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Health Benefits of

aloe vera

Aloe vera, also called Aloe barbadensis, grows in areas with hot and dry climates. This cactus-like plant has been used for hundreds of centuries owing to its medicinal properties. [1] The benefits of topical use of aloe vera are listed down below.


Aloe Vera Promotes Wound Healing

Aloe vera accelerates the process of wound healing. Aloe vera gel adheres closely to the wound site and penetrates injured tissue rapidly. This results in angiogenesis, wound contraction, and initiation of anti-inflammatory processes. With aloe vera gel treatment, wound closure is attained in 15 days as the duration reduces to about 29% of the total healing time. Aloe vera application also accelerates the healing of burn wounds. [8, 9]

Aloe Vera for Skin Conditions

Acute radiation dermatitis

This is a manifestation of radiation therapy-associated skin reactions. Aloe vera is an inflammatory botanical ingredient that is used for the management of acute radiation dermatitis. [5]

Treatment of diabetic foot ulcer

Foot ulcers may develop in diabetes patients as a result of microvascular complications. Anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties of aloe vera gel prove to be effective for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. [6]

Treatment of atopic dermatitis

Combination therapy of aloe vera and olive oil is effective for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. This alleviates disease severity and also improves the eosinophil count. Treatment with aloe vera and olive also reduces the concentration of IgE. Anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera aid in the reduction of synthesis and release of bradykinins and prostaglandins. [7]

Figure 2 demonstrates a reduction in eosinophil count after six weeks of treatment of atopic dermatitis with olive oil and aloe vera

Aloe vera pulp is directly or indirectly, in the form of pharmacologic and cosmetic formulations, has been used for treating a variety of skin disorders that are mentioned below.

Treatment of seborrheic dermatitis

This is an inflammatory skin condition characterized by the formation of erythematous macules and scales on the skin. Inflammation elicits in response to organisms belonging to the genus. Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties that improve the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis. [2]

Treatment of melasma

Melasma is a skin condition characterized by hyperpigmentation of those areas which are exposed to the sun. Aloe vera is among many herbal ingredients used for the topical treatment of melasma. [3]

Treatment of Acne

Acne affects people from all age groups with adolescents being the most affected group. Anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera are beneficial for the treatment of acne as well as improve moisturization in such skin. [4]


Aloe Vera for Muscle Damage and Recovery

Microtrauma of skeletal muscles during exercise results in elevation of creatine kinase levels that increase the pain sensitivity of muscles. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of aloe vera are essential for promoting the healing of sore muscles and alleviating muscle pain. [10]

Aloe Vera for Arthritis Pain

Aloe-emodin found in aloe vera is used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Aloe-emodin is an anti-inflammatory agent that alleviates pain and improves the quality of life in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. [11]

Antimicrobial Activity of Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties against various skin infections. Gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria are highly susceptible to antimicrobial effects of aloe vera. Therefore, aloe vera can be used to treat and prevent skin infections. [12]

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