Wellness lexicon

Aloe Vera - a medicinal plant, which gives soothing protection and care to the skin

Aloe Vera originates from Africa and Madagascar. It is a member of the lily family despite resembling a cactus. The ancient Egyptians discovered the healing power of Aloe Vera and used the cooling and soothing gel of the leaves to treat burns and wounds. It has also been used in Asia for over 6000 years for its health and beauty benefits. The Sanskrit name of Aloe Vera means girl and is meant to give a youthful appearance to the skin.

Aloe Vera is planted in many tropical and sub tropical areas where a lot of importance is placed on its strict organic cultivation. This is because it is used in many cosmetic treatments, including those for sensitive skin. For that reason the plant needs to be free from pesticides and pollutants. For medical and cosmetic purposes, the gel is mainly extracted from the inner layer of the plant. In the past, the gum from Aloe Vera was a popular laxative. Nowadays granules are extracted from the capensis and the ferox , which both contain the laxative aloin.  Currently America is the largest exporter of Aloe Vera plants.

Aloe Vera contains at least 160 different ingredients, although not all of them have been studied yet. The main ingredient is aloeverose, a polysaccharide, which has the effect of strengthening the resistance of the cell membrane. Other ingredients include salicylic acid with its anti-inflammatory properties as well as vitamin A, C and E.

Most manufacturers use Aloe Vera in moisturisers or in products that cool or sooth the skin like after-sun or moisturisers for dry and flaky skin. Aloe Vera is normally tolerated well by all skin types, including very sensitive skin or skins with conditions like eczema.  


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