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Medicinal and cosmetological importance of Aloe vera

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Medicinal and cosmetological importance of Aloe vera

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Aloe vera belongs to the family Liliacae, and is commonly called Quargandal, Ghritkumari, Gheekvar, katraazhai or kumari. It is widely used in medicines. It has been used to treat constipation, burns, genital herpes, dandruff, osteoarthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma and epilepsy. With the improvement in cosmetology, it has been proved that Aloe vera is a very important component of cosmetics.
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Medicinal and Cosmetological Importance of Aloe vera
International Journal of Natural Therapy
2009, Volume 2, pp.21-26
Review
Medicinal and Cosmetological Importance of Aloe vera
M. IMRAN QADIR*
Summary: Aloe vera belongs to the family Liliacae, and is commonly
called Quargandal, Ghritkumari, Gheekvar, katraazhai or kumari. It is
widely used in medicines. It has been used to treat constipation, burns,
genital herpes, dandruff, osteoarthritis, inflammatory bowel disease,
asthma and epilepsy. With the improvement in cosmetology, it has been
proved that Aloe vera is a very important component of cosmetics.
Received: 21-09-2008; Accepted: 23-12-2009.
From College of Pharmacy, GC University, Faisalabad, Pakistan
*Correspondence: M. Imran Qadir,
Assistant Professor,
College of Pharmacy, GC University,
Faisalabad, Pakistan
mrimranqadir@hotmail.com
Aloe vera is a plant with height of
almost 60–100 cm containing very short
stem or stemless long leaves, and belongs
to the family Liliacae. In Pakistan, the
plant is known as Quargandal and in
India, the plant is known as Ghritkumari
or Gheekvarand in Tamil naadu, Aloe vera
is known as katraazhai and it has also a
pet name kumari. It is cultivated in tropical
and subtropical areas of the world. It is
utilized as a decorative plant as well as for
herbal medication. Diagrammatic
Representation of Aloe vera is given in
figure 1. Its products are available in the
form of spray, cream, gel, lotion and
capsule and liquid [1].
MEDICINAL IMPORTANCE
Aloe vera is one of the only known
natural vegetarian sources of Vitamin B12,
and it contains many minerals vital to the
growth process and healthy function of all
the body's systems. Aloe vera contains
protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc,
vitamins A, B12 C, E and essential fatty
acids. Numerous studies worldwide
indicate that Aloe vera is a general tonic
for the immune system, helping it to fight
illness of all kinds. Various research
studies are underway to explore the
potential of Aloe vera components to boost
immunity and combat the HIV virus, and
to treat certain types of cancer particularly
leukemia. When Aloe vera is used
externally, almost no adverse effects are
seen. Oral use of Aloe vera may cause
colic and diarrhea. have been reported
with oral use of aloe vera. The purgative
property of the plant may reduce the
absorption of other drugs.
http://ijnt.xanga.com 21
Medicinal and Cosmetological Importance of Aloe vera
Figure 1: Diagrammatic Representation of Aloe vera
Aloe vera is widely used in
medicines. The use of Aloe vera in the
treatment of different diseases is given
here briefly.
Constipation
Aloe is very useful for destroying
the micro-organisms in the last part of
large intestine and have the capability to
overcome the problem of constipation.
Juice of Aloe vera may also be used in
treating inflammatory bowel disease [2,3].
Burns
Aloe vera plant has been implied
for years to treat burns holistically. For the
treatment of burns, the pure gel, either
from the fresh leaves of a healthy plant or
from a trustworthy company may be used.
Keep in mind that Aloe vera liniment is
not used as the liniments have been
formulated to create heat that may again
cause problem to the burn [4,5]. Its
liniment is used for muscle problems.
Genital Herpes
Extract of Aloe vera is used for the
treatment of genital herpes [6,7]. Aloe vera
juice mixed with fruit juice may be taken
daily for chronic viral infections.
Seborrheic Dermatitis (Dandruff)
Aloe vera lotion is used for treating
seborrheic dermatitis. It is also an
excellent treatment for the hair care. Aloe
vera hair conditioners and shampoos are
used widely for the purpose [8,9].
Osteoarthritis
Aloe vera is used topically for
osteoarthritis, and sunburns. Pain in the
joints and muscles due to arthritis may be
treated by using Aloe vera sprays or gels
[10,11].
Lungs Cancer
Aloe vera is the only food from
plant sources that protect lung cancer
[12,13]. The aloe can help to prolong time
of survival and to stimulate the immune
system of the patient of cancer [14,15].
Diabetes
It also decreases blood sugar level
in hyperglycemic patients. For this
purpose, its juice is taken twice daily
[16,17]. Aloe vera has also been proven
effective for use with diabetes which
pregnant women are often plagued with;
taking aloe vera daily can help to prevent
gestational diabetes.
Ulcer and Heartburn
Juice from Aloe vera is very
effective for ulcers, heartburn and other
digestive disorders. Recent research has
identified that Aloe vera may also be used
for children [18,19].
Anti-inflammatory Agent
The orally given juice of Aloe vera
22
Medicinal and Cosmetological Importance of Aloe vera
may be used for inflammation. It may also
enhance white blood cell activity and
promote production of interferon-specific
immunoactive proteins released by blood
cells in response to viral infections
[20,21].
Obesity
Aloe vera is very useful to
overcome the problem of obesity. Aloe
vera breaks down the fat globules so that
triglycerides, total cholesterol and blood
fat lipid levels are decreased resulting in
decrease in body weight [22,23].
Asthma and Epilepsy
Asthma and epilepsy may be
treated with Aloe vera gel. Aloe vera in
form of inhaler may be used as a
decongestant. Sinus conditions may also
be controlled by using Aloe vera orally
[24,25].
HIV Infection
Acemannan, a component of Aloe
vera gel, has been shown to have immune-
stimulating and anti-viral activities. An
extract of mannose from Aloe inhibit HIV.
HIV were treated in vitro and they showed
reduced reproduction by as much as
30% [26,27].
COSMETOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE
Cosmetology is the study of
cosmetics and their uses and cosmetics are
the preparations externally applied to
change or enhance the beauty of skin, hair,
nails, lips, and eyes. Aloe vera has been
used since ancient times for healing
infection and burns. However with the
improvement in cosmetology, it has been
proved that Aloe vera is a very important
component of cosmetics. It contains
almost 20 amino acids, minerals like
calcium, magnesium and sodium in
sufficient quantities, enzymes, vitamins,
polysaccharides, nitrogen and other
components that make it a miracle beauty
herb. Some of the most important
applications of Aloe vera for purpose of
Cosmetology are being explained here
briefly.
Pigmentation
Melanin is a pigment which is
responsible for the color of the human
skin. Hyper pigmentation is a situation in
which large amount of melanin is
synthesized. This generally happens due to
excess exposure of the skin to the sun. In
reaction to UV rays in sunbeams, the skin
cells called melanocytes initiate to
synthesize melanin. This increased
synthesis of melanin is responsible for the
emergence of darkened patches on the
skin. Aloe vera has the property of
diminishing the pigmentation and dark
spots on the face [28,29].
Skin Eruption
Aloe vera containing creams are
beneficial for skin eruptions. Aloe vera
gels have been proved to be the best
remedy for burns and wounds. Actually,
cellular regeneration, anti-bacterial and
anti-fungal activities of Aloe vera make it
useful for skin eruption [30,31].
Sclap and other Skin Problems
Aloe vera is very valuable for skin
disorders. It may also be used for the
treatment of scalp, stings, sprains,
sunburns, eczema, sore muscles, arthritis,
scrapes, cold sores, scalds, abrasions,
psoriasis, bruises, etc [32,33].
Itching and Blisters
Aloe vera also provides relief from
itching and also helps to treat blisters.
Aloe contains vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12 and
vitamin C that provide soothing and
pleasing sensation to skin [34,35].
Skin Aging
Aloe vera initiates the synthesis of
elastin as well as collagen. These proteins
are essential for preventing the aging of
the skin [36,37].
Acne
Aloe vera helps to eradicate acne
23
Medicinal and Cosmetological Importance of Aloe vera
scars by performing as an immune booster
and an anti-inflammatory agent. Beauty
products composed of Aloe vera may
diminish the rigorousness of acne. It is
also composed of the chemical ingredients
which have the property to save the skin to
initiate the acne [38,39].
Freshness
Aloe vera impart the sensation
freshness. It helps in increasing
distribution of blood therefore providing
easier oxygen exchange among the cells,
hence giving them nourishment [40].
Sun-burns
Aloe Vera has an outstanding
possession in diminishing the hurting of
sunburn. For this purpose, it is rubbed
directly on skin. The fresh fluid from the
plant or Aloe vera containing after-sun
creams may be used for sun-burns [41].
Moisturizing Agent
Aloe vera may also be used for
softening and moisturizing the skin. There
are so many products available in the
market containing Aloe vera which may be
used post-showering to obtain the skin in
super soft shape. Aloe vera gel, cream or
lotion applied on the face forms a delicious
cover that helps to shield the skin from
dust and other natural elements which may
be injurious to the skin [42,43].
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26
... Aloe vera extract contains 75 potentially active constituents such as vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugars, lignin, saponins, salicylic acids and amino acids. [5][6][7][8] Because of these aloe extract has multiple properties like anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, wound healing, antiseptic, etc. Multiple studies have reported the effectiveness of aloe extract in management burns, sunburns, inflammatory skin disorders, wounds and dry skin. ...
... Multiple studies have reported the effectiveness of aloe extract in management burns, sunburns, inflammatory skin disorders, wounds and dry skin. [5][6][7][8] However, in India there are no studies which have evaluated the effectiveness and safety of aloe vera based moisturizer in management of patients with dry skin disorders like eczema or dermatitis. Hence, we conducted this study novel plant-based moisturizer "Elovera" containing aloe extract, allantoin and vitamin E in management of dry skin associated with eczema and dermatitis. ...
... Aloe vera extract contains 75 potentially active constituents such as vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugars, lignin, saponins, salicylic acids and amino acids. [5][6][7][8] Because of these active ingredients, aloe vera is associated with multiple properties like wound healing, antiinflammatory, antiseptic and antipruritic. [5][6][7][8] Antiinflammatory and wound healing properties of aloe vera extract are well established in multiple clinical studies. ...
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The mucilaginous gel from the parenchymatous cells in the leaf pulp of Aloe vera has been used since early times for a host of curative purposes. This gel should be distinguished clearly from the bitter yellow exudate originating from the bundle sheath cells, which is used for its purgative effects. Aloe vera gel has come to play a prominent role as a contemporary folk remedy, and numerous optimistic, and in some cases extravagant, claims have been made for its medicinal properties. Modern clinical use of the gel began in the 1930s, with reports of successful treatment of X-ray and radium burns, which led to further experimental studies using laboratory animals in the following decades. The reports of these experiments and the numerous favourable case histories did not give conclusive evidence, since although positive results were usually described, much of the work suffered from poor experimental design and insufficiently large test samples. In addition some conflicting or inconsistent results were obtained. With the recent resurgence of interest in Aloe vera gel, however, new experimental work has indicated the possibility of distinct physiological effects. Chemical analysis has shown the gel to contain various carbohydrate polymers, notably either glucomannans or pectic acid, along with a range of other organic and inorganic components. Although many physiological properties of the gel have been described, there is no certain correlation between these and the identified gel components.
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The purpose of this double-blind, placebo-controlled study was to evaluate the clinical efficacy and tolerability of topical Aloe vera extract 0.5% in a hydrophilic cream to cure patients with psoriasis vulgaris. Sixty patients (36M/24F) aged 18-50 years (mean 25.6) with slight to moderate chronic plaque-type psoriasis and PASI (Psoriasis Area and Severity Index) scores between 4.8 and 16.7 (mean 9.3) were enrolled and randomized to two parallel groups. The mean duration of the disease prior to enrollment was 8.5 years (range 1-21). Patients were provided with a precoded 100g tube, placebo or active (with 0.5% Aloe vera extract), and they self-administered trial medication topically (without occlusion) at home 3 times daily for 5 consecutive days per week (maximum 4 weeks active treatment). Patients were examined on a weekly basis and those showing a progressive reduction of lesions, desquamation followed by decreased erythema, infiltration and lowered PASI score were considered healed. The study was scheduled for 16 weeks with 12 months of follow-up on a monthly basis. The treatment was well tolerated by all the patients, with no adverse drug-related symptoms and no dropouts. By the end of the study, the Aloe vera extract cream had cured 25/30 patients (83.3%) compared to the placebo cure rate of 2/30 (6.6%) (P < 0.001) resulting in significant clearing of the psoriatic plaques (328/396 (82.8%) vs placebo 28/366 (7.7%), P < 0.001) and a decreased PASI score to a mean of 2.2. The findings of this study suggest that topically applied Aloe vera extract 0.5% in a hydrophilic cream is more effective than placebo, and has not shown toxic or any other objective side-effects. Therefore, the regimen can be considered a safe and alternative treatment to cure patients suffering from psoriasis.