Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Examining The Healing Mystery Of Aloe

Date:
June 28, 2002
Source:
Texas A&M University
Summary:
If grandma gets a bedsore, the best thing to put on it might be a plant that's been used for 5,000 years. The mysterious Aloe vera has been a source for healing since Old Testament times, and a Texas A&M University researcher is trying to uncover just what the substances are in the plant that work wonders and how they do it so that more might be learned about treating wounds.

COLLEGE STATION - If grandma gets a bedsore, the best thing to put on it might be a plant that's been used for 5,000 years.

Related Articles


The mysterious Aloe vera has been a source for healing since Old Testament times, and a Texas A&M University researcher is trying to uncover just what the substances are in the plant that work wonders and how they do it so that more might be learned about treating wounds.

Dr. Ian Tizard, a professor of immunology in the College of Veterinary Medicine, is studying a special polysaccharide, the substance that forms along cell walls of the Aloe vera, to see how it performs its healing tricks.

The Aloe vera is native to North Africa but now can be found almost worldwide, Tizard says. A succulent, it thrives in warm and dry climates very much like cactus does.

But unlike its prickly cactus cousin, Aloe vera is in a class by itself when it comes to certain healing properties.

There are more than 100 species of aloe, but Tizard says Aloe vera is the one that has drawn the most scientific interest.

"When Aloe vera is placed on many types of wounds, such as bedsores, it can often heal the wound quickly, and the likely reason why is the special polysaccharide in it," Tizard explains.

"Many plants contain this polysaccharide, but the kind found in Aloe vera works differently, we've learned. It seems to bind growth factors in wounds whereas normally they would be destroyed. Aloe vera polysaccharide seems to speed along the healing process much quicker.

"How it does this, that's what we're trying to find out."

Aloe vera (aloe is an Arabic word for a bitter substance, vera is Latin for truth) has long, pointed leaves consisting of green rind and clear pulp. The pulp is the part of the plant that has the healing agents in it.

"It comes out of the plant like a clear liquid, but when it touches human skin, it becomes a gel," Tizard says. "It acts as a wound sealant in this gel state, and no other plants do so."

Especially benefiting from such treatments could be the elderly, who are susceptible to bedsores, diabetic ulcers and vascular (circulation) ulcers.

"Geriatric patients often have wounds that won't heal properly or take longer to heal," Tizard says. "That's one of the things we're looking at - how can wounds heal quicker, and what role does the Aloe vera plant play in this quicker healing process?"

There's not much of the Aloe vera plant that isn't useful, Tizard notes.

The rind of the plant has been used as a laxative while the pulp has been put on burns and wounds for thousands of years. Besides being used in lotions and medicines, in recent years cosmetic companies have used Aloe vera in a variety of products, especially moisturizers.

Tizard's research is funded by Delsite Biotechnologies of Irving, Texas.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Texas A&M University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Texas A&M University. "Examining The Healing Mystery Of Aloe." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 June 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/06/020627005856.htm>.
Texas A&M University. (2002, June 28). Examining The Healing Mystery Of Aloe. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/06/020627005856.htm
Texas A&M University. "Examining The Healing Mystery Of Aloe." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/06/020627005856.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

U.S. Ebola Response Measures Demonstrated

U.S. Ebola Response Measures Demonstrated

AP (Oct. 31, 2014) Officials in the Washington area showed off Ebola response measures being taken at Dulles International Airport and the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) Colorado may have legalized marijuana for recreational use, but the debate around the decision still continues, with a recent - failed - attempt to ban cannabis-infused edibles. Duration: 01:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins