Other Common Names:
Aloe vera, Barbados aloe, Cape aloe, Curaçao aloe, Sábila, Zábila.
Parts of the plant used:
The leaves. The clear gel and the yellowish latex are both contained in the leaves. Each has a distinct chemical composition and a different therapeutic application.
How is it used?
The gel scraped from the leaf can be applied directly to the skin in order to treat scrapes and minor burns. The whole leaf is sometimes used to make products such as laxatives, for example.
What is it used for?
The gel is used to treat minor cuts and burns and to help heal wounds. It is also contained in a variety of cosmetics including skin crèmes, lotions, and shampoos. The latex is a yellowish liquid that has laxative properties, among others. Products containing aloe have also been used internally to treat stomach ulcers and diabetes.
•The gel is usually regarded as safe if applied to the skin, although rare allergic reactions may occur in sensitive individuals. •Aloe gel may be of use in dressings applied to minor skin abrasions and cuts in order to speed up cicatrisation and healing, but it has not proven to be helpful in the treatment of deep wounds, such as those produced in diverse surgical procedures. For this reason it should be avoided in such cases. •Whole leaf preparations should not be ingested unless under the supervision of a professional, due to their potentially irritating properties. •Laxative products made from aloe should not be ingested, unless directed by a physician. Taken in large amounts or for long periods, they may be harmful to the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract. •Avoid aloe as a laxative in patients suffering from colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or intestinal obstruction. •Avoid taking aloe products containing its latex alongside cardiac medications, such as antiarrhythmics, for example. A possible interaction may occur, due to potential potassium loss induced by aloe preparations. •Avoid all aloe products internally during pregnancy and lactation, as well as in small children.
Before you decide to take any medicinal herb or herbal supplement, be sure to consult with your health care professional first. Avoid self-medication and self-diagnosis: Always be on the safe side!