Aloe Vera (Curacao-Aloe) : Uses, medicine, Synonyms, Effects, and Side Effects

Aloe Vera (Curacao-Aloe) : Uses, medicine, Synonyms, Effects, and Side Effects

Aloe is an old cultivated plant that comes mainly from North Africa. Aloe Vera is mainly cultivated on the Antilles islands and in the coastal areas of Venezuela. The name Curaçao Aloe comes from the fact that the drug was once exported mainly via Curaçao, although no aloe species grow on Curaçao itself.

Use of aloe vera

The plant is now the basis of a large industry for producing cosmetic preparations and food (drink products), which has found its place mainly in the southern USA and Central America.

Today’s main product is aloe gel, which comes from the slimy tissue inside the leaf. In addition, the yellow leaf exudate, the actual Curaçao aloe, is used.

 

Aloe Vera: Characteristics of Plant and Drug

The aloe vera is a stemless rosette plant with fleshy, thick leaves up to 50 cm long coarsely toothed edges. There are also yellow to orange-yellow or red flowers arranged in dense racemes. The inflorescences can grow up to 1 m high.

Aloe, in the narrower sense, is the dried cell juice of various species of Aloe. The drug is obtained in different ways depending on the region – gentle evaporation produces the liver-coloured, mostly dull aloe hepatica varieties, which correspond to the Curaçao aloe. Rapid evaporation yields the glossy varieties of aloe lucida, which usually correspond to cape aloe. When heated, the brown drug powder dissolves in ethanol; it is insoluble in ether and chloroform.

smell and taste

Aloe gives off a strong, characteristic smell. The taste of Aloe is perceived as unpleasant and bitter.

Aloe Vera application

Curaçao aloe has two primary uses: internally treating indigestion and externally treating wounds and skin care. The drug is considered a stimulant laxative for constipation (constipation) and flatulence. It can also be used as a bitter tonic. The gel obtained from the plant can be applied to improve and speed up healing wounds and minor injuries and create more beautiful skin.

Used in folk medicine and homeopathy

In folk medicine, Aloe was used to cleanse the stomach, treat abdominal cramps, and as a laxative. Since it is said to benefit the healing process of burns, the gel is now also used for this and other skin problems. It is also said to have a beneficial effect as an immune stimulant in infections and inflammations as well as in diabetes, high blood cholesterol levels and even cancer.

Aloe is mainly used in homoeopathy to treat gastrointestinal complaints such as flatulence, constipation and diarrhoea.

 

Ingredients of Aloe Vera

Curaçao aloe contains large amounts (up to 38%) of aloin, a plant substance that is toxic to humans in high concentrations. The so-called aloe resin, polysaccharides and glycoproteins also occur.

In contrast to cape aloe, curaçao aloe does not contain any bitter substance glycosides. The gel contains complex polysaccharides (glucomannan), amino acids, minerals, salicylic acid and enzymes.

Aloe Vera: indication as a medicinal plant

Aloe Vera is used as a medicinal plant in the following cases:

  • constipation
  • constipation
  • gas
  • indigestion
  • Gastrointestinal complaints
  • wound healing
  • skincare

Aloe Vera dosage

Aloe is offered as aloe powder or an aqueous or aqueous-alcoholic dry extract. The drug also exists in gel form for application to the skin or in patch form for transdermal application.

Average daily dose

For Aloe to develop its effect as a laxative, about 20-30 mg of anhydrous aloin should be taken daily. As a tonic, 50-100 ml of the gel can be applied up to three times daily.

 

Preparation and storage of aloe vera

There is no need to prepare tea since Aloe is not usually taken in the form of tea.

The drug should be stored dry and protected from light.

Aloe Vera: contraindications and special warnings

Aloe should not be taken for an intestinal obstruction, acute inflammatory processes in the intestine ( e.g. Crohn’s disease or appendicitis) or abdominal pain of unknown origin. Taking aloe preparations is also contraindicated for children under the age of 12 during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Laxatives should not be taken for more than 1-2 weeks at a time without medical supervision. Prolonged use of laxatives can also lead to increased constipation. Aloe preparations should only be used if a change in diet has not had any effect. Treatment with Aloe can gradually lead to a harmless red discolouration of the urine.

Aloe Vera – Synonym

German plant name: Aloe

German synonyms of the plant: True Aloe, Curaçao Aloe

Latin plant name: aloe vera L.

Latin synonyms of the plant: Aloe barbadensis Miller, Aloe vulgaris Lam., Aloe abyssinica Lam., Aloe perfoliata var. vera L.

German drug name: Curaçao-Aloe

German synonyms of the drug: Barbados-Aloe, Venezuela-Aloe

Latin drug name: Aloe barbadensis

English name: Aloes, Barbados, Aloe vera, Medicinal aloe, Bitter Aloe, Yellow Aloe Curaçao aloe, West Indian Aloe

Plant family Latin: Asphodelaceae

Plant family German: Affodillgewächse

 

Aloe Vera – effect

The aloins contained in Curaçao aloe have a laxative effect. The practical form is aloemodin, which is produced in the large intestine by splitting aloin using specific cell or bacterial enzymes. The cleavage products directly inhibit specific transporters of the intestinal mucosa, which leads to a reduced transport of sodium and water from the intestine into the blood (antiresorptive) and an increased transport of chloride from the blood into the intestine (secretagogic). Overall, this leads to an increase in volume and an increased water content of the stool.

Aloe Vera: side effects

When taking Aloe preparations, gastrointestinal problems with seizures rarely occur. In this case, the dose should be reduced.

Overdosing can lead to a loss of electrolytes, especially potassium, leading to cardiac arrhythmia and muscle weakness. In addition, albuminuria, hematuria (increased occurrence of albumin or red blood cells in the urine), and harmless pigment deposits in the intestinal mucosa are possible.

 

Interactions of Aloe Vera

With chronic use, potassium deficiency can increase the effect of cardiac glycosides and influence the effects of antiarrhythmic drugs. The simultaneous intake of thiazide diuretics, adrenal cortex steroids and liquorice root can intensify potassium loss.

 

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