Aloe Vera, The Wonder Plant
Aloe Vera is a tropical plant that grows wild and has been cultivated as treatment for centuries.
It’s significance in Ancient Africa was immense as it was used for medicinal purposes in several cultures.
Used as a cosmetic, Queen Nefertiti and Cleopatra used it as part of their regular beauty regimes, and it was known in Egypt as the plant of immortality. During wars, it was used to treat warrior’s wounds, burns and to reduce fevers.
From my own experience in my village the elders used drops of aloe vera gel daily to their eyes. This was said to clear cataract and was also a treatment for glaucoma. I remember the first thing that would be applied to a insect bite, or a graze would be Aloe Vera, to clean and disinfect the area, and control inflammation. We used the gel as a cleanser for our hair and used it again after cleansing to moisturise daily. To date, across Africa and Asia, it is used for a multitude of health treatments, used in dermatology and in the western world it has been heavily commercialised for cosmetology, but despite its many healing benefits, surprisingly, it has yet to be used in pharmacy.
This Botanical plant’s fleshy leaves are composed of 3 layers. The inner gel that contains 99% liquid and the rest are made of glucomannans, Amino acids, lipids, sterol and vitamins.
The middle layer which is the yellow bitter sap, contains anthraquinones and glycosides and the thick outer layer has 15-20 cells called the rind, which protect the function and synthesizes carbohydrates and protein. Inside this rind are vascular bundles responsible for transportation of substances such as water and starch.
Aleo vera contains in total 75 active constituents in vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugar, lignin, saponins, salicylic acids and amino acids, making it a super plant that can actively heal, protect, moisturise, nourish, and soothe the body inside and out.
Aloe vera contains growth hormones that significantly increase collagen and changes collagen composition, while also minimising scar tissue.
This plant has also been known to have protective effects against radiation. On application to skin, aloe vera gel produces an antioxidant protein called metallothionein, which scavenges hydroxyl radicals and prevent UV Rays from being absorbed.
It’s anti-inflammatory properties stem from the compound called C-Glucosyl Chromone, that is known to sooth, calm and rebuild skin.
For the Immune system, there have been studies that have been carried out to conclude that Aloe Vera has the ability to strengthen the immune system, it has a positive influence on cardio vascular functions and it contains molecules and compounds that are capable of limiting and preventing attacks to the immune system, to the point of regressions of cancerous cells.
Aleo Vera is known as a powerful laxative and a digestive tract cleanser.
The anti viral and anti tumour properties it holds are due to its direct ability to stimulate the immune system. It inactivates various viruses such as herpes, Varicella Zoster and Influenza. It has also been used to shrink tumours as research continues of finding alternatives to cancer Chemoprevention.
Aloe Vera has been used to treat the following conditions:
Seborrheic Dermatitis, Psoriasis, Genital Herpes, Skin Burns, type 2 Diabetes, HIV Infection, Cancer Prevention, Heart Disease Prevention, Ulcerative Colitis wound Healing, Pressure Ulcers, Mucositis, Radiation Dermatitis, Acne, Lichen Planus, Frostbites, Aphthous Stomatitis, Constipation, Hypertension, Glaucoma, Cataract, Hair Loss.
Research has found that those who use fresh Aloe Vera are less susceptible to developing diabetes, hypertension, cancers and heart disease.
Moisture/Anti Ageing Effects On Skin
Aloe Vera helps to bind moisture to skin, as it stimulates fibroblasts which produce the collagen and elastin fibres, making your skin more elastic and less wrinkled.
It also has cohesive effects on the superficial flaking epidermal cells by sticking them together, which soften skin cells. It’s also known to tighten pores as it’s high in zinc.
It’s high liquid content which are filled with minerals and vitamins, are perfect for dry skin associated conditions, as they improve your skin’s integrity, decrease the appearance of fine lines and they have anti acne effects while balancing skin tone and removing blemishes.
Aloe Vera contains 6 antiseptic effects, and they have the inhibitory action on fungi bacteria and skin viruses.
Aloe Vera has been known to promote growth as it keeps scalp clean due to a special enzyme it has called proteolytic enzymes. They breakdown dead skin cells on your scalp that may clog hair follicles, which stops hair growth being as efficient as it should be. It also allows great blood circulation on scalp and keeps follicles producing Sebum more efficiently. Aloe Vera prevents flakes and itchiness on scalp and has properties to prevent UV damage on your hair. Its rich in vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids that strengthens and gives hair elasticity by opening cuticles and provides intense moisture. Due to it’s high mineral content like copper and zinc, it has been proven that Aloe vera reduces breakage and promotes healthy hair growth.
Aloe Vera in AfroHairCandy🍃
It’s easy to see why Aloe vera is at the core of our ingredients. 60% of everything you apply to your hair and skin will go straight to your blood stream and it’s important we apply to our hair/skin ingredients that will not just immediately benefit your hair or skin but that will have a positive impact on your health.
In this New Year, we’re reflecting on the last year and continuing our commitment of not compromising your health for beauty. We can really have the balance of both with a conscious list of natural ingredients and ensuring the products remain 100% Organic and Chemical free.
In using ancient African recipes for hair and skin care, we’ve found a gem where science meets nature to harness powerful, honest, fresh, natural Ingredients, that ensure our products potency, while remaining gentle on your hair and skin, for exponential results.
Unfortunately preservatives tend to kill the important minerals and vitamins in Aloe Vera that make it effective, hence why we use only fresh Aloe Vera in our Products.
We at AfroHairCandy🍃 believe that when Nature is amplified, your hair and skincare potentials are realised.
Written by Carine Mbembi Whyte