Aloe Vera Health Benefits and Common Medicinal Uses

What is Aloe Vera? Benefits, Risks, Uses and More

Traditional medicine plays a critical role in the treatment of various types of diseases. Nowadays, the use of complementary medicine and natural products has been increasing rapidly worldwide because they are effective and inexpensive and have fewer side effects. Different types of medicinal plants and their constituents have been used to treat disease from ancient times. The significance of plants and their constituents in the curing of diseases has been discussed in Ayurveda, Unani, and Chinese medicine, and also in various religious books. In Islam, herbs are of significant value in health management, and Prophet Mhammad (PBUH) recommended various medicinal plants for curing diseases, such as Nigella sativa seeds and date fruits. Earlier investigators reported that medicinal plants and their constituents, such as Nigella sativa, dates fruits and Curcumin, played a major part in the prevention of diseases, via modulation of several activities. Only a few plants and their constituents have been properly investigated using animal models for their toxicity/lethal dose and mechanism of action in disease prevention. In this scenario, Aloe vera, the succulent species, plays a role in curing disease via modulation of various activities. The relevant chemical constituents are vitamins, minerals, enzymes, sugars, anthraquinones, lignins, alicylic acid, and saponins and most of the constituents appear to be of biological importance in curing diseases. 

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Aloe vera active ingredients and their functions

Aloe vera contains several biologically active constituents, including vitamins, minerals, saccharides, amino acids, anthraquinones, enzymes, lignins, saponins, and salicylic acids. In addition, Aloe vera contains products of the isoprenoid pathway, such as carotenoids, steroids, terpenes, and phytosterols and some essential amino acids/nonessential amino acids and enzymes, such as bradykinase, carboxypeptidase, cyclooxygenase, and carboxypeptidas.

Mechanism of action in aloe vera disease prevention

Aloe vera is a useful plant in alternative medicine and has a long history of use in traditional medicine for curing diseases due its ability to modulate various biological activities. Several active constituents have been identified in Aloe vera, and most of them have therapeutic implications for disease prevention and treatment through the modulation of various biological and genetic activities. The possible mechanisms of actions of Aloe vera are described as follows:

  1. Aloe vera and its constituents such as aloe emodin (AE), aloin (barbaloin), anthracene, and emodin are relevant to cancer prevention owing to the activation and inactivation of molecular pathways associated with them.
  2. Aloe vera also appears to function as an antioxidant through free radical- and superoxide radical-scavenging activities and anti-inflammatory activities via inhibition of prostaglandin E2 production from arachidonic acid and also inhibition of various transcription factors and the activities of enzymes including lypoxygenase and cyclooxygenase.

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