Benefits of Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is the oldest therapeutic plant ever discovered. Aloe barbadensis miller is a scientific name of a plant that yields aloe vera. It is a shrub or arborescent, perennial, and belonging to the Liliaceae family. Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Andhra Pradesh are among the Indian states where it is present. For generations, the benefits of Aloe vera plant have been well known and used for its health, beauty, medical, and skin care. The name Aloe vera derives from the Arabic word “Alloeh,” which means “shining bitter stuff,” and the Latin word “vera,” which denotes “truth.”

History

It was initially discovered by the ancient Egyptians around 4000 BC. For millennia, aloe vera generally used medicinally in many cultures, including Greece, Egypt, India, Mexico, Japan, and China. The Egyptian princesses Cleopatra and Nefertiti utilized it as a regular part of their beauty regimens. Christopher Columbus and Alexander the Great used it to treat soldiers’ wounds.

Aloe vera was first mentioned in English in A.D. 1655, in John Goodyew’s translation of Dioscorides’ medical work De Materia Medica. A turning point came when Aloe vera was successfully used to treat chronic and severe radiation dermatitis in the middle of the 1930s. By the early 1800s, it was already used in the United States as a laxative.

More than 200 different biologically active compounds were mainly  in the plant through analysis of its chemistry. Several biological traits of the Aloe species are due to the inner gel of the leaves. There are more than 400 species in the genus Aloe, but only a few are being traded internationally, including Aloe vera, Aloe ferox, Aloe barbadensis, and Aloe arborescens. Aloe barbadensis is the most common.

The plant has many triangular, fleshy, serrated-edged leaves, yellow tubular blossoms, and seeds. Aloe vera contains 75 potentially active compounds, which include vitamins, enzymes, minerals, carbohydrates, lignin, saponins, salicylic acids, and amino acids.

Active compounds with their activities 

  • Vitamins: It contains the anti-oxidants vitamins C, E, and A (beta-carotene). Also contains choline, folic acid, and vitamin B12. Free radicals are always neutralizes by antioxidants.
  • Enzymes: Amylase, carboxypeptidase, catalase, alkaline phosphatase, bradykinase, cellulase, lipase, and peroxidase.  Apply topically to the skin, bradykinase helps to minimize excessive inflammation while other enzymes aid in the breakdown of fats and sugars.
  • Minerals: It contains minerals such as calcium, chromium, copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium, and zinc. Few of them are antioxidants and few of them are necessary for metabolic pathways.
  • Sugar: It offers polysaccharides as well as monosaccharides. Mannose-6-phosphate is the most abundant monosaccharide, whereas glucomannans are the most prevalent polysaccharides. Aloe vera gel lately used to identify an anti-inflammatory chemical named C- glucosyl chromone and a glycoprotein with antiallergic characteristics known as alprogen.
  • Anthraquinones: It contains 12 anthraquinones, which are phenolic substances uses as laxatives. The analgesic, antibacterial, and antiviral effects of aloin and emodin.
  • Fatty acids: It provides lupeol, campesterol, cholesterol, and campesterol, four plant steroid molecules. They all have anti-inflammatory effects, and lupeol has antibacterial and analgesic properties as well.
  • Hormones: Auxins and gibberellins, which have an anti-inflammatory effect and aid in wound healing, are hormones.

Other active compounds which include benefits of Aloe Vera.

  • The high vitamin C content of aloe vera leaves makes them excellent at treating cold sores.
  • Polysaccharides in the gel can improve blood circulation. These substances also promote cell growth. Antioxidant properties of aloe vera plant extract protect cells from damage.

What are the Aloe Vera Benefits?

1. Health Benefits of Aloe Vera

There are many benefits of Aloe Vera, including antitumor, antiarthritic, anti-rheumatoid, anti-cancer, and anti-diabetic properties. Other benefits of Aloe Vera used as a treatment for immune system weaknesses, gastrointestinal problems, and constipation. There are many benefits of Aloe Vera, which include:

  • Wound Healing: Aloe Vera is most frequently used on the skin as a topical agent, which involves rubbing it on.  Traditionally, used  to treat burns and wounds for a long time. It works well to speed up the recovery from burns. Glucomannan, a polysaccharide, and gibberellin, a growth hormone, are both present in aloe vera. They function by connecting with fibroblast growth factor receptors. As a result, the proliferation of the fibroblasts enhances the synthesis of collagen. As a result, the technique speeds up the healing of wounds.
  • Effects on the immune system: Alprogen blocks calcium influx into mast cells, preventing histamine and leukotriene formation through antigen-antibody-mediated mast cell development.  Many low-molecular-weight chemicals can also prevent the generation of reactive oxygen free radicals by activating human neutrophils.
  • Laxative effects: Latex anthraquinones are strong laxatives. It increases the amount of water in the intestines, enhances the creation of mucus, and accelerates intestinal peristalsis.
  • Anti-inflammatory effect: Aloe Vera has anti-inflammatory properties because it inhibits the cyclooxygenase pathway and reduces the quantity of prostaglandin E2 formed from arachidonic acid. Recently discovered C-glucosyl chromone, a novel anti-inflammatory chemical present in gel extracts.

2. Other benefits of Aloe Vera

  • Antiviral and anticancer activity: These effects can be indirect or direct. While immune system activation is the indirect impact, anthraquinones are responsible for the direct action. Herpes simplex, varicella zoster, and influenza are all inactivated by the anthraquinone aloin. A polysaccharide fraction was also present in recent experiments to limit benzopyrene binding to primary rat hepatocytes, hence inhibiting the production of possibly cancer-initiating benzopyrene-DNA adducts. Induction of glutathione S-transferase and suppression of the tumor-promoting effects of phorbol myristic acetate was also present, implying that utilizing aloe gel in cancer chemoprevention may be beneficial.
  • Digestion Aids: Digestion aids are one of aloe vera’s most well-known health advantages. Aloe vera juice and gel consumption enhances digestion and alleviates gastroesophageal reflux disease, hyperacidity, and ulcers (GERD).
  • Skin Defence: Several studies have shown that aloe vera possesses skin-protective qualities. It guards against radiation damage and free-radical aging of the skin. Aloe vera gel protects the skin against hydroxyl radicals by creating metallothionein, a strong antioxidant protein.
  • Antiseptic Effect: Lupeol, salicylic acid, urea nitrogen, cinnamonic acid, phenols, and sulfur are all antiseptic compounds present in aloe vera. They are all antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral.
  • Anti-diabetic and Cardioprotective Effect: Aloe vera gel dramatically reduces oxidative stress in streptozocin-induced diabetic rats and also enhanced antioxidant status, indicating that it possesses strong anti-diabetic and cardioprotective potential.