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INTRODUCTION

Activities:

Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial,1 immunomodulatory, laxative,2 wound healing3

Important Chemical Components:

Aloe resin, aloesin (2-acetyonyl-8-glucopyranosyl-7-hydroxy-5-methylchromone), glucomannans, particularly acemannan (also known as acetylated mannose or mannose-6-phosphate),4 and other polysaccharides (galactose, xylose, arabinose); aloe emodin and other anthraquinones, including aloin A and B (anthrone-C-glucosyls or C-glucosides of emodin and also known collectively as barbaloin);3,5 lectin, phenols (gentisic acid, epicatechin, and quercitrin), amino acids, enzymes, lignin, minerals (selenium, zinc), salicylic acid, magnesium lactate, saponins, sterols, and vitamins A, C, and E1,6–11

Origin Classification:

This ingredient is natural. Organic forms exist.

Personal Care Category:

Moisturizing, soothing, cooling, burn and wound healing

Recommended for the following Baumann Skin Types:

DSNT, DSPT, DSNW, DSPW, OSNT, OSNW, OSPT, and OSPW

SOURCE

A cactus-like perennial succulent and member of the Xanthorrhoeaceae family and the subfamily Liliaceae (lily) native to North Africa and the Arabian peninsula, Aloe vera (also known as Aloe barbadensis) is the most potent of the several aloe species and one of the most widely used herbal products throughout the world (Table 65-1).12 The plant is now widely distributed throughout Africa, Asia, southern Europe, the Americas, and other areas with tropical climates.13 Aloe (from the Arabic alloeh for a “shining bitter substance”) vera (Latin for “truth”) thrives in warm, dry climates, but can survive high temperatures and even humid conditions as long as its roots are not submerged in water.11,14 Various cultures have used aloe to treat burns (including sunburns), wounds, abrasions, insect bites, cuts, blisters, and frostbite. A. vera has been used for several decades, both topically and systemically, to enhance wound repair based more on traditional and anecdotal evidence than rigorously established scientific study.15 Its effectiveness in healing wounds and treating infections has been established in laboratory animals, though.9

TABLE 65-1Pros and Cons of Aloe Vera

Reputed to have potent anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects, the fresh or dehydrated whole aloe leaf is used for treatment of radiation injuries, ulcers, burns, eczema, and psoriasis.13 Other anecdotal cutaneous indications may include seborrhea, acne, androgenetic alopecia, and herpes zoster (shingles). Aloe is believed to balance the pH of the skin and is used in hundreds of medicines and over-the-counter (OTC) products such as shampoos, soaps, shaving creams, deodorants, tissue paper products, sunscreens, moisturizers, and other skin creams to soothe, heal, and protect the skin. It is also believed to exhibit antioxidant properties.16

In fact, the medical establishment recognizes the use of A. vera in treating radiation and stasis ulcers and ...

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