All About Aloe Vera
Healing History of Aloe Vera
The Aloe vera plant has been used for centuries for its health, beauty, medicinal, and skin care healing properties. The name Aloe vera derives from the Arabic word "Alloeh," meaning "shining bitter substance," while "vera" in Latin means "true."
The use of aloe vera in herbal medicine has a history of over 5000 years. All civilizations, without exception, have used the plant as a therapeutic remedy. Aloe vera appears in Chinese and Sumerian writings around 3000 B.C.
In the time of the pharaohs, the Egyptians idealized aloe vera. They called it "the plant of immortality," written on papyrus describing the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. The pharaoh named it the "elixir of eternal life."
In Arabic culture, aloe vera is the "flower of the desert." Arabic people were the first to sell aloe vera in the Middle East.
Its medicinal value has also been appreciated in India, China, and Malaysia.
In the Greco-Roman era, illustrious physicians such as Aristotle, Hippocrates, and Dioscorides, among others, already emphasized their valuable properties in healing wounds, boils, and eye conditions and preventing hair loss or alleviating genital ulcers.
The Jíbaro Indians of Ecuador and Peru called aloe vera the "Doctor of the Sky" and "Fountain of Youth" is considered one of their sacred plants. (1)
The botanical name of Aloe vera is Aloe barbadensis. It grows mainly in the dry regions of Africa, Asia, Europe, and America. It is from the family Liliaceae. The plant has triangular, fleshy leaves with serrated edges, yellow tubular flowers, and fruits that contain numerous seeds. Aloe vera contains many vitamins, minerals, and other active ingredients that give it many health benefits.
Each aloe vera leaf is composed of three layers:
1) A clear inner gel that contains 99% water, and the rest is made of glucomannans, amino acids, lipids, sterols, and vitamins.
2) The middle layer of latex is the bitter yellow sap and contains anthraquinones and glycosides.
3) The thick outer layer of 15–20 cells is called a rind which has a protective function and synthesizes carbohydrates and proteins. Inside the rind are vascular bundles that transport substances such as water (xylem) and starch (phloem). (3)
Aloe vera contains six antiseptic agents: Lupeol, salicylic acid, urea nitrogen, cinnamomic acid, phenols, and sulfur. They all have an inhibitory action on fungi, bacteria, and viruses. It also contains salicylic acid, which possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Skin Benefits of Aloe Vera Gel
The topical application of Aloe vera is used to enhance the healing process of many dermal injuries. The gel assists in binding moisture into the skin and is a protective effect against radiation damage to the skin. Aloe stimulates fibroblast, which produces collagen and elastin fibers making the skin more elastic and less wrinkled. Beneficial Uses
· Aging skin
· Bee stings
· Bug bites
· Chronic or surgical wounds
· Fungal conditions
· Skin infections and inflammation
· Herpes and shingles
There is an amazing number of choices of Aloe Vera Gel from different suppliers.
The product list below is just a few examples to give you the idea of variations that all have the name "Aloe Vera Gel." Reading the ingredients on the label is recommended before purchasing a bottle of aloe vera gel; as you will see, they are not all created equal.
Product #1 Ingredients: Aloe vera fillet, potassium sorbate, ascorbic acid, citric acid, and xanthan gum. (5)
Product #2 Ingredients: Aloe vera fillet, potassium sorbate, citric acid, and xanthan gum. (6)
Product #3 Ingredients: Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Propylene Glycol, Carbomer, 1,2-Hexanediol, Hydroxyacetophenone, Triethanolamine, Disodium EDTA (7)
Product #4 Ingredients: Aloe Vera Gel, triethanolamine, tocopheryl acetate, carbomer tetrasodium EDTA, Dmdm hydantoin, Diazolidinyl urea, Stabilizers, and Preservatives (8)
Product #5 Ingredients: Water, Polysorbate 20, glycerin, phenoxyethanol, carbomer, blue 1 (CI42090), Yellow 5 (CI 19140), sodium hydroxide, fragrance, Ethylhexlglycerine, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Disodium EDTA, Porphyra umbilicalis extract, tocopheryl acetate, benzyl alcohol, citral, citronellol, limonene, geraniol, hexyl cinnamic aldehyde, isoeugenol, linalool. (9)
You might ask us, "Which ones do you like"? Our answer would be the top two suppliers, #1 (Pompeii Street) and #2 (Mountain Rose Herbs).
Aloe Vera Soothing Skin Blend When making an aromatherapy blend with Aloe Vera Gel, mix the essential oils first into a carrier oil like Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis), Calendula (Calendula officinalis), or Meadowfoam (Limnanthes alba), then add the Aloe Vera Gel (Aloe barbadensis) and Witch Hazel Extract (Hamamelis virginiana).
In a 1 oz. PET plastic bottle, mix:
· 1/4 oz. Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
And the following essential oils:
· 3 drops Lavender (Eriocephalus punctulatus)
· 2 drops Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
· 2 drops Ho Wood (Cinnamomum camphora) * A sustainable replacement for Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora) essential oil.
Shake well, and then add 1/2 oz. organic Aloe Vera Gel (Aloe barbadensis) and 1/4 oz. Witch Hazel Extract (Hamamelis virginiana). Apply on the skin in small amounts at one time.
Speculative result(s): Hydrates, heals and soothes the skin. Also, relaxing and calming to the nervous system.
Aloe Vera Juice Aloe Vera Juice is another very beneficial product, quite a different product than Aloe Vera Gel. Aloe Vera Juice can be taken internally to increase intestinal water content, stimulate mucus secretion, and increase intestinal peristalsis.
Other Health Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice
· Support healthy digestion
· Support a healthy immune system
· Reduce harmful toxins
· Increase absorption of nutrients
· Enhance antioxidant support
· Balance stomach acidity naturally
1) https://www.atalayabio.com/en/the-history-of-aloe-vera/; retrieved June 20, 2022
2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763764/; retrieved June 20, 2022
3) Joseph B, Raj SJ. Pharmacognostic and phytochemical properties of Aloe vera linn an overview. Int J Pharm Sci Rev Res. 2010;4:106–10. doi: 10.3923/ijp.2011.40.45.
4) Schmidt JM, Greenspoon JS. Aloe vera dermal wound gel is associated with a delay in wound healing. Obstet Gynecol. 1991;78:115–7.
5) https://pompeiistreet.com/collections/organic-carriers/products/aloe-vera-gel-8-5oz; retrieved June 20, 2022
6) https://mountainroseherbs.com/aloe-vera-gel; retrieved June 20, 2022
7) https://aloderma.com/collections/aloe-vera-gels-juice; retrieved June 20, 2022
8) https://www.walmart.com/ip/Fruit-of-the-Earth-Aloe-Vera-100-Gel-24-oz/46008947; retrieved June 20, 2022
9) https://www.ulta.com/p/after-sun-aloe-vera-gel-pimprod2031109; retrieved June 20, 2022