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Natural Aloe Vera and it’s Skin Care and Health Benefits

Aloe vera plants, particularly aloe barbadensis miller plants, have been used for centuries to help burns, cuts, and other skin ailments. Perhaps your grandparents always had one of these unique, cactus-like plants nearby, just in case of an emergency. If someone got a cut or burn, they would break an aloe leaf apart to extract gel from inside the leaf. The aloe gel inside the leaf is used as a natural healing salve.

Benefits of Aloe mean it can be used topically and internally

With the onset of commercialism and the recent boom in all-natural products, aloe has become the ingredient of choice in many skin care and health products. Commercial aloe products include everything from creams to lotions to nutritional supplements in pill or drink form. The products often combine aloe gel with other ingredients to enhance the gel’s natural healing components. For example, an aloe-based Hawaiian product, called AhVahleen, combines aloe with some natural extracts taken from organic honey and a Hawaiian Kalo herbal plant.

Natural Aloe-Based Solutions for Skin Care and Health

Aloe gel, especially when combined with other natural ingredients, can greatly enhance the skin and its ability to replenish skin cells. As skin cells die, new skin cells must replace the old to promote healthy skin. This also slows the aging process and helps keep the skin moist and beautiful. Aloe creams and gels on the market can help enhance this process. There are also creams and gels to help with itching, burns, cuts, psoriasis, shingles, and other skin conditions.

The Gel is also known to have antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, which allow skin ailments to heal while reducing risk of infection. Some aloe-based products are said to help soothe and dry up chicken pox as well. Aloe Gel can work as a natural anesthesia to reduce or alleviate pain caused by burns, cuts, and skin rashes. For severe sunburn and/or sun poison, aloe vera gel can cool the burning skin and speed up the healing process.

How to Buy Natural Aloe Products

Shop online to find aloe-based products that are unique to your skin care and health needs. If you have psoriasis, for instance, look for creams, gels, or lotions to soothe this condition in particular. If you work in the sun or are outdoors a great deal, look for aloe products that can protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. If you have multiple needs for aloe, find a natural aloe product that offers many benefits in one. Start enjoying natural skin care and health today with the wonderful natural solution of aloe vera!

We have so much more on this topic in our Aloe Vera Story section.

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Benefits of Aloe

Powerful aloe vera skin care products by The Aloe Source mentioned in Beauty World NewsOur Aloe

We utilize a unique charcoal filtration process that removes the aloin and aloe emodin from our stabilized aloe vera without destroying the integrity of its beneficial nutrients.  The Aloe Source partnered with an aloe vera farm in North America to harvest, process and stabilize organic aloe vera exclusively for our products. By purchasing our aloe directly from the source, we are able to control its purity, stability and quality.

Benefits

There are several benefits of aloe that many people don’t realize. The most potent variety of aloe is Aloe barbadensis miller, which can be found in all of our products. Here are some of the many surprising benefits of aloe when applied topically:

  • Helps in soothing the discomfort associated with scars, burns and cuts
  • May aid in relieving the stinging and itching from insect bits
  • Helps boost cell turnover
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Hydrates the skin
  • Vitamin and nutrient  dense
  • Reduces the appearance of eczema

Aloe is also very beneficial when taken internally, whether as an aloe vera juice or in supplement form.  Some of the benefits of ingesting aloe are:

  • Provides the body with essential nutrients, like vitamins and amino acids
  • Rich in enzymes that help balance your digestive system
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Helps to detoxify and replenish the body
  • Boosts the immune-system

 

Want to read more on the Benefits? Take a look at More Benefits of Aloe  blog post.

Interested in the History Of Aloe our blog covers that too.

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More On Benefits of Aloe

Benefits of Aloe mean it can be used topically and internally
The benefits of Aloe mean it can be used for problem skin and intestinal issues

Aloe vera is one of the most commonly used substances in health care around the world. From skin care to inner health, aloe has proven effectiveness in a wide range of health applications, from holistic to clinical. Find out all the Benefits of Aloe and why its so great.  The ancient Egyptians found aloe vera to be so effective they referred to it as the “plant of immortality.” Over the last thousand years, the use and application of aloe vera has been geared more towards tried and true medical purposes, making it a widely used remedy and preventative product for many different conditions.

Aloe vera is a succulent plant with wide, fleshly leaves that grow in offsets. Sitting at roughly three feet tall at maximum, the aloe vera plant is small and stemless with serrated leaves. The aloe vera plant is grown mainly in captivity as there are no naturally occurring populations. The leaves of an aloe vera plant house a thick, gummy clear gel. This gel, commonly seen in skin care and other natural products, is the most popular part of the plant, although the skin can be used as well in promoting good health.

Although aloe vera has many positive qualities, it is most commonly seen as a remedy for skin ailments. Aloe vera is best known as a great treatment for burns and sunburns, either alone or as a component in burn creams. It is not uncommon for people to keep aloe vera plants in the home simply for this purpose. Additionally, aloe’s soothing properties make it an effective moisturizer, keeping dry skin at bay in cooler, drier months. Seen as a productive part of a beneficial skin routine, many women choose to apply aloe vera daily in order to keep facial skin looking smooth and clear.

Aside from these common applications, aloe can be used to treat acne and can fight signs of aging, like wrinkles, age lines, and crows feet. Many people also apply aloe to their stretch marks to reduce the severity and others have found it useful in reducing the look and feel of scarring. Many companies include aloe vera in face washes and other facial skin products, such as cleansing masks, in order to promote youthful, clear skin. Many women have also found that aloe vera makes an effective makeup base for its smooth finish. There is also evidence that aloe vera can alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis, cold sores, and bed sores.

While most commonly applied topically, aloe vera can also be ingested orally. Aloe vera can be taken to reduce symptoms from rheumatoid arthritis, constipation and other digestive complications, high cholesterol and ulcerative colitis. Due to its potent taste, many individuals choose to take aloe vera supplements or to combine it into health shakes or smoothies. Like most supplements, aloe should be taken sparingly and in the recommended dosages.

For almost two thousand years, aloe vera has been used to treat a wide variety of illnesses and afflictions from burns to stomach cramps. Today, aloe vera is widely used in holistic and allopathic medicine to treat sunburn, acne, cold sores, digestive problems, cholesterol, as well as to improve the overall look and feel of skin. While many herbal remedies have proved to be old wives’ tales, aloe vera’s usefulness has perpetuated into the practice of modern medicine, making it an ingredient in hundreds of products sold each year.

Check out The History Of Aloe to learn about the plant itself!

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History of Aloe

The history of aloe vera demonstrates its importance over the centuries.  Its use dates back to at least 2200 B.C. when the Egyptians depicted the plant on temple walls. The plant is a member of the lily/onion family, and is thought to have originated in Africa, before spreading throughout the world.  Knowledge of aloe vera’s pharmaceutical properties were recorded in Sumerian clay tablets in 1750 B.C.. The history of is included in the Bible, legends of kings, queens, even tales of Alexander the Great, who, persuaded by Aristotle, conquered Socotra in order to treat his soldiers with the plant.

History of Aloe from Ancient Times

Aloe Vera can be found depicted on ancient Egyptian walls
Aloe Vera can be found depicted on ancient Egyptian walls

The Ancient Egyptians, who used it to treat and cure diseases as well as for its restorative benefits, placed great emphasis on aloe vera. The value that they placed on the plant is illustrated by its use as payment to attend the burial of a Pharaoh, as well its use as a measure of a person’s wealth. Ancient Greek scientists and Romans considered aloe vera a cure-all for internal and external problems, “the plant of Immortality”.

The Bible references aloe vera in several passages, ranking its value during King Solomon’s time as equal to that of rare spices. The Mahometans also revered the plant, using it as a symbol of their religion. Dioscurides praised aloe vera for its healing and cosmetic benefits, especially for relieving dry skin and its internal cleansing properties.

Christopher Columbus carried aloe vera plants on his adventures, treating injuries and sharing its value with the new world. At this point, the plant is thought to have already spread from Egypt throughout India, China and the Middle East. Aloe vera’s affinity for warmth kept it from growing well throughout Northern Europe, although it is a major component of the formula for Swedish Bitters. This restorative tonic was created by a blend thought to have been developed by Paracelsus and reintroduced to the world by Swedish doctors.

Modern History of Aloe

The recent history of aloe vera includes a plethora of studies conducted by researchers throughout the world and in the U.S. The plant gained notoriety for its ability to treat radiation burns, lending more credibility to claims of its benefits to the medical community.

Historical uses of Aloe have shown its internal and external effectiveness with treatments that include its use as a healing agent. It is thought to improve the immune system, eye problems, migraines, and more as it contains antibacterial and antiseptic properties as well as anti-inflammatory fatty acids. The sap and gel combine to make this plant a health powerhouse.

The History and Uses of Aloe for Cosmetics

Aloe vera’s use as a cosmetic by well-known queens Cleopatra and Nefertiti, who were revered for their beauty, is legendary. It was used as emollient for treating and healing skin throughout the world for centuries and was listed in the U.S. Pharmocopoeia as a skin protectant in 1820.

Many companies include aloe as part of their base in cosmetics due to its healing and emollient effects. It contains numerous minerals and is a good source of Vitmins A, B, C and Vitamin E. The restorative and emollient properties help counteract the effects of daily living and keep you looking and feeling healthy.

After thousands of years of technological advances and research, one of our partners has invented a patented process to isolate the active parts of the aloe leaf and maximize the benefits that ancient Egyptians and Sumerians first discovered. In fact our partner was the first person to stabilize the aloe plant, so it could be used in products. This has resulted in 3 patents for aloe vera and 2 more pending.

At The Aloe Source, we have combined this knowledge and research with a passion for helping people look and feel their best. The history of aloe vera is part of our history.

Find the perfect product for your inner health and outer beauty here.

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The Veracity of Aloe Vera

blg_TNTwo inaccurate concepts plague us about aloe vera. One is the belief that aloe vera is limited to a small range of uses—such as skin irritations, burns, cuts and minor irritations—and should only be applied topically when nothing more serious is at stake. The other is that aloe is a benign but innocuous ingredient in everything from ready-to-drink beverages to skincare.In a sense, aloe vera has been victimized by its own popularity since it has become the most frequently added ingredient in most personal care products due to the wellness revolution and the trend toward natural cures. Since veracity is a synonym for truth, here are the true facts about the healing power of aloe vera.

Aloe vera grows to maturity virtually free of insect infestations that plague other crops. Because of this, it’s much easier to grow aloe vera organically. The problem isn’t in growing aloe vera but in processing it as aloe loses its efficacy within hours of harvest. Coats Labs has its own Aloe Vera Barbadensis fields with adjoining processing facility to ensure maximum efficacy by processing the plants as soon as they are picked.

Aside from topical use, aloe vera has healing properties when consumed orally. Because aloe vera can kill both bacteria and viruses, it can combat a variety of internal issues. Even beyond keeping you healthy during cold and flu season, it helps to regulate the body’s functions. For example, it helps to alleviate gastrointestinal issues, such as GERD, and it also helps you to metabolize your food more effectively.

There are numerous studies that cite the healing power of aloe vera, and specifically the effectiveness of Aloe Vera Barbadensis. To learn more check, get a copy of Bill Coats’ book, “The Silent Healer.” It’s available on Amazon.

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Aloe Vera: Wikipedia says…

Aloe vera

Excerpts from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Aloe vera is a succulent plant species that is found only in cultivation, having no naturally occurring populations, although closely related aloes do occur in northern Africa.[1] The species is frequently cited as being used in herbal medicine since the beginning of the first century AD. Extracts from A. vera are widely used in the cosmetics and alternative medicine industries, being marketed as variously having rejuvenating, healing, or soothing properties. There is, however, little scientific evidence of the effectiveness or safety of Aloe vera extracts for either cosmetic or medicinal purposes, and what positive evidence is available is frequently contradicted by other studies.

Description

Aloe vera is a stemless or very short-stemmed succulent plant growing to 60–100 cm (24–39 in) tall, spreading by offsets. The leaves are thick and fleshy, green to grey-green, with some varieties showing white flecks on their upper and lower stem surfaces. The margin of the leaf is serrated and has small white teeth. The flowers are produced in summer on a spike up to 90 cm (35 in) tall, each flower being pendulous, with a yellow tubular corolla 2–3 cm (0.8–1.2 in) long. Like other Aloe species, Aloe vera forms arbuscular mycorrhiza, a symbiosis that allows the plant better access to mineral nutrients in soil.

Aloe vera leaves contain phytochemicals under study for possible bioactivity, such as acetylated mannans, polymannans, anthraquinone C-glycosides, anthrones, anthraquinones, such as emodin, and various lectins.

Taxonomy and etymology

Spotted forms of Aloe vera are sometimes known as Aloe vera var.chinensis

The species has a number of synonyms: A. barbadensis Mill., Aloe indica Royle, Aloe perfoliata L. var. vera and A. vulgaris Lam. Common names include Chinese Aloe, Indian Aloe, True Aloe, Barbados Aloe, Burn Aloe, First Aid Plant. The species epithet vera means “true” or “genuine”. Some literature identifies the white-spotted form of Aloe vera as Aloe vera var. chinensis; however, the species varies widely with regard to leaf spots and it has been suggested that the spotted form of Aloe vera may be conspecific with A. massawana. The species was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 as Aloe perfoliata var. vera, and was described again in 1768 by Nicolaas Laurens Burman as Aloe vera in Flora Indica on 6 April and by Philip Miller as Aloe barbadensis some ten days after Burman in the Gardener’s Dictionary.

Techniques based on DNA comparison suggest Aloe vera is relatively closely related to Aloe perryi, a species endemic to Yemen. Similar techniques, using chloroplast DNA sequence comparison and ISSR profiling have also suggested it is closely related to Aloe forbesiiAloe inermisAloe scobinifoliaAloe sinkatana, and Aloe striata. With the exception of the South African species A. striata, these Aloe species are native to Socotra (Yemen), Somalia, and Sudan. The lack of obvious natural populations of the species has led some authors to suggest Aloe vera may be of hybrid origin.

Distribution

The natural range of A. vera is unclear, as the species has been widely cultivated throughout the world. Naturalised stands of the species occur in the southern half of the Arabian Peninsula, through North Africa (Morocco, Mauritania, Egypt), as well as Sudan and neighbouring countries, along with the Canary, Cape Verde, and Madeira Islands. This distribution is somewhat similar to the one of Euphorbia balsamiferaPistacia atlantica, and a few others, suggesting that a dry sclerophylforest once covered large areas, but has been dramatically reduced due to desertification in the Sahara, leaving these few patches isolated. Several closely related (or sometimes identical) species can be found on the two extreme sides of the Sahara:dragon trees (Dracaena) and Aeonium being two of the most representative examples.

The species was introduced to China and various parts of southern Europe in the 17th century. The species is widely naturalised elsewhere, occurring in temperate and tropical regions of Australia, Barbados, Belize, Nigeria, Paraguay and the United States The actual species’ distribution has been suggested to be the result of human cultivation.

Cultivation

Aloe vera can be grown as anornamental plant.

Aloe vera has been widely grown as an ornamental plant. The species is popular with modern gardeners as a putatively medicinal plant and for its interesting flowers, form, and succulence. This succulence enables the species to survive in areas of low natural rainfall, making it ideal for rockeries and other low water-use gardens. The species is hardy in zones 8–11, although it is intolerant of very heavy frost or snow. The species is relatively resistant to most insect pests, though spider mites,mealy bugs, scale insects, and aphid species may cause a decline in plant health. In pots, the species requires well-drained, sandy potting soil and bright, sunny conditions; however, Aloe plants can burn under too much sun or shrivel when the pot does not drain the rain. The use of a good-quality commercial propagation mix or packaged “cacti and succulent mix” is recommended, as they allow good drainage. Terra cotta pots are preferable as they are porous. Potted plants should be allowed to completely dry prior to rewatering. When potted, aloes become crowded with “pups” growing from the sides of the “mother plant”, they should be divided and repotted to allow room for further growth and help prevent pest infestations. During winter, Aloe vera may become dormant, during which little moisture is required. In areas that receive frost or snow, the species is best kept indoors or in heated glasshouses. Large-scale agricultural production of Aloe vera is undertaken in Australia, Bangladesh, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, China, Mexico, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa, along with the USA to supply the cosmetics industry with Aloe vera gel.

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

Herbal farming in Chhattisgarh: Aloe vera

Aloe vera gel being used to make a dessert

Uses

Preparations made from Aloe vera are often referred to as “aloe vera”. Scientific evidence for the cosmetic and therapeutic effectiveness of aloe vera is limited and when present is frequently contradictory. Despite this, the cosmetic and alternative medicine industries regularly make claims regarding the soothing, moisturizing, and healing properties of aloe vera. Aloe vera gel is used as an ingredient in commercially available lotions, yogurt, beverages, and some desserts,although at certain doses, it has toxic properties when used either for ingested or topical applications. Other uses for extracts of Aloe vera include the dilution of semen for the artificial fertilization of sheep, as a fresh food preservative, or for water conservation in small farms. It has also been suggested that biofuels could be obtained from Aloe vera seeds. Aloe is also used as a food substance, possibly for its gelling properties.

Dietary supplement

Aloin, a compound found in the exudate of some Aloe species, was the common ingredient in over-the-counter (OTC) laxative products in the United States prior to 2003, when the Food and Drug Administration ruled that aloin was a class III ingredient, thereby banning its use. Aloe vera has potential toxicity, with side effects occurring at some dose levels both when ingested or applied topically. Although toxicity may be less when aloin is removed by processing, Aloe vera that contains aloin in excess amounts may induce side effects. A two-year National Toxicology Program (NTP) study on oral consumption of nondecolorized whole leaf extract of Aloe vera found evidence of carcinogenic activity in male and female rats. The NTP says more information is needed to determine the potential risks to humans.

Aloe vera juice is marketed to support the health of the digestive system, but there is neither scientific evidence nor regulatory approval to support this claim. The extracts and quantities typically used for such purposes appear to be dose-dependent for toxic effects.

Commodities

Aloe vera is used on facial tissues where it is promoted as a moisturiser and/or anti-irritant to reduce chafing of the nose. Cosmetic companies commonly add sap or other derivatives from Aloe vera to products such as makeup, tissues, moisturizers, soaps, sunscreens, incense, shaving cream, or shampoos. A review of academic literature notes that its inclusion in many hygiene products is due to its “moisturizing emollient effect”.

Toxicity

In 2011, the NTP carried out a series of short- and long-term carcinogenicity studies of a nondecolorized whole leaf extract of Aloe barbadensis miller (Aloe vera) in rats and mice, in which the extracts were fed to the rodents in drinking water.The studies found “clear evidence of carcinogenic activity” in the rats, but “no evidence of carcinogenic activity” in the mice. Both the mice and rats had increased amounts of noncancerous lesions in various tissues. The NTP believes further studies of oral preparations of aloe are important, as are studies of the oral exposure of humans to aloe; topical preparations are still considered safe.

Oral ingestion of Aloe vera may also cause diarrhea, which in turn can lead to electrolyte imbalance, kidney dysfunction, dry mouth, headache, and nausea, while topical application may induce contact dermatitis, erythema, or phototoxicity.

Research into medical uses

Two 2009 reviews of clinical studies determined that all were too small and faulty to allow strong conclusions to be drawn from them, but concluded, “there is some preliminary evidence to suggest that oral administration of aloe vera might be effective in reducing blood glucose in diabetic patients and in lowering blood lipid levels in hyperlipidaemia. The topical application of aloe vera does not seem to prevent radiation-induced skin damage. It might be useful as a treatment for genital herpes and psoriasis. The evidence regarding wound healing is contradictory. More and better trial data are needed to define the clinical effectiveness of this popular herbal remedy more precisely.”  One of the reviews found that Aloe has not been proven to offer protection for humans from sunburn, suntan, or other damage from the sun.

A 2007 review of aloe vera’s use in burns concluded, “cumulative evidence tends to support that aloe vera might be an effective interventions used in burn wound healing for first- to second-degree burns. Further, well-designed trials with sufficient details of the contents of aloe vera products should be carried out to determine the effectiveness of aloe vera. Topical application of aloe vera may also be effective for genital herpes and psoriasis.