Aloe Vera Facts, Fictions and SCAMS!
Aloe Vera, which looks more like a cactus, is one of the common ingredients to cure wound, burns, improve blood glucose levels in a diabetic, antifungal ointment, and cosmetics. Aloe Vera, which is now considered as a houseplant, is a native to northern African region. Aloe Vera juice or gel is believed to improve your skin and increase hair care.
But its use as one of the “care” products is not new. Its usage can be trailed back 6,000 years to Egypt, where it was called as “the immortality plant.” Although it was later found that it the name was addressed in a philosophical way, it was still used for healing wounds and treating skin irritations. It was even taken orally as a laxative, which is still the only substantiated internal use of Aloe Vera.
From outside, the leaf of an Aloe Vera plant is rubbery and smooth in touching, while the aloe gel is found in a tissue inside the leaves of Aloe plant, while aloe latex or aloe juice is found beneath the outer leaves of the plant’s skin. Now the terms “gel” and “juice” are two different things but some times the cosmetic product makers don’t define their usage.
So far the researchers have found more than 200 species of aloe vera, with most of them considered to be nutritious, effective and significant in treating various ailments including disorders related to skin and hairs. It is also used to treat itching, to help in healing blisters, to lighten the dark spots on the face, to reduce the intensity of pigmentation and others.
One of the most important species of aloe vera plant is known as Aloe Vera Barbadensis, which is generally used in beauty, hair, skin and other cosmetic as well as medicinal products for many years.
Until 2002, the products with aloe laxative were available as oral over-the-counter (OTC) laxatives but the FDA after that year decided to remove the products from the market in the United States as the manufacturers did not provide the required safety data related to aloe laxative products.
It also has potential side effects including abdominal cramps and diarrhea when taken orally, may reduce lower blood glucose levels risky for people with diabetes, and diarrhea can also reduce the effect of other medication.
Several companies make false claims through their products, advertisements, and websites, where they post bold testimonials that aloe vera can cure fatal diseases or disorders like AIDS or cancer. But most of these claims have not be substantiated or proved by researchers as they are still in the process to find beneficial use of the plant in curing chronic conditions in patients across the world.
Studies have shown that aloe gel or the juice, which is the used for internal consumption, has not proved to be effective against any disease. Even aloe skin care products have not proven effective in most cases as it is considered as a marketing gimmick by big companies.