Aloe barbadensis miller: the natural healer
Among the more than 200 varieties, Aloe Barbadensis Miller is the most useful for man, probably the most used in the history of mankind. Already in ancient Egypt the queens used aloe vera in the daily routines of beauty, not to mention the medical use made by the Greeks and Romans. Aloe was also known in the Far East, so much so that the properties have been handed down from generation to generation up to the present day.
The medicinal sap of aloe vera gel is contained within the leaves and, when cutting them, it is necessary to pay particular attention to the oxidative process, in order to prevent the gel from losing its beneficial properties. The conservation of aloe gel through a cold stabilization process maintains the effectiveness of the lymph.
But how to recognize a good aloe? First of all, it is necessary to carefully observe the packaging, which must not be transparent or breathable. Quality assurance is the IASC brand, an independent body that monitors the production standards of this product worldwide. A good idea would be to learn to read the label: are we paying for a pure or full-leaf gel whose skin has no properties? Has water been added to increase the volume of the product? being the aloe gel composed of 99% water, there is in fact no reason to push the manufacturer to add it. Also make sure there is no honey or sugar. Of course, with these ingredients the gel is tastier but the benefits of the plant are nullified.
Remember that by law the label cannot attribute any property or curative power to the food, this in order not to mislead the consumer regarding the real characteristics of the product.
Finally, check the additives that must always be of natural origin. Pay particular attention also to the additives used to stabilize aloe and avoid those based on alcohol.
Properties and active ingredients of aloe vera
Properties and benefits of aloe vera gel mainly derive from three active ingredients contained in it. In the first place we find mucopolysaccharides, particular sugars that the human body is able to produce independently only during the first ten years of life. Once this period is over, it will be appropriate to use external sources to take substances such as acemannan, a particular mucopolysaccharide capable of producing immune agents and destroying bacteria as well as cancer cells. The anticancer effect has been demonstrated in the treatment of murine Norman sarcoma and in fibrosarcoma of animals such as dogs and cats.
Anthraquinones are active ingredients that intervene in the regulation of intestinal activity, as well as being very effective against sunburn, acne and annoying insect bites.
Last important active ingredient are vitamins and minerals. Calcium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and sodium are in fact present in large quantities in the leaves of aloe. In the same way there are many of the most important vitamins, such as vitamin A, group B and vitamin C.
Aloe gel also has an effective purifying power, so much so that if taken regularly it can help the body to expel toxins. As is known, these substances can cause drowsiness and exhaustion in the long run.
The application of the gel also helps the mobility of the joints, counteracting muscle pain thanks to its calming and anti-inflammatory properties.
Excellent as a natural remedy for headaches, aloe gel can be applied together with a few drops of lavender essential oil.
Many people now use aloe vera gel daily, drinking it like a normal herbal tea. Needless to say, even in this case the benefits are innumerable. Although not a purgative or a laxative, aloe vera gel helps fight the lazy intestine and improve its regularity.
Remarkable are the cosmetic and cosmeceutical properties of aloe gel. The latter is obtained directly from the pure juice of the plant and subjected to particular treatments with gelling substances, in order to make topical use easier. Aloe is ideal as a base for detergents or natural cosmetics, it can be used as a raw material in the composition of cosmoceutics such as beauty products for face, body and hair care. Excellent results are also obtained in the treatment of skin diseases (acne).
Before purchasing it is good to make sure that the product does not contain any dyes or synthetic substances that could compromise its potential. Also in these cases it is good to read the INCI reported on the label, that is the list of substances present in the cosmetic.
The gel has a very light astringent effect, does not stick to the skin and does not dry out.
It is very interesting to note the significant difference between aloe vera gel and normal skin care products. While the latter stop on the skin (unless they contain liposomes), the aloe gel contains mediators capable of penetrating by transporting the active ingredients in depth.
The aloe gel is therefore perfect for use in the cosmetic field. Capable of stimulating the production of collagen, its effect is strengthened by associating topical use with oral use.
Aloe is indicated as a night and day cream to prevent the appearance of wrinkles, moisturizing and giving elasticity to the skin. Wounds, skin rushes and other inflammations can also be treated by taking advantage of the benefits of this plant.
During beach holidays, aloe vera gel is the most suitable solution to protect yourself from the sun as it contains a protection factor 4 against ultraviolet rays in a completely natural way. Excellent as after sun or soothing, aloe calms swelling and refreshes the skin in case of sunburn or sunburn caused by long exposure to the sun's rays.
The skin is not the only one that can be treated with aloe-based cosmetics. Even the hair and scalp need attention and it is now a consolidated habit to dilute the gel with a little water and cooking salt (Himalayan salt or, alternatively, whole sea salt). The compound thus obtained can be used by massaging it on the scalp, in order to stimulate hair regrowth and protect the scalp. In fact, it is known that the protection and regeneration of the latter are basic conditions for regrowth.