Aloe is a plant grown in Arizona, Texas, and Florida, among other places with climates that are dry and hot. It is a cactus-like plant that produces two substances used in medicine – latex and gel. Found in the inner part of the aloe plant leaf, the gel is a clear, jelly-like substance. The latex is yellow in color and is just under the plant’s skin. Some aloe products contain both latex and gel, so they’re made from the entire crushed leaf. Medications with aloe gel, latex, or both, can be applied to the skin or taken by mouth.
Aloe Remedies by Mouth
Some individuals take aloe gel by mouth to help with diabetes, hepatitis, osteoarthritis, asthma, itching and inflammation, stomach ulcers, fever, inflammatory bowel diseases, radiation-related skin sores, for weight loss, and as a general tonic. Aloe extract can also be used for high cholesterol. The same chemical in gel form can be applied to the skin for canker sores and dry sockets in the mouth.
The latex in aloe can be taken by mouth to help for constipation as a laxative. It is also often used to help with colds, seizures, bleeding, colitis, depression, diabetes, glaucoma and vision problems, multiple sclerosis, varicose veins, joint inflammation, osteoarthritis, lack of menstrual periods, and hemorrhoids.
Aloe Remedies Applied to Skin
The gel in aloe is used to clear up acne. It has been shown that applying an aloe gel twice a day improves acne by nearly 35 percent. Other skin conditions such as diaper rash, inflamed skin, frostbite, bedsores, dandruff, wounds, radiation burns from cancer treatment, and scabies can be helped by aloe gel. A mixture of aloe gel and aloe extract is applied to the skin for scaly and itchy skin, sunburns, genital herpes, burns, and as an insect repellant.
Some people find that aloe gel also helps to heal inflammation in the mouth, along with dental plaque and gum disease, and it is used as an antiseptic. New products with aloe regularly arrive on the market.
There is scientific evidence that suggests applying aloe gel on the skin will help to reduce the swelling, pain, and speed the healing of burns. It repairs frostbite, psoriasis, and skin sores. In people with first- or second-degree burns, some research shows that applying aloe cream can reduce healing time and wound size.
Other research also shows that an individual can reduce the pain from rashes in the mouth by using a mouthwash with aloe gel three times daily for 12 weeks or applying an aloe gel twice daily for 8 weeks.
For those with psoriasis, to reduce skin plaques, it is suggested to apply a cream with 0.5% aloe extract daily for four weeks.
Many individuals trying to lose weight have followed research suggesting using an aloe product containing 147 mg of aloe gel. Taken twice daily for 8 weeks reduces body weight and fat mass in overweight people diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes.
How Does Aloe Work?
Aloe products can speed the healing of wounds by preventing cell death and improving blood circulation throughout the area. It also causes changes in the skin that help fights diseases such a psoriasis. Studies also show that certain types of fungi and bacteria are harmed by properties of aloe gel. The latex in aloe works as a laxative due to its chemicals.
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