Costa Rican Aloe Vera Health Benefits
Aloe Vera is an amazing plant that has over 200 known ingredients composing this exotic plant of which 75+ of them bring amazing health benefits and much needed nutrients to the human body. Those 75 natural chemical components in aloe vera are listed in categories containing Amino Acids, Anthraquinones, Enzymes, Lignin, Minerals, Mono and Polysaccharides, Salicylic Acid, Saponins, Sterols and Vitamins. Below these amazing ingredients are listed and you can click on any one of them to see a short explanation as to the health benefits that each one provides to the body. Or just browse down the page taking a few minutes to read about all of them. Explore the health benefits of aloe vera today, buy Costa Rica aloe vera juice and go beyond healthy!!
|Constituents||Number & Identification||Property and Activity||Comment|
|Amino Acids||Provides 20 of the 22 human required amino acids & 8 of the 8 essential ones||Provides the basic building blocks of proteins in the production of muscle tissue etc||The 8 essential amino acids are those the human body cannot manufacture|
|Anthraquinones||Provides 12 anthraquinones: Aloe emodin, Aloetic Acid, Aloin, Anthracine, Antranol, Barbaloin, Chrysophanic Acid, Emodin, Ethereal Oil, Ester of Cinnamonic Acid, Isobarbaloin, Resistannol.||In relatively small concentrations together with the Gel fraction they provide Analgesic, Antibacterial, Antifungal & Antiviral activity. In high concentration on their own they can be toxic.||Traditionally known as laxatives.The antraquinones are found in the sap. The anthraquinone derivatives (anthrones & chromones) comprise the phenolic fraction of the sap. The primary sap component is Aloin/Barbaloin anthrone derivative|
|Enzymes||Provides 8 enzymes: Aliiase, Alkaline Phosphatase, Amylase, Carboxypeptidase, Catalase, Cellulase, Lipase, Peroxidase||Helps breakdown of food sugars and fats aiding digestion & enhancing nutrient absorbtion|
|Hormones||Auxins & Gibberellins||Wound Healing & Anti-inflammatory|
|Lignin||Cellulose based substance||Thought to provide penetrating power in Aloe vera skin preparations and may act as a carrier for other components|
|Minerals||Provides 9 minerals: Calcium, Chromium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc||Essential for good health and is known to work in certain combimation with each other, vitamins and other trace elements|
|Salicylic Acid||Aspirin like compound||Analgesic|
|Saponins||Glycosides||Soapy substance both cleansing and antiseptic|
|Sterols||Provides 4 main plant steroids: Cholesterol, Campesterol, Lupeol, ss Sitosterol||Anti-inflammatory agents. Lupeol also possesses antiseptic and analgesic properties|
|Sugars||Monosaccharides: glucose & fructosePolysaccarides: gluco-mannans / polymannose||Anti-inflammatory actionAnti-viral, immune modulating activity of Acemannan||The long chain gluco-mannans are absorbed intact by the pinocytotic process of certain cells lining the digestive tract.|
|Vitamins||A, C, E, B, Choline, B12, Folic Acid||Antioxidant(A,C,E): neutralizes free radicals||B’s & Choline involved in amino acid metabolism, B12 required for production of red blood cells, Folic Acid in the development of blood cells|
The following explanations are taken from the book Aloe Vera Nature’s Silent Healer by Alasdair Barcroft:
Amino Acids – Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and affect brain function, including emotions. Twenty amino acids are necessary for good health (in human beings) and the body is able to ‘manufacture’ only twelve, all except for the eight ‘essential’ (essential because the body does not manufacture them itself) amino acids, which we have to introduce through out food and drink intake. All of the eight essentials amino acids can be found in aloe vera and they are: Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Valine and Tryptophan. The non-essential amino acids are Alanine, Arginine, Asparagine, Cysteine, Glutamic Acid, Glycine, Histidine, Proline, Serine, Glutamine, and Aspartic Acid.
Isoleucine – Research would suggest that a Isoleucine supplement may help with symptoms of ME because it reduces levels of tryptophan (a precursor to sleep) in the brain. Isoleucine is found in such foods as cheese, oats, gelatine, and sunflower seeds.
Leucine – Again this helps to inhibit the level of tryptophan in the brain and when taken in combination with isoleucine it can reduce chronic fatigue. It is found in the same food sources as Isoleucine.
Lysine – In studies it has been shown to help with the symptoms of the herpes virus. In trials, people taking a lysine supplement have seen a reduction in the frequency of outbreaks of cold sores and genital herpes. It is found in such foods as tofu, beans, lentils, brocolli and potatoes.
Methionine – In studies this has been found to help with allergies, such as hayfever, as it reduces histamine. In order for it to be metabolized effectively, it should be taken in conjunction with B vitamins, (i.e. B12 and folic acid). It is found in such foods as Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, and oats.
Phenylalanine – It is used for the production of adrenal and thyroid hormones. Through its production of natural painkillers – known as endorphins – it has been found to help reduce persistent pains caused by backache and arthritis. It also seems to act as a natural anti-depressant. It is found in such foods as gelatine, cheese, peanuts, almonds and oats,
Threonine- A study showed that low levels of threonine were found in patients with clinical depression, and of those supplemented with it the majority had reduced symptoms. It is found in such foods as peanuts, almonds, gelatine, cheese and fish.
Valine – This has been shown to help reduce the symptoms of ME by inhibiting the levels of trypotophan in the brain. It is recommended to be taken in conjunction with isoleucine and leucine. It is found in such foods as gelatine, cheese, nuts, oats, fish and sunflower seeds.
Tryptophan – This produces serotonin in the brain and is used in common with anti-depressants. Low levels of serotonin can cause insomnia, depression, food craving and attention deficti disorder. A double-blind study on a group of twenty obese patients using 900 milligrams per day of tryptophan resulted in significant weight loss in all patients and a dramatice reduction if food cravings, especially for carbohydrates, over a twelve week period. It is found in such foods as sunflower seeds, cheese, oats and Brazil nuts.
Alanine – People on low fat or high protein diets or who do a lot of exercise need more alanine, as do diabetics, who need higher amounts in order to produce enough glucose. Alanine is found in such foods as gelatine, red meat, fish, sunflower seeds, almond, peanuts and oats. There are no alanine food supplements.
Arginine – This is used mainly to make muscle tissues and sperm as well as relaxing blood vessels. Recent research has found that L-arginine helps in reducing angina, high blood pressure and glaucoma. Supplementation has also been found to help increase muscle mass for weight trainers. Arginine is found in such foods as gelatine, peanuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, red meat, fish, oats and grain.
Asparagine – Closely related to aspartic acid, asparagine is required by the nervous system to maintain equilibrium. It is also required for amino acid transformation from one form to another, which is achieved in the liver. Asparagine is found in such foods as dairy and beef products and poultry and eggs.
Cysteine – Research has shown that cysteine can be used when an overdose of paracetamol has been taken, because it helps to break down toxins in the liver. It is also helpful for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, as well as helping to remove excess heavy metals from the body. It is found in such foods as sunflower seeds, oats, eggs, wheat flour, and Brazil nuts.
Glutamic Acid – Its main use is in the production of folic acid, which is necessary in healthy people, especially women. However, too much glutamic acid in the body can sometimes promote epilepsy and seizures. People need to make sure that they keep their vitamin B6 levels high in order to combat high levels of glutamic acid, which is broken down by an enzyme supported by vitamin B6. Glutamic acid is found in such foods as cheese, sunflower seeds, almonds and wheat flour. There is no need for supplements because we get plenty from food, and levels may even need to be reduced is you are susceptible to epilepsy.
Glycine – People suffering with gout may be helped with glycine supplements because it helps to break down urid acid in the kidneys. Several scientific studies have found that supplementation can also reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia. Glycine is found in such foods as gelatine, buckwheat flour, walnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds.
Histadine – Its main function is for making histamines that cause allergies and hay fever, so sufferers should make sure their intake is not too high. Research has shown that people with rheumatoid arthritis have very low levels of histadine and that supplementation reduces joint inflamation. Taken alongside standard anti-inflammatory painkillers, it also helps to reduce the main side effect of painkillers, which is gastric inflammation. Histadine is found in such foods as gelatine, dairy products, peanuts and sunflower seeds.
Pronine – This has been shown to slow down the progression of a condition called gyrate atrophy and lesions of the eye. It needs to be taken with vitamins B3 and C. It is also believed to speed up wound healing. Proline is found in such foods as gelatine, cheese, wheat, oats, and sunflower seeds.
Serine – Research has found that supplementation with serine can improve memory function with regards to numbers, names and lists in the over-sixties by as much as twelve years, because it helps to reduce two crucial memory neuro-transmitters, acetylcholine, and dopamine. It is found in such foods as eggs, walnuts, gelatine and almonds.
Tyrosine – The makes the neuro-transmitter dopamine, which is low in people with Parkinson’s disease. Used alongside conventional treatments, there have been better results than with drugs alone. It also can help to reduce stress levels because it increase the production of the hormone noradrenaline, which is depleted by stress. It is found in such foods as peanuts, cheese, almonds, sunflower seeds, and eggs.
Glutamine – Studies have shown that supplementation with L-glutamine can hasten the repair of stomach linings damaged by excessive alcohol consumption, as well as slowing down the body’s cravings for alcohol. L-glutamine is found in such foods as potatoes, barley and cabbage
Aspartic Acid – Research has shown that aspartic acid is beneficial for cancer patients who have undergone radiotherapy because it help red-blood-cell-producing organs to regenerate after radiation exposure. It can also be found in such foods as walnuts, gelatine, almonds, sunflower seeds, meat and fish.
Anthraquinones – There are 12 anthraquinones found in the sap layer of aloe vera, which are:
Aloetic Acid (antibiotic)
Aloe emodin (bactericidal)
Aloin (analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-viral)
Anthracene (antibiotic, anti-inflammatory)
Barbaloin (analgesic, antibiotic)
Chrysophanoic acid (fungicidal for the skin)
Emodin (bacterial and skin problems)
Ester of cinnamic acid (analgesic, anaesthetic)
Ethereal oil (analgesic)
Isobarbaloin (analgesic, antibiotic)
Anthraquinones have traditionally been used as powerful laxatives and researchers have found that when used in relatively high concentrations on their own these substances can be toxic to cells. However when present in the gel and in low concentrations of less than the widely accepted level of fifty ppm, the anthraquinone fraction can demonstrate highly beneficial and potent properties, which include: acting as a tonic for the digestive system by strengthening the digestive muscle; being effective natural analgesics (painkillers) and having powerful virucidal, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. When the anthraquinones are present in propertly stabilized, pure aloe vera drinks, these beneficial properties are demonstrably evident without the other less desirably side effects such as the laxative/purgative effect.
Enzymes – The key to life Enzymes are critical both to human and animal life and their function is quite simply to break down the proteins in the food we eat into amino acids. These are then absorbed by the body and converted back by the enzymes into body protein. Essentially, enzymes turn the food that we eat into to fuel for every cell in our body, so enabling those cells to function and our body to operate efficiently. However, what it is that fuels the enzymes and allows this ongoing and complex chemical process to continue? The answer is vitamins and minerals, without which the whole process would come to a grinding halt. For example, the body cannot break down or utilize protein without zine and vitamin B6, and vitamins B1, and B2, B3 (niacin) are essential for the production of energy.
Just as aloe vera’s powerful healing properties seem to be attributable to the highly complex and synergistic action of all its nutritional components, so the body is a complex mix of ongoing and continual chemical processes and nutrient interactions. A good example of this is in the movement of muscles. In order for this to take place effectively the body needs fuel – oxygen and carbohydrate – plus an array of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and iron, and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 and B12, in combination with choline, calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, chromium, selenium, and the vitamins A, C and E, have a positive effect on brain function.
The main enzymes found in aloe vera are :
Amylase (one of the two main digestive enzymes, with protease, breaks down sugars and starches) Bradykinase (stimulates immune system, analgesic, anti-inflammatory)
Catalase (prevent accumulation of water in the body)
Cellulase (aids digestion – cellulose)
Lipase (aids digestion – fats)
Proteolytaise (hydrolyses proteins into their constiteunt elements)
Creatine phosphokinase (aids metabolism)
Lignin – This is a cellulose substance that seems to give aloe vera its powerful penetrative properties and, so far, no other particular properties or benefits have been established.
Minerals – Calcium – essential for the healthy formation of teeth and bones and in muscle contractions and in heart function
Chromium – helps to balance blood sugar through GTF – glucose tolerance factor – and helps in protein metabolism
Copper – essential component of red blood cells, pigmentation of skin and hair Iron – essential component of haemoglobin in red blood cells, involved in the transportation of oxygen
Magnesium – helps strengthen teeth and bones, helps maintain healthy muscles and nervous system, helps to activate enzymes
Manganese – helps activate enzymes, helps form healthy bones, nerves and other tissues
Potassium – helps regulate and maintain fluid balance in the body
Phosphorous – helps form and maintain bones and teeth, aids metabolism, helps maintian body pH
Sodium – helps regulate body fluids, aids nerve and muscle function, aids in the transport of nutrients into body cells
Zinc – present in most tissue and scores of enzymes, essential for good health, accelerates healing of wounds, essential for growth, mental alertness, aids in healthy teeth and bone growth, is essential in the normal functioning of the skin, immune, digestive and reproductive systems
Mono – and Polysaccharides
Aloe Vera contains simple sugars that include glucose, fructose, mannose and are known as monosaccharides and more complex, long-chain sugars, known as polysaccharides. The monosaccharides are simple structures that are readily broken down by enzyme action and then are absorbed by the body.
The more complex, long-chain sugars, where glucose and mannose are linked, are known as polysaccharides or gluco-mannans. It is these unique long-chain sugars that researchers such as Dr. Ivan Danhof in the USA (see references to him later in the chapter) and medical practitioners, such as Dr Gregg Henderson (he has been using Aloe Vera for over 20 years), Dr Peter Atherton, a UK doctor, and David Urch, a UK veterinarian (the latter two have been using aloe vera for over seven years) and many others in the USA, the UK, Europe and other parts of the world, believe are the keys to aloe vera’s unique healing and immuno-stimulating properties. One polysaccharide in particular – acemannan – has been shown to have significant health-giving properties. It:
Restores and boosts the immune system
Stimulates the production of macrophages (large white blood cells)
Increases the capacity of T-lymphocytes by up to fifty per cent
Salicylic Acid – Aloe vera also contains salicylic acid. This substance is similar in its properties to aspirin in that it helps to reduce fever and inflammation by lowering the body’s temperature. This is what helps give aloe vera its anti-pyretic properties. It is thought that thousands of years ago the Greek physician Hippocrates discovered that a concoction using the bark of the and leaves of the willow could help relieve the aches and pains of childbirth and lower fevers. What he didn’t know is that this potion contained salicin, part of the salicylate family of drugs that includes the common apirin – acetylsalicylic acid. Modern researchers believe that because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting properties, aspirin may help with a broad range of medical problems including:
fever and pain
pre-eclampsia in high risk women
Alzheimer’s diabetes (those diabetics with cardic or vascular complications)
Saponins – These are natural soapy substances that have both cleansing and antiseptic properties.
Sterols – These are natural occuring plant steroids with analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. The main sterols in aloe vera are: beta sitosterol, lupeol, campesterol
Vitamins – Aloe vera contains many vitamins and the main ones are:
Vitamin A – beta carotene and retinol – essential for healthy skin and tissue, bones, sight, anti-oxidant, boosts immune system, one of the so-called ACE or anti-oxidant vitamins that helps combat free radicals.
Vitamin B1 – thiamine – essential for tissue growth, energy and brain function.
Vitamin B2 – riboflavin – essential for energy production, healthy skin and tissue
Vitamin B3 – niacin – essential for energy production, brain function, helps regulate the metabolism.
Vitamin B6 – pyridoxine – essential for brain function, hormone balance (PMS, menopause), metabolism. Vitamin B12 – cyanocobalamin – essential in the utilization of proteins, energy production. B12 is mainly found in meat and dairy products and rarely in plants (vegan/vegetarians please note). Lack of B12 can lead to anaemia.
Vitamin C – ascorbic acid – essential to the immune system, helps in the production of collagen, helps to maintain healthy skin, joints, tissue and bones, helps fight infections, cancer and heart disease, one of the so-called ACE or anti-oxidant vitamins, essential to combat free radical damage. Vitamin C is the most important of the immune boosting nutrients and helps in the production of T-cells that in turn help destroy cancer cells.
Vitamin E – tocopherol – essential for healthy skin and tissue, aids fertility, promotes tissue healing, one of the three so called ACE or anti-oxidant vitamins, essential to combat free radical damage. Folic Acid – essential for healthy nerve and brain function and in the production of red blood cells, critical in pregnancy to reduce the risks of birth defects such as hare lip and spina bifida.