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Nutrient - Nutrient focus on Aloe vera

By Debbie Paddington Dip ION

Aloe barbadenis miller, commonly called Aloe vera has been traditionally used for thousands of years to treat a variety of health conditions.  Aloe vera contains natural complexes such as polysaccharides and anthraquinones including aloin and emodin, which are thought to be responsible for it’s healing properties.

Whole leaf Aloe vera may contain more important nutrients than other aloe juices. Polysaccharides in Aloe vera are measured in MPS.  An Aloe vera juice should ideally contain 17,000 MPS per litre and be gently preserved to maintain the activity of the nutrients.  Heating can destroy the active substances. 

Some beneficial properties of Aloe vera include: 

Rich source of nutrientsAloe vera naturally contains essential minerals, vitamins, proteins, lipids, amino acids, enzymes and polysaccharides. 

Skin HealingAloe vera contains compounds that may help to stimulate skin growth and repair and so when applied to the skin, may be useful for burns, wounds, frostbite, inflammatory skin conditions and skin irritation. 

ConstipationAloe vera contains molecules that may gently assist in helping bowel movements. 

Blood sugar levels – Studies have shown that Aloe vera may be useful for balancing blood sugar levels in the body. 

Anti-inflammatory propertiesAloe vera may modulate the body’s natural inflammatory processes and therefore could be helpful for inflammatory bowel conditions such as ulcerative colitis. 

AbsorptionAloe vera may help to increase mineral, vitamin and protein absorption

Antiseptic effectAloe vera contains antiseptic agents, which have an inhibitory action on fungi, bacteria and viruses.  

Helps support a healthy immune system– the polysaccharides in Aloe vera juice may help stimulate macrophages and other immune cells.

Stimulates collagen production and helps in binding moisture into the skin - making the skin firmer, smoother and more elastic. 

Contains antioxidants such as glutathione, which helps to protect the body from free radicals that can cause damage to cells. 

Promotes the growth of friendly bacteria in the intestines. 

Supports healthy circulation by expanding blood vessels

Article References

1) http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2002-06/tau-eth062502.php 2) The University of Michigan: Aloe [http://health.med.umich.edu/healthcontent.cfm?xyzpdqabc=0&id=6&action=detail&AEProductID=hw_cam&AEArticleID=hn-2036003] 3) The British Journal of General Practice: Aloe Vera 4) Anti bacterial and anti-fungal properties - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3286692 5) University of Maryland: Aloe - http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/aloe-000221.htm 6) The University of Michigan: Aloe [http://health.med.umich.edu/healthcontent.cfm?xyzpdqabc=0&id=6&action=detail&AEProductID=hw_cam&AEArticleID=hn-2036003] 7) Antioxidants: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8193675 8) Circulation: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/607.html

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