All About Aloe
Aloe vera is considered a wonder plant for many reasons. It is said to be effective for radiation burns, brown skin spots, psoriasis, varicose veins, arthritis and rashes.
It is also a popular ingredient of many shampoos, cleansing lotions, and other beauty products.
Other wild claims made for aloe vera are that it can regenerate skin and make you look younger. One of the most misleading claims is that the juice of the plant can block the harmful rays of the sun and reduce scarring. The opposite is true, according to researchers. They said you may suffer from skin cancer if you rely on aloe alone since it is not an effective sunblock.
Aloe is touted to be a good remedy for burns, cuts, abrasions and other skin lesions. Alexander the Great supposedly invaded the island of Scotia for its aloe farms so he could treat his soldiers' wounds.
But the truth is less dramatic. While aloe juice applied on a wound is soothing and will protect it from dust and dirt, researchers said it does not speed up the healing process.
This was proven by Dr. Duane Larson of the Shriners Hospital Burn Institute in Texas who experimented with aloe as a burn dressing. After many trials, she said aloe is no more effective than ordinary burn dressing.
Another group of physicians at a Chicago burn center who tested aloe found it to be useful for frostbite victims. They treated 43 out of 44 patients without major tissue loss.
That may be good news for aloe advocates but Dr. Jack Yetiv, popular pharmacologist and nutritionist, believes aspirin which the researchers applied together with aloe, may have played a greater role in healing the frostbite victims.
Yetiv may be right. After all, the aloe plant has very little to offer. Its juice is mostly made up of water, sugar and a small amount of protein, fat, vitamins and minerals which is true for all plant juices, including grass, according to Arnold Bender, vice president of the International Union of Food Science and Technology, in â¬ÅHealth or Hoax?
The only reason why the plant remains popular to this day is mainly because it was handed down to us by the ancients who gave it many magical properties. Sad to say, none of the magic in aloe has been scientifically proven.
"None of these appears to have the kind of activity that would lend even small support to the therapeutic claims," said Linda Allen Schoen, research associate of the Committee on Cutaneous Health and Cosmetics of the American Medical Association.
What about aloe's effect on hair? Experts said aloe juice massaged on the scalp and washed off after 15 minutes may help those with falling hair. But since male pattern baldness is inherited and often permanent, I wouldn't pin my hopes on that plant. After all, if aloe really works, I suppose there wouldn't be lot of bald people around.
For beautiful skin, don't rely on aloe vera. One product that can help is Lumnaderm, a whitening cream that eliminates freckles, unsightly age spots, sun spots, blemishes and hyperpigmentation. When used as directed, Lumnaderm will balance uneven skin tones and illuminate your skin. For more information, visit http://www.lumnaderm.com/.