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There's a good reason why Aloe Vera has been such a popular healing plant in so many cultures. There's probably no plant on earth that offers such a wealth of benefits. On this page we want to tell you something more about this amazing plant, that really appears to be a ‘living medicine chest’.

For you to discover:

Properties and benefits of Aloe Vera
Why is Aloe Vera so effective?
Short history of Aloe Vera
How do I know that Aloe Vera products in the shop are as effective as the pure gel?
Are the benefits of Aloe Vera scientifically proven?

1. Properties and benefits of Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera can be used in two ways: the gel can be used for ‘topical treatment’ (on the skin) or as a juice, to be taken orally.

The gel offers many benefits. The following list is by no means exhaustive, but gives a very good impression:
- moisturizes and softens the skin
- soothes the sun-burned skin and stimulates the healing process
- purifies the skin (antiseptic effectiveness)
- delays the ageing process
- soothes the skin injured by burns, irritations, cuts and insect bites
- speeds the healing of wounds, superficial burns and other injuries
- relieves itching and swelling of irritated skin
- helps to prevent and cure scars
- helps to kill fungus and bacteria
- helps to relieve skin problems like acne, eczema and psoriasis
- helps to diminish liver spots and lentigo
- helps to cure warts
- increases the blood circulation
- reduces varicose veins
- relieves pain associated with joints and sore muscles

The benefits of Aloe Vera juice, to be taken orally, include:

- provides vitamins, minerals and sugars to support the organism,
  give more energy and improve sporting achievements
- improves the absorption of nutrients and vitamins by the organism
- strengthens the immune system
- lowers the cholesterol level
- helps the organism to overcome arthritis, asthma and diabetes
- may help with constipation, diarrhea and other intestinal problems
- may speed and improve general healing

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2. Why is Aloe Vera so effective?
Aloe Vera is effective because the plant contains a rich combination of highly effective substances, that interact in a unique way. In addition, Aloe Vera gel penetrates directly into the deeper layers of the skin, where the working ingredients are fully effective.

A short overview of the active substances that are found in Aloe Vera gel:
-Antiseptic and antimicrobial agents: cinnamic acid, lupeol, salicylic acid, sulfur, urea nitrogen, and phenols. These substances give Aloe Vera the ability to attack, reduce, help control, or even eliminate many internal and external infections.
-Analgesic (pain killing) agents: salicylic acid, lupeol, and magnesium, explaining why Aloe Vera can also be a fast and effective painkiller
-Aloe Vera contains at least three known, and possibly more, anti-inflammatory fatty acids including cholesterol, Beta-sitosterol, campesterol and, possibly, other natural plant sterols. These make Aloe Vera an effective treatment for burns, cuts, scrapes and abrasions, and give it the ability to help in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatic fever, and ulcers.
-Aloe Vera is extremely rich in micro-nutrients, most of which are commonly lacking in our processed foods. They includes, but are not limited to: vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and carbohydrates such as amylase, B12, calcium, creatinine, chloride, dehydrogenase, folic acid, globulin, glucose, iron, lipase, magnesium, phosphatase, phosphorus, potassium, protein, sgotransaminase, sodium, urea nitrogen, and zinc.
- The polysaccharides in Aloe Vera are an important stimulus to the immune system: they support specific cells in the body that disable pathogenic organisms (bacteria, viruses and parasites). In addition, the polysaccharides act as a catalyst for the healing properties of Aloe Vera.

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3. Short history of Aloe Vera
The first known reference of the healing properties of Aloe Vera was discovered by the Egyptologist George Ebers in 1862 on a papyrus dating from 3500 BC containing a collection of herbal remedies. The Egyptians referred to Aloe as the ‘Plant of Immortality’. Drawings of it were even found in the tombs of Pharaohs.
Cleopatra is reputed to have relied on it to help preserve her legendary beauty. She used the fresh Aloe Vera gel to keep her skin soft and young.

Arab traders were probably responsible for its spread into Persia, India and the Far East and the name Aloe was derived from the Arabic word Alloeh meaning ‘shining bitter substance’ because of the bitter liquid found in the leaves. Vera, which means true in Latin, was added later on in order to distinguish the most popular and widely used species of Aloe - Aloe Barbadensis Miller - from the rest.

Aristotle was reputed to have persuaded his student Alexander the Great to seize the island of Socorra for the Aloe Vera that grew there. The plant could survive unplanted for many years and so could be carried as an emergency treatment for wounds suffered by Alexander's troops.

In the first century AD the Greek physician Dioscorides (41-68 AD).wrote in his Materia Medica that the Aloe Vera extract could be used to treat burns, wounds, stomach complaints, constipation, hemorrhoids, headaches, all mouth problems, hair loss, insect bites, kidney ailments and skin irritations.

In Africa the Aloe Vera plant was used for stomach aches and to prevent infection from insect bites, while the Chinese used Aloe for treating eczema. In ancient India Aloe was called 'The Silent Healer' and used to heal skin conditions and inflammation.

Eventually the Aloe Vera plant was introduced into the Americas. In Mexico the juice was used to treat skin complaints and wounds. In Central and South America people used the juice as an insect repellant and for various medicinal treatments.
Jesuit priests were encouraged to take the Aloe Vera plant with them when going to the New World to spread the Bible. Settlers in North America were using Aloe Vera to heal wounds and burns. The indigenous Seminole people believed that the plant had powerful rejuvenating properties and that a ‘Fountain of Youth’ sprang from a pool within a cluster of Aloes.

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4. How do I know that Aloe Vera products in the shop are as effective as the pure gel?
Aloe Vera only works when it is processed in the right way. That means:
- the gel must be extracted without heating or adding any chemical substances
- the gel should be processed within four hours to prevent degradation
- the gel must be used in its pure (non dried) form
- a minimum of stabilizing agents has to be used to maintain the beneficial

Many Aloe Vera products are essentially made from dried Aloe Vera (powder), diluted with water. This is easy to expose using this 'trick': just put a little bit of gel on a saucer and place it in the sun. After a while, pure Aloe Vera gel will discolor, because several working ingredients in the gel react with sunlight. Powder-based gel, on the other hand, will not discolor, because these active ingredients are mostly filtered out. This is also the reason why Onima Aloe Vera products should be kept away from the sun.

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5. Are the benefits of Aloe Vera scientifically proven?
There are hundreds of scientific papers which describe the benefits of Aloe Vera gel taken internally or applied externally to skin and hair. A small selection, for those interested:

Agarwal, O.P. (1985, August). “Prevention of Atheromatous Heart Disease.” Angiology, Vol. 36, No. 8, pp. 485-492.

Ajabnoor, M.A. (1990, February) “Effect of Aloes on Blood Glucose Levels in Normal and Alloxan Diabetic Mice.” Journal of Ethnopharmacol, pp. 215-220.

Al-awadi, F.M., Gumaa, K.A. (1987, January-March). “Studies on the Activity of Individual Plants of an Antibiotic Plant Mixture.”(Areport of aloe vera effectively increasing glucose tolerance in both normal and diabetic rats.) Acta Diabetol Lat (Italy), pp. 37-41.

Arber, A. (1970). Herbals: their Origin and Evolution 1470-1670. 2nd ed., Darien, Connecticut.

Bland, Jeffrey. “Effect of Orally Consumed Aloe Vera Juice on Gastrointestinal Function in Normal Humans”, Preventive Medicine, March/April 1985, 1.

Bouns, T. C. (1947). “The Healing Action of Extracts of Aloe Vera Leaf on Abrasions of Human Skin.” American Journal of Botany, pp. 34, 597.

Blitz, J. J., Smith, J.W., and Gerard J.R. (1963, April). “Aloe Vera Gel in Peptic Ulcer Therapy: Preliminary Report.” Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, Vol. 62, pp. 731 ff.

Bovik, E. G. (1966). “Panacea or Old Wives' Tales?” Tex Dent J, 84:13-16.

Brasher, W.J., Zimmermann, E.R., and Collings, C.K. (1969, January). “The Effects of Prednisolone, Idomethacin, and Aloe Vera Gel on Tissue Culture Cells.” Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine and Oral Pathology, Vol. 27, pp. 122ff.

Brown, S. (1967, August). “Aloe Vera: Could it Be the Magical Ingredient for the Fountain of Youth?” The Floral Magazine, pp. 35ff.

Bruce, W.G. (1967, October). “Investigations of Antibacterial Activity in the Aloe.” South African Medical Journal, Vol. 41, p. 984.

Bryan, C.P. (1930). Ancient Egyptian Medicine: The Papyrus Ebers. London.

Cheney, R.H. (1970). “Aloe Drug in Human Therapy.” Quarterly Journal Crude Drug Res, 10:1523-15.

Cock, F.W. (1918). “Aloes as a Local Sedative.” British Medical Journal, Vol. 2, p. 256.

Cole, H.N., and K.K. Chen (1943). “Aloe Vera in Oriental Dermatology.” Archives of Dermatology and Syphilology. Vol. 47, p. 250.

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Collins, C.E., and Collins, C. (1935, March). “Roentgen Dermatitis Treated with Fresh Whole Leaf of Aloe Vera,” American Journal of Roentgenology, Vol. 33, pp. 396f.

Collins, C.E. (1935, June). “Alvagel as a Therapeutic Agent in the Treatment of Roentgen and Radium Burns.” The Radiological Review and Chicago Medical Recorder, Vol. 57, pp. 137f.

Crewe, J.E. (1937). “The External Use of Aloes.” Minn Med, 20: 670-673.

Crewe, J. E. (1939). “Aloes in the Treatment of Burns and Scalds.” Minn Mid, 22:538-539.

Danhof, I. Potential Benefits from Orally-ingested Internal Aloe Vera Gel. International Aloe Science Council, Irving (Texas), 1991, 10th Annual Aloe Scientific Seminar.

Davis, R.H.. “The Conductor Orchestra Theory”, 10; “Biological Standarization of Aloe Vera”, Aloe Today, Fall/Winter 1993, 12.

Davis, R.H., J.J. DiDonato, G.M. Hartman, and R.C. Haas, “Anti-Inflammatory and Wound Healing Activity of a Growth Substance in Aloe Vera”, Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association 84 (1994): 77.

Davis, R.H., J.J. DiDonato, G.M. Hartman, and R.C. Haas, Growth Factors in Aloe Vera, Pennsylvania Academy of Science 66 (1993): 181.

Davis, R.H., J.J. DiDonato, G.M. Hartman, and R.C. Haas, “Mannose-6-Phosphate: Anti-Inflammatory and Wound Healing Activity of a Growth Substance in Aloe Vera”, Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association 84 (1994): 77.

Day, W.B. “The Botany of Aloe”, Journal of the American Pharmacological Association 11 (1992): 620.

Desert Harvest. (1995). “Desert Harvest Whole-Leaf Aloe Vera Capsules in Interstitial Cystitis: AStudy Conducted at the Urology Wellness Center, Rockville, Maryland.” Transcripts of the ICAScientific Symposium, San Diego, California.

El-Zawahry, M., Hegazy, M.R., and Helal, M. (1973, January-Februay). “Use of Aloe in Treating Leg Ulcers and Dermatoses.” International Journal of Dermatology, Vol. 12, pp. 68ff.

Extract of Aloe U.S.S.R. Moscow. Supplement to clinical data. Medexpori Onological Institute. Director Prof. Savitsky.

Fantus, B. (August 1922). “Aloes as Medicine.” Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association, Vol. 11, pp. 616ff.

Fine, A., and Brown, S. (1938). “Cultivation and Clinical Application of Aloe Vera Leaf.” Radiology, Vol. 31, pp. 735f.

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Flagg, J. (1959, October) “Aloe Vera Gel in Dermatological Preparations.” American Perfumer and Aromatics, Vol. 74, pp. 27ff.

Fly, L.B., and Kiem, L. (1963, January-March). “Tests of Aloe Vera for Antibiotic Activity.” Economic Botany, Vol. 17, p. 46.

Foster, G.B. (1961). “Aloe Vera First Aid Plant.” The Herb Grower Magazine, Vol. 14, pp. 16ff.

Fujita, K., Suzuki, I., Ochiai, J., Shinpo, K., Inoue, S., and Saito H. (1978). “Specific Reaction of Aloe Extract with Serum Proteins of Various Animals.” Exper, 34:523-524.

Gates, G. (1975, October). “Favorite Plant Aloe Vera.” American Horticulturist, Vol. 64, p. 37.

Gjerstad, G., and Riner, T.D. (1968). “Current Status of Aloe as a Cure-all.” American Journal of Pharmacy, 140:58-64.

Goldberg, A., “Aloe”: Aloe spp., Botanical Series no. 315, (1999), American Botanical Council.

Grayson, T. H., and Linander, C.H. (1983). Aloe Vera's Golden Age, Graylin Enterprises.

Grindlay, D., and T. Reynolds, “The Aloe Vera Phenomenon: A review of the properties and modern uses of the leaf parenchymagel”, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 16 (1986): pp. 117-151.

Halsell, G. (1975, November). “Folk Medicine: Ancestral Gifts for Modern Ills.” Prevention Magazine, Vol. 27, pp. 83ff.

Hart, L.A., P.H. Van Enckevoort, H. Van Dijk, R. Zaat, K.T.D. De Silva, and R.P. LaBadie, “Two Functionally and Chemically Distinct Immunomodulatory Compounds in the Gel of Aloe Vera”, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 23 (1988): 61.

Imanishi, K. (1993). “Aloctin A: An Active Substance of Aloe Arborescens Miller as Immunomodulator.”

Jain, K.K. (1973). The Amazing Story of Health Care in New China. Emmaus, Pennsylvania, pp. 128f.

Karaca, K., Sharma, J.M., and Nordgren, R. (1995). “Nitric Oxide Production by Chicken Macrophages Activated by Acemannan.” Int. 1. Immuno Pharmacol, 17 (3); pp. 183-8.

Kahlon, J.B., M.C. Kemp, R.H. Carpenter, Bill H. McAnnaly, et al., “Inhibition of AIDS Virus Replication by Acamannan in Vitro”, Molecular Biotherapy 3 (1991): 127.

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Kim, H.S., S. Kacew, and B.M. Lee, “In vitro chemopreventive effects of plant polysaccharides (Aloe barbadensis miller, Lentinus edodes, Ganoderma lucidum and Coriolus versicolor)”, Carcinogenesis 20 (1999), pp. 1637-1640.

Koenig, M.C. (1977, October). “Is Topical Aloe Vera Plant Mucus Helpful in Burn Treatment?” Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 238, p. 1170.

Kurilenko, H.A. (1974). “Use of Aloe in Complex Treatment of Patients with Focal Pulmonary T.B.”Vrach Delo, 10:110-111.

Link, J.A. (1978, December). “Burns Healed Fast.” Prevention Magazine, Vol. 30, pp. 17f.

Li- Shih-Chen. (1973). Chinese Medicinal Herbs, translated by F. P. Smith and G. A. Stuart, San Francisco, pp. 29f.

Lorenzetti, L.J., Salisbury, R., Beal, J.L., and Baldwin (1964). “Bacteriostatic Property of Aloe Vera.” Journal of Pharma, J.N. Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol. 53, p. 1287.

Lushbaugh, C.C., and Hale, D.B. (1953, July). “Experimental Acute Radiodermatitis Following Betta Irradiation.” Cancer, Vol. 6, pp. 690ff.

Manderville, F.B. (1939). “Aloe Vera in Treatment of Radiation Ulcers of Mucous Membranes.” Radiology, 32:598-599.

Morton, J.F. (1961). “Folk Uses and Commercial Exploitation of Aloe Leaf Pulp.” Ebn. Bot , 15:311-319.

New de Franco, K. (1976, April). “Aloe Vera Grows into Natural Medicine.” Organic Gardening & Farming, Vol. 23, pp. 115ff.

Norrris, J. (1973, December). “Aloe Vera the Ancient Wonder Drug.” The Garden Journal of the New York Botanical Garden, Vol. 23, pp. 172f.

Northway, R.B. (1975, January). “Experimental Use of Aloe Vera Extract in Clinical Practice.” Veterinary Medicine/Small Animal Clinician, Vol. 70, p. 89.

Plaskett, L.G. (1996). The Health and Medical Use of Aloe Vera. Life Science Press, Tacoma, Washington.

Pittman, J.C. (1992). “Immune Enhancing Effects of Aloe.” Health Conscious, 13 (1); 2830.

Pugh, N., S.A. Ross, M.A. ElSohly, D.S. Pasco, “Characterization of Aloeride, a new highmolecular-weight polysaccharide from Aloe vera with potent immunostimulatory activity”, Journal Agric. Food Chem. 49 (2001), pp. 1030-1034.

Rovatti, B., and Brennan, R.J. (1959). “Experimental Thermal Burns.” Industrial Medicine and Surgery, Vol. 28, pp. 364ff.

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Rowe, T.D. (1940). “Effect of Fresh Aloe Vera Gel in the Treatment of Third Degree Roentgen Reaction in White Rats.” Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association, Vol. 29, pp. 348ff. vorige pagina

Saoo, K. et al., “Antiviral Activity of Aloe Extracts against Cytomegalovirus”, Phytotherapy Research 10 (1996), pp. 348-350.

Schaik, A.H. van, “Growing Aloe Vera for Gel Production: Report on four years of agricultural research on Aruba”, Wageningen (Netherlands), 1991.

Sheets, M.A. et al (1991). “Studies on the Effect of Acemannan on Retrovirus Infections: Clinical Stabilization of Feline Virus-infected Cats.” Mol. Biother, 3; 41-45.

Simpson, Harold N. (1994). “Unhealthy Food = Unhealthy People: Ancient Rules for Modern Food.”

Singh, M., Scharma, J.N., Arora, R.B., and Kocher, B.R. (1973). “Beneficial Effect of Aloe Vera in the Healing of Thermal Burns and Radiation Injury in Albino Rats.” Indian Journal of Pharmacy, Vol. 5, p. 258.

Smith, J. (1976, February 5 (Thursday). “Aloe Plant Heals Its Way Through History.” Naples Daily News, Naples, Florida, Section D.

Snow, C.M. (1922, August). “Pharmaceutical Preparations of Aloes.” Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association, Vol. 11, pp. 621ff.

(1941, October). “The Local Action of Aloes on Regeneration.” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Vol. 99, p. 296.

Vinson, J.A., H. Al Kharrat, and L. Andreoli, “Effect of Aloe vera preparations on the human bioavailability of vitamins C and E”, 2004, International Aloe Science Council, Irving, Texas.

Woenig, F. (1886). Die Pflanzen Im Alten Aegypten, Peipzi, pp. 134f.

Womble, D., and Helderman, J.H. (1988). “Enhancement of AlloResponsiveness of Human Lymphocytes by Acemannan (Carrisyn).” Int. J. Immunopharcol, 10(8); 967-974.

Wright, C.S. (1936). “Aloe Vera in the Treatment of Roentgen Ulcers and Telangiectasis.” Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 106, p. 1363.

Yagi, A., S. Hamano, T. Tanaka, et al., “Biodisposition of FITC-labelled aloemannan in mice”, Planta Med. 67 (2001), pp. 297-300.

Yongchaiyada, S. et al., “Antidiabetic activity of Aloe Vera Juice, Clinical Trial in New Cases of Diabetes Mellitus”, Phytomedicine 3 (1996), pp. 241-243.

Zawahry, M.E., Hegazy, M.R., and Helal, M. (1973). “Use of Aloe in Treating Leg Ulcers and Dermatoses.” Intr J Dermatolog, 12:68-73.

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