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Home :: Aloe :: Herbs

Aloe Herb - Uses And Side Effects

What is Aloe?

Aloe has a long history of popular use. It comes from the aloe vera plant (also called Aloe barbadensis, A. vulgaris hybrids, A. africana, A. ferox, A. perryi, and A. splcata). The plant's large, bladelike leaves are the source of aloe gel. Aloe preparations for oral use contain either the colorless juice that comes from plant's top layer or a solid yellow latex obtained by evaporating the juice.

Aloe comes as both topical and oral preparations. Topical preparations contain the colorless aloe gel or aloe vera gel (sometimes mistakenly called "aloe juice"). Aloe gel can be prepared by various methods. Some people prefer to obtain fresh gel directly from the aloe vera plant.

Common doses of Aloe

Aloe comes as:

  • capsules (75,100, or 200 milligrams of aloe vera extract or aloe vera powder)
  • gel (98%, 99.5%, 99.6%)
  • juice (99.6%, 99.7%)
  • cream, hair conditioner, jelly, juice, liniment, lotion, ointmcnt, shampoo, skin cream, soap, sunscreen, and in facial tissues.

Some experts recommend the following doses:

  • For skin irritation, itching, burns, and other wounds, apply an external form of aloe liberally as needed.

Although internal use isn't recommended, some people suggest 100 to 200 milligrams of aloe or 50 to 100 milligrams of aloe extract orally, taken in the evening.

Why people use Aloe herb

Side effects of Aloe

Call your health care practitioner if you experience any of these possible side effects of Aloe:

  • delayed healing of deep wounds (with topical forms).
  • dehydration (with frequent use).
  • intestinal spasma
  • reddish urine (with frequent use).
  • skin irritation.

Aloe also can cause :-

  • blood build-up in the pelvis (with large doses).
  • low blood potassium, resulting in irregular heartbeats, weakness, and flaccid muscles.
  • severe diarrhea, kidney damage, and possible death (from overdose).
  • spontaneous abortion or premature birth if taken during late pregnancy.

Interactions

Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Don't use aloe internally if you're taking :-

  • digoxin (Lanoxin).
  • drugs that cause potassium loss, such as Bumex, Demadex, Edecrin, Lasix, and Sodium Edecrin.
  • diuretics.
  • drugs for irregular heartbeats.
  • steroids.

Important points to remember

  • Don't use external aloe preparations if you're allergic to aloe or plants in the Liliaceae family (garlic, onions, and tulips).
  • Don't take aloe internally if you're pregnant, breast-feeding, or menstruating.
  • Don't give aloe to children.
  • Avoid aloe if you have kidney disease or heart disease.
  • Don't use aloe vera gel or aloe vera juice internally. You may experience severe stomach discomfort and serious problems from body salt imbalances.
  • Be aware that four people have died after receiving aloe vera injections for cancer Injecting aloe vera isn't recommended.

What the research shows

Studies show that topical aloe gel application eases acute inflammation and itching, promotes wound healing, and reduces pain. Fresh aloe may have value in treating burns and minor tissue injury, although studies aren't well documented. The Food and Drug Administration considers topical aloe to be generally safe, although it doesn't recommend aloe for any specific condition.

No studies support internal consumption of aloe juice. Aloe laxatives that contain anthraquinone have dramatic effects, and most experts recommend less toxic laxatives.

A recent study found that aloe can alter the body's DNA. This finding may lead to research investigating aloe's possible role in treating cancer.

Other names for Aloe: -

Other names for aloe include aloe barbadensis, aloe vera, Basbadoa aloe, burn plant, Cape aloe, Curacao aloe, elephant's gall, first aid plant, hsiang-dan, lily of desert and Zanzibar aloe.


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