Aloe vera, also known as the medicinal aloe, is a species of succulent plant that is widely distributed in Africa, the Canary Islands, the southern half of the Arabian Peninsula, India, Cape Verde and other arid areas.
For centuries, Aloe has been well known for its healing properties.
Aloe Vera’s excellent healing properties have been attributed to the presence of plenty of vitamins and minerals in it. Aloe Vera also contains enzymes, amino acids, and traces of natural sugars that are required by our body. These substances have good anti-inflammatory properties and are anti-microbial in nature.
Extensive research has been conducted on the properties of Aloe Vera and it has been shown to facilitate healing of numerous ailments and diseases.
Both oral intake and topical dressings have been documented to facilitate healing of various kinds of skin wounds, burns, scalds etc.
It has been used in treating dandruff, blisters, insect bites, rashes, sores, herpes, urticaria, athlete’s foot, fungus, vaginal infections, conjunctivitis, sties, allergic reactions, dry skin, acne, sunburn, frostbite, shingles, psoriasis, preventing scarring, rosacea, warts, wrinkles from aging, eczema, and even screening out x-ray radiation.
Studies have shown that it has an effect on lowering blood sugar levels in diabetics and has been used as a general detoxifier.
It has even been shown to offer promise in the fight against HIV/AIDS as some reports indicate. It also seems to help prevent opportunistic infections in PLWAs. The virus has been reported to fall below undetectable levels in some patients who used aloe vera regularly. This could be due to its immunological properties.
Oral administration of Aloe vera is said to have positive effects on heartburn, arthritis /rheumatic pain, asthma, coughs, muscular pain, and headaches.
Others include; congestion, intestinal worms, indigestion, stomach ulcers, colitis, hemorrhoids, liver cirrhosis, hepatitis, kidney infections, urinary tract infections, prostate problems.
Commercial presentations of Aloe vera are in the forms of powders, liquids, ointments, pills, sprays, lotions, drinks, jellies, and creams,
A WORD OF CAUTION:
Like most alternative therapy treatments, the aloe industry is unregulated, and it is possible to purchase products that have little or no aloe content as advertised on their labels.
The following if a rough guide of the percentage compositions of aloe in various products;
- Aloe Vera Juice: 90 -98%
- Beverages : 50% and above
- Creams & Ointments – Above 20%
- Sunburn treatments – Above 20%
- Drinks – Above 10%
- Capsules – 5-10%
Treatment with aloe is gradual and results may not manifest until after some months and thus requires patience.
Aloe is generally considered safe when used in moderation.
Avoid aloe preparations if you are pregnant, breast feeding, or menstruating, as it has been reported to cause uterine contractions. People with heart problems and on medication should seek the advise of their doctor before using aloe vera.
Some users report feelings of nausea. Overdose or prolonged use of Aloe Vera can lead to potassium deficiency in the body. Bone weakness has also been reported due to overdosage.
As women are prone to try and experiment with all sorts of preparations both commercial and otherwise especially if recommended by friends, associates or on impulse, it is advisable to consult your doctor about the dosage of aloe vera, and for how long you should take the product; especially if it is to be taken orally and follow the instructions carefully.
For women using it to treat dandruff and to enhance hair growth, ensure you use the matured plant with copious gel and remember to plant more as you use.
To learn how to use aloe Vera to treat Dandruff or enhance hair growth, see our How-to page or the small business Section.