Some Arguments for and against Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a plant that belongs to the lily family and grows wild in Madagascar and on the majority of the African continent. It also is cultivated in the United States, Japan, and Caribbean and Mediterranean countries. Aloe vera is also a house plant for many people. Aloe plant is known for its healing aloe vera gel and aloe vera latex.

Aloe vera consists of two main substances. They are gel and latex. Aloe vera gel is the leaf pulp that is a gauzy jelly-like substance which makes the inner part of the leaves. Latex, often called "aloe juice", is a yellow exudate made of pericyclic tubules situated under the outer leaf skin. The process of separation is not always done skillfully, that's why aloe gel can contains some latex. The gel is more appreciated when it is completely pure.

Another problem with aloe products is that it is rather difficult to maintain them invariable. The problem can harmfully influence the product's efficiency. So, you can get the purest aloe gel directly from the plant's recently broken leaf. Aloe vera gel is a good remedy to cure wounds, not extensive burns, and skin irritations.

American consumers are the most frequent users of aloe for skin-care products. It is also possible to use aloe for internal use. It can be a medicine for headaches, constipation, ulcers, arthritis and many others. But internally it is best used as a laxative. The result of the inner use of aloe is frequent stools and easy consistency. As a rule while laxative characteristics of aloe were being researched, the plant was used together with other laxatives, like celandin or psyllium. Side effects of aloe can be as follows: diarrhea, abdominal pain and electrolyte imbalances, as a rule at large doses.

Several researches were held in order to test the effectiveness of aloe's internal use on wound-healing. One of the authors attributed the healing effect to intensified blood flow towards the injured area. In 1970s two authorized groups of scientists made a conclusion that there was no sufficient evidence of aloe gel's effectiveness in treating cuts, not extensive burns or minor vaginal irritations. One research of 5,000 subjects showed that aloe vera lowers the risk for people with heart disease.

The research also showed that aloe gel, added to a diet, reduces total lipids, post-meal sugar level in blood with diabetics, total serum cholesterol and increases HDL. There are a lot of false advertisement claims for aloe. Some Web sites promote aloe for curing the AIDS virus and different chronic diseases. But such claims have not been proved scientifically.

The safety of the plant is quite a different matter. Genotoxity studies have proved that laxatives containing aloe represent cancer risk to people when it is used directly. Therefore aloe can be taken only as an addition during a diet. The FDA has not given approval for the use of aloe vera as a drug. Nowadays aloe is considered to be a safe and effective laxative, if it is used precisely for this purpose. The FDA recommends to hold on testing researches for aloe. It is reported that a physician treated his cancer patients by aloe injections which led to their lethal outcome. After that his license was revoked. Injections of aloe vera are illegal in the USA, but foolhardy people may go to some other countries where the regulations for aloe treating are not as strict as in the USA.

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