Monday, November 29, 2010

Uses for Aloe Vera

I am in the process of transferring some of my Facebook Notes into my blog so they are easier to search & might be helpful to someone. This is a Note I wrote when both my girls were sick in May & June.

George's Aloe Vera Liquid FAQ

George's Aloe Vera daily recommended dosage (from our 32 oz. bottle):
to 1 year: 1 teaspoons
1-5 years: 2 tablespoons
6 & older: 2 ounces

This is a good site to explain the uses of aloe vera

Aloe vera has been widely marketed as having a number of benefits when taken internally. For example, Aloe has been marketed as a remedy for coughs, wounds, ulcers, gastritis, diabetes, cancer, headaches, arthritis, immune-system deficiencies, and many other conditions. However, these uses are unproven. The only substantiated internal use is as a laxative. Preliminary studies suggest that aloe juice may help lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 (adult onset) diabetes.

Aloe vera gel products may also be used internally. Aloe vera juice can be used as a natural remedy in the treatment of stomach ulcer and mouth ulcers because of its anti-inflammatory effect. It appears to have a soothing effect on the ulcer, and interferes with the release of hydrochloric acid by the stomach. Oral aloe gel supplements may lower blood glucose levels in people who suffer diabetes. The anti-inflammatory effects of aloe gel may be of benefit in arthritis for the control of joint inflammation. The stimulating effects of Aloe on the uterus may also help to induce suppressed menstruation.

*Note - Pregnant women should not take aloe latex because it may cause uterine contractions and trigger miscarriage.

Internal use of aloe vera is not recommended for people taking digoxin, diuretics, topical or oral steroids, medication for arrhythmia (irregular heart beats) and drugs which cause potassium to be lost from the body.

MORE INFO. (Kelly Mom is a lactation consultant)

Topical use of aloe vera gel is reported safe (toxicity is minimal). There have been no reports of adverse effects following maternal use or via milk ingestion. Do not use on nipples, as it should not be ingested by baby (see below).

Oral use of the aloe vera latex is strongly discouraged; can cause severe gastric irritation. Per the classic King's American Dispensatory, "Administered to nursing mothers it will purge the sucking child."

**Children, nursing moms and pregnant women should not use this (internally) at all. See also Herbals and Breastfeeding by Nice, et al in U.S. Pharmacist.

Aloe Vera, obtained from the dried latex of the leaves of Aloe barbadensis and other Aloe species of its genus, is used to treat constipation.

Its pharmacologic actions are due to its hydroxyanthracene derivatives, which increase motility of the GI tract and prevent the colon from becoming stationary.

Aloe is available orally as a powder and aqueous extracts (powdered or liquid). The recommended dose of aloe should be based on the hydroxyanthracene content of the dosage form.

The daily dose is 200 mg hydroxyanthracene/day calculated as anhydrous aloin. However, the dose should be reduced, if possible, to the lowest dose required to maintain a bowel movement.

Short-term side effects usually result in GI tract distress.

On a long-term basis, side effects encountered include electrolyte imbalance, albuminuria, and hematuria. Potassium deficiency is of utmost concern because of the potential to cause cardiovascular (heart) dysfunction such as arrhythmias.

**Due to aloe’s anthranoid content and the side effects caused by anthranoids, it should be avoided while the mother is breastfeeding.

Aloe Vera is included in this list of herbs to avoid while breastfeeding which I found on Motherlove here:

Which Herbs Should Be Avoided While Nursing?

This list is compiled from the American Herbal Product Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook, not to be used while nursing unless otherwise directed by an expert qualified in the appropriate use of this substance.

* Aloe vera
* Basil
* Borage (contains Pyrrolizidine alkaloids which may cause liver damage)
* Bugleweed
* Cascara sagrada
* Coltsfoot
* Comfrey (contains Pyrrolizidine alkaloids which may cause liver damage)
* Elecampane
* Ephedra
* Parsley (galactofuge reduces milk flow)
* Sage (galactofuge reduces milk flow)
* Wormwood

This site also says to avoid aloe vera when nursing:

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