Discover the incredible health benefits of Aloe Vera and Aloe arborescens through its medicinal properties, which have been used for centuries. From healing burns and wounds to improving digestion and strengthening the immune system, Aloe is a unique plant that can be used to treat a multitude of ailments.
What you need to know about the medicinal plants Aloe Vera and Aloe arborescens
Aloe Vera and Aloe arborescens are succulent plants that have been used for centuries as medicine. Their homeland is North Africa, but now these succulents can be found in many parts of the world. The gel and juice inside the leaves of these Aloe species are rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, making them an essential and valuable ingredient in many health and beauty products.
We will look at the various medicinal properties of Aloe and how it can be used to improve health.
There are about 400 species of succulent plants in the genus Aloe. Of these, 20 species are used to a greater or lesser extent in folk medicine and in medicines as well as in cosmetics. Everywhere just for Aloe vera has long entrenched the title of medicinal plant. But it is worth knowing that other Aloe species are often identified under this name.
In this article, we will describe the medicinal abilities of two species, Aloe vera and Aloe arborescens. These two varieties of Aloe are the most studied by scientists and repeatedly confirmed their effectiveness in treating many diseases.
History of the medicinal use of Aloe
People have long known about the healing properties of the medicinal succulent and have been using Aloe to treat various diseases for centuries. The first references to the benefits of Aloe are at least 6,000 years old. In ancient times it was called the “plant of immortality” and was often given to Egyptian pharaohs as a funeral gift. Remains of aloe have been found in the tombs of the pharaohs along with other things they were supposed to use in the afterlife. Egyptian papyri have also been found which describe medicinal recipes using Aloe. Research shows that as it spread, people from different continents began to use Aloe vera in folk medicine, including Native Americans, Chinese, and Americans.
These days, there is an entire pharmacological industry behind Aloe. Its juice and pulp are used in cosmetics and personal care products, as a healing ingredient in medicines and even in cooking. This plant has rightly earned its fame as a home healer. Medicinal Aloe is often used in alternative medicine.
We have collected many proven and documented methods of using Aloe to treat various ailments. Wherever Aloe Vera is mentioned, this plant can be safely replaced with Aloe arborescens with the same, and often even better, results in treatment.
Which is better to use in treatment – Aloe vera or Aloe arborescens
There has long been a debate as to which of these Aloe species is more effective as a remedy. You can find opposing opinions in different sources, and there is no consensus on this matter. But this does not underestimate their benefits. Aloe vera or Aloe arborescens have excellent medicinal and cosmetic properties. What is the difference between these two succulents from a phytotherapeutic point of view.
Aloe arborescens has excellent medicinal properties. This feature is due in part to its narrower filamentous leaf shape with a thicker cuticle (the protective layer of the leaf surface). In addition to providing greater endurance to harsh desert conditions, this succulent property provides the flesh of the leaves with plenty of beneficial trace minerals. For example, Aloin is known for its laxative effect, it also has anti-tumor and cytoprotective effects, making it widely used in pharmaceuticals.
On the other hand, Aloe arborescens has a much lower gel content compared to Aloe Vera leaves, which in no way affects the useful properties of the plant.
With an equal weight of leaves, Aloe Tree contains three times more active substances than Aloe Vera.
It is worth knowing that most of the plant’s active ingredients are contained in the outer cuticle and not in the gel, which is 99% pure water. The reason Aloe vera is more widely used commercially is due to the higher gel content of its leaves and the ease of processing them to produce pulp for cosmetic and pharmaceutical applications.
Hemical composition of Aloe succulent sap and pulp
In the late 1940s, intensive research began which enabled science to pinpoint the chemical and physiotherapeutic properties of Aloe. This research was gradually expanded in order to reveal all the secrets of the composition of the organic molecules and individual active substances of this plant. It is now known that Aloe leaves contain more than 200 active elements that give these succulents their medicinal properties.
In addition to water, which makes up 96% of the composition of the pulp of the leaves, the main chemical constituents of Aloe vera (as well as Aloe arborescens) are:
- Carbohydrates: glucose, mannose, acemannans, pectins, lignin, etc;
- Anthraquinones and phenolic substances;
- Mineral salts;
- Amino acids;
- Organic acids;
Among most of these active substances are especially important:
- Acemannan – has bactericidal and antifungal properties and can also form a protective layer on the walls of the stomach and intestinal mucosa against various aggressive food ingredients such as hydrochloric acid from various juices.
- Anthraquinones, including aloin, aloemodin, aloeic acid, anthranol, crizophanic acid, salicylic acid and resistanol. This is a group of phytochemical compounds with pronounced laxative activity, the intake of which in especially sensitive people can cause bouts of diarrhea. In addition to the laxative properties, these compounds have other very important characteristics: antibacterial, antiviral, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, cytotonic, purifying, diuretic, eupeptic and tonic properties.
- Molecules of organic compounds of the aromatic series – Phenols, among which there are derivatives of cinnamic acid, tocopherols, flavonoids and other polyfunctional organic acids with pronounced antioxidant properties. These compounds play a fundamental role in counteracting the effects of free radicals and cell aging.
- Acetylsalicylic acid is a substance known for its many beneficial properties, from anti-inflammatory to protective effects on the heart and vascular system.
- Vitamins and mineral salts, micronutrients, with which Aloe arborescens is particularly rich. Its leaves contain calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, sodium, manganese, copper, cobalt, chromium and germanium, a very rare organic mineral in demand for its antioxidant and anticancer properties. Organic germanium improves oxygen content at the cellular level. It is for this reason it is considered a powerful antioxidant. Germanium also helps to remove toxic metals such as lead, cadmium and mercury from the body and counteracts the effects of ionizing radiation. Finally, Aloe has B vitamins (B1, B2, B3 and B6), vitamin C, choline, folic acid, bicarotene and vitamin E.
What are the medicinal properties of Aloe Vera and Aloe arborescens
Due to the presence in the juice and pulp of the active substances described above, Aloe vera and Aloe arborescens can boast a large number of beneficial properties for the human body.
Let us describe in more detail where they are used.
Let’s describe in more detail where their healing properties are used.
The main feature of this plant is the anti-cancer effect, which takes place due to:
- stimulation of the body’s immune defense (immunostimulatory action);
- Induction of apoptosis of tumor cells;
- antiproliferative action, blocking the development of cancer and metastases.
And in this triple protection, act different active substances that make up the juice and pulp of aloe. The most important are undoubtedly polysaccharides and antrichinones.
Anti-inflammatory and analgesic
As an internal and external remedy, Aloe has a strong analgesic effect, reducing inflammation and decreasing sensitivity to pain. Because of this, it can be useful for wounds, burns, insect bites, and also better resists the side effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
More information about caring for succulents
Aloe as an antioxidant
Due to its high content of mineral salts and vitamins, Aloe vera has excellent antioxidant properties. Vitamin C, E B2, B6, organic germanium and the essential amino acid cysteine are powerful antioxidants that can fight cell damage caused by free radicals.
Aloe’s antiviral properties
Acemannan (a polymeric sugar) present in Aloe gel and leaves has significant antiviral activity against various viral diseases. In particular, the therapeutic properties of Aloe in the treatment of Herpes and Paramyxoviruses have been confirmed.
Antibacterial and antifungal properties
The active ingredients found in Aloe varieties, in addition to their immune-stimulating effects, help our bodies fight off numerous pathogenic bacteria and fungi, including the dangerous E. coli and Candida albicans.
Aloe as a Gastroprotector (gastric distress remedy)
The active ingredients in Aloe Vera and Aloe arborescens can help treat the most common gastrointestinal disorders such as stomach cramps, heartburn, pain and bloating. Aloe has been confirmed useful in normalizing intestinal secretion, improving its bacterial flora, stabilizing the pH in the stomach and intestines, improving the functionality of the pancreas and in the colon, limiting the reproduction of pathogenic microorganisms, reducing putrefaction.
Aloe can also help with some forms of gastritis (peptic ulcer) and inflammation of the intestines (irritation of the colon); its effectiveness is due to the therapeutic effect of the flower juice, anti-inflammatory, analgesic effect and the ability to cover and protect the walls of the stomach.
Laxative and cleansing agent
The leaves of Aloe Vera and Aloe arborescens have a cleansing effect in the gastrointestinal tract, which is particularly exposed to the accumulation of various toxins. The cleansing effect is mainly due to the polysaccharides which, thanks to their composition and viscous consistency, bind well and eliminate toxic substances formed during metabolism, thus reducing the contact time of toxins with mucosal surfaces. The laxative effect is carried out by the alkali present in the juice and gel of medicinal Aloe.
Help with skin scarring
The polysaccharides and plant hormones found in Aloe vera accelerate the repair of damaged skin and the formation of new epithelial tissue.
In 2014, researchers discovered that Aloe vera extract is a safe and effective alternative to chemical-based mouthwashes. The plant’s natural ingredients, including vitamin C, can block plaque. It can also provide relief if your gums are bleeding or swollen. Alternatively, you can use an aloe vera gel-based toothpaste.
The Medicinal Properties of Aloe as a Blood Sugar Lowering Agent
Recent clinical trials have shown that drinking aloe vera juice regularly for two weeks helps lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Study participants also had improved triglyceride levels, which may have additional benefits for people with diabetes. Patients are often at increased risk for heart disease related to triglyceride and cholesterol abnormalities.
Creams with Aloe soothe the skin and help reduce itching and inflammation for psoriasis and acne. Researchers have noted that the plant has the ability to inhibit the production of prostaglandin E2. These are lipids that not only play a role in inflammation, they are also active in the sebaceous glands, contributing to inflammatory skin conditions.
Although Aloe itself is ineffective in treating mild sunburns, it can bring relief after first- or second-degree burns. In a clinical trial involving 371 burn patients, researchers found that healing time was nine days shorter in patients who used Aloe vera extracts than in others.
We have described only some of the medicinal properties of Aloe Vera and Aloe arborescens. But these plants are also famous for their cosmetic and culinary properties, which should not be forgotten.
Contraindications and side effects in the use of Aloe
The juice of this plant, like most other natural remedies, in addition to benefits, can cause harm to the body.
First, it is worth recalling that it should be categorically avoided by pregnant women, as Aloe vera causes uterine spasms, which can lead to spontaneous abortions. There are mentions that in the past, Aloe was even used to terminate a pregnancy.
There is a controversial opinion – can Aloe be taken while breastfeeding? Some alternative medicine representatives recommend its use, since Aloe increases the production of breast milk. However, in general, doctors do not recommend eating the plant.
The only way out is always to consult your doctor first.
Whole leaf juice is not recommended for acute colitis, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. In these cases, it is better to avoid aloin by consuming pure Aloe vera juice or filtered Aloe arborescens juice.
People taking cortisone medications, diuretics or cardioactive glycosides should consult their physician before taking pure Aloe juice.
In a separate article, we will tell you how to use Aloe vera pulp and juice at home without harming your health.
Q: Is Aloe vera safe to use?
A: Aloe vera is generally safe to use, but it is important to use it in moderation. Some people may be allergic to Aloe vera, so it is important to test it on a small patch of skin before using it more extensively.
Q: Can Aloe vera help with sunburn?
A: Yes, Aloe vera can help soothe sunburned skin and reduce inflammation.
Q: Can Aloe vera be used to treat acne?
A: Yes, Aloe vera can help reduce inflammation and soothe irritated
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