|Botanical Nomenclature||Aloe vera|
|Distinguishing Features of the Plant||Aloe vera is a perennial plant growing from 60 to 100cm with thick, fleshy, green or gray-green, juicy, spiky leaves and tubular, with yellow collar, yellow-red or orange, hermaphrodites flowers. The flowering and the harvesting take place from May to June. The plant is native to Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, Africa, Spain and the Canary Islands. Nowadays, efforts are being made to cultivate the plant in Greece.|
|Region Found||Epirus (cultivated, not wild species)|
|Part of the Plant with Active Substances||Leaves, seeds|
|Active Substances||Vitamins B, C, E, carotenoids, minerals, trace elements (magnesium, manganese, zinc, calcium, iron, selenium), amino acids, sterols, anthraquinones, salicylic acid, polysaccharides, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine , valine, emodin, aloetic acid, aloin, anthracene, anthranol, barbaloin, emodin, ester of cinnamic acid, essential oil, g-linolenic acid, choline, folic acid, b-sitosterol, cholesterol, gibberellin, lignan, steroids, uric acid, triglycerides|
|Pharmacological Effects - Therapeutic Applications||The whole plant has emmenagogue, emollient, laxative, tonic, anthelmintic, healing and soothing properties. It is applied externally to the skin in the form of cream or gel for the treatment of edema, burns and other skin problems, as well it accelerates wound healing and it reduces the risk of contamination. It is recommended in the form of per os administrated gel for the treatment of chronic constipation, anorexia, dyspepsia, osteoarthritis, bowel disease (ulcerative colitis), fever, ulcer, diabetes and asthma. Rarely it is used against common cold, hemorrhage, depression, multiple sclerosis, phlebitis, tendinitis, bursitis, glaucoma and other visual problems.|
|Method of Administration||There are many commercially available products containing Aloe vera, which are mainly used for body, face and hair care. In medicine it is administered in the form of capsules, extract from which are formed tablets, gel, ointment, cream, powder or oil either for oral administration or for external use. For the treatment of constipation the recommended dose is 100-200 mg of aloe every night, while for the treatment of psoriasis is recommended the external application of a cream made from the herbal extract (0.5%), 3 times a day.
Warning: The use of herb preparations is not recommended without seeking advice from your physician or pharmacist. The substances they contain may interact with the subscribed drugs that the patient already takes, thus eliminating their therapeutic efficacy or inducing toxicity. They may also burden further weakened vital functions of the body thus exposing the patient to increased morbidity and life threatened conditions.
|Toxicity- Adverse Effects||Plant's long term consumption may cause muscle cramps, diarrhea and rashes. Rarer side effects are cardiac arrhythmias, nephrotoxicity and peripheral edema. It's long-term use may cause electrolytes loss (potassium), intensifying cardiac medication (digoxin).|
|References||1)http://www.superfoods.gr/blog_post/%CE%BF%CE%B9-%CE%B4%CF%81%CE%AC%CF%83%CE%B5%CE%B9%CF%82-%CF%84%CE%B7%CF%82-%CE%B1%CE%BB%CF%8C%CE%B7-%CE%B2%CE%AD%CF%81%CE%B1 2)http://biokipos.weebly.com/beta972taualphanualpha.html 3)http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-607-aloe.aspx?activeingredientid=607&activeingredientname=aloe 4)http://www.twineagles.org/medicinal-uses-of-aloe-vera.html 5)https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/aloe|