All About Aloe
By Sabeen Faquir
*This article was originally published in Banzai Magazine
Did you know secretions from aloe are not only good for the skin but used as laxative? There are two derivatives of aloe: the gel and the latex. The latex is a yellow fluid secreted by the rind of the plan which is then dried and concentrated for a juice. It can also be taken dried as a supplement.
Taking aloe internally changes the flow of water in the colon. Instead of absorbing water, the colon gives off water. This attributes to diarrhea. Although because aloe is an anthranoid laxative (a class of laxatives with pigments called anthroquinones and anthrones), it can cause contractions in the colon. Aloe also causes the apoptosis of colon cells.
Aloe recruits white blood cells to the colon which can help clean up debris from apoptosis. Chronic use of anthranoid laxatives causes an accumulation of white blood cells in the colon. This causes melanosis coli, a benign condition in which dark spots appear in the colon.
It was even found to have hypoglycemic effects in diabetic rats. “Single as well as chronic doses of bitter principle of the same plant also exhibited hypoglycemic effect in diabetic rats. This action of Aloe vera and its bitter principle is through stimulation of synthesis and/or release of insulin from pancreatic beta cells,” (Kumar et, al. 2015). With information like this, we could begin studying the effects of aloe for diabetes in humans.
Aloe can even help with periodontal disease. Because of its white-blood cell recruiting powers, it has been found to effectively combat bacteria when used in toothpaste in the mouth. “Studies using Aloe Vera in toothpastes have shown that aloe vera tooth gel and the toothpastes were equally effective against Candida albicans, Streptococcus mutans, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Enterococcus faecalis, Prevotella intermedia, and Peptostreptococcus anaerobius. Aloe Vera tooth gel demonstrated enhanced antibacterial effect against S. mitis,” (S.L. et. Al. 2015)
Aloe is a versatile plant whose uses are still being discovered. Consider using it for more than just soothing the skin.
Disclaimer: The content of this article is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease.
Devendra Kumar, Neerja Trivedi, Rakesh Kumar Dixit. HERBAL MEDICINES USED IN THE TRADITIONAL INDIAN MEDICINAL SYSTEM AS A THERAPEUTIC TREATMENT OPTION FOR DIABETES MANAGEMENT: A REVIEW. World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Vol. 4, Issue 04, 368-385.
Deepu S.L., Ajith Kumar K., N. Raseena Beevi, Presanthila Janam. Aloe vera in periodontics. Kerala Dental Journal. Vol. 38, No. 1, January 2015.
Holly Phaneuf, PhD. Herbs Demystified: A Scientist Explains How the Most Common Herbal Remedies Really Work. Copyright 2005. Da Capo Press.