Aloe Vera Health Benefits
Aloe vera health benefits range from anti-inflammatory help to possibly fighting prostate cancer and boosting the immune system. People have been using the aloe vera plant for health conditions for about 3,000 years, and it’s been the subject of more than 4,000 research articles. Thus aloe vera health benefits have been well researched.
Aloe vera is a succulent that grows in tropical and subtropical areas. In addition to the aloe vera health benefits already mentioned, the plant has been credited with other advantages. They include reducing inflammation, treating burns and other skin-related abuses, relieving stomach ulcers and indigestion, and alleviating allergic reactions.
So far no studies have identified a direct link between using aloe vera and prostate health, but there are some indirect routes. For example, recent studies indicate that aloe vera has antitumor properties. Aloe vera also seems to be somewhat active against stomach and colon cancer cells as well as leukemia. (El-Shemy 2009) Aloe vera contains several anti-tumor agents, including emodin and lectins.
According to Cancer Cover-Up by Kathleen Deoul, aloe vera’s ability to boost the immune system is its most promising contribution to the treatment of cancer. The plant’s extract can help the body heal itself from cancer and the damage done during conventional cancer therapy. In an article from Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy, the researchers found that lectin from aloe, when injected directly into tumors, caused the immune system to attack the cancer. (Yoshimoto 1987) It seems that the aloe activates macrophages, the white blood cells that eat up antigens. This in turn causes the release of immune-boosting and anti-cancer substances such as interferons, tumor necrosis factor, and interleukins.
Experts do not know how effectively aloe vera health benefits extend to a fight against cancer, whether it is effective against prostate cancer in particular, and what dose to take. However, aloe gel is an effective treatment for burns, cuts, shingles, and other skin conditions, and can be applied to the affected area two or three times a day.
Deoul K. Cancer Cover-Up. Cassandra Books, 2001.
El-Shemy HA, Aboul-Soud MA, Nassr-Allah AA, Aboul-Enein KM, Kabash A, Yagi A. Antitimor properties and modulation of antioxidant enzymes’ activity by aloe vera leaf active principles isolated by supercritical carbon dioxide extraction. Curr Med Chem 2009 Nov. 24.
Yoshimoto R, Kondoh N, Isawa M, Hamuro J. Plant lectin, ATF1011, on the tumor cell surface augments tumor-specific immunity through activation of T cells specific for the lectin. Cancer Immunol Immunother 1987; 25(1): 25-30.