The benefits of aloe vera for your skin are undeniable. If you’ve ever cut open a leaf for use on a cut, scrape, or sunburn, you’ve experienced it first hand. But aloe vera may possess even greater healing power than many realize, potentially preventing and halting skin cancer in its tracks.
In addition to reducing wrinkles, researchers from the University of Belgrade School of Medicine recently confirmed that the constituents in aloe vera stops proliferation of cells that accompanies skin cancer. With skin cancer, cells proliferate (or multiple rapidly) as skin tumors develop. To stop this cell growth, you can stop the tumors from developing.
The researchers found that Aloe-emodin stopped cell proliferation. In conjunction with this finding, the researchers discovered that although the isolated aloe compounds were protective, the whole herb extracts were even better.
What this means is that identifying the beneficial compound in the plant is great, but when you remove it from the plant to isolate it and use the isolated compound in a treatment, it is far less effective than when used as part of the plant.
Additionally, aloe vera contains many other compounds adding to it’s antioxidant properties and healing abilities. Case Adams, Naturopath from GreenMedInfo reports:
The gel of the Aloe leaf and its other plant parts contain many constituents outside of those tested in these studies, including quercetin, luteolin, apigenin, kaempferol, isoorientin, isovitexin, saponarin, lutonarin, chlorogenic acid, pectic acid, caffeic acid, 5-P-coumaroylquinic acid, caffeoylshikimic acid, feruloylquinic acid, coumaric acid, ferulic acid, as well as glycosylchromone aloeresin B, and aloin, which is a precursor to Aloe-emodin.
Other studies have also demonstrated aloe’s ability to stop the progression of skin cancer when applied directly to the skin. It is suspected that aloe very stimulates the production of melanin and other protective substances. So, using fresh aloe vera gel for sunburn relief may pull double-duty, soothing the burn and protecting the skin from cancer. And of course everyone knows that burn relief is among many other health benefits of aloe vera.
One of the best things about aloe vera is you can grow it yourself in your home or your yard (if you are in a warmer climate). It’s a great first aid treatment and is excellent for a variety of skin conditions.