The Many Health Benefits of The Aloe Vera Plant
Aloe is a genus which contains some 400 species of flowering succulent plants. A succulent plant is a plant which can retain water, giving it the the ability to survive in arid climates such as in Egypt or the Sudan. The most common and well known of these is aloe vera plant, or “true aloe” or “medicinal aloe”. The leaves of the aloe vera plant are thick and fleshy giving them a green to grey-green color. Ingredients from the aloe vera plant are widely used in the cosmetics and alternative medicine industries. Its ingredients are used in various creams and gels giving them the ability to rejuvenate the skin or relieve the effects of a sunburn.
The aloe vera plant can be found throughout the world. they are thought to have originated in Northern Africa, Southern part of the Arabian Peninsula, the Canary Islands and Cape Verde. The aloe vera plant does not grow naturally anymore. However there are some naturalised stands of the aloe vera plants located in various parts of the world. These areas include the Sudan, Morocco, Egypt and the Canary Islands.
The aloe vera plant is cultivated in many countries such as the USA, China, Cuba, Mexico, Australia, South Africa and India. Large scale agricultural prodution occurs in these countries such as the USA for the Aloe Vera Gel which is used by the cosmetic industry to produce creams for skin care. The aloe vera benefits found in these creams include the revitalization of the skin, relief from sunburns and to treat abrasions. The aloe vera benefits are external but there are aloe benefits benefits that are internal.
There are many ingredients in the aloe vera plant that can be used to benefit the human body. The aloe vera plant is used in alternative medicine to produce an aloe vera juice and pill. It is still relatively unknown in the scientific community as far as its healing powers are concerned. However it is widely accepted in the alternative medicine field as a remedy for many ailments.
It should be noted that on May 9, 2002, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a final rule banning the use of aloin, the yellow sap of the aloe plant for use as a laxative ingredient in over-the-counter drug products. Most aloe juices today do not contain significant aloin.
When making your own aloe vera juice it is important to remove all of the yellow layer beneath the rind of the Aloe Vera plant. If this layer is ingested, it can cause stomach discomfort and diarrhea.
Beneficial Ingredients of The Aloe Vera Plant
The aloe vera plant is known to contain 75 or more biological active ingredients. These include amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients the body needs.
Of the amino acids the aloe vera plants contains, only one is missing inwhich the human body requires. The aloe plant contains 19 of these 20 amino acids that the body requires. Eight of these cannot be produced by the human body. The aloe vera contains seven of these amino acids. These are as follows:
The human body requires a variety of trace and major minerals to function properly. Since the body cannot produce these minerals they must be replenished from an external source. The aloe plant contains a number of these minerals. Minerals found in the aloe plant are:
- Calcium – major mineral
- Chromium – trace mineral
- Copper – trace mineral
- Iron – trace mineral
- Magnesium – major mineral
- Manganese – major mineral
- Potassium – major mineral
- Phosphorous – major mineral
- Sodium – major mineral
- Zinc – trace mineral
Aloe vera benefits also include many vitamins needed for the body to work properly. Vitamins are essential nutrients. Vitamins help release energy from food, help keep skin and nerves healthy, and help make red blood cells. The body needs more than a dozen different vitamins to remain healthy. vitamins that aloe vera plant contains include:
- A (beta-carotene and retinol)
- B1 (thiamine)
- B2 ( riboflavin)
- B3 (niacin)
- B6 (pyridoxine)
- B12 (cyanocobalamin)
- C (ascorbic acid)
- E (tocopherol)
- Folic Acid
The aloe vera plant Aloe contains many enzymes that are useful to human metabolism. Enzymes are biological molecules that catalyze (i.e., increase the rates of) chemical reactions. Almost all chemical reactions in a biological cell need enzymes in order to occur at rates sufficient for life. Enzymes found in the aloe vera plant are:
- Alkaline Phosphatase
- Creatine Phosphokinase