Aloe Vera – nature’s natural wound healer
Aloe Vera is well-known for its healing properties and has been used by many ancient civilizations centuries ago, by people from Greece, Egypt, Japan, China and India. The Latin or botanical name for Aloe Vera is Aloe barbadensis milles. On a plant, it has large, fleshy leaf-like extensions that are thick and fleshy. When you cut open the aloe vera leaf, you will find a gel-like substance – which can be used for cosmetic purposes.
Each leaf is made up of three different layers: inner clear gel, middle layer of latex, outer thick rind layer.
So what is inside each leaf?
The magic is located inside the substance within the aloe vera leaf, where there is the gel-like substance. It contains active properties that are beneficial to human health and your skin: vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and salicylic acids.
Aloe vera gel contains vitamin A which is a beta-caroten, and also vitiman C and E which are antioxidants. When applied on the skin it helps to promote healing because it contains glucomannan, is a water-soluble polysaccharide that naturally occurs in certain plant substances which is also a dietary fiber.
The application of aloe vera gel on wounds can help to increase the production of collagen growth, essential in skin healing. It is claimed by dermatological research that applying aloe vera can speed up the healing process in wounds. This is because the collagen content and structure is altered by the aloe vera.
It has also been found to prevent skin inflammation, and can help moisturise your skin, helping to prevent ageing. Collagen and elastin fibers are stimulated into production, helping your skin to repair itself even to reduce the breakouts of acne.
Did you know aloe vera can also be eaten in tablet form, or even drunk in a liquid form to help your digestion and metabolism? It can be used as a laxative.
The application of aloe vera gel has also been found in numerous clinical studies to be effective in healing wounds in patients who had skin disorders such as dermatitis and psoriasis. In a clinical trial, which compared groups of patients with chronic psoriasis, they found that as high as
83% of the patients who had integrated use of aloe vera as part of their care routine had healed much faster than
7% in the control group (group without aloe vera gel).
The best type of aloe vera gel to use are ones that are pure, produced from natural sources, and organically sourced. However, be aware that it may not be suitable for all users, so the best thing to do is to do a small patch test on your hand or arm. Some people can be allergic to the gel due to having ultra-sensitive skin types. However, based on an anecdotal account aloe vera does having healing properties as one woman who suffered extreme burns to her face and arms after an incident with a wok fire was told by her doctor at the hospital that she would be likely to experience severe scarring.
She reported that a relative of hers gave her some fresh aloe vera plants, and she religiously applied it to her face every morning and night. When she went back to the doctor’s to examine her wounds about six-eight weeks later, to her doctor’s surprise there were no signs of burn-induced scarring on her face. Luckily, the aloe vera seemed to have helped promote the regrowth of a fresh, new layer of skin on her face.
Aloe Vera – especially the fresh plant – can certainly be a miracle healing plant! They can be relatively inexpensive, can be grown and kept at home in the case of emergencies, or topical use for cuts, grazes and bite stings.