Jigsaws discussion has generated lots of interest in Aloe Vera Juice. I've used it successfully off and on over the last 3 years and would also recommend it. Here is some interesting information about aloe vera and it's various uses, including control of blood glucose levels.
Nutritional Value of Aloe Vera Juice
By Laura Petrolino, eHow Contributor
Aloe vera juice has been valued by traditional cultures for centuries for its medicinal and cosmetic properties. Internally, it is often used for digestive issues, including ulcers, heartburn, irritable and inflammatory bowel disease and constipation. Externally, it is thought to have antibacterial and antifungal activities. It is also commonly used to sooth and heal burns.
Half a cup of juice contains 12 calories, all of which come from carbohydrates. It also offers a wide range of vitamins and minerals.
History and Legend
The aloe vera plant has been found described in the ancient writings of many cultures, including the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and Chinese. Its reported medicinal properties have been noted in these ancient records, with the earliest mention being found on a Sumerian tablet dating back to 2100 B.C.
Egyptian papyrus writings told of Egyptian Queens who associated its use with their physical beauty. Greek and Roman doctors routinely used it in their practices to heal a wide range of ailments.
Alexander the Great and his troops supposedly conquered the island of Socotra in order to have access to its huge supplies of aloe. He wished to use it in order to treat his soldiers' battle wounds.
Aloe gel is most known as a topical treatment for burns and minor wounds. Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recognized the use of aloe as a first-aid treatment for a wide variety of burns. It appears to act as a moisturizer and keeps the skin well hydrated during healing. It is suspected that the vitamins and minerals present in the aloe help nourish the cells and stimulate quicker cell regeneration.
Other research performed, both in the U.S. and in Russia, have documented the use of aloe vera gel for various skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis. It is reported to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria and other foreign species and hasten healing.
Aloe for Digestive Problems
Most of the reported internal benefits of aloe concern its uses for digestive issues, most notably Irritable Bowel Syndrome. A two-year trial is currently being preformed in three hospitals in Swansea to gain more clinical data about the use of aloe vera in treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
In 2004, a clinical trial was administered in a joint effort between the Royal London Hospital and the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. It looked at 44 ulcerative colitis patients. Thirty-eight percent of patients receiving aloe vera juice reported improvement in symptoms, versus only eight percent of patients receiving placebo.
Aloe also has a long documented use as a laxative. Newer processing methods are working to remove the compound that causes colon stimulation, in hopes it will make aloe a better option for other digestive issues.
It is important to remember that all of these studies are clinically based only. Researchers are still not sure what mechanism aloe has in the body that causes these reported improvements.
Aloe for Diabetes
The most recent research has reported that aloe helps lower and control blood-sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. The study found that when diabetic rats were given aloe daily for one week, glucose levels were reduced from 256 mg/dl to 130 mg/dl.
Other studies have shown similar results. The most significant part of these studies were the histological changes found in pancreas, liver, and small intestine. Not only did the aloe lower the blood sugar, but it also seemed to make functional improvements in the major organs that control blood sugar.
The rodents in all of these studies were give large amounts of aloe daily. If a human consumed such an amount, the aloe would most likely cause diarrhea, due to its colon-stimulating properties. More work needs to be done, but researchers agree the initial results are promising.
Vitamins and Minerals
Aloe is full of many vitamins and minerals. Specifically it has high levels of vitamin A, C, D, B1, and B2. It contains all the essential minerals and has been suggested for use as an electrolyte replacement. These nutrients are in a state that is very easy for the body to absorb and use.
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