Thursday, 7 November 2013

Popular #Herbs - Aloe Vera

File:Aloe Vera.jpg
A. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is species of succulent plant in the genus Aloe, belonging to the Family Xanthorrhoeaceae, native to Sudan. It has become very popular for commercial cultivation due to its health benefits. Aloe vera has been used in herbal medicine in treating many kinds of disease, including wound, burn healing, minor skin infections, sebaceous cysts, diabetes, and elevated of cholesterol, etc. It is also one of many popular herb studied in scientific ways with some conflicted results.

B. Health benefits of Aloe Vera
1. Cancer
Eventhough Aloe Vera is not one of the herb used in herbal medicine in treating cancer, but according to some studies, Aloe Vera has a property of inhibiting the growth of cancer and apoptosis, according to the study of "Medicinal plants used as antitumor agents in Brazil: an ethnobotanical approach" by de Melo JG, Santos AG, de Amorim EL, do Nascimento SC, de Albuquerque UP., posted in PubMed (1), researchers found that our analysis included papers published between 1980 and 2008. A total of 84 medicinal plant species were reported to be used for cancer and tumor prevention or treatment; 69.05% of these were cited as being used for the treatment of tumors and cancer in general and 30.95% for specific tumors or cancers. The plants that were cited at a higher frequency were Aloe vera, Euphorbia tirucalli, and Tabebuia impetiginosa.

2. Antiaging (Prevent wrinkle)
There are many products of Aloe Vera sold commercially as an natural anti wrinkle magic in health perspective, is Aloe Vera really has that property? according to the study of "Dietary Aloe Vera Supplementation Improves Facial Wrinkles and Elasticity and It Increases the Type I Procollagen Gene Expression in Human Skin in vivo" by Cho S, Lee S, Lee MJ, Lee DH, Won CH, Kim SM, Chung JH., posted in PubMed(2), researchers filed the conclusion that Aloe gel significantly improves wrinkles and elasticity in photoaged human skin, with an increase in collagen production in the photoprotected skin and a decrease in the collagen-degrading MMP-1 gene expression. However, no dose-response relationship was found between the low-dose and high-dose groups.

3. Laxation
Aloe Vera beside enhances motility of the intestines, but also increases fecal volume and normalizes body weight, that can reduce the risk of constipation, according to the study of "The effect of Aloe ferox Mill. in the treatment of loperamide-induced constipation in Wistar rats" by Wintola OA, Sunmonu TO, Afolayan AJ., posted in PubMed(3)

4. Skin
Aloe Vesa has been used as skin care as a cosmetic and pharmaceutical ingredients, according to the study of " Innovations in natural ingredients and their use in skin care' by Fowler JF Jr, Woolery-Lloyd H, Waldorf H, Saini R., posted in PubMed(4), researchers wrote that Certain ingredients, such as colloidal oatmeal and aloe vera, have been identified as beneficial in the treatment of psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, respectively, due to their anti-inflammatory properties.

5. Wound
Aloe Vera has been used in herbal medicine beside improves wound healing as a result of the presence of mannose-6-phosphate, according to the study of "Anti-inflammatory and wound healing activity of a growth substance in Aloe vera" by Davis RH, Donato JJ, Hartman GM, Haas RC., posted in PubMed(5), but also enhances burn healing, according to the study of "Effect of aloe cream versus silver sulfadiazine for healing burn wounds in rats" by Hosseinimehr SJ, Khorasani G, Azadbakht M, Zamani P, Ghasemi M, Ahmadi A., posted in PubMed(6), researchers concluded that this study showed aloe cream to significantly increase reepithelialization in burn wounds as compared with silver sulfadiazine.

6. Diabetes
Aloe Vesa helps to treat diabetes by controlling the blood glucose, reducing hepatic transaminases plasma and tissue (liver and kidney) cholesterol, triglycerides, free fatty acids and phospholipids and improvement in plasma insulin levels, according to the study of "Beneficial effects of aloe vera leaf gel extract on lipid profile status in rats with streptozotocin diabetes" by Rajasekaran S, Ravi K, Sivagnanam K, Subramanian S., posted in PubMed(7)

7. Immune system
Aloe Vera enhances the immune system by enhancing the immunological parameters in cellular immune response and phagocytosis, according to the study of "Modulation of Immune Response of BALB/Mice Bearing Lymphoma L5178Y Treated with Bitter Yellow Juice of Aloe vera (L) in vivo" by Oronzo-Barocio A, Zaitseva G, Chavez-Anaya A, Arceta-Gonzalez VI, Puebla-Perez AM, Alfaro-Bustamante F, Zimina IV, Arion VY., posted in PubMed(8)

8. Human papillomavirus (HPV)
The herb beside contains a antibactera and fungal properties, it also enhance the immune system infifgting against Human papillomavirus, according tothe study of "A novel polyherbal microbicide with inhibitory effect on bacterial, fungal and viral genital pathogens" Talwar GP, Dar SA, Rai MK, Reddy KV, Mitra D, Kulkarni SV, Doncel GF, Buck CB, Schiller JT, Muralidhar S, Bala M, Agrawal SS, Bansal K, Verma JK., posted in PubMed(9)

9. Antioxidants
Aloe Vera also is popular used in treating infection and inflamation as a result of its antioxidant property. according to the study of " In Vitro Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Activities of Anthrone and Chromone from the Latex of Aloe harlana Reynolds" by Asamenew G, Bisrat D, Mazumder A, Asres K., posted in PuibMed(10)

10. Weight loss
Since aloe Vera contains high amounts of collagen fiber, it can use as a weight loss program as more energy are needed for the digestive process, according to the article of "Collegen" posted in Wikipedia in the "use" section(11)

11. Low levels of cholesterol
Aloe Vera can help to reduce the levels of total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, VLDL-cholesterol and triglycerides in blood serum, thus reducing the risk of cardivascular disease, according to the study of "Lipid lowering activity of hydrosoluble chitosan and association with Aloe vera L. and Brassica olearaceae" L' by Geremias R, Pedrosa RC, Locatelli C, de Fávere VT, Coury-Pedrosa R, Laranjeira MC., posted in PubMed(12)

12. Etc.

C. Side effects
1. Hepatitis
Some researchers concerned that the over use of oral aloe vera may contribute to acute hepatitis, according to the study of "Oral aloe vera-induced hepatitis" by Bottenberg MM, Wall GC, Harvey RL, Habib S., posted in PubMed(13)
2. Diarrhea, caused by the laxative effect of oral use of Aloe Vera
3. oral use of Aloe Vera may cause abdominal cramps and pain
4. It may cause of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms as a result of collagen in the plant, according to the study of "Oral type II collagen in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. A six-month double blind placebo-controlled study" by Cazzola M, Antivalle M, Sarzi-Puttini P, Dell'Acqua D, Panni B, Caruso I., posted in PubMed(14)
5. Etc.

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