Aloe: Who's this?
It seems that Aloe (Aloe vera) owes her name to the Greeks, because of her growth close to the sea. However, it is also said that she may derive from the Arabic alua and Hebrew halat, both meaning “bitter”, like her juice. Aloe is used in several cases, since she belongs to the family of Liliaceae. But it should be remembered that not all parts of the plant are beneficial — active principles must be isolated and accurately dosed, in order to only bring benefits.
Aloe, in order to extract her superpowers and give them to cats and dogs, sacrifices herself for a health mission. In fact, her superpowers are concentrated in her leaves, whose sap, in the upper layers, must be cut away. Once these skin has been discarded, aloe’s blood that flows from them is collected and concentrated through boiling, together with the internal layers of gel. The main active ingredient of this green blood is the aloin.
Once her powers have been used, you can enjoy a soothing effect, anti-inflammatory, even wound healing, which make the aloe widely used for topical skin actions through external ointments; but for dogs and cats, is instead useful to the intestinal mucosa. Skin diseases are related to the permeability of the intestinal mucosa, which with its alteration could toil to eliminate toxic substances.
Thus, her super powers strengthen the intestinal barrier, in a sense as an internal ointment, making it less sensitive to the passage of toxic substances by reducing the sensitization and the possibility of dermal rashes. In addition to this main action, Aloe has many other powers. This phytonutrient superhero renews the microcirculation of the highly vascularized skin tissues. She has a cholagogue action and stimulates the immune system, which is the ability of white blood cells to destroy all of their personal enemies. But be careful, Aloe hides some risks. Do you remember which is the part of her leaves that we have analyzed in order to conserve only the juice? It also contains an unusual and powerful element, called anthraquinone. If care was not taken to isolate Aloe's beneficial properties from anthraquinone, you will know it in a short amount of time due to its capacity to irritate muscles and the consequent laxative effect. This is not one of the abilities that we ask of her.
In short, Aloe has many brothers and cousins. There are, in fact, 435 recognized species, varieties and subspecies. Aloe may be reduced to a powder and is also used in the realization of different liquors. Christopher Columbus, during one of his trips, noted the following passage in his diary: “Four plants are indispensable for the health of man: grain, grapes, olive and aloe. The first feeds him, the second raises his spirit, the third brings him harmony, the fourth cures him”.