Aloe Vera (घिउ-कुमारी) - Mero Kuraa - Nepal's English News Portal

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19 September 2014

Aloe Vera (घिउ-कुमारी)

 Aloe Vera is a succulent plant species. The species is frequently cited as being used in herbal medicine since the beginning of the first century AD.

Aloe Overview Information

 Aloe Vera produces two substances, latex & gel, which are used for medicines. Aloe gel is the clear, jelly-like substance found in the inner part of the Aloe plant leaf. Aloe latex comes from just under the plant's skin and is yellow in color. Some Aloe products are made from the whole crushed leaf, so they contain both gel and latex.
   
    Aloe medications can be taken by mouth or applied to the skin. Aloe gel is taken by mouth for osteoarthritis, bowel diseases including ulcerative colitis, fever, itching and inflammation, and as a general tonic. It is also used for stomach ulcers, diabetes, asthma, and for treating some side effects of radiation treatment.

           Some people take Aloe latex by mouth, usually for constipation. Less often, Aloe latex is used orally for epilepsy, asthma, colds, bleeding, absence of menstrual periods, colitis, depression, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, bursitis, osteoarthritis, and glaucoma and other vision problems.

         
  Most people use Aloe gel topically, as a remedy for skin conditions including burns, sunburn, frostbite, psoriasis, and cold sores. Some people also use Aloe gel to help surgical wounds and bedsores heal faster. There is some science supporting these uses. Some chemicals in Aloe gel seem to be able to increase circulation in the tiny blood vessels in the skin, as well as kill bacteria. Together, these effects suggest that Aloe gel might be effective in speeding wound healing. But it’s too early to come to that conclusion. Evidence is contradictory. One study suggests that Aloe gel may actually delay wound healing.

            But taking Aloe latex by mouth is likely unsafe, especially at high doses. There is some concern that some of the chemicals found in Aloe latex might cause cancer. Additionally, Aloe latex is hard on the kidneys and could lead to serious kidney disease and even death.

How does it work?
            The useful parts of Aloe are the gel and latex. The gel is obtained from the cells in the center of the leaf; and the latex is obtained from the cells just beneath the leaf skin. Aloe gel might cause changes in the skin that might help diseases like psoriasis.Aloe seems to be able to speed wound healing by improving blood circulation through the area and preventing cell death around a wound. It also appears that Aloe gel has properties that are harmful to certain types of bacteria and fungi. Aloe latex contains chemicals that work as a laxative.
 
Possibly Effective for
i.                     Taking Aloe latex by mouth can reduce constipation and also cause diarrhea.
ii.                   Some evidence shows that applying an Aloe extract 0.5% cream 3 times daily increases healing rates
in men with cold sores.
iii.                   Research shows that using a mouthwash containing Aloe 3 times daily for 12 weeks or applying a gel containing Aloe twice daily for 8 weeks can reduce pain associated with itchy rashes in the mouth. Other research shows that using a mouthwash containing Aloe 4 times daily for one month reduces pain and increases healing similarly to standard treatment in people with itchy rashes in the mouth.
iv.                  Applying a cream containing 0.5% Aloe for 4-8 weeks seems to reduce the skin plaques and decrease the severity of psoriasis. However, using an Aloe gel does not seem to improve other symptoms associated with psoriasis, including skin redness.


Possibly Ineffective for:

i.                     Early research suggests that taking 400 mg of a supplement that comes from Aloe 4 times daily does not improve immune function in people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
ii.                   Applying Aloe gel to the skin during and after radiation treatment does not seem to reduce skin damage caused by the radiation. However, there is some evidence that Aloe gel might delay the appearance of skin damage.
iii.                   Research suggests that applying Aloe gel to the skin does not prevent sunburn or reduce skin redness when applied before or after sunlight exposure.


Insufficient Evidence for:

i.                      Research shows that applying acemannan, a chemical that comes from Aloe, to the tooth socket
of people with dry sockets after standard treatment, reduces pain and improves symptoms more than standard treatment alone.
ii.                    Applying Aloe gel to the skin might improve healing of certain types of burns called “partial thickness burns.” Some research shows that applying Aloe cream twice daily decreases the size of first or second degree burn wounds and reduces the amount of time needed to heal. However, other research suggests that applying Aloe daily is no more effective than standard treatment for reducing healing time.
iii.                   Early research suggests that when given with standard chemotherapy, three daily doses of a mixture containing fresh Aloe leaves and honey dissolved in alcohol increases the number of patients with lung cancer who are able to heal completely, partially, or maintain control of their disease when compared to just chemotherapy alone. However, other research shows that taking Aloe has not benefit in people with lung cancer.
iv.                  Early research suggests that taking acemannan, a chemical that comes from Aloe, shortens the amount of time needed for canker sores to heal. However, other research suggests that a gel containing Aloe does not consistently shorten the length of time between canker sores.
v.                    Some research suggests that using a toothpaste containing Aloe daily for 24 weeks reduces plaque. However, other research evaluating another substance containing Aloe found it to be comparable to a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
vi.                  There is conflicting information about whether Aloe can reduce blood sugar in people with diabetes. Two studies indicate that taking Aloe gel by mouth can reduce blood sugar in women with type 2 diabetes. But another study did not show the same benefit.
vii.                 Early research suggests that applying a cream containing Aloe gel and olive oil 3 times daily for 10 days reduces the severity of diaper rash in children younger than 3 years-old.
viii.               Early research suggests that applying a cream containing Aloe to the skin for 2 weeks increases the amount of water in the outermost later of the skin, but not on the inner layers. Other research suggests that wearing gloves coated in Aloe improves symptoms of dry skin in women. However, it is not clear if the benefits were from the Aloe or the gloves.
ix.                  When applied to the skin, Aloe gel seems to help skin survive frostbite injury.
x.                    Some research suggests that using a toothpaste containing Aloe daily for 24 weeks reduces gingivitis. However, other research evaluating another substance containing Aloe found it to be comparable to a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
xi.                   Early evidence suggests that taking Aloe 3 times daily for 12 weeks reduces symptoms of hepatitis in people with liver fibrosis mainly caused by hepatitis B or C.
xii.                Preliminary evidence suggests that taking 10 mL or 20 mL of Aloe by mouth daily for 12 weeks can reduce total cholesterol by about 15%, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by about 18%, and triglycerides by about 25% to 30% in people with hyperlipidemia.
xiii.               Applying a product containing coconut oil, jojoba oil and Aloe to the feet twice daily for one week intervals seems to reduce the number of sandfleas in people with flea infestations.
xiv.               Some evidence suggests that using an Aloe solution 3 times daily during radiation therapy lowers the risk of developing painful inflammations in the mouth.
xv.                Some preliminary evidence suggests that applying Aloe gel does not improve the healing rate of bedsores compared to management with gauze moistened with salt water. However, other research suggests that a spray containing Aloe does reduce the severity of sores compared to a standard treatment spray.
xvi.               Early research suggests that applying Aloe twice daily for 4-6 weeks improves dandruff.
xvii.             Preliminary evidence suggests that some people with mild to moderate ulcerative colitis who take Aloe gel 25-50 mL twice daily have significantly reduced symptoms.
xviii.            There is conflicting information about whether Aloe works to improve wound healing. Some research shows that applying an Aloe gel product (Carrington Dermal Wound Gel) to surgical wounds might actually delay wound healing. But other research using a different form of Aloe cream applied to hemorrhoid-related wounds shows that Aloe might improve wound healing and provide some pain relief.


Aloe gel is LIKELY SAFE when applied to the skin and POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in adults. Once in a while Aloe gel might cause burning and itching of the skin.

Taking Aloe latex is POSSIBLY UNSAFE at any dose, but LIKELY UNSAFE when taken in high doses. Aloe latex can cause some side effects such as stomach pain and cramps. Long-term use of large amounts of Aloe latex might cause diarrhea, kidney problems, blood in the urine, low potassium, muscle weakness, weight loss, and heart disturbances. Taking Aloe latex 1 gram per day for several days can be fatal.

There have been a few reports of liver problems in some people who have taken an Aloe leaf extract; however, this is uncommon. It is thought to only occur in people who are extra sensitive (hypersensitive) to Aloe.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

i.                      Aloe either gel or latex is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth. There is a report that Aloe was associated with miscarriage. It could also be a risk for birth defects. Do not take Aloe by mouth if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

ii.                    Aloe is POSSIBLY UNSAFE for children when taken by mouth. Children younger than 12 years old may experience abdominal pain, cramps, and diarrhea.

iii.                   Some research suggests Aloe might lower blood sugar. If you take Aloe by mouth and you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels closely.

iv.                 Do not take Aloe latex if you have any of Intestinal conditions such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, or obstruction conditions. Aloe latex is a bowel irritant. Remember, products made from whole Aloe leaves will contain some Aloe latex.

v.                    Do not take Aloe latex if you have hemorrhoids. It could make the condition worse. Remember, products made from whole Aloe leaves will contain some Aloe latex.

vi.                  High doses of Aloe latex have been linked to kidney failure and other serious conditions.

vii.                 Aloe might affect blood sugar levels and could interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking Aloe at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.


Topical Aloe Uses
1. Take the sting or itch out of insect bites.
2. Reduce tissue damage from frostbite.
3. Alleviate mysterious rashes.
4. Make feet baby soft with an exfoliating foot mask by mixing together a half cup of oatmeal,
     a   half cup of corn meal, four tbsp. of Aloe Vera gel and a half cup of unscented body lotion.
5. Help heal herpes outbreaks.
6. Fight Athlete's Foot.
7. Swab over blisters for quick relief.
8. Use as an antidote to allergic skin reactions.
9. Replace creams and lotions as a general moisturizer for dry skin. Aloe is fast absorbing!
10. Prevent pesky pimples and treat acne.
11. Make skin new again with an exfoliating, organic sugar scrub by mixing together two tbsp.
      of Aloe Vera, 2 tbsp. of organic brown sugar and 1 tsp. of organic lemon juice.
12. For rougher patches mix together an organic salt skin scrub using two cups of sea salt, one  \
      cup of Aloe Vera, one cup of organic coconut oil and two tbsp. of local, organic honey.
13. Speed up hair growth by massaging Aloe into the scalp, letting it sit for 30 minutes, and
      rinsing.
14. Reduce hair dandruff by mixing Aloe Vera juice with coconut milk and wheat germ oil.
      Massage into scalp and rinse.
15. Replace Aloe with conditioner for silkier, smoother hair.
16. Remove eye makeup.
17. Treat minor vaginal irritations.
18. Treat minor vaginal irritations.
19. Drink Aloe Vera juice to relieve gastrointestinal disorders like indigestion.
20.  Pamper yourself to a soothing body rub. Slice Aloe leaves lengthwise and use the inner sides  
       As a biodegradable body scrub in the shower.
21. Treat burns from minor mishaps in the kitchen—from grease splatters or hot utensils.
22. For more major kitchen mishaps like a scald, mix some Aloe gel and vitamin E oil into a little
      jar for a homemade burn healer.
23. Banish black and blue bruises by swapping on the good goo.
24. Soothe and heal sunburns the feel-good way. Aloe contains cooling properties similar to
      Menthol.
25. Soothe Psoriasis.
26. Prevent scarring and stretch marks.
27. Help rid of Rosacea.
28. Shrink warts.
29. Reverse signs of aging skin and wrinkles. Cleopatra did!
30. Help eliminate Eczema.
31. Brighten skin. Aloe can decrease pigmentation and dark spots.
32. Sip it to aid in elimination. Many times, it's recommended for its laxative effects.
33. Take a swig to reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome including bloating and
      discomfort.
34. Take Aloe orally to relieve heartburn, arthritis and rheumatism pain.
35. Boil leaves in a pan of water and breathe in the vapor to alleviate asthma.
36. Drink to lower blood sugar levels—especially for diabetics.
37. Strengthen gums and promote strong, healthy teeth by taking orally or use toothpaste with
      Aloe Vera ingredients.
38. Drink to help ease congestion, stomach ulcers, colitis, hemorrhoids, urinary tract infections
      and prostate problems.
39. Take orally to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides for a healthy heart.
40. Sip to minimize inflammation and infection of the eye and ear.