13 Jul 2013

Aloe Vera


Aloe is a succulent plant species that probably originated in northern Africa. The species does not have any naturally occurring populations, although closely related
aloes do occur in northern Africa. The species is frequently cited as being used in herbal medicine since the beginning of the first century AD. Extracts from A. vera are
widely used in the cosmetics and alternative medicine industries, being marketed as variously having rejuvenating, healing, or soothing properties. Preparations made from
Aloe vera are often referred to as "aloe vera". Scientific evidence for the cosmetic and therapeutic effectiveness of aloe vera is limited and when present is frequently
contradictory. Despite this, the cosmetic and alternative medicine industries regularly make claims regarding the soothing, moisturizing, and healing properties of aloe vera.
Aloe vera gel is used as an ingredient in commercially available lotions, yogurt, beverages, and some desserts, although at certain doses, it has toxic properties when used
either for ingested or topical applications. Two 2009 reviews of clinical studies determined that all were too small and faulty to allow strong conclusions to be drawn from
them, but concluded, "there is some preliminary evidence to suggest that oral administration of aloe vera might be effective in reducing blood glucose in diabetic patients and
in lowering blood lipid levels in hyperlipidaemia. The topical application of aloe vera does not seem to prevent radiation-induced skin damage. It might be useful as a
treatment for genital herpes and psoriasis. The evidence regarding wound healing is contradictory. More and better trial data are needed to define the clinical effectiveness of
this popular herbal remedy more precisely." One of the reviews found that Aloe has not been proven to offer protection for humans from sunburn, suntan, or other damage
from the sun.
A 2007 review of aloe vera's use in burns concluded, "cumulative evidence tends to support that aloe vera might be an effective interventions used in burn wound healing for
first- to second-degree burns. Further, well-designed trials with sufficient details of the contents of aloe vera products should be carried out to determine the effectiveness of
aloe vera. Topical application of aloe vera may also be effective for genital herpes and psoriasis.

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