Saturday, 30 November 2013

Aloe Eases Inflammation

Preparations of Aloe Vera have long been used to ease inflammation originating from a wide variety of triggering causes. This article describes the nature of inflammation, how Aloe Vera works to influence it, and what clinical problems can be helped as a result.

Both in Folk Medicine and general home medicine in recent times, a very common use of Aloe Vera has been as a healing balm for cuts, wounds, burns and abrasions - or anything which has involved penetration or breakage of the skin surface. For example, among home remedies, the slit leaf was strapped onto the affected part to expose the surface tissue of the patient to the inner gel of the leaf. Two separate actions of Aloe are involved here. One is the alleviation of the painful inflammation which accompanies injuries and the other is the healing of the injury.

 In this article it is the alleviation of the inflammation which will be reviewed. However, the power of Aloe to alleviate the effects of cuts, wounds, burns and abrasions does not restrict its anti-inflammatory powers just to those particular uses. A very great range of internal illnesses also involve inflammatory processes and we can expect Aloe to alleviate these also.

The Nature of Acute Inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s first reaction to damage by whatever means, physical, bacterial, chemical, or damage of an internal sort known as “auto­-immunity”. Whatever its cause, inflammation is a complex physiological process with several components to it, all of them aimed at dealing with a possible invasion by foreign organisms or substances and preparing the way for healing afterwards. It is accompanied by four particularly obvious effects which everyone has experienced when they are hurt. These are redness, heat, swelling and pain, often referred to by the rather similar sounding quartet of their names in Latin, i.e. they are respectively, rubor, calor, tumor and dolor.

These effects are basically brought about by chemical messengers released from the damaged cells. The immediate action is that these bring about an increase in the diameter of the blood vessels traversing the area, thus increasing the blood supply or “hyperaemia”. The redness and the heat largely come from this high blood supply, although heightened tissue activity probably adds to the generation of heat. The next stage is “exudation”, in which there is an increased passage of protein rich fluid through the blood vessel walls into the spaces between the cells. This naturally causes swelling of the tissues in and around the area of the damage. At the same time, the increase in the volume of fluid in the area dilutes any toxins and the lymph flow is increased, carrying toxins away from the area. The extra proteins which have been brought to the area include immune antibodies and also fibrin which will tend to precipitate out of solution and solidify in the area and form a barrier to bacterial spread.

The next stage is that certain types of white blood cells migrate out from the smaller blood vessels passing through the area into the tissue spaces between the cells, where they will now be ready to attack bacteria and mop up damaged cells and debris. For this to happen, these white blood cells migrate through the tissue spaces towards the exact site of damage or infection. They do this in response to further chemical messenger substances called “complement”, “leukotrienes”, “lymphokines” and certain other substances released from bacteria. These are in highest concentration at the site of damage and the cells migrate towards the highest concentrations. On arrival at the scene some important types of white blood cells begin to engulf the bacteria, debris and effete cells by a process called “phagocytosis”.

This process is one in which the white cells surround the offending item and draw it into their own cell substance. Thereafter they digest and oxidize it with powerful chemicals, like nitric oxide and hydrogen peroxide, so as to effectively destroy it. In this way one's white cells mount a very potent chemical attack. It is almost like a chemical “incinerator” to get rid of rubbish including cells and pieces of cells which have been killed by toxins. However, these potent chemicals can also become detrimental to the body if they “escape” from the white cells and attack previously healthy tissue cells.

Bacteria resist this attack to varying degrees. When they are successful, the white cell itself dies, releasing live bacteria which can infect other cells and tissues. The ability of the white cells to carry out this work and to overcome the bacteria appears to depend upon their vitality and activity levels, much of which may depend upon nutrition, dietary stimulants and a relative lack of long term toxins in the body as a whole.

In addition to the chemical messenger substances mentioned above, histamine, serotonin, kallikrein and bradykinin are other chemical messengers involved in orchestrating the processes of inflammation. All the above processes that have been described are characteristic of “acute inflammation”, which is a sudden strong reaction to damage which takes effect quite suddenly. It is followed by another slower sequence of processes known as “resolution” by which the area of tissue is gradually returned to normal. Where there is rather more difficulty in overcoming an infection the formation of pus within an abscess may occur. This may be accompanied by more extensive tissue damage locally, which demands more in the way of rebuilding and repair.

Anti-Inflammatory Action of Aloe in Acute Inflammation
The anti-inflammatory action of Aloe in acute inflammation is one of its best known actions. It is clearly responsible for all the early benefits from applying Aloe Gel or Whole Leaf Extract, or various preparations and ointments and creams of Aloe to wounds, cuts and abrasions of all kinds. It must also be responsible for the early benefits in sports injuries, frostbite, burns and radiation burns, in the tissue-damage applications associated with dentistry as well as its earliest effects upon arthritis and upon infections. Many kinds of beneficial action which Aloe has been noted to have upon other conditions which are primarily inflammatory in nature, would also be examples of this same basis of action, including insect bites and stings of all kinds and also jellyfish stings. Much skin disease also is associated with a lot of inflammation and clearly benefits from the same action. It is certainly reasonable to list the anti-inflammatory action as being one of thie fundamental beneficial actions of Aloe.

Aloe Vera contains plant steroids and it is well known that steroids exert an anti-inflammatory effect and are widely used for this in orthodox medicine in the form of steroid drugs. One theory was that the natural plant steroids which Aloe Vera contains were capable of acting rather like steroid drugs. This has been investigated by Dr R.H. Davis and his team. Several of their papers have inquired into the mechanism of anti-inflammatory effect. Steroids exert their well known anti-inflammatory effect at the expense of partially inhibiting the wound healing powers of the tissues.

Moreover, Aloe contains other anti-inflammatory ingredients as well, not just the steroids, so the actual contribution made by steroids to Aloe's anti-inflammatory action could be quite small, but this has not yet been clearly quantified. The fact that Aloe Vera at one and the same time both alleviates inflammation and also promotes healing is due to the fact that Aloe Vera also contains very powerful promoters of healing, far stronger and more effective than the inhibitory effect of the steroids. The principal steroids of Aloe Vera are called Lupeol, ß-Sitosterol and Campesterol.

Salicylic Acid and Salicylates
Another theory about anti-inflammatory action is that the aromatic acid salicylic acid, and its salts, the salicylates, make an important contribution. Salicylic acid is closely related to aspirin, which does reduce inflammation by inhibiting the production of some hormones called “prostaglandins”. While this is entirely possible, it has yet to be shown whether Aloe contains salicylates in the appropriate concentrations to have such a significant effect, and whether the salicylates in Aloe are any higher than their concentrations in numerous other plants which also contain them. Cherries, currants, dates, prunes and raspberries are among the common foods which contain quite high levels of salicylates. Most users of Aloe products would be inclined to assert very strongly and surely, that the benefits they enjoy from Aloe are far more, and are different from, the mere taking of an aspirin or the eating of prunes.

It has also been suggested in literature that Aloe Vera exerts an effect inhibiting the production of histamine - one of the important chemical messengers in inflammation. In one paper the magnesium content of Aloe was ascribed to this role, though this seems unlikely because of the low delivery of magnesium in Aloe compared to other sources.

The Nature of Chronic Inflammation
Where the cause of the inflammation is continuously applied, a type of inflammation known as “chronic inflammation” is set up. This may come about by repeated environmental exposure to an irritant, by a foreign body within the tissue, by bacteria which resist removal, by internal toxins which the body lacks the enzymes or the vitality to remove or which enter continuously while also being removed, or by a disordered immune system attacking the body's own tissues (auto-immunity). The tissue changes in chronic inflammation consist of changes in the relative numbers of the different types of white cell population in the inflamed area, formation of new blood capillaries in the inflamed area, proliferation of connective tissue cells of a type which produce protein fibres (fibroblasts) and the laying down of fibrous connective tissue in amongst the functional tissue, or in place of it in a process referred to as “fibrosis”.

The fact is that chronic inflammation lies at the root of a great many pathological processes and is associated with a considerable number of named chronic illnesses. Therefore, it is a very fundamental process of tissue damage which needs to be understood and countered by Practitioners. It means that a very wide range of chronic illnesses can be alleviated or cured by a non-toxic, non-suppressive medicine which can overcome chronic inflammation. That is to say, that by exerting one medical effect, that one medicine can have enormous ramifications and implications across the broad spectrum of chronic illness. That does not go so far as to make it a panacea - and yet one can understand people using that term because of the sheer breadth of the medical consequences involved. That medicine is Aloe Vera. It is not the only natural medicine which can relieve inflammation - but it may well be the best-- because of the way it combines powerful anti-inflammatory properties with healing and immunostimulantion.

 Inflammatory Conditions That Benefit from Aloe
This is relatively little researched area and the tendency has been to investigate the performance of Aloe against named illnesses without seeking to ascribe the positive results to the exact mechanism of Aloe’s actions. It can be observed, however that the following conditions, which have been demonstrated to benefit from Aloe do involve chronic inflammation, peptic ulcer, leg ulcers, arthritis and Type II diabetes. These conditions most probably do benefit from relief of the chronic inflammation component which is part of them. Other illnesses of which chronic inflammation is a component are longer term inflammatory digestive system complaints, such as Crohn’s disease, Type I diabetes, psoriasis, eczema, bursitis, tendinitis, lupus erythematosus, gout, complications of diabetes, myositis (prolonged muscle inflammations), hyperthyroidism and multiple sclerosis. Some of these illnesses are the subject of anecdotal reports about the efficacy of Aloe but they do not appear to have been investigated with regard to their response to Aloe.

Nonetheless, inherently, because of their chronic inflammation component, one might well expect them to respond. In fact, chronic inflammation is such a fundamental process occurring in pathology, that a high proportion of all the chronic illnesses known to medicine will have such a component, and therefore might well be expected to respond in respect of their chronic inflammation component.


Sunday, 17 November 2013

Why aloe vera is good for you

Aloe vera has been used for more than 3000 years. It is commonly found in many gardens and homes. Its Sanskrit name is Ghikanwar or Ghritkumari. Aloe vera has been known for its healing properties since ancient times. It was used to heal cuts and wounds as it helps formation of scar tissue. It is a powerful natural moisturiser and seals off loss of moisture.

It also softens dead skin cells and helps their removal, leaving the skin smoother and brighter. In fact, it helps the normal functions of the skin by improving its capacity to retain moisture. Aloe vera has anti-oxidant properties too and boosts the skin's cell renewal process. In other words, it helps to delay the visible signs of ageing.

In cosmetic products, the stabilised aloe vera gel or juice is used. It is added to skin care products and lotions, like cleanser, moisturisers, skin serums and so on. However, if the aloe vera plant is growing at home, one can also apply the gel or juice directly on the skin. The gel obtained from the plant itself is the leaf pulp, found in the inner portion of the leaves. The aloe juice is found just beneath the outer skin of the leaves. However, while using it directly on the skin at home, one should wash the plant well and observe total hygiene. The aloe vera gel or juice may be applied on the face and then washed off with plain water after 20 minutes. It helps to soften and moisturise the skin.

In fact, used regularly, it helps to restore the skin's youthful properties. Applying aloe vera is useful during winter and summer. In winter, it helps to relieve dryness and maintain the soft texture of the skin. In summer, it soothes the skin, especially after sun-exposure. It also moisturises the skin, without making the skin oily. Aloe vera can also be added to face masks. Take one tablespoon besan, one teaspoon each of orange peel powder and curd and one tablespoon aloe vera gel. Mix together and apply on the skin, washing it off after 30 minutes. It is a powerful moisturiser and therefore helps in dry skin conditions. It helps to moisturise the skin and seal off the loss of moisture. It softens the skin and helps to remove dead skin cells. It also soothes the skin in cases of sun damage or sun burn. If used regularly, it helps to preserve the skin's youthful properties and delays ageing signs.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Some Simple Homemade Remedies Using Aloe Vera

It has been proven that aloe vera can be used to treat acne, with improvements seen in as little as one week. Acne sufferers can see a remarkable improvement by simply breaking an aloe vera leaf and applying the watery gel to the acne lesions. It should be noted that aloe vera does not "cure" acne, but it greatly reduces the swelling, inflammation and redness associated with acne. Further, if you use the aloe vera every day, it will help prevent acne outbreaks. In addition to treating acne, the hidden secrets of this simple plant are being used for the treatment of many other skin problems.

To increase the vitality of your skin, drink some freshly-squeezed organic aloe vera juice daily. To make aloe vera juice, simply pick the largest leaves from an aloe vera plant in the afternoon, clean away all dirt and debris and process the leaves in your juicer. It is recommended that you drink between 2-4 ounces, twice a day. For added flavor, you can mix the aloe vera juice with some organic carrot juice.

Aloe vera has long been used to treat wounds and burns and to improve the appearance of the skin. This miraculous plant is being used to treat everything from stomach ailments to cancers. According to Father Romano Zago, aloe vera is now being used to cure cancer, and his simple recipe, which utilizes the entire aloe vera leaf, is comprised of three ingredients. This formula has been successful in treating thousands of cancer sufferers.

Some Simple Homemade Remedies Using Aloe Vera:

Acne Treatment - Rub the gel on the affected area twice a day. Your acne will improve within one week.

Body Rub - Cut open an aloe leaf, remove the gel out and rub it all over your body. Rinse off the gel after twenty minutes and feel the difference.

Cold Sores - Apply aloe vera to cold sores twice daily. The symptoms will be resolved within one day and cured within one week.

Diaper Rash - After a warm bath, massage the affected areas with aloe vera gel. You will see results within three days.

Eczema - Create a paste using the leaves of the aloe vera plant and apply to dry skin three times daily. You will see results in one month.

Skin Cancer - Apply the gel liberally to all affected areas. You will see results in three months.

Skin Wounds and Abrasions - Rub the gel onto wounds or abrasions twice a day. Improvement and healing will be observed within three days.

Power-Packed Energizing Green Smoothie Recipe:

1 cup of water

1 cup of spinach

1 banana

1 pear or any fruit you desire

1 leaf (enough to make 2-4 ounces of juice) of an aloe vera plant (the whole leaf)

1 tablespoon of raw honey

2 tablespoons of ground olive leaf

For a delicious, energizing green smoothie, blend all the ingredients for one minute and enjoy.

Warnings and Precautions for Using Aloe Vera:

1. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use the exterior portion of aloe vera leaves for treating ailments or creating drinks.

2. People who have hemorrhoids, ulcers, diverticulosis, colitis, Crohn's disease or irritable bowel syndrome should not use aloe vera without first consulting a physician.

3. Be cautious when using aloe vera as a laxative, as it may cause digestive problems.





The Benefits Of Aloe Vera Juice

Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice for health:

1. Aloe Vera is very useful for curing the bowel problems due to its high anti-inflammatory properties.

2. Having Aloe Vera juice for two weeks can help reduce inflammation in the body like rheumatism, inflammation of ears and eyes and arthritis.

3. Applying the gel externally can ease muscle and joint pains.  But do not forget to use freshly prepared gel.

4. Having severe digestive problems? Drink Aloe Vera juice as it reduces symptoms of heart reflux and stabilizes the alkaline levels of the body. Due to its laxative properties, it is also good for constipation.

5. Aloe is great for maintaining the cholesterol level by reducing triglycerides. Include fresh aloe juice in your daily diet to maintain your cholesterol level and increase the level of good cholesterol.

6. Want to lose weight naturally? By aiding the stabilization of metabolic rate, reducing lipid levels and helping burn fat, Aloe vera juice is useful for weight loss.

7. Studies have shown that regular consumption of Aloe juice improves oral health and hygiene. It reduces gingivitis and plague formation. It provides a laxative relief for cold sores and mouth ulcers.

8. Aloe Vera is good for diabetes patients because it helps to regulate the blood sugar levels when consumed regularly. However consult your doctor before you start consuming the aloe juice.

9. Mix 2 teaspoons of fresh aloe Vera juice with 1 glass of water and consume regularly early in the mornings. This will help to detoxify and cleanse your system. This helps in treating ulcers and detoxifies the digestive system of our body.

10. Applying fresh aloe gel directly to the gums reduces the pain and the inflammation.

11. Create your own natural eye wash with aloe Vera gel. Mix 2 teaspoons of the aloe gel with a cup of water. You can also add a teaspoon of boric acid and mix well. Use this eye wash to reduce the reddening and the irritation in the eyes.

12. Suffering from constant sinus problems? Now ditch your medicines and try the natural option. Aloe Vera is rich in magnesium lactate that works as an antihistamine which help in reducing the problem of sinus and chest inflammation due to various allergies.

13. Fight away cancer with the regular intake of the aloe juice. It contains high levels of the anti-carcinogenic properties that hinder the growth of tumours.

14. Drinking aloe juice regularly replenishes the amino acids deficiency in your body. The high vitamin content in it boosts up your body’s immune system and self defence mechanism.

15. Those who suffer regularly from cold, coughs, flu, stuffy nose, bronchitis and other respiratory disorders, aloe Vera juice is your best natural solution.

Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice for skin:

Aloe Vera is suitable for all skin types including very sensitive skin. You must have seen and used various skin care products which contain the aloe gel. It is the most common remedy for all skin problems.

16. The anti ageing property of aloe keeps the skin supple and rejuvenated and also lightens blemishes.
17. It moisturises the skin, gets rid of dead cells along with wrinkles and fine lines. It also helps in getting rid of stretch marks.
18. Men can use aloe Vera gel as an after shave. It reduces the irritation and inflammation of the skin and heals the cuts due to shaving.

19. Suffering from acne for a long time? Then make aloe Vera your friend as it is the best natural remedy for curing acne and pimples and also its scars. It has antimicrobial properties that help kill the bacteria causing acne and reduces the acne marks by lightening the skin.

20. All of us apply numerous sun blocks and creams to prevent harmful sun rays from damaging our skin. But the rays sometimes penetrate through them. Aloe Vera gel is highly beneficial for treating sun burns. It is an excellent cooling agent. Apply fresh gel on your skin everyday to get immediate results. It reduces the pain and the redness of the skin and forms a protective layer which reduces further damage.

21. It heals cuts and wounds, dermatitis and also insect bites when applied externally.
22. Aloe gel is very hydrating and moistures the skin well. So it can be used in all weathers, summers or winters to prevent dry and patchy skin.

Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice for hair:

Excessive exposure to dust, sun and pollution makes your hair extremely dry, brittle and damaged. It strips your hair of all its natural oils and moisture causing split ends and dandruff. Aloe Vera is useful for all hair types and especially for dry and damaged hair. Regular use of aloe Vera in your hair packs; make your tresses smooth, soft and damage-free.

Following are some of the benefits of aloe vera for your hair.

23. Promotes hair growth: Aloe Vera is rich in proteolitic enzymes which help to remove the dead skin which clogs the pores of the scalp, which hinders the growth of the new hair follicles. Accumulation of excessive sebum on the scalp can lead to hair problems like partial baldness. So the aloe gel removes the sebum making the scalp squeaky clean and promotes hair growth.

24. Maintain the Ph balance: Aloe Vera has alkaline properties which help to maintain the pH level of the scalp and hair. This keeps the hair moisturised and helps the hair to retain water. This leads to further hair growth.

25. Reduces dandruff: Aloe Vera is widely used for curing dandruff since the ancient ages. Due to its property of enzymatic breakdown of skin cells and anti fungal properties, it helps to reduce dandruff form the scalp. It also heals scalp diseases like Psoriasis & Seborrhoea.

26. Hair Conditioning: You can add 2 teaspoons of fresh aloe gel into your favourite conditioner and use it normally. This would enhance the moisturising properties of your conditioner as it also hydrates the hair giving you soft and smooth hair. You can also make these following hair packs for hair conditioning at home.

27. Aloe clay pack:

  • In the paste of multani mitti add ½ teaspoon of aloe gel.
  • Then add a few drops of rose water and honey and mix well to get a smooth paste.
  • Apply on the face and keep for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
28. Aloe Fruit pack:

    • Blend a few pieces of your favourite fruits like papaya, banana, apple, orange etc.
    • Into this add a teaspoon of the aloe gel and mix well.
    • You can also add a teaspoon of almond oil or wheat germ oil if you have dry skin.
    • Leave it on for 20 minutes and rinse with cool water.
29. For dry skin and sensitive skin:
  • In 2 teaspoons of aloe gel, add a teaspoon of rose water and almond oil.
  • Then add fresh cucumber paste and mix well to form a smooth consistency.
  • Apply and keep for 15 minutes and rinse with cool water.
This face mask also acts as an excellent scrub too. It hydrates and smoothes oily skin, removing the dead cells, oil and excess sebum.
  • In a mixing bowl, add 2 teaspoons of oatmeal and cucumber paste.
  • Into this, add 1 teaspoon of aloe juice and mix well to from a smooth paste.
  • Gently scrub the face in circular motions.
  • Now lie down for 15-20 minutes and rinse after with warm water.
31. Green tea mask:
This face mask is especially for women with pre mature ageing. Green tea and aloe is rich in antioxidants and it helps to fight the free radicals on the skin, and reduce the various signs of ageing.
  • Mash ¼th avocado pulp and cucumber puree in a bowl.
  • Into this add a teaspoon of the aloe gel and green tea water.
  • Mix well to form the paste and apply on the skin. Keep for 20 minutes and rinse with warm water.
32. Moisturising mask:
Shea butter has excellent hydrating and moisturising properties. It is an essential ingredient in various creams and lip balms.
  • In one teaspoon of aloe gel, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and Shea butter.
  • Mix and mash all the ingredients, for a nice smooth paste.
  • Apply and Leave the mask for 20 minutes and wash with cool water.
  • This face pack is ideal for dry and sensitive skin people.
Hair Packs using Ale Vera Juice/Gel:
33. Cleansing pack:
  • In 2 teaspoons of besan, add curd and one teaspoon of aloe Vera gel.
  • Mix well to from a smooth hair pack and apply on hair.
  • Rinse off after 30 minutes with a mild shampoo.
    • In 2 teaspoons of besan, add curd and one teaspoon of aloe Vera gel.
    • Mix well to from a smooth hair pack and apply on hair.
    • Rinse off after 30 minutes with a mild shampoo.
    34. For Soft hair:
    • In 3 teaspoon of aloe gel, add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and coconut oil.
    • Massage onto the scalp and keep for 20 minutes.
    • Wash off your hair with a shampoo.
    35. Hibiscus pack:
    • In a blender, add the aloe gel and a handful of hibiscus leaves. You can also add the flowers for better results.
    • You will get a smooth green paste. Apply this on the root and hair strands and rest it for 30 minutes.
    • Wash with shampoo, you may also have to shampoo your hair twice to remove this hair pack.
      You can also apply fresh aloe gel directly on the scalp and wash off after 20 minutes with a mild shampoo. It works wonders for your hair giving you soft, smooth and healthy hair.
      Now after reading this article, I am sure that you know the reasons why aloe Vera is known as the “miracle plant”.
      Include this in your daily diet and see the difference yourself.
      Till then take care and keep it stylish!