balsam should be applied to the affected areas several times a day.
This pathology is quite widespread, and is distinguished by purulent blisters, as well as the way in which it appears and spreads on the epidermis.
Striations, generally of a rose colour, form on the body along the channels of the nervous system connected to the spinal cord, causing pain.
It is advisable to apply pure Aloe Vera juice or Hydrating Aloe gel to the affected zone by means of a light massage two or three times a day, depending on the range and seriousness of the herpes, continuing for at least a week after the symptoms disappear.
The American Indians have passed on the ancient remedy which they used to avoid insect bites and stings. These wise people rubbed Aloe Vera on their bodies, as its characteristic smell repelled insects, protecting them from the mosquitoes in the swamps, which is where they used to hide from the attacks of the white man.
The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects of the juice are extremely valuable even after the bite. Its use is especially effective during warm periods and in areas with a humid climate where mosquitoes and other insects are abundant. Lightly rub pure Aloe Vera juice or Hydrating dermic gel into the bite several times a day until it disappears completely. Apart from the above mentioned properties, this treatment also provides a sense of relief from the itching sensation due to its calming and refreshing effects.
In order to maintain strong, healthy and shiny hair you simple have to apply pure Aloe juice as a balsam after shampooing. The juice should be rubbed into the hair and left for ten minutes. The results are very beneficial due to the richness of the active elements which nourish the scalp, stimulating and reinforcing its growth.
This is also applicable in cases of hair loss, which mainly affects men and can be hereditary, caused by stress or by poor alimentation.
The pH of Aloe is 6, slightly acidic and very similar to that of our skin, which has a pH of 5.5. Its penetrative power is increased by this fact and the combination of nutrients revitalises the pilose bulb, reinforcing it and encouraging new growth. In this way hair loss can be prevented. In this case it is advisable to apply pure Aloe juice to the affected area in the morning and at night for several months. Aloe is applied at night and rinsed out in the morning with a light massage. The scalp is reactivated and hair grows stronger and more healthily.
Atopic dermatitis, a type of dermatitis typically associated with allergy, is quite common and difficult to treat.
It is a genetic alteration influenced by environmental factors. From a therapeutic point of view it is important to bear in mind that the affected person has an inherently irritable skin, which means that on many occasions so-called sensible skin is actually just a milder degree of atopic dermatitis.
Cotton wool soaked in pure Aloe Vera juice is applied to the area to be treated and once absorbed Aloe Vera cosmetics are applied (Hand cream, Moisturiser or Body lotion, depending on the area) which moisturise and act as an anti-flaking agent in conjunction with the treatment. It has been demonstrated that this treatment is extremely useful in prolonging the time between outbreaks as well as during an outbreak, alongside conventional pharmacological treatments.
Hygienic-Dietetic advice for the improvement of the symptoms of Atopic dermatitis:
- Avoid perspiration.
- Clean and trim nails to avoid infections from scratching.
- Use high factor solar cream, as photo sensibility is frequent.
- Use natural fibres such as cotton or linen, never wool.
- Baths should be tepid and not very frequent or prolonged. Dry well and always by patting, never using friction.
- Use non greasy tenso-active soaps. Contact with the skin should be as brief as possible.
- Moisturise well after bathing and relieve dryness using Aloe Vera creams, essential fatty acids or ceramides.
- Limit the use of perfume as much as possible.
The appearance of toothache is mainly due to advanced degenerative states such as tooth decay, which attacks the enamel that protects the flesh, or limited circulation in the dental capillaries.
The diverse anti-inflammatory and analgesic components of Aloe produce very fast effects.
Using a sterilised toothbrush soaked in pure Aloe Vera juice, apply to the affected area every one or two hours until the pain disappears. In any case, it is advisable to consult your dentist.
The sharp stomach pains associated with an elevated level of stomach acid after eating are symptoms of gastritis caused by bad eating habits or nervous tension.
If this ongoing mistreatment of the stomach continues and is combined with stress, alcohol and nicotine consumption, it produces the irritation commonly known as gastritis.
In this case one spoonful of pure Aloe Vera juice should be taken three times a day, at least 15 minutes before meals, until the symptoms disappear completely.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin illness with characteristic flaking of the skin, especially on the elbows and knees. It can be due to a lack in nutrition, psychosomatic, or a combination of both.
According to official medicine no specific cure exists. Nevertheless, several medical studies have shown that if pure Aloe juice is consumed on a regular basis it can help to avoid, and therefore cure, this type of ailment. In recent publications by the European Academia of Dermatology in 1995, some researchers state that among the diverse properties of Aloe Vera is the ability to inhibit psoriatic flaking, limiting spreading and the destruction of the epidermis. In conclusion, it is advisable to use Aloe, whether internally or externally.
Cotton wool soaked in pure Aloe Vera juice should be applied to the area to be treated in the morning and at night. Once absorbed we should apply moisturising Aloe cream, as its high astringent power can “dehydrate” the area considerably. Internally, 2 spoonfuls of pure Aloe juice should be taken twice a day just before meals. This treatment should be continued for a month and repeated several times a year, especially at the change of season.
Hygienic-Dietetic advice for the improvement of the symptoms of Psoriasis:
- Avoid stress and anxiety, as this can cause or worsen the illness.
- Tobacco and Alcohol produce a disimprovement in the symptoms.
- It is advisable to drink large quantities of liquids to ensure adequate hydration.
- Obesity is a negative factor. The diet should be varied and balanced, with mainly fish and foods which are rich in fatty acids omega 3 and 6, as well as vegetables rich in carotenes. Animal fats should be avoided.
- Even though the sun can be beneficial in some cases, in others it can worsen the pathology.
- Beta-blockers, antimalarial medicines, and Lithium or Gold salts provoke and worsen the illness.
- The use of mild body soaps is recommended.
- In the case of psoriasis of the scalp, the alternation of treatment shampoo with mild frequent use shampoo is recommended.
- Hot baths with Aloe juice and emollient oils calm the itching and help to moisturise the skin and remove flaking skin.
- Hydration of the skin is fundamental to establish elasticity and softness, reducing inflammation and itching, and avoiding the atrophic effects of topical corticoid treatments. For that reason moisturising emulsions with Aloe Vera or Wheat Germ are recommended.
We should protect our skin with factor sun lotion, both at the beach and in the mountains. It takes a bit longer to get a tan, but we avoid unpleasant consequences, such as sunburn or worse, the appearance of melanomas. Pure Aloe juice should be available to every sunbather as first aid.
Aloe is a valid treatment for sunburn, as it blocks the inflammatory action which is caused by excessive exposure to the sun, and stimulates the intervention of the immune system. It also unleashes actions which alleviate the soreness and produce an acceleration of the regrowth phase, that is, the regeneration of the epidermic tissue. Pure Aloe juice should be spread gently on the affected area several times a day, avoiding sun exposure for several days.
We can also use hydrating dermis gel, massaged gently into the affected area until completely absorbed; as well as the aforementioned properties, this treatment is also more calming and refreshing.
If excessive dryness and tightening of the skin is observed, the skin should be moisturised with any of the previously mentioned products, Aloe Vera body lotion or other creams depending on the area of the body to be treated.
The wound in the walls of the duodenum, the first tract of the small intestine and its mucosa, is felt before eating and after long periods without eating. This is the main difference between gastric and duodenal ulcers. It is formed by a transfer of gastric juices which perforate the walls and mucosa.
One spoonful of pure Aloe Vera juice should be taken between meals three times a day with ½ glass of tepid milk in order to appreciate the gastro-protection of acemannan.
- We in no way wish to insinuate that these treatments can re-emplace the attention of a medical practitioner, who in more serious cases should be consulted to.
- Our idea is to respect the responsible and conscious choice of each individual in the search for a renewed state of health. The preference for an alternative to the frequent use of allopathic medicines is, in our opinion, a better way of life, indicative of acute intelligence, as it is important to see beyond the limits of our actions.
- The reaction of the human body to such a complex stimulus is very subjective and we cannot guarantee that each individual who follows our instructions carefully will experience the exact same results. When dealing with acute symptoms avoid using botanic preparations and consult a doctor who, if efficient, will be able to prescribe the correct treatment and synergise his or her knowledge.
- Before starting to consume this product, it is advisable to perform an allergy test on the wrist with some cotton wool soaked in juice. If no eruptions, redness or reaction appears in ten minutes, you may consume this product according to the body’s toleration.
- Nonetheless, it is important to specify that cases of allergy or intolerance to Aloe Vera are rare and generally the pure juice of this plant is used as an anti-allergenic product.
- In the following cases, Aloe Vera juice must not be used for internal use; pregnancy, children, severe kidney problems.