Essay on Aloe Plant as an Alternative Medicine
Historical note Aloe vera has been used since ancient times as a medicinal plant. In fact, evidence of use has been found on a Mesopotamian clay tablet dating back to 21 00 bc (Atherton 1 998). It has been used as a topical treatment for wounds, burns and other skin conditions and internally as a general tonic, anti-inflammatory agent, carminative, laxative, aphrodisiac and anthelmintic by the ancient Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Indians and Spaniards. According to legend, Alexander the Great captured an island in the Indian Ocean in order to gain the Aloe vera for his wounded army. Today aloe is used to soothe skin complaints and heal burns, and is one of the most common ingredients in many cosmetic products.
Aloe vera extract, or diluted aloe gel, is made of mostly water (99 ) and mono- and polysaccharides, most important of which is the monosaccharide mannose-6-phosphate and the polysaccharide gluco-mannans, which are long-chain sugars containing glucose and mannose. Gluco-mannan has been named acemannan and is marketed as Carrisyn. A glycoprotein with anti-allergic properties has also been isolated, and has been named alprogen. Recently, C-glucosyl chromone, an antiinflammatory compound, has also been identified.
Oral Aloe vera Is a popular treatment for a variety of gastrointestinal disorders. It has been shown to Improve different parameters of gastrointestinal function In normal subjects, such as colonic bacterial activity, gastrointestinal pH, stool specific gravity and gastrointestinal motility (Bland 1986). Due to Its anthraqulnone content, It Is used as a stimulant laxative.
Aloe gel is traditionally used for burns, wounds and inflammatory skin disorders. There is good scientific evidence that aloe may be of benefit in these conditions however, the chemical composition of Aloe vera products will vary depending on geographical and processing factors. Traditionally, aloe is also used internally for dyspepsia, gastrointestinal ulcers and IBS. 2007 Elsevier Australia Aloe has an Immediate effect on burns and Inflammatory skin diseases. Improvement occurs within several weeks with the condition continuing to Improve with use. Chronic conditions may require long-term use. Internal use of Aloe vera as a laxative can produce results within 12-24 hours. Are there any safety issues
The most primitive genus Deleornis feeds almost exclusively on insects and spiders, but takes a few small fruits as well. All other genera of sunbirds take these items as food, but also probe flowers for nectar. Energy-rich nectar is a very important part of the diet of species such as the bronze sunbird (Nectarinia kilimensis) and the golden-winged sunbird. The proportions of nectar or invertebrates in the diet of sunbirds varies from species to species and with the seasons. Spiders are regularly taken by most species, and small fruits, seeds, and pollen are also common constituents of sunbird meals. There are close associations between groups of flowering plants, such as mistletoes, proteas, and aloes, that rely on the long-billed sunbirds to pollinate them. Short-billed sunbirds may also feed on nectar from flowers that should be beyond their reach by nectar-robbing activities such as probing into the base of flowers rather than through the more usual open route. Despite their...
Use of specific anti-irritant ingredients. There are a lot of soothing ingredients in dermatological treatments mainly from plant origin, such as hamamelis, algae, chamomile, and aloe vera. Polysaccharides, proteoglycans, and glycoproteins with filmogen and hydrating properties can provide a feel of less or nonirritated skin. Polymers, when used at high concentrations, have also been demonstrated as reducing the irritation potential of anionic surfactants, essentially by entrapping high quantities of surfactants into micelles in solution (see Chap. 23).
A case study of depression of thyroid hormones in a woman taking Aloe vera juice has been reported (Pigatto & Guzzi 2005). The patient consumed 10 mL daily for 11 months and laboratory testing showed reduced levels of thyroxine and triiodothyonine. Levels returned to normal progressively after discontinuing the aloe juice and the patient achieved full clinical remission after 16 months. Reduced serum levels of the thyroid hormones T3 and T4 have been reported for Aloe vera in vivo (Kar etal 2002).
Aloe vera (L.) 4 oe barbadensls (Mill.) (family Aloeaceae) PLANT PARTS USED The leaf, from which several different products are made namely the exudate, gel, extract and juice. The exudate ('aloes' in older pharmacy texts) is a thick residue, yellow in colour and bitter in taste, that comes from the latex that oozes out when the leaf is cut. The 'gel' refers to the clear gel or mucilage produced by the inner parenchymal cells in the central part of the leaf. Diluted aloe gel is commonly known as'aloe vera extract' or'aloe juice'.
Aloe vera leaf gel has been Investigated as a possible hepatoprotectlve and kidney protective agent In diabetes type 2 using animal models. In one study, the leaf gel and gllbenclamlde both decreased degenerative kidney changes, serum urea levels and creatinine levels, but only aloe further reduced kidney lipid peroxidation (Bolkent et al 2004). Can et al (2004) tested aloe pulp, aloe gel extract and gllbenclamlde, finding that all treatments decreased liver tissue damage as compared to control animals. Aloe gel extract also Increased glutathione levels and decreased non-enzymatlc glycosylatlon, lipid peroxidation, serum alkaline phosphatase and alanine transaminase.
In vitro studies suggest that Aloe vera has antiviral activity due to its interference with DNA synthesis (Saoo et al 1996). The polysaccharide fractions of aloe gel inhibit the binding of benzopyrene to primary rat hepatocytes and thus prevent the formation of potentially cancer-initiating benzopyrene-DNA adducts in vitro. This was later confirmed by in vivo studies (Kim & Lee 1997). Moreover, in vitro experiments have shown the anthraquinones in aloe to be virucidal against HSV 1 and 2, vaccinia virus, parainfluenza virus and vesicular stomatitis virus (Anderson 2003).
Three systemic reviews of herbal medicines for glycaemlc control In diabetes found that Aloe vera can lower blood glucose levels In diabetic patients (Grover et al 2002, Vogler & Ernst 1999, Yeh et al 2003). In one trial aloe juice consisting of 80 gel or placebo was given In a trial of 40 patients who were recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the dose of 1 tablespoon twice dally. From day 14 the blood sugar levels In the aloe group began to fall significantly compared with the control group and Aloe vera 27
Although Aloe vera products are used for many indications, the chief use is treating skin conditions. SKIN CONDITIONS Most human studies have found that topical application of aloe vera gel increases wound healing rate and effectively reduces microbial counts however, there are some negative studies, most likely related to the fact that the composition of aloe vera gel varies, even within the same species. Chemical composition depends on source, climate, region, and the processing method used (Choi & Chung 2003). Dry-coated aloe vera gloves were tested by 30 women suffering from dry, cracked hands, with or without contact dermatitis due to occupational exposure, in an open contralateral comparison study (West & Zhu 2003). Women wore a glove on one hand for 8 hours daily for 30 days followed by a rest period for 30 days and then 10 more days of treatment. Results indicated that the aloe vera glove significantly Aloe vera 23 The effects of aloe gel applied to skin following dermabrasion...
Full thickness hot-plate burns (3 total surface area) to test animals healed more quickly with the application of aloe gel compared to silver sulfadiazine (SSD) or salicylic acid cream (aspirin) (Rodrlguez-Blgas et al 1988). Guinea pigs treated with aloe recovered In 30 days as compared to 50 days for control animals (dressing only) and wound bacterial counts were effectively decreased. Aloe vera was also found to promote healing and decrease Inflammation In second-degree burns In vivo (Somboonwong et al 2000). A significant reduction In vasodilation and post-capillary venular permeability was recorded on day 7 In the aloe group. At day 14 arteriolar diameter had returned to normal and the size of the wound was greatly reduced as compared to controls. Use with pharmaceutical agents Several topical pharmaceutical antimicrobial agents, such as SSD, Inhibit wound contraction, thereby slowing the rate of wound healing. An experimental model was used to Investigate whether...
On implanted sarcoma cells, leading to necrosis and regression of cancer cells (Peng et al 1991). A later trial investigated the effects of acemannan on mouse macrophages (Zhang & Tizard 1996). Acemannan stimulated macrophage cytokine production (IL-6 and TNF-alpha), NO release, surface molecule expression, and cellular morphologic changes. Similarly, a polysaccharide fraction isolated from Aloe vera promoted human keratinocytes to secreteTGF-alpha, TGF-beta-1, IL-1 -beta, IL-6, IL-8 and TNF, and inhibited the release of NO as compared to control (Chen et al 2005). The immune enhancing effects of acemannan may be due in part to the compound's ability to promote differentiation of immature dendritic cells (Lee et al 2001). These cells are crucial for the initiation of primary immune responses.
Aloe and Your Health
This іѕ а health guide, whісh саn hеlр people knоw hоw tо mаkе uѕе оf Aloe vera tо improve оvеrаll health аnd deal wіth mаnу kinds оf diseases.