For centuries, those in the world of medicine have known about the healing properties of aloe vera. In fact, many houses had an aloe vera plant sitting on the shelf. If a family member received a burn or scrape, the benefits of the aloe vera gel from inside the thick succulent leaf were available just by breaking off a leaf and rubbing the interior on the wound or burn. The healing properties of aloe vera also include many other uses.
The Aloe vera plant is a cactus with thick succulent leaves. The juice inside the leaves is a thick juice containing mostly water but also 20 minerals, 12 vitamins and 20 amino acids. In all, there are over 200 beneficial components in the juice of the aloe vera plant.
The plant contains all the vitamins necessary for the body, including trace amounts of vitamin B12, except vitamin D. However, since the cactus grows in tropical areas receiving adequate sunlight for humans to create their own vitamin D, in its natural habitat, it is the perfect plant for human survival.
It also contains sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, manganese, copper, chromium, zinc and iron. In addition, the plant has beneficial sugars, anthraquinones with antimicrobial properties, lignin that allows the benefits of aloe vera gel to penetrate the skin, antiseptic saponins, anti-inflammatory plant sterols, salicylic acid (the base for aspirin) and essential amino acids.
The healing properties of aloe vera gel include not just wound healing, but wound healing under extreme circumstances. In 1973, a study in the Journal of Dermatology investigated the effects of aloe vera gel on a persistent diabetic sore. Ulcerations in diabetics are particularly difficult to heal, just as they are in the bedridden or those with bad circulation.
In this case, three patients had raw open sores that would not heal despite treatment over five to fifteen years. The doctors applied aloe vera to all three on a repeating basis. Two of the three had complete healing of the sores with the third showing a significant amount of improvement.
The healing properties of aloe vera don't end with surface sores, burns and abrasions. Scientists now investigate its use as a treatment for such diseases as cancer and leukemia. Veterinarians now use aloe in the treatment of feline leukemia because of the acemannan it contains.
Acemannan is a catalyst that triggers the body's ability to produce macrophages and other disease fighting components of the blood. The macrophages engulf the unwanted substance and digest them making the substance particularly beneficial for fighting tumors. The aloin may also fight cancers such as breast and ovarian cancer.
There are other benefits of aloe vera gel. Many people use the aloe vera gel as a deterrent to chronic constipation. The antifungal properties of aloe vera also help fight Candida besides aiding in correcting problems in the digestive tract. Aloe vera also helps those with allergies since it blocks the action of histamines that makes your skin itchy.
The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of aloe vera gel make it useful in the treatment of arthritis, bronchitis, pharyngitis, gingivitis and asthma.
Other healing properties of aloe vera include aid with muscle strains and sprains, treatment for anemia, use in treating deficiency diseases, treatment of insomnia and depression, treating diabetes, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis and pancreatic related conditions, and controlling the side effects that occur with chemotherapy or radiation.