Botanical name of Aloe Vera is Aloe Barbadensis, it is a houseplant and need full sun exposure for growth. Aloe Vera’s use can be traced back 6,000 years to early Egypt, where the plant was depicted on stone carvings. 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.
How Aloe Vera is used
- Aloe Vera Gel. Aloe leaves contain a clear gel that is often used as a topical ointment.
- Aloe Vera Latex. The green part of the leaf that surrounds the gel can be used to produce a juice or a dried substance (called latex) that is taken by mouth.
Medicinal Uses of Aloe Vera
Historically, Aloe Vera was used topically to heal wounds and for various skin conditions, and orally as a laxative. In addition to these uses, aloe is used as a folk or traditional remedy for a variety of conditions, including diabetes, asthma, epilepsy, and osteoarthritis. It is also used topically for osteoarthritis, burns, sunburns, and psoriasis. Aloe vera gel can be found in hundreds of skin products, including lotions and sunblocks. (Watch “Aloe Vera for Skin Care” Video)
- Studies show that topical aloe gel may help heal burns and abrasions. However, aloe gel may inhibit healing of deep surgical wounds.
- For constipation, some people use 100-200 milligrams of aloe juice or 50 milligrams of aloe extract- daily is usually used.
- For diabetes, 1 tablespoon of the gel is usually used daily.
- High oral doses of aloe or aloe latex are dangerous. Ask your doctor for advice on how to use aloe.
Cautions for Use of Aloe Vera
- If you take any drugs regularly, talk to your doctor before you start using aloe supplements. They could interact with medicines and supplements like diabetes drugs, heart drugs, laxatives, steroids, and licorice root.
- Aloe gel
- Occasional allergic reactions.
- Aloe gel should not be used for severe burns or wounds
- The safety of aloe in children, pregnant or nursing women, or people with liver and kidney disease has not been established.
- Aloe latex.
- People with intestinal disorders should not use aloe latex.
- Overdose of aloe latex can cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, red urine, severe diarrhea, kidney dysfunction, and possibly death.
- Aloe latex is not recommended for use internally for longer than 10 days, because it can cause laxative dependency.
- Long-term use of aloe latex may cause potassium deficiency and result in irregular heartbeat and weakness.
- This may cause electrolyte imbalances in the blood of people who ingest aloe for more than a few days.
- It can also stain the colon, thus making it difficult to visualize the colon during a colonoscopy.
Potential Drug Interactions of Aloe Vera
- Aloe latex should not be taken internally if you are taking the following drugs: digoxin (Lanoxin), diuretics, steroids, drugs for irregular heartbeat, and drugs that cause potassium loss.
- Aloe taken orally may cause blood sugar levels to become too low, especially if combined with blood sugar medications.
- Aloe appeared to interact with the general anesthetic sevoflurane in one report.
- A preliminary study involving 18 people found that aloe vera increased the absorption of vitamins C and vitamin E.