Friday, 3 January 2014

Aloe Vera Good For Diabetics, Cardiac Patients

VARANASI: The aloe vera (an ornamental plant) can be used for lowering blood glucose and blood lipid level in diabetic and cardiac patients, says a study report prepared by the scientists of Banaras Hindu University (BHU).

The plant is already extensively used in toiletry and cosmetic industry.

It may be mentioned here that a team of BHU scientists including Neeraj Kumar, head, department of rasa shashtra; R Tripathi and B Mishra of department of pharmaceutics, IT-BHU, has come up with a report that sheds light on the potential of aloe vera in diabetic treatment, besides lowering blood lipid levels to bolster cardiac activities.
"The oral administration of aloe vera can be effective in reducing blood glucose in diabetic patients and also in lowering blood lipid levels in hyperlipidaemia patients," said Neeraj Kumar while talking to TOI on Friday.

The utility of aloe vera's hypogycemic activity has been proved in both insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) rats.
"Histological examinations have also shown that aloe vera gel reduces the average size of adipocytes and lowers triglyceride levels in liver and plasma," he added.

Referring to earlier studies that suggest that oral administration of 500 mg per kg weight, twice daily, aloe vera gel significantly reduces the blood glucose level in alloxanized mice, Kumar said that in another study, patients with hyperlipidaemia (higher blood lipid levels), total serum cholesterol levels, triglycerides and low density lipoprotein (LDL) were found to be decreased up to 15%, 30% and 18% respectively after 12 weeks of treatment with aloe vera gel.

As per reports of the rasa shastra department, the aloe vera plant which can grow in extremely dry (arid) conditions and is widely found in Africa and India is widely used in herbal medicines.

While the anti-inflammatory and healing ability of aloe vera has been studied extensively, its other versatile pharmacological activities like hypoglycemic and gastroprotective properties have attracted more attention recently.

Aloe Vera:
It is an ornamental plant known as ghratakumari in Sanskrit and gheekvar in Hindi. It grows in extremely dry (arid) climate and is widely distributed in Africa, India an other arid areas. The plant forms symbiotic relationship with Arbuscular mycoorhiza which helps this plant to access nutrients from the soil. The gel of aloe vera has pharmacological properties like wound healing, frost-bite healing, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, hypoglycemic and gastroprotective abilities.

It supports digestive system to absorb the nutrients and eliminates all harmful toxins from the body. Aloe vera juice is consumed to get relief from various digestive problems including heartburn and irritable bowel syndrome. Some other uses of aloe vera include treatment of skin allergies, acne, fungal infection etc.

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