Aloe vera is a succulent plant, which originally came from an area around the northern Nile River in Sudan.  Member of Alliaceae family, and have 40 – 80 cm in height.  It a perennial plant from the Aloe genus.   Aloe vera is an evergreen plant which also can grow well in the tropical area.  From the literature, we are going to make a summary about Aloe vera benefits for your health.

legion botanica
Source plants.usda.gov

The first manuscript mention about Aloe vera was the Clay tablet from Sumerian civilization in 2100 B.C.  Aloe vera trading has been going since around  4th century B.C., in the red sea and Mediterranean area.  In 1920, people already succeed extract the Aloe vera gel for commercial purposes.

In Indonesia, Aloe vera was known as an ornamental plant which also used as medicinal plants.  For the last 10 years, many Aloe vera products have a sale. In some area, some company has commercially grown it and made as a raw material for their products. Aloe vera products-based was varied from food to medicine, available in the market. And in fact, the availability of commercial products also proof Aloe vera benefits as many as the nutrition contained in it.

Nutrition content of Aloe vera

As an edible species and also a medicinal plant, clear that Aloe vera is rich in some vitamins as antioxidants and also natural fiber.  Also, Aloe vera contains some enzymes, such as Amylase, Catalase, Cellulose, Lipase, Peroxidase.  Below is the table of the nutrition content of Aloe vera:

Pankaj et. Al. 2013

Empirically, Aloe vera has been used from ancient civilization for the treatment of burns and wounds.  For this reason, from the studying of the active compound, nowadays we can see there are many other benefits of Aloe vera.  Here is the list of Aloe vera benefits for your health:

1. Known as hair treatment agent

With proteolytic enzyme content, Aloe vera gel can stimulate hair growth naturally.  Many Vitamins contained are also known to maintain hair health. The presence of the folic acid substance is believed to reduce the risk of hair loss.

2. Accelerate wound healing

The high content of polysaccharides and gibberellin can increase the formation of collagen and elastin in reducing the wrinkling in the wound area.  Most chemicals that have healing ability in Aloe vera are mucopolysaccharides (MPS). 

In addition, amino acid activities probably also have an important role in the formation of new cells.  As studied, MPS and gibberellins will interact with receptors on the fibroblast and stimulate collagen synthesis and also change the collagen composition.  It process will increase the ability of collagen on cross-link interaction. Finally, it will accelerate the healing process of the wound.

3. Increasing immune system

Aloe vera has a high content of antioxidants and enzymes.  In fact, antioxidants can improve your immunity. An antioxidant is scientifically proven on reducing the existence of free radicals in our body.  While enzymes will support our digestive system on dissolving protein we consumed to become an amino acid, then transform to become energy for our body.  Finally, cell functions will work better.

4. Improve Digestive system performance

The high fiber content in Aloe vera will help our digestive system to work.  Besides, the nutrition in Aloe vera also will increase the intake of protein from our food.  Finally, the whole process will keep our organs healthier.

5. Anti- inflammatory

At least, there are three actions, related to the ability of anti-inflammatory from Aloe vera. Firstly, one kinase enzyme, Brady-kinase has already proven that the activity can decrease the inflammation process.  The peptidase of Brady-kinase will reduce the presence of bradykinin which induces pain during the inflammation. 

Secondly, the anti-inflammatory compound, named C-glucosyl chromone will inhibit the cyclooxygenase pathway and reduces prostaglandin production in the cells.  Thirdly, another compound acting as aspirin-like, also present and responsible for antimicrobial in Aloe vera

6. Helps on maintaining blood sugar level

Actually, there are 3 compounds in Aloe vera, which potentially helps the diabetic recovery process.  These three chemicals are mannans, anthraquinone, and lectin.  In addition, Some clinical tests shown that Aloe vera gel can relieve chronic hyperglycemic, which is common for people with diabetic problems.  Hyperglycemia is one of the major factors affecting cardiovascular complication risk. 

7. Reduce the risk of UV and gamma radiation

Metallothionein, an antioxidant protein contained in Aloe vera presume has activity in reducing the effect of radiation damage.  therefore, applying Aloe vera gel to the skin by scrubbing will activate the synthesis of MetallothioneinThe chemicals then will bind the hydroxyl radical in the skin.

8. Skin Protection

Aloe vera gel is already known as a skin tonic to reduce the risk of pimples, soothing, and maintain skin moisture.  Hence, by mixing the gel with some essential oils, it has the ability to become sunblock, moisturizing.  Extract of Aloe vera also has anti-fungal and antibacterial activities to protect the skin and heal when it infected. For a therapeutic effect, it is likely that lectin will be the most effective compound.  MPS (Mucopolysaccharides) actively become a catalyst on keeping the skin moisture

9. Anti cancer

Aloe vera juice reported has ability to heal the body from cancer after radio and chemotherapy which has a high risk of damaged immune cells.  Its healing ability, caused by the chemical compound of Aloe vera, named emodin known effective to suppress cancer cell growth.

10. Natural antibiotic

The high content of anthraquinone compound may induce the immune system by inactivating some viruses such as influenza, varicella-zoster, and herpes.  Aloe vera contains some antiseptic compounds such as Salicylic acid, Cinnamonic acid, lupeol.  As a result, its compound will act as a growth inhibitor for fungi, bacteria, and fungus.

11. Anti-aging agent

Talking about the anti-aging agents, actually, it was related to elastic and less wrinkled skin.  Naturally, the Aloe vera compound will induce the synthesis of fibroblast, which naturally produces collagen and elastin fibers.  These two compounds are responsible for skin elasticity and less wrinkle.  The amino acids contained also impact on softening the hardness of skin cells and zinc contained are related to pores tightness.

12. Good for diet

Aloe vera is become an alternative, for the person who in the diet program.  The protein content is high enough to meet the nutritional need.  Carbohydrates are also sufficient to assure daily needs.  Finally, Aloe vera also rich in natural fiber which proper for our digestive system

Conclusion

Undoubtedly, many vitamins, phytohormones, minerals, enzymes, and natural fiber contained in Aloe vera. All of the contents and nutrition are beneficial for your health

References:

  • Amar Surjushe, Resham Vasani, and D G Saple.  2008. Aloe Vera: A Short Review.    Indian J Dermatol. 2008; 53(4): 163–166. 
  • Pankaj K. Sahu, Deen Dayal Giri, Ritu Singh, Priyanka Pandey, Sharmistha Gupta, Atul Kumar Shrivastava, Ajay Kumar, Kapil Dev Pandey.  2013.  Therapeutic and Medicinal Uses of Aloe vera: A Review.  Pharmacology & Pharmacy, 2013, 4
  • Dalia I. Sanchez-Machado, Jaime Lopez-Cervantes, Raquel Sendon, Ana Sanches-Silva.  2017.  Aloe vera: Ancient knowledge with new frontiers.  Trends in Food Science & Technology:61 (2017), p94-102
  • Efterpi V. Christaki and Panagiota C. Florou-Paneri.  2010.  Aloe vera: A plant for many uses.  Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment Vol.8 (2): 245-249.2010
Categories: Edible

Muryanto Paiman

always love to learn from nature.  Passionate on studying plants in some aspects: the DNA, Identification, propagation, and their uses

1 Comment

aloe vera benefits for health food, cosmetic medicine · August 20, 2020 at 10:22 am

[…] During covid-19 pandemic, a researcher grup also reported their review about the potential of Aloe vera as anti-covid agent.  They publish their study in European Journal of Medicinal Plants. Some researches still continous to reveal and digging some aspects which probably can improve our understanding about Aloe vera. For other article about Aloe vera, and it benefits as food and medicine, you can read here […]

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