Sunday, October 12, 2008
Aloe vera-the versatile health plant
Aloe vera is a stemless plant of the succulent variety. The leaves of the aloe vera plant contain a gel with many polysaccharides having various biological activities including antiinflammatory, antifungal, wound healing, immunomodulatory and gastroprotective properties.
The immunomodulatory properties of the pure aloe vera gel have been shown by recent research to be due to acetylated mannans. Aloe vera leaf gel extract showed blood sugar lowering properties in diabetic rats.
A compound called beta-sitosterol, which was purified from was shown to have a potent angiogenic activity, which might be of benefit in treating chronic wounds. Aloe vera extract, which has been freeze-dried is effective for improving skin hydration, possibly through a humectant mechanism.
The products are also available as aloe vera juice, aloe vera lotion, aloe vera oil, aloe vera shampoo, aloe vera soap, aloe vera pills etc. Further future research might turn out more useful health benefits of aloe vera.