How Aloe Vera Regulates Blood Sugar
The Aloe Vera, also named burn plant, is a medicinal herb. This wonder plant has always remained a popular subject of numerous scientific investigations. The people have been using it for thousands of years for skincare and cosmetic purpose. This ornamental plant is generally cultivated in potted or in garden variety.
Aloe Vera juice or tablets are available for oral consumption. The gel extracted from the plant can be directly applied on injuries and skin infections.
This succulent plant spreads by root sprouts or offsets and is either stemless or short-stemmed, with an average height up to 100 cm. The pendulous flowers, having 2–3 cm long yellow tubular corolla, grow on a 90 to 100 cm tall spike.
The leaves are green or sometimes they have an additional gray tinge. These leaves have a serrated margin and are thick and fleshy with a sword like or Lancelot shape.
Mahatma Gandhi about Aloe vera
"The secret forces which sustained me during my long fasts, was my unshakeable faith in God, my simple and frugal lifestyle, and the Aloe vera whose benefits I discovered upon my arrival in South Africa at the end of the nineteenth century".
Different Names of Aloe Vera
1. Common Names
Lily of the desert
2. Latin Names
3. Other names
A. barbadensis Mill (orange flowers)
A. vulgaris Lam (yellow flowers)
The use of Aloe Vera dates back to 6,000 years or more. The people of Egypt were the first to use the plant. That is why there are many motifs of the plant in the art and sculpture of ancient Egypt.As a "plant of immortality', it was given as a burial gift to the deceased pharaohs. The Egyptian queens enhanced their appearance by Aloe Vera. The beauty secret of Cleopatra was Aloe Vera. The plant also finds mention in the Bible.
The traditional use of Aloe Vera in India dates back to 4500 BC. The Romans, Greeks, and Chinese were also aware of the medicinal properties of the plant.
The laboratory tests show that the gel and the rind of the Aloe Vera leaves have a greater concentration of many medicinal ingredients, which have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti- microbial properties. It is one of the most famous plants in the world, known for innumerable medicinal uses.
The plant grows easily even in cold climate. The extract of Aloe Vera is taken as a juice. It is topically applied as a lotion.
The modern nutritionists and health researchers have found Aloe Vera to a solution of many ailments without any side effects. As a non-toxic, succulent ornamental plant, it is a medicinal plant due to numerous health benefits. Aloe Vera is used for both internally and externally. The succulent Aloe Vera has self-healing properties which are even superior to those of garlic and it is a general health tonic.
Many medicines are made from Aloe Vera for the treatment of asthma, ulcers, piles, amenorrhoea, jaundice and epilepsy, eye inflammation, and intestinal problems.
For gynecological health
It helps in proper functioning of the uterus and regulates menstruation. It is the best herbal treatment for fibroid and ovarian cysts. Due to the antimicrobial properties, it prevents fungal, viral and bacterial infections. Thus it prevents infections like herpes and candida which cause itching in the vagina. It is good for gynecological inflammations.
As a moisturizer
It has moisturizing properties and improves the ability of the skin to hydrate itself. It removes the dead skin cells. Due to the penetrating powers, it transports healthy substances throughout the skin.
As a first aid
It is an excellent first aid solution and is best for the topical dressing of the cuts and wounds and protects the skin against harmful bacteria and infections. It increases the flow of blood and hastens the healing. It heals all types of wounds like eczema and cancer wounds. The studies reveal that it is effective for minor injuries but hampers the healing of deep wounds. It is best for third-degree burns by reinstating the normal skin and preventing the blisters of the skin. It also protects the damage to the tissues from frostbite. It prevents sunburns and protects the skin from harmful rays of the sun.
For skin disorders
It can penetrate deep into the multiple layers of the skin. Therefore it treats and prevents various skin allergies and disorders like psoriasis, lichen planus, dermatitis etc. The dermatologists use it for speed healing due to facial dermabrasion. It removes the scars from the outer skin layers and also eliminates the stretch marks. It gives relief in skin injuries, skin irritations, and insect bites. The anti-bactericidal properties alleviate the itchiness and swellings of the skin.
Reduces spread of cancer
It eliminates the cancer cells and tumors.The polysaccharides present in Aloe Vera increases the production of nitric oxide. This chemical reduces the growth of cancer cells. A phytonutrient named acemannan present in Aloe Vera also has anti-cancer properties and hastens the decrease in growth of cancer cells.
Diabetes and renal health
The anti-diabetic properties of Aloe Vera gel and juice alleviate the blood sugar levels and control diabetes. It increases the blood circulation and helps to prevent the numbness of hands and legs. The numbness is the symptom of diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
The recent studies credit it with benefits in renal diseases caused by Type 2 diabetes. It flushes out excess water from the body.Aloe Vera defends the body against the attack of oxalates and reduces the risk of formation of kidney stone.
It is a rich source of vitamins. The regular intake of aloe vera protects from all types of oxidative stress and increases the defense system of the body. It alleviates the chronic disorders of the immune system. The unique healing and immune-stimulating power of aloe vera juice are due to the presence of polysaccharides in it. These polysaccharides stimulate the macrophages or the white blood cells. This defense system fights against various diseases and viruses. It also decreases the effects of fibromyalgia syndrome also get reduced by the polysaccharides.
Aloe vera has several other benefits, a few of them are listed hereunder.
For heart and blood pressure
It decreases the clotting and makes the blood thin and less sticky. This helps in proper blood circulation and improves the quality of blood. It helps in making the flow of blood smooth and thereby reduce the blood pumping stress from the heart. So high blood pressure is lowered by Aloe Vera. The prevention of the formation of clumps of blood cells reduces the risk of stroke or heart attack.
It also reduces triglycerides and maintains a healthy level of cholesterol in the body. It balances the chemical composition and improves the viscosity of the blood. Due to this, the healthy levels of triglyceride and cholesterol are maintained in the body. As a result, the cardiac functions are improved.
It cures the burns of radiations caused by the radiotherapy cancer treatment. The internal and topical use of Aloe Vera gel and juice hastens the healing of radiation effects on the skin.
It has been proved by the researchers that Aloe Vera improves digestion, cleanses the digestive system.In constipation, it acts as a laxative and helps in the movement of the bowels whereas in diarrhea it slows down the movement.
The polysaccharides present in it provide therapeutic benefits and gives relief in digestive problems like heartburn and acidity. It balances the alkalinity and prevents the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. It cures celiac and Crohn's diseases and is best for stomach ulcers.
The juice detoxifies and improves and digestion, and fights against irritations of the digestive tract. It is also useful in piles, jaundice, and amenorrhoea.
The presence of toxins in the body is increased by junk food, pesticides, insecticides, environmental pollution, and stress. The juice a powerful detoxifier and helps the liver to cleanse the system of these toxins. It is an antiseptic and a tonic for the nervous system. The vitamins, minerals and the elements present in Aloe Vera help the body to cope with everyday stress and strains.
It regenerates the body cells and improves the flexibility of the body joints. It also strengthens the joint muscles and reduces the pain and inflammation in weak or aged joints. The topical application of gel reduces the joint and muscle pains associated with arthritis, tendinitis, and injuries.
The inflammation in the body like rheumatism, osteoarthritis, and eye or ear inflammations are alleviated by the intake of juice for two weeks. It penetrates deep into the skin and gives relief in pains when applied externally.
For energy and weight loss
The substances causing mood swings. exhaustion and tiredness are removed from the body by the juice of Aloe Vera and a feeling of well-being descends. It increases the energy levels in the body.
Aloe Vera helps in digestion or metabolism by producing the digestive enzymes. This reduces the lipid level and the fat is properly burnt in the body and results in weight loss and healthy body weight.
The antioxidant effects of vitamin E and C are increased by Aloe Vera because it has the power to enhance the quality of blood and helps in proper transport of essential nutrients and oxygen to the tissues and cells in the entire body. The deficiency of vitamins and amino acids in the diet id fulfilled by aloe vera.
For dental health
It strengthens the gums, prevents bad breath and makes the teeth strong healthy. Massage the gums and teeth with the juice or the gel of Aloe Vera to lower the risk of cavities. Being antibacterial it fights against bacteria of the mouth. The analgesic properties help in toothaches and sore gums.
For Circulatory Health
The salty foods containing saturated fats and hydrogenated oils cause several diseases by forming clumps in blood cells. The formation of clumps in the circulatory system, obstruct the supply of oxygen and essential nutrients to brain, cells, and tissues. But Aloe Vera makes the blood less sticky and promotes the blood circulation.
Contents in Aloe Nera
Essential amino acids
8,indispensable for the human body
effective for metabolic health
immune stimulating, healing power
like E and C,has antioxidant effects
Salicylic Acid, saponins and sterols
analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic
Acemannan, a phytonutrient
has anti-cancer properties
stabilising blood sugar levels
gives penetrating powers
A,B1,B2,B3,B6,B12,C,E ,Folic acid.
natural soapy substances with cleansing and antiseptic properties
analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic
for digestive tract problems
for fibroids, ovarian cysts, fungal bacterial and viral infections, herpes and Candida. regulates menstruation
Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice
The natural substances in the juice help in arthritic pains, or sore muscles and reduce the inflammation by increasing the mobility of the joints and muscles.
The vitamins in juice enhance the defense system of the body and alleviate the oxidation stress of any kind. The deficiency of minerals in the body is replenished by regularly drinking the juice of Aloe Vera.
The intake of the juice before a meal aids digestion and metabolism by producing digestive enzymes. This reduces the time taken for food to pass through the system. Hence the body gets less time to process the food and absorbs fewer calories. So the body weight gets reduced as a result.
It cleanses the digestive system and helps to maintain a proper body weight. The laxative properties make it effective against the maladies of the digestive tract and stomach aches. The Irritable bowel syndrome, painful gas, heartburn, and constipation get reduced by the anti-inflammatory qualities of the juice.
It gives energy and strengthens the immune system. Some researchers suggest that it stimulates the production of red and white blood cells in the bone marrow and could reduce anemia. The production of white blood cells improves the immune system.
The regular intake of juice fulfills the need of essential amino acids in the body. It helps in respiratory problems like asthma, flu, cold, bronchitis, herpes, stuffy nose etc.
It reduces the level of blood sugar in the body.
The ability of the juice to cure cancer and AIDS is being researched.
It strengthens the uterus and is the best tonic for female reproductive systems.
On topical application, the juice gives strength to the gums and makes the teeth healthy and strong.
Aloe Vera Oil
The Aloe Vera is used in the form of gel, juice, and oil. Out of these, the oil is the most effective home remedy. The oil is obtained either by distillation or by pressing the plant leaves. It has anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, emollient, astringent, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. That is why it is extensively used in aromatherapy, to relax and soothe the body and the mind.
The oil gives a smooth and a flawless skin, free from acne and other disorders. It is good for health and best for beautiful skin. It treats various skin ailments like eczema, dermatitis, ulcers, and psoriasis. Both the oil and the gel can be applied on sunburn, wounds, burns, and scalds. It nourishes the skin and keeps it free from cuts and rashes.
The enzymes present in the oil make it a softening agent and reduce the itching, swelling, and inflammation of the skin. The vitamin E, keratin, and panthenol in the oil helps in the care and growth of the hair. The oil conditions the hair gives strength to hair and nourishes the scalp cells. The regular use of oil reduces hair loss.
The oil fights against bacterial infection. It increases the circulation of the blood and helps in faster healing of the wounds. An ingredient called aloe-emodin, present in the oil acts as a laxative and also kills the virus causing cold sores and shingles.
In aromatherapy, the oil is mixed with other carrier oils to increase the healing and rejuvenating effects. The oil is an astringent and contains vitamin E, C, and zinc. Due to these properties, it stimulates the regeneration, checks mal growth, repairs the skin and stimulates the regeneration of the cells.
The massage of oil removes the scar marks and soothes the skin. In dry weather it maintains the moisture,and prevents the drying and flaking of the skin. The anti-oxidant properties of the oil prevents skin damage from radiation.
Aloe Vera Gel
The Aloe Vera plant as a whole has innumerable benefits, while the lower leaf consists of several curative applications. The plant can be used internally and externally.
The gel is acquired from the leaf.It is helpful in the treatment of several skin disorders or infections or allergies, like dermatitis and skin burns. It gives protection to the skin against sunburns. The gel is also used to prevent itching and scratching of the skin. It helps in the healing of the wounds and can even stop the bleeding from minor cuts and injuries. It gives relief in insect bites and skin blisters.
Before ingesting Aloe Vera in any form, it is better to consult the medical expert or a dietitian. Further, the Aloe Vera supplements are not good for pregnant or lactating women.
The dried extract capsules of Aloe Vera are also available. But while purchasing gel or juice, confirm the concentration of the product so that it may not be in diluted form.
The studies reveal that the oral exposure of humans to Aloe Vera and its topical applications are safe in moderate amount. On topical application, it may sometimes cause erythema, phytotoxicity, and dermatitis.
The excessive intake may also cause diarrhea, dehydration, kidney dysfunction, dry mouth, headache, and giddiness. The higher doses may cause vomiting. The use of Aloe Vera for longer periods may cause some side effects. Hence discontinue the use for at least 2 months.
© 2013 Sanjay Sharma