Most commonly found in Africa and the Caribbean, aloe vera (Aloe Barbadensis Miller) is a plant that belongs to the succulent species, it holds liquid to survive in hot, dry climates. The outer leaf parts include a yellow-green sap (aloe latex) that can have a laxative, irritant property. The inner parts of the leaf include, polysaccharide-rich gel that helps to relieve the digestive system and support immune system. Aloe vera juice contains 20 minerals, 12 vitamins, 18 amino acids, 200 specific compounds.
Aloe Vera Juice Therapeutic Effects and Benefits
Aloe Vera is a stimulant to the immune system, a strong, anti-inflammatory, an analgesic and is able to speed up cell growth. Scientific researches have shown that a complex carbohydrate in aloe vera, acemannan, combines antiviral action, antibacterial properties and stimulates the immune system. Though aloe vera is 99% water, aloe gel includes polysaccharides and glycoproteins. Glycoproteins speed the healing process by stopping inflammation and pain, while polysaccharides stimulate skin growth and repair.
Aloe vera contains phytochemicals that enhances the rate of healing of skin lesions and damaged epithelial cells of the gastrointestinal tract. Studies have shown that aloe gel might be helpful in treating psoriasis, dandruff, seborrhea, and minor burns and skin abrasions, as well as radiation-induced skin injuries. The gel acquired from the leaf is useful for treating different skin diseases such as dermatitis, burns and other skin disorders.
“The Department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Cosmetology” at the University in Belgrade, reported research in 2011 noting that gel from aloe vera is believed to promote and assist the growth of new cells. One study found that aloe gel displayed anti-inflammatory properties superior to 1 percent hydrocortisone cream or a placebo gel. In a study, 27 participant with moderate burn wounds were treated with aloe vera gel or vaseline. The burns improved more fast in the aloe vera group, with an healing time of 12 days compared to 18 days for the group using vaseline. Aloe cream was shown to be superior to silver sulfadiazine cream for the therapy of second-degree burns. Burn sites treated with aloe vera improved fully in less than 16 days compared to 19 days for sites treated with silver sulfadiazine. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study reported in “Tropical Medicine and International Health“, 60 people with chronic psoriasis were given a 0.5% aloe vera extract in a mineral oil creme. When participants were checked after 8 months, far more psoriasis skin lesions had improved in the aloe vera group (82.8%) than in the placebo group (7.7%).
Aloe vera is known to soothe and cleanse the digestive tract and help develop digestion. Specific components in aloe vera have a anti inflammatory activity on the enzymes responsible for damaging the intestinal wall. Mucopolysaccharides found in the aloe vera role in the body by lining the colon to keep out toxins. Mucopolysaccharides expedite the absorption of water, electrolytes and nutrition in the gastrointestinal tract, and help to maintain fluid movement thus the digestive system can work healthy and alleviate indigestion.
Aloe vera may help improve gastric ulcers, according to a study reported in the April 2006 edition of the World Journal of Gastroenterology. A study performed in Japan demonstrated that the compounds in aloe juice decreased the formation of lesions and secretion of gastric juices that can cause the pain associated with ulcers. Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that affects the membrane of the colon and rectum.Some researches shows that aloe vera can help relieve ulcerative colitis which is a painful inflammation of the colon. In a study reported in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, half of the subjects (47%) had complete remission of mild to moderate ulcerative colitis in four weeks by ingesting aloe vera twice a day. Aloe latex and aloe leaves include chemicals with laxative effects. German Commission E (an official government agency similar to the FDA) has approved aloe for treating constipation. A typical dose is 50 to 200 mg of aloe latex, taken in liquid or capsule form once a day for up to 10 days.
Aloe vera reduces inflammation. Various researches have showed that aloe vera consists of Lupeol or phyto-steroids, Campesterol and B-Sitosterol. These substances work in the similar manner as conventional steroids. Aloe contains small levels of salicylic acid and salicylates. Salicylic acid has pain relief effects and relieves inflammation by inhibiting the production of prostaglandin hormones- which encourage inflammation. Also, in researches, aloe vera has been shown to possess anti-bradykinin effect. Bradykinin is part of the body’s complex mechanism that causes painful inflammation. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications ease swollen joints and improve mobility, however may trigger stomach upsets or peptic ulcers. Steroids suppress inflammation, however can cause brittle bones and weak skin. Aloe vera can alleviate inflammation, help to regenerate new cells and disperse damaged tissue with no adverse effects. According to the article reported in Dec 1994 in the “Journal of the American Podiatric Association“, aloe has a natural COX-2 inhibiting effect which relieves pain, fever and inflammation in the muscle without the unfavorable effects of the COX-2 inhibiting drugs. In a study animals were injected with a bacterium to cause arthritic symptoms. Further, aloe vera (150mg/kg body weight) was injected under the skin daily for 13 days. Aloe vera reduced inflammation by 79 % and suppressed the autoimmune response by 42 %.
Researches show that polysaccharides found in aloe have immunomodulatory and antitumor activities. Research reported in the “Journal of Environmental Science and Health” that aloe vera contains anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effects that aid the immune system to cleanse the body of toxins and invading pathogens. Aloe vera, a important immune stimulant, includes 90 percent rhodium and iridium in the acemannan which is one of the polysaccharides which dramatically enhances the white blood cells or macrophages and T cells.
A compound made from aloe vera, di 2-ethyl hexyl phthalate, has been found to stop the development of leukaemia cells in test tubes. One study demonstrated that an aloe extract (aloe emodin) can block the growth of head and neck cancer cells in test tubes. Aloe-emodin (chemical component of Aloe), inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in human liver cancer cell lines through p53-and p21-dependent pathways. An in vitro study has showed aloeride, (a polysaccharide obtained from aloe vera), as a strong immunostimulator by increasing NF-kappa B activities. In a study researchers found that a compound from aloe vera, when injected directly into tumors, activated the immune system to attack the cancer. Natural killer T cells, white blood cells that bind to invading cells and destroy them, began to attack the tumor cells.
Aloe polysaccharides application have been shown to develop helper lymphocytes in AIDS patients and inhibit the reproduction of HIV. In a study, for 4 months, 29 participant were given pure aloe juice along with an essential fatty acid supplement and other supplement containing vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. After ninety days, all of the patients had lesser occurrences of opportunistic infections, fatigue, thrush, and diarrhea, as well as increased white blood cell counts. 14 HIV patients were given acemannan (aloe vera extract) orally at 800 mgs per day. A important boost in the number of circulating monocytes and macrophages were noted, which increased infection fighting capacities.