The oldest record about the use of Aloe Vera goes back to ancient Egypt. During this time, this plant was referred to as the plant of immortality and it was often presented as a burial gift to pharaohs.Most often, this plant is topically applied as treatment of numerous skin issues and orally as a laxative.
There are a lot of evidence pointing out that when taken orally, this magnificent plant has the power to treat diabetes, epilepsy, osteoarthritis, and asthma. And, the topical application of its gel has been proven very efficient in the treatment of sunburns, psoriasis, burns, etc.
Aloe Vera gel is a frequent ingredient in a wide spectrum of lotions and sunscreens. It’s also approved as a natural food flavoring by the FDA. The leaves of Aloe contain a gel which, as previously explained, can be used as topical ointment or a juice for oral intake.
Latex, which is another substance of Aloe, is rich in potent laxative compounds. Prior to 2002, a lot of over-the-counter laxatives, FDA regulated, were produced with a lot of components of Aloe. However, in 2002, the FDA removed all Aloe laxative products from the market since the manufacturers didn’t provide the needed safety information.
Although the gel is highly beneficial for burns and cuts, according to a study, it actually disrupts the healing of surgical wounds. Moreover, it has been found that the gel doesn’t prevent burns from radiation therapy.
Regarding the topical use of Aloe Vera, there are no known side effects. However, when it comes to its oral use, new data by a 2-year National Toxicology Program study shows a connection between non-decolorized whole leaf extract of Aloe Vera and carcinogenic activity in both male and female mice, based on large intestine tumors.
Nevertheless, additional research is needed to confirm whether this is the case with humans as well. Furthermore, oral use of this gel has been associated with diarrhea and abdominal cramps. It’s important to mention that diabetics need to be cautious regarding the intake of Aloe Vera gel because this plant is known to lower the blood glucose levels. Also, several acute hepatitis cases have been tied to oral intake of Aloe Vera gel.