Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) has a long traditional use as a topical treatment for skin inflammation, burns and wound healing. Less familiar may be it’s long and clinically studied use for digestion health. Aloe vera contains 18 amino acids, vitamins A, B’s C and E plus many macro minerals. However, the main naturally-occurring active constituent in aloe may very well be it’s unique polysaccharides. There are two forms of Aloe commonly sold: the inner leaf (also known as the gel which can be thinned and called juice) and the whole leaf. The inner leaf contains the heavier polysaccharides that aid in supporting healthy immune systems and absorption whereas the whole leaf contains the larger amounts of all polysaccharides including the key laxative ingredient.
How does it do all this? Well, polysaccharides are a type of complex carbohydrate, namely a complex of dietary fibers: soluble, insoluble even pectin. We know these fibers bind to sugars to slow their absorption thereby helping to manage blood sugar levels. They also bind to fats (think cholesterol) and bile to help eliminate them from our body. Maybe even more interesting is they bind to oxalates to help prevent the formation of kidney stones. Aloe vera is also shown to reduce free radicals, lower toxic levels of nitrate and increase our white blood cell count to boost our overall immune health. By promoting a healthy intestinal pH, aloe helps to create a friendly environment for probiotics and all the wonderful benefits of healthy gut flora.
At Heinen’s we offer one of the finest (in my opinion) aloe veras from Lily of the Desert. This USA company is vertically integrated; i.e. they oversee every step–from the field to the bottle and funds research that continues to uncover the wonders of aloe. Stop by today and have your wellness consultant show you all the great aloes we carry!