Aloe vera is a plant that has not only an unusual shape, but an interesting inside as well.
Aloe vera is a green plant with fleshy, broad and sharp-edged leaves that are usually covered with a waxy coating. In the middle of a rosette growing directly on the ground, there is a long stem which can be crowned with a flower of three different colours: red, yellow or orange. Aloe vera is classified as a succulent, and its leaves, forming small rosettes, are filled with a large quantity of colourless, gel-like pulp, composed almost entirely of water (95-99%). To obtain a material with a maximum active substance content, plants aged 3 years or more are processed.
Aloe vera and its extraordinary properties for the human body.
Aloe vera leaves are a source of two products of a completely different chemical composition and use. One of them is aloe milk, known as ‘alona’, and the other is aloe gel obtained directly as pulp or following extraction from fresh leaves. The rind of aloe vera leaves contains aloin and emodin with strong laxative properties, which explains why they are only used as therapeutic agents.
The pulp found in aloe vera leaves (or ‘aloe gel’) is the most valuable part of the plant.
The pulp is obtained from the inside of the leaves. The rind is removed, and the sticky, gelatin-like tissue is retained. The gel thus obtained should not be exposed to oxidising agents for more than 2 hours, as its components are very easily oxidised, and if this happens, they lose their valuable properties. Apart from water, the pulp contains a range of other biologically valuable active ingredients, such as polysaccharides, fats, organic acids, vitamins, mineral substances or amino acids.
The use of aloe vera juice positively supports whole body health.
The health-promoting effects of aloe vera pulp stem from the high content of a variety of biologically active compounds, as well as from the content of bio-stimulators. Due to its content of polysaccharides, aloe vera contributes to the functioning of the digestive system and the intestines, and it is also used as aid to treat gastric or duodenal ulcers. Aloe vera extract also promotes the production of bile, and it is therefore recommended for liver function disorders. Aloe vera is also widely known to strengthen the body’s overall immunity.
Because of its extraordinary properties, aloe vera has won great acclaim in the field of cosmetics.
The valuable properties of aloe vera are widely used in cosmetics and dermatology. The properties of aloe gel are primarily attributed to the content of polysaccharides. These compounds are also present in the human skin, acting as a protective barrier of the epidermis. Aloe pulp penetrates deep into the layers of the epidermis and supplies nutrients to the dermis and the subcutaneous connective tissue.
Aloe vera plays a role in improving blood microcirculation, tightening and firming the epidermis.
This property of aloe vera rejuvenates and smooths the skin and protects against external factors or excessive exposure to the sun. Aloe vera also acts as a natural scrub, removing dead cells not only from the surface of the skin but also from its pores.
Aloe vera was appreciated already in ancient times, when people used its comprehensive healing and cosmetic properties.
Egyptians used aloe vera for embalming dead bodies, Greeks and Romans avidly believed that it prevents hair loss, while Indians used it as a rejuvenating agent. There were good reasons why it was known as a ‘gift of Venus’ among Greeks and a ‘plant of immortality’ among Egyptians. A legend has it that Cleopatra was regularly taking aloe juice baths and, thus, she was able to keep the smoothness and divine colour of the body. Apart from aloe vera, there are few known plants which are so strongly rooted in a variety of cultures and traditions!