"Natural Healing with Herbs for a Healthier You"
by Gertrude Baldwin

[History] [Location] [Chemical Constituent] [Medicinal Qualities] [Contra-Indications] [Known Herbal Formulas] [Dosages & Applications] [Personal Experiences] [Endnotes]
The medicinal qualities of Aloe vera are much diversified and adoptogenic.  It has the ability to work on different specific problems each person may have. Here lies a plant that can improve the health of the cells throughout the body.  Aloe, a therapeutic healing plant, works both externally and internally.  When used externally Aloe vera contains properties such as: astringent (causing a contraction of the skin, blood vessels, and other tissues stopping the fluid discharge), emollient (helps to soften and smooth the skin), antifungal (destroys fungi), and cell proliferant (quickly regrows new cells) used to heal wounds and burns.54
     When we use Aloe vera internally, we get help lowering cholesterol and improving circulation in the lower extremities of the body. Cathartic action of the anthrquinones, emodin and aloin, can be too strong if there contains more than 50 ppm in the Aloe vera juice or gel. Generally it is a good tonic for skin conditions and digestive disorders.55 The enzymes in Aloe vera will improve digestion and nutrient absorption. It will help bring the body to a pH balance while being beneficial to the whole gastro-intestinal system.  Aloe has been known to wash out harmful germs and rebuild with the beneficial flora.  Aloe vera sooths indigestion, IBS, colitis and stomach acidity.56
      Another medicinal property to consider would be anti-bacterial.  Aloe-emodin effects the activity of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori as stated in ChungJG Wang HH’s research. This bacterium acts as a culprit responsible for causing stomach ulcers. The aloe emodin’s antibacterial property also affects four strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus as stated by Hatano’s research.57  In 1964 the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences wrote of ‘Bacteriostatic Property of Aloe Vera’. They concluded that Aloe vera was a bacteria managing substance that was effective against E.coli, Salmonella, and Streptoccus.58
     Aloe vera contains another medicinal property known as antiviral.  Aloe emodin in Aloe vera makes it so that certain viruses are not able to function.  Aloe vera provides a viracudal to herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2, varicella-zoster virus, pseudorabies virus, and influenza virus according to the research of Sydiskis.59
     Another important effect that Aloe vera encompasses includes anti-inflammatory. “This effect of Aloe gel may be due to the salicylates, inactivation of bradykinin, and inhibition of histamine formation.  It appears that various nonspecified components in the gel reduce the oxidation of arachidonic acid, thereby reducing prostaglandin synthesis and inflammation.”60 The anti-inflammatory occurs naturally in the plant sterols in a synergistic way with the other constituents. It has a steroid like action without the side effects.61
     In the research of Zhang in 1998, it was discovered that Aloe vera emodin, an anthraquinones, has the ability to suppress or inhibit the growth of malignant cancer cells making it have antineoplastic properties.62  Aloe vera, a great immune stimulant, contains 90% rhodium and iridium (trace minerals) in the acemannan which is one of the polysaccharides which dramatically increases the white blood cells or macrophages and T cells. It helps enlarge the thymus gland in size by 40%. The thymus is what produces the T cells of the immune system.63
     Aloe vera has very strong anti-oxidant nutrients.  It contains wonderful free radical action in the A, C, and E vitamins.  These free radical fighters get rid of the toxins and carcinogenic properties we have in our bodies from the pollution and poor quality foods we eat. We take these free radicals in our bodies through absorption of our skin and through digestion.64
     Dr. Ivan Danhof, a leading expert on Aloe vera, discovered the rejuvenating ability of Aloe vera, anti-aging. “He believes that one of the main reasons lies in the plant’s unique ability to increase production of human fibroblast cells between six and eight times faster than normal cell production. Fibroblast cells are found in the dermis of the skin and are responsible for the fabrication of collagen, the skin’s support protein which keeps skin firm, supple, and youthful looking. He found that Aloe vera not only improved fibroblast cell structure but also accelerated the collagen production process. He also believes the clue may lie, once again, with the magic polysaccharides and their moisture binding properties.”65   Aloe vera penetrates the skin with moisture and nutrients up to seven layers deep.  The polysaccarides help create a barrier to stop moisture loss from the skin.  The fibroblasts will also help protect the skin from damaging rays.66
     Aloe vera acts as a gentle detoxifier, cleanser, and vermifuge. It is important to use a high quality aloe juice that does not contain more than 50 ppm of aloin in it. Aloin is an anthraquinone that can have purgative actions if too much is used. Aloe will flush out dead skin cells and build new cell growth with healthy tissue, speeding up the healing process of wounds, lesions, and ulcers. It will also help heal skin that is damaged by radiation.  Aloe vera will help the body to have better blood flow to the skin because of capillary dilation. The saponins in the aloe have cleansing and antiseptic qualities.67