Aloe Vera

This ancient plant treats and nourishes our bodies far beyond our skin.

The Science of Aloe: A Historical Perspective.

The identification and use of Aloe have been recorded as far as back as 4000 B. C... Throughout history aloe was regarded as a virtual panacea for many health conditions and has been used extensively since Biblical times by the Egyptians, Romans, Arabs, Greeks, the Chinese and different Mediterranean civilizations.

The name "aloe" is thought to have originated from the Arabic word "alloeh" which translates as "shining bitter substance." In Latin the name "vera" means "true."  In Ayurvedic medicine it is sometimes referred to as "kathalai" and was mentioned in ancient Indian texts for its properties as an anti-parasitic, skin healer and as a rejuvenate plant for the liver and reproductive systems.

There's a valid reason why Aloe Vera has been crowned the "Plant of Immortality". This multifaceted medicinal plant contains as much as 75 nutrients, 20 minerals, 12 vitamins, 18 amino acids and over 200 active enzymes. Aloe Vera contains Vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, folic acid and Niacin. Minerals found in Aloe include copper, iron, sodium, potassium, zinc, calcium, chromium, magnesium and manganese as well as other beneficial compounds like polysaccharides, mannans and lectins.

This rich tapestry of nutritional potential boasts powerful healing energy for both internal and external application, making it a truly versatile and holistic natural ingredient. But it wasn’t until the 1930’s that scientific trials were performed. The first positive results for Aloe were demonstrated on clinical radiation and thermal burns. During this decade, clinical trials showed the benefits of Aloe as a treatment for ulcers, breast cancer lesions, itch (including poison ivy rashes) and burns in general. This paved the way for further studies in the era of nuclear weapon development where treatment with aloe on wounds caused by radiation or radio dermatitis provided surprisingly good results in the 1940's.

By the 1960s, treatment of peptic ulcers, dental conditions and chronic leg ulcers were added to the list of conditions investigated with positive results. Animal studies provided more information and led to regular veterinary use of aloe for burns, inflammation, frost bite and bacterial infections. Interestingly, initial studies showed that fresh aloe was more likely to produce positive results than commercially available products. By the 1980's researchers decided that searching for aloe's active ingredients might lead to more potent products. This led to the identification and isolation of ACEMANNAN which is discussed later.

A Deeper Understanding

Aloe vera is the most well-known species of aloe, a desert plant resembling the cactus in the Liliaceae family. It is popularly used to treat burns and promote wound healing. The dried sap of the Aloe vera is a traditional remedy for diabetes in the Arabian peninsula (33), although aloe gel is preferred over the sap as the latter contains the laxative anthraquinone (100). Aloe gel, obtained from the inner portion of the leaves, contains glucomannan, a hydrosoluble fiber which may in part account for its hypoglycemic effects (39). Reports in animal models have been inconsistent (100–103). Two nonrandomized clinical trials (n = 40 and n = 76) are available from the same investigator group that reported improved fasting blood glucose with 6 weeks of juice made from aloe gel (100,104). Case reports of five type 2 diabetic individuals reported decreases in fasting blood glucose as well as HbA 1c  (101). No adverse effects were reported in these trials. The preliminary data suggest a potential effect of Aloe vera in glycemic control; however, further information is needed. (Level II-1, C)


Polygenetic means relating to polygenesis; having more than one origin or source.

A protein kinase is a kinase enzyme that modifies other proteins by chemically adding phosphate groups to them (phosphorylation). Phosphorylation usually results in a functional change of the target protein (substrate) by changing enzyme activity, cellular location, or association with other proteins.

Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are a highly conserved family of serine/threonine protein kinases involved in a variety of fundamental cellular processes such as proliferation, differentiation, motility, stress response, apoptosis, and survival.

Antigen-presenting cells (APCs) are a heterogeneous group of immune cells that mediate the cellular immune response by processing and presenting antigens for recognition by certain lymphocytes such as T cells. Classical APCs include dendritic cells, macrophages, Langerhans cells and B cells.

Dendritic cells (DCs) are antigen-presenting cells (also known as accessory cells) of the mammalian immune system. Their main function is to process antigen material and present it on the cell surface to the T cells of the immune system. They act as messengers between the innate and the adaptive immune systems.

An organism's genotype is the set of genes that it carries. An organism's phenotype is all its observable characteristics.

Phylogenetic is relating to the evolutionary development and diversification of a species or group of organisms, or of a particular feature of an organism.

Benefits of Aloe Vera

Contains healthy plant compounds.
Supports immune system health
Helps protect the body from stress
Improves Digestion
Contains anti-inflammatory properties
Contains enzymes that help relieve constipation
Antibacterial and Anti-Viral Properties Aid Body Detoxification
Considered a Prebiotic that Encourages Good Gut Bacteria

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