General: An herbaceous perennial in the family Liliaceae, Aloe Vera is grown for its succulent leaves which have a variety of culinary and medicinal uses. The plant has a short, stout stem and a rosette of fleshy, lancelike leaves which have a serrated margin of small white teeth. The pale green-grey leaves may be flecked with white. Aloe vera plants produce densely packed pendulous yellow flowers on a spike which can be up to 90 cm (35 in) in height. The plant itself can grow to be 1 m (3 ft) in height and can live for up to 100 years if well cared for. Aloe vera is indigenous to eastern and southern Africa.
Skin Benefits: Aloe Vera oxygenates skin cells, increasing the strength of skin tissue. Makes skin more supple and decreases wrinkling by stimulating collagen and elastin production. The amino acids also soften hardened skin cells and zinc acts as an astringent to tighten pores. Calms and restores damaged, burned, tired and worn-looking skin. For examples of the wonderful applications of aloe vera, check out our Sunburn Smoothie, Lavender and Aloe Facial Toner, and Verbena and Sage Foaming Cleanser.
Method of Extraction: The aloe plant has long and spiked leaves which contain a clear liquid-like substance. The bitter juice is taken from the aloe leaves and contains vitamins, minerals, and healthy enzymes with amino acids. Our incredibly stable Aloe Vera Juice is created by hand removing the inner filet of certified organically grown Aloe Vera plants, and then hand filtered to remove any remaining pulp.
Vitamins: It contains vitamins A (beta-carotene), C and E, which are antioxidants. It also contains vitamin B12, folic acid, and choline. Antioxidant neutralizes free radicals.
Enzymes: It contains 8 enzymes: aliiase, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, bradykinase, carboxypeptidase, catalase, cellulase, lipase, and peroxidase. Bradykinase helps to reduce excessive inflammation when applied to the skin topically, while others help in the breakdown of sugars and fats.
Minerals: It provides calcium, chromium, copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc. They are essential for the proper functioning of various enzyme systems in different metabolic pathways and few are antioxidants.
Sugars: It provides monosaccharides (glucose and fructose) and polysaccharides: (glucomannans/polymannose). These are derived from the mucilage layer of the plant and are known as mucopolysaccharides. The most prominent monosaccharide is mannose-6-phosphate, and the most common polysaccharides are called glucomannans [beta-(1,4)-acetylated mannan]. Acemannan, a prominent glucomannan has also been found. Recently, a glycoprotein with antiallergic properties, called alprogen and novel anti-inflammatory compound, C-glucosyl chromone, has been isolated from Aloe vera gel.
Other: It provides 20 of the 22 human required amino acids and 7 of the 8 essential amino acids. It also contains salicylic acid that possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Lignin, an inert substance, when included in topical preparations, enhances penetrative effect of the other ingredients into the skin. Saponins that are the soapy substances form about 3% of the gel and have cleansing and antiseptic properties.