Ibn al-Qayyim in his Prophetic Medicine
said about aloe:
"Aloe is very beneficial, especially Indian variety; it cleanses the bilious superfluities in the brain and the optic nerves; when applied as ointment on the forehead and temples with rose water, it is beneficial for headache. It is beneficial for ulcers of the nose and mouth, and purges black bile and melancholy.
Persian aloe sharpens the intellect, strengthens the heart and cleanses the bilious and phlegmatic superfluities from the stomach, when two spoonfuls are drunk in water. It restores the jaded and spoilt appetite. When drunk in the cold, there is fear lest it purge blood."
What Is aloe?
Aloe is a family of flowering plants in the Lily family, which have thick, juicy flesh stalks. Aloe can also refer to the sappy liquid that the plant excretes when its stalks are cut open.
The aloe plant is made up of water, 20 minerals, 12 vitamins, 18 amino acids and 200 active plant compounds (phytonutrients).
aloe vera is a species of aloe and is the most commonly used type of the plant for healing purposes. It is known as a powerful healing ointment, and many studies have shown that aloe is beneficial in speeding the healing of burns, sunburns, cuts, bites, rashes, and lesions, as well as other conditions like indigestion.
The anti-inflammatory chemical, B-sitosterol is present in aloe vera, and this is what effectively treats many skin conditions arising from insect bites, plant rashes, allergic eruptions, etc. Along with another ingredient, salicylic acid, aloe greatly reduces the time it takes for skin to heal from minor or severe burns.
Health Benefits of Aloe
The internal use of aloe vera has been linked with improved blood glucose levels in diabetics. Other studies have suggested that oral aloe vera gel may reduce symptoms and inflammation in patients with ulcerative colitis. Compounds extracted from aloe vera have been used as an immunostimulant that aids in fighting cancers in cats and dogs; however, this treatment has not been scientifically tested in humans.
Aloe vera extracts have antibacterial and antifungal activities. For example, aloe vera extracts have been shown to inhibit the growth of fungi that cause tinea (fungal infections of the skin), but this has not been proven in humans. For bacteria, inner-leaf gel from aloe vera was shown to inhibit growth of the Streptococcus and Shigella species of bacteria.
Research conducted in Spain showed that a thin layer of aloe vera gel was highly effective in preserving foods. For the experiment, they dipped table grapes into an aloe vera gel, and then stored them at refrigerator temperatures. Untreated table grapes went bad in 7 days, but the grapes dipped in aloe vera stayed fresh for an astonishing 35 days.
Tips on Using Aloe
- Aloe plants can be grown as house plants and in warmer climates can be cultivated outside in the garden.
- Pure aloe gel can be purchased to use on sunburns, bee stings, nettle stings, grass rashes, blisters, small cuts, scrapes, and lesions. Since it is a clean, alcohol-free, mild, non-oily, and soothing balm, it is useful to have as a pain-free treatment of every day skin irritations.
References for further study
- King GK, Yates KM, Greenlee PG, et al (1995). "The effect of Acemannan Immunostimulant in combination with surgery and radiation therapy on spontaneous canine and feline fibrosarcomas". Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 31 (5): 4394
- Darokar MP, Rai R, Gupta AK, Shasany AK, Rajkumar S, Sunderasan V and Khanuja SPS (2003). Molecular assessment of germplasm diversity in aloe spp. using RAPD and AFLP analysis. J Med. Arom. Plant Sci.25(2): 354361.
- Sumbul Shamim, S. Waseemuddin Ahmed, Iqbal Azhar (2004) antifungal activity of Allium, aloe, and Solanum species. Pharmaceutical Biology 42 (7) 491498.
- Langmead L, Feakins RM, Goldthorpe S, et al (April 2004). "Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral aloe vera gel for active ulcerative colitis". Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics 19 (7): 73947.
- Yongchaiyudha S, Rungpitarangsi V, Bunyapraphatsara N, Chokechaijaroenporn O. (1996) Antidiabetic activity of aloe vera L juice. I. Clinical trial in new cases of diabetes mellitus. Phytomedicine 3: 241243.
- Bunyapraphatsara N, Yongchaiyudha S, Rungpitarangsi V, Chokechaijaroenporn O. (1996) Antidiabetic activity of aloe vera L juice. II. Clinical trial in diabetes mellitus patients in combination with glibenclamide. Phytomedicine 3: 245248.
- Schmidt JM, Greenspoon JS (1991). "Aloe vera dermal wound gel is associated with a delay in wound healing". Obstet Gynecol 78 (1): 1157.
- "Final report on the safety assessment of aloe andongensis extract, aloe andongensis leaf juice, aloe arborescens leaf extract, aloe arborescens leaf juice, aloe arborescens leaf protoplasts, aloe barbadensis flower extract, aloe barbadensis leaf, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, aloe barbadensis leaf polysaccharides, aloe barbadensis leaf water, aloe ferox leaf extract, aloe ferox leaf juice, and aloe ferox leaf juice extract". Int. J. Toxicol. 26 Suppl 2: 150. 2007.
- Tanaka M, Misawa E, Ito Y, Habara N, Nomaguchi K, Yamada M, Toida T, Hayasawa H, Takase M, Inagaki M, Higuchi R (2006). "Identification of five phytosterols from aloe vera gel as anti-diabetic compounds". Biol. Pharm. Bull. 29 (7): 141822.
- Serrano M, Valverde JM, Guillén F, Castillo S, Martínez-Romero D, Valero D (May 2006). "Use of aloe vera gel coating preserves the functional properties of table grapes". Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 54 (11): 38826.