Aloe vera has a long history of use in herbal medicine. The earliest records of use of aloe vera go far back to ancient Egypt, where aloe vera is called the “plant of immortality” and was presented as a gift of the burial of the pharaohs.
What the Aloe Vera is used to
The most common uses of aloe vera include topical application for the treatment of various skin conditions, and orally as a laxative use.
However, there is growing evidence now confirms that when taken orally, aloe vera can treat a variety of diseases, including diabetes, asthma, epilepsy and osteoarthritis. In addition, topical application of aloe vera gel has proved effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis, burns, sunburn, and psoriasis. Not surprisingly, the aloe vera gel is commonly used in many skin products such as lotions and sunscreens.
In addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved aloe vera as a natural food flavoring.
How Aloe Vera is used
Aloe leaves have a green part surrounding a transparent gel, which can be used as a topical ointment, or to produce a juice or a dried substance (called latex) that is taken orally.
What science says
According to research, aloe latex is abundant in strong laxative compounds. Before 2002, many over-the counter (OTC) laxatives, regulated by the FDA, were made with various components of aloe (aloin, aloe-emodin, and Barbaloin). In 2002, the FDA withdrew all products counter laxatives aloe US market, because manufacturers do not provide the necessary safety data.
Although the gel is commonly used to treat burns and abrasions, one study found that aloe gel actually prevents healing deep surgical wounds. The gel has not been found to protect against burns from radiation therapy.
Side Effects and Precautions
On the positive side, there are no known side effects associated with topical use of aloe vera gel.
As regards the oral use of the gel, there is new evidence linking extract whole leaf does not discolor aloe vera for carcinogenic activity in male and female rats, based on the tumors of the large intestine, are for 2- year study National Toxicology Program (NTP). Although more research is needed to confirm whether these findings are relevant to humans as well, researchers say there is no evidence to confirm the opposite.
aloe vera intake has also been associated with abdominal cramps and diarrhea. And that’s not all, such as diarrhea, caused by the laxative properties of aloe vera, may interfere with the effect of many medications.
One group that should be extremely careful with the use of aloe vera is using hypoglycemic diabetic medication because studies suggest that aloe may reduce blood glucose levels.
In addition, several cases of acute hepatitis have been linked to oral consumption of aloe vera, the evidence is not yet conclusive.