Aloe vera is a plant that was originally found in Africa. It looks like a lily, with thick, green, spiny, succulent leaves. The plant usually has up to 25 leaves. It is used to make aloe gel which is the made from the entire leaf, aloe juice which is made from the nutritious liquid inside the leaf, aloe-vera latex which is a yellow fluid in the leaf with laxative properties and aloe vera capsules which are used as dietary supplements.

Used as digestive, laxative and skincare preparations aloe is known to produce no allergic reaction. Having said that when aloe is internally ingested diuretics, steroids, digoxin, drugs that cause potassium loss and drugs for irregular heartbeat need to be avoided. If drugs for controlling blood sugar are being taken you should not use aloe as it reduces blood sugar levels.

Aloe Mucilaginous Polysaccharides (AMP), one of the components of aloe is what gives aloe its healing abilities. AMPs are sugar molecules consisting of separate mannose and glucose sugar molecules in combination. This discovery of the medicinal abilities of AMP has been widely considered to be a major breakthrough in the autoimmune and gastrointestinal fields of medicine.

Aloe vera is used in the treatment of digestive tract ailments like ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel disease (IBD) and Crohn's disease. An ailment of the colon, ulcerative colitis is the inflammation of the digestive tract. This could result in permanent dilation of the colon or even perforation of the colon. The reason why aloe vera is used in treating this disease is that its anti-inflammatory abilities help calm the inflammation in the digestive tract. In addition aloe vera also has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that help the condition. Though Aloe is used widely to treat various digestive disorders, from mild to moderate to severe, Aloe is usually used successfully in the treatment of ulcerative colitis.

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