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  Aloe
(Aloe vera)

General Description: Perennial succulents that grow throughout the world except in rain forest and arid desserts.

Gel: a thin, clear material taken from aloe leaves.

Latex: bitter material, usually in dry form that is used as a potent laxative and cathartic effects. 

Aloe: solid residue obtained by evaporating the  latex beneath the skin.

Uses: 

            wound healing

             decrease psoriasis

             sunburn

             bruises

             cold sores

             sore muscles

             laxative

             Lichen planus (eruptions of the skin and mucous membranes)

Action:    Gel: Histamine blocker, antibacterial, antifungal, antiprostaglandin, emollient, inhibits the synthesis of thromboxane, and inhibits bradykinins.

Latex: irritates gastrointestinal (GI) mucosa and increases mucous secretions and peristalsis.         

Dosage: 

Gel:  apply liberally as needed 3-5 times per day                  

50-200mg capsules daily

Juice: up to maximum of 1 quart/day

Latex: no more than 1-2 tbsp/day

Precautions/Adverse Reactions: Topically: may cause dermatitis and  delay wound healing.  Internally:  May cause GI symptoms, diarrhea, cramping  or fluid  and electrolyte imbalances, especially potassium loss.

Contraindications:  Deep topical wounds.  Internally:  Do not use with cardiac glycosides and antiarrhythmics.  Concomitant use of diuretics could cause excess potassium loss.  Also,  intestinal obstruction, Crohn's disease ulcerative colitis, and ulcers.       

Nursing Considerations:

  Gel is safe for topical use and can be used by pregnant and   lactating women and in children.  Latex:  is contraindicated in pregnant or lactating women and  in children.  In pregnant women, it can cause contractions.  

  Latex should not be used for daily long-term dosing due to intestinal effects.

  If patients are on cardiac glycosides and antiarrhythmics, long term use of aloe latex may cause loss of potassium, therefore increasing their effectiveness.

  Warn patients that their urine may be a yellowish-brown or a red color.

There is much debate about the potency of aloe that is bought off the shelf.  The stability of active substances cannot be assured.  If a patient uses aloe gel for skin care, it is best to use a plant.  They are very easy to grow. 

(References)

 

[ Aloe ] Bilberry ] Black Cohash ] Chamomile ] Chaste Berry Tree ] Dong Quai ] Echinacea ] Evening Primrose Oil ] Feverfew ] Garlic ] Ginger ] Ginkgo ] Ginseng ] Guarana ] Hawthorn ] Horse Chestnut ] Kava-Kava ] Ma Huang ] Milk Thistle ] Nettle ] St. John's Wort ] Saw Palmetto ] Tea Tree Oil ] Valerian ] Yohimbe ]