Aloe is a plant that has many health properties, in fact, scientists have identified over 75 compounds, mostly vitamins, amino acids and enzymes which provide numerous benefits to the body. Over the past thirty years, programs to investigate the properties of this plant have been undertaken in many parts of the world. For example, some have shown a deep thermal burn treated with Aloe, moving in 48 hours at a lesser second-degree burn by the rapid regeneration of tissues and just leave without a scar.
The word "aloe" probably derives from Arab “alloeh" which means "bitter substance" or the Greek "Alos" which means "sea".
The history of Aloe vera
The first references are contained in the Ebers Papyrus, which are stored at the University of Leizpig. There are many historical documents of the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Algerian, Arab, Tunisian, Indian and Chinese, among others, who speak of their use for medicinal and cosmetic use.
Dioscorides, in his famous Greek Herbarium, in the century I, detailed description of its applications for wounds, insomnia, stomach disorders, pain, hemorrhoids, itching, headaches, hair loss, diseases of the mouth and gums, kidney discomfort, blisters, care skin, sunburn, blemishes, etc.
Aristotle persuaded Alexander the Great to conquer the island of Sócrota near the east coast of Africa, with the purpose of obtaining sufficient quantities of Aloe for healing the wounds of his soldiers.
Use of Aloe juice declined in Western civilizations when were settled in northern areas, where the plant could not survive the cold winters, with use restricted to medicinal use of Aloe juice. Following the devastating effects of atomic bombs and burns caused by X-rays, again aloe was taken seriously into account the as effective remedy for burns.
However, its use was limited by the difficulty of preserving the juice, very unstable and easily oxidized, thus losing much of its therapeutic properties. Rodney M. Stockton in 1959 was the creator of stabilization of the Aloe gel, and from that moment begins the scale of research and application of its medicinal properties.
Currently the research is mainly focused on the fight against AIDS, and cancer given its quality of the immune system enhancer. The results obtained so far are spectacular, with numerous trials under the FDA (Food and Drug Administration of USA) and a score seemed imminent as the treatment of choice for this type of disease. However, so far only it has been recognized as a biogenic stimulator (antibiotic, astringent, coagulating agent, pain inhibitor, healing and stimulating cell growth).
Scientific Name: Aloe vera (L.) Burm
Common name: Aloe
Habitat: Originally from India, may be naturalized in North Africa and more rarely in southern Europe.
Characteristics: Perennial plant of the Liliaceae family of up to 60 cm tall. . Succulent leaves in basal rosette, lanceolate, hugging the outside covered with thorns, and glaucous with reddish tones. Yellow flowers, hanging up to 2.5 cm long in terminal spikes on stems cylindrical, woody plant. Fruit capsule.
The species of Aloes are usually woody, but with very large leaves and arranged in large rosettes and a thorn on its reece, other armed smaller marginal spines. Flowers are tubular, bell-shaped, because the six pieces that form the floral cover all welded together in a straight tube. These flowers often have red, orange or yellow color. Measured up to 2.5 cm long in terminal spikes on stems cylindrical, woody plant. Fruit capsule.
The stamens are six, with long filaments starting from the bottom of the flower, below the pistil. The fruit is capsule with walls that are inconsistent. It flowers, depending on the species, in spring and summer and even winter in their home countries.
About 200 species are raised, in the sunny slopes, often in stony or rocky places in the Old World, in most of Africa, in Madagascar and in some places in Asia. Abound, especially in the region of the Cape of Good Hope.
Maintenance and cultivation
Aloe has two natural enemies: the excess water and cold below 0 º C. It is very resistant to pests and lack of water.
For cultivation, it is better to do in clay pots rather than plastic. This is filled with ordinary garden soil with 50% peat, in equal shares. Basically put a drain on two fingers of gravel. Covering the plant until the birth of the leaves, waiting a few weeks to start watering and give it time to heal the wounds during the transplant. Place the plant in sunny and warm place, where has lots of sunlight. In winter, protect from cold. When offspring have a height of four fingers are separated from the adult plant. We can do it in two ways: by sifting through the fingers to find their union of mother and child, and another pot taking entirely separate from the mother with more precision and with all their roots, thus making use, to cut roots of the mother plant, if they are too long, and adding organic compost into the soil to raise it again. We must remember that you cannot irrigate during the first two weeks after his transplant.
Children wounds are left to dry for a couple of weeks, without exposure to direct sunlight, individual plants may be potted.
There are many types of Aloe. To prevent that the plant can be pollinated by another type of Aloe and become hybrid seed, be sure that no other aloes near (remember, the wind is a very active pollinator). If you do not have the security that this can happen, we cut the beam of the flower of medium height, below where the flowers before opening. The rest of the rod, draw it easily when it is dry.
Leaves, whose sap is used, are fleshy, measuring about 50 cm long, 10 or 20 cm wide and 5 cm thick. When cut the leaves they exude a watery liquid with a very bitter taste, accumulated in secretory cells that surround the region. Since the cell wall that separates them is very thin, the juice is flowing with ease. We must cut the leaves so that the secretions can be collected in a container. Here is the condensed liquid by putting it in fire or water bath. After separation of the foam is poured into another container in which solidify. This is how it reaches the market and is prepared later in the form of pharmaceutical preparations (drops, pills, suppositories, etc.). It is rare to use pure aloe.
- Acids: glutamine, aspartic, aloetic, formic, palmitic and stearic. (Plant) ascorbic (Handout)
- Essential oils: Cineole, caryophyllene, pinene
- Minerals: Calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, aluminum, (leaves)
- Amino acids: Aloine, aloesine, arginine, lysine, barbaloine, glycine, glutamine, histidine, serine(Plant)
Uses of Aloe vera
There are several ways to use Aloe (they depend on its purpose):
Juice: Aloe juice is extracted from the pulp since the skin is very irritating. It is the most popular form of taking it. Dilute a big spoonful in half a glass of water and take one to three times daily before meals.
Gel: Aloe gel is part of the shower in order to apply it well in the daily hygiene. It is a little concentrated form (depending on the manufacturer) but it is a way to apply it every day.
Fresh: Apply directly on the burns, wounds, dry skin, fungal infections and insect bites.
Ointment: Opening multiple leaves for large amounts of gel and boiled until it forms a thick paste, which is stored in clean jars in a cool place and used as the leaves.
Tonic Wine: Aloe gel with fermented honey and spices is called "kumaryasava” in India and is used as a tonic against anemia and disorders of the liver and digestive function.
Inhalations: use the gel in steam against bronchial congestion.
Tincture: Use one to three milliliters (ml.) per dose as a stimulant of appetite or constipation. It tastes nasty.
Powder: Used 100-500 mg. dose form of capsules or as a laxative for constipation and for continuing to encourage the flow of bile.
Aloe in the beauty
Aloe is an important ingredient in many beauty products.
It penetrates the three layers of the skin: Epidermis, dermis, hypodermis, and expels bacteria and fatty deposits that clog the pores. While the action of natural nutrients, minerals, vitamins, amino acids and enzymes, stimulate the reproduction of new cells.
It is also an important cellular regenerator, healing, tones and high penetration into the skin. When used regularly, prevents premature wrinkles and delays own age. It reduces the extent of open pores, and can be used under makeup.
As Aloe is an astringent, you have to combine its use with a moisturizer, preferably leading Aloe among its components.
It is an excellent ultraviolet sunscreen and removes stains caused by the sun, if used for a long period of time.
Aloe, used after shaving, gives good results, because in a few moments regenerate many of the cells broken by the passage of the razor blade. So using a lotion after shaving will give a feeling of great relief. Similarly, in this sense, is very effective used after depilation: prevents rashes, redness and bumps, closing rapidly dilated pores.
It is also very effective in the prevention or elimination of small ridges.
It is important, hydration of the skin with oil or cream after the aloe has penetrated the skin.
Nail Care: Mix a bit of aloe gel and a moisturizing hand cream and can be applied once a day.
Care Hair and Scalp
Aloe juice can be used as shampoo, conditioner and fixative, with remarkable results for both the hair to the scalp. Catching a piece of leaf, you get the thorny edges, and cut it in half. We will spend either the whole head. This, once dry, can be left for a while, or all night. The next day, rinse with water, and Aloe will shine, giving strength and protection for hair.
Diseases of the scalp, dandruff and grease, are handled directly, with Aloe juice.
Toothpaste: The juice of the plant has a tonic and astringent effect, is very useful in cases of gengintivitis, canker or other diseases of the mouth (juice rinses Plant diluted to 50% in water).
Sucking a piece of pulp consistency with Aloe is a good remedy for teeth that bleed and are swollen. It is also for caries prevention and protection of the aggressive wear, over time, tooth enamel.
- Consumed in excess can cause congestion in lower abdomen or increase the intensity of menstrual bleeding.
- Causes a significant loss of potassium in bowel patients with cardiac or kidney should be used with caution.
- Not recommended for use either during pregnancy or during lactation (the child can cause infant diarrhea), or during menstruation. Not ingesting
- Children under 6 years