Aloe vera: Homemade Amalgamas
In response to a question posted on our blog, this post has appeared in which some homemade masks for the hair and for the skin, prepared using the gel of the Aloe vera plant are suggested. If you have one of these plants in your yard you can try it! Tell us about your results. Thanks for sharing.
Dear Helena Sousa!
The history of Aloe vera is ancient and is referred to in the literature of diverse cultures as you can see.
- Before actually addressing your issue I refer you to some contraindications and side effects of oral use of Aloe vera.
- Due to the presence of anthraquinones, oral ingestion during pregnancy is not advised since its stimulatory effect on the large intestine can cause uterine contractions leading to miscarriage.
- On the other hand, the same component - anthraquinones - if ingested in excess, triggers severe diarrhea, cramps, nausea and, consequently, loss of electrolytes which results in cardiac and neuromuscular dysfunction, especially if the patient already makes use of cardiac glycosides, diuretics or antiarrhythmics. It may also lead to dehydration.
- Cases of acute hepatitis have also been reported. The first report was made in Germany by Rabe et al. (2005) reported the case of a 57-year-old woman who had ingesting bars containing 500 mg of Aloe vera extract for four weeks had symptoms such as jaundice, pruritus, and abdominal pain. Other cases of nausea, fatigue due to misuse of Aloe vera intake.
- In addition to its toxicity, some symptoms such as colic and nausea after consumption of oral preparations, unduly, containing Aloe vera were observed.
As in everything, it is necessary to use the products properly, with their weight and measure and, in cases of diseases or more serious pathologies, consult a health professional of the corresponding area.
- With respect to topical application, it is added to this list of side effects that there have been reports in the literature of contact dermatitis and burning sensation caused by the topical use of Aloe vera gel. These reactions are probably due to the presence of anthraquinone residues in the gel used (Horgan, 1988; WHO, 1999).
- As regards the collection of the gel, the following must be taken into account:
- Aloe vera takes four to five years to reach maturity and its leaves can be divided into two parts.
- From the outer part can extract a juice, which when concentrated and dry is called Aloe. this sap flows spontaneously from the cut leaves and has a dark brown color, besides a very bitter taste and a very intense smell.
- Seasonal and culture changes may affect gel composition.
- Polysaccharide levels, one of the active components, for example, are lower in well-irrigated plants.
- The processing of the leaves should also be done soon after the harvest, because the gel quickly oxidizes when it comes in contact with the air.
- To extract the gel from the plant Aloe vera:
- In order for the gel to be in its ideal state for collection and with good characteristics, water the plant every day five days before collection.
- Cut three sheets or as many as you need to extract the gel.
- Remove the side spines.
- VERY IMPORTANT:Place the leaves in water for at least 24 hours. Change the water for 4 to 4 hours so that each rod releases a substance known as aloin, which can be toxic.
- After 24 hours, remove the feet from the water and extract the pulp.
- Open the sheet sideways with a knife, or peel the sheet only on one side.
- Extract the gel by scraping the inside of the sheet with a spoon. (* Note: You can freeze this gel, cut to cubes, for a period of 3 to 4 months, to use later.)
- Add a few drops of lemon juice and wheat germ oil, whose function is to enhance its properties thanks to its content of vitamin E and other antioxidants.
- Then beat the mixture at a medium-high speed on the mixer until a thick white cream is obtained. You can do this by using a blender.
- Finally, store the preparation in a hermetically sealed glass vial and store it in the refrige