When I was a child, my mom had aloe vera growing out in the garden. If we scraped a knee or had an itchy rash she would break a leaf and rub it where it hurt. Mom's touch and the natural aloe gel both made me feel better. As a teen, young adult and mom I knew to have a bottle on hand to also cool any burned areas of my skin; usually from the sun's rays.
Aloe vera is still around today and many people probably still associate it with these more common uses. However, I've learned recently there is more to the story of aloe. Below is a list of other, perhaps surprising, ways aloe vera can be used.
- Aloe Vera has anti-inflammatory properties that can also help treat blemishes and acne.
- It softens dead skin cells , which helps reduce the fine lines and wrinkles of aging.
- Almost 8 million women suffer from interstitial cystitis (IC), a chronic bladder condition that can be extremely painful and debilitating. It is typically treated with one prescription medication that not only provides little relief to many, but also causes hair loss. But, one study show that 92% of patients experience significant relief of one or more symptoms with whole-leaf, freeze-dried oral aloe vera. In addition, 63-68% report substantial improvement in pelvic pain, urethral burning, and urgency and frequency of urination.
- A number of studies are also pointing to the value of aloe vera in helping control blood sugar, relieve diabetic nerve pain, and treat diabetic-related foot ulcers. A recent meta-analysis of eight randomized controlled trials involving 470 patients, for example, found that adults with prediabetes who took aloe vera supplements saw improvement in fasting plasma glucose, while those with Type 2 diabetes saw improvement in HbA1c levels, indicating blood glucose control over the previous two to three months.
One company, Desert Harvest, has created concentrated aloe vera gel and other products to complement conventional treatment and care strategies for patients suffering from diabetes, interstitial cystitis, psoriasis and other conditions. Products include:
- Aloe Vera Capsules, a whole-leaf, cold-processed, freeze-dried, highly concentrated, ‘super-strength’ aloe vera that can be used to help control blood sugar
- Releveum® Skin Repair Cream, classified as an over-the-counter drug by the FDA, which contains 4% lidocaine that offers instant pain relief for diabetic neuropathy and 96% aloe vera and other natural ingredients that help reduce inflammation and heal associated skin ulcers when used daily.
- Concentrated Aloe Vera Gele', providing skin relief for those allergic to lidocaine.
What other conditions does it treat? Add a comment any include a link to any research findings.