The health benefits of aloe vera have long been known by both modern and ancient civilizations!
The aloe vera plant has been used in almost every culture that has flourished in an area where aloe vera grows. A succulent plant, the aloe vera is believed to have been used first in ancient Egypt as a treatment for various skin conditions.
It is now found all over the world and is grown in many homes to be used as a topical gel on burns, cuts and other skin abrasions. There are over 500 known species of the aloe vera plants growing around the world.
The aloe vera plant is about 96% water and the remainder is a combination of several different compounds such as amino acids, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, essential oils and glycoproteins.
The active ingredients of the aloe vera plant are in the gel like substance of sticky cells found on the inside part of the leaf.
Traditionally aloe has been known to:
and to treat:
Aloe is also extremely popular as a beauty aid for the skin. Even I have an aloe plant on my balcony and I rub some aloe gel on my face every morning. My mother got me started on that many years ago!
Additional health benefits of aloe vera are still being discovered! This wondrous herb is subject to ongoing research in many countries.
Aloe and Immunity:
Aloe vera contains mannans (acemannan) - a carbohydrate that has been extensively studied with regards to its immunological benefits, and anti-tumor properties. Studies show that acemannan increases the number and killing capacity of T-lymphocytes by almost 50%. T-Lymphocyte cells are a critical part of our natural immune system responses - fighting infections and diseases at a cellular level.
Although these immunological properties are highly beneficial, they are largely negated when raw material suppliers fail to employ the best method of extraction. I'll discuss below a multi nutrient supplement with aloe vera which does use the best part of the plant and the optimal extraction method.
The key to immunity then is a good diet containing immune-boosting phyto-nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and supported by a quality multi nutrient supplement containing aloe vera which acts directly and positively on the immune system.
Aloe vera has been researched and studied for a variety of medical conditions including:
Let's take a brief look at the benefits of aloe vera on these conditions.
Most people with cancer have a decreased immune system function!
Aloe vera polysaccharides act in enhancing the immune system to target the macrophage activity of the cells to allow them to actively destroy cancerous cells.
NOTE: Aloe vera when applied to the surface of the skin can help shield harmful rays as well as adding antioxidant properties to the skin – assisting the removal of free-radical cells. This is one of the latest discoveries regarding the many health benefits of aloe vera.
Free radicals have been researched as possible links to cancers both internally and skin type cancers.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or Gerd is also known as a hiatal hernia. It causes stomach acid to enter into the esophagus resulting in a painful and very uncomfortable burning sensation.
Aloe vera is very soothing for all burns and helps to neutralize the stomach acids resulting in a decrease in the discomfort of Gerd. Taken on a continuing basis the health benefits of aloe vera for sufferers of Gerd are well documented - decreasing the burning sensation and minimizing damage to the esophagus from stomach acid.
The health benefits of aloe vera for those with colitis are well established. The properties of the aloe vera plant allow for detoxification and regulation of the bowel, as well as preventing and soothing irritation and irritability.
The health benefits of aloe vera have known for thousands of years and aloe is considered a safe herb. When administered correctly side effects are considered rare.
Aloe Vera use may be contraindicated if you have any of the following conditions – please consult your doctor first if this is the case and you are considering taking aloe vera:
Additionally you should consult your doctor or health-care provider if you are:
First and most importantly, the supplement company should self manufacture its own products and control the manufacturing process through all stages.
Stay away from supplement companies who contract out their manufacturing. This is where serious problems such as contamination begin - especially in regard to herbals.
To guarantee absolute safety, purity, and potency all raw materials must be sourced from GMP registered and audited facilities. All ingredients must have a CERTIFICATE OF ANALYSIS (COA) on file confirming their potency.
The supplement company must test all raw materials prior to manufacture for compliance with certificates of analysis and for microbiological contamination.
To further ensure safety and ingredient amounts in accordance with label claims, be sure the manufacturer is GMP compliant at a pharmaceutical level – this is the highest standard possible for the manufacture of nutritional supplements. This guarantees your safety!
Prior to releasing each batch of product a further microbiological analysis must be carried out along with a heavy metal analysis.
Beware! - supplements in the market contain lead (albeit in very small amounts). That's well known by industry insiders. Many disreputable, profit hungry manufacturers don't care since the small amounts of lead in their products take around, say, 20 years or more to build up in consumers bodies so it's highly unlikely they will be held accountable 20 years down the track.
Be sure the product contains no artificial:
These are substances you don't want in your body and are one reason why people have adverse reactions to nutritional supplements.
There must also be no potential allergenic substances - lactose, gluten, wheat, yeast and to a lesser degree corn (as vegetable coating or starch).
The supplement must contain only standardized herbal extracts!
This guarantees consistency in the amount of the active ingredients – the potent parts of herbs you are paying for. The amounts of these actives can vary tremendously when herbs are grown and processed.
Many supplement manufacturers avoid using standardized extracts because they are considerably more expensive!
The product should come with a 100% unconditional money back guarantee. The manufacturer must be prepared to stand by their product - and that means no crazy conditions that have you jumping through hoops to deter you from trying.
Time limits like '30 days' are ridiculous. It takes longer than that for the majority of people to begin to feel the often subtle effects from a new supplements, particularly if you are quite healthy to begin with.
Lastly, please keep in mind that the various forms of aloe vera used in supplements are not all equal - so the extent of the health benefits of aloe vera vary from product to product.
KEY: “It is important to be aware that the Aloe Vera extract you see advertised is usually quite weak and the only type that gives the (optimal) protection is one which is harvested and prepared in a special way which involves spray drying and concentrating to 200:1.
This is quite an uncommon extract as it is more expensive to process in this manner. It is nothing like the common aloe vera sold in liquid form which also has additives and preservatives which are needed when in solution form." (3)
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