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Aloe vera has long been dubbed as a medical plant (medicinal plants) or a master healing plant (plant main healer). This plant resembles a cactus. Leaves taper-shaped spurs, the interior nodes, are brittle with serrated edges.
Aloe vera is Latin name Aloe vera L. belong to the tribe Liliaceae. Aloe means shining bitter compounds. Exudate (sap) of this plant a bitter taste, but can be used as a cure to various skin diseases.
At first aloe vera grows wild in the hot valve. Due to the unique shape, and also planted in pots and yard as an ornamental plant.
Lately, aloe vera is cultivated on a large scale for industrial purposes, both food and non-food industries. How to plant it was fairly easy. Only by separating the shoots from the parent stem leaves.
Aloe vera can flourish in almost all continents, especially in hot climates, such as Indonesia. It is estimated that more than 350 species of aloe vera which is widespread throughout the world.
Today the aloe vera plant into one of the agricultural commodities that have a tremendous opportunity to be developed in Indonesia sebagal agribusiness. Some areas especially in Java and Kalimantan has proven the success of the production of aloe vera.
Aloe vera cultivation in Pontianak (West Kalimantan) able to produce 8000 kg / ha with a heavy midrib to 1.5 kg and length 7O cm. Potential areas of aloe vera plantation in West Kalimantan, covering approximately 20,000 hectares, equivalent to the production of approximately 200,000 tons of fresh aloe vera leaves per month.
Multipurpose Plants
The parts of the aloe vera plant commonly used are: (a) leaves, which can be used directly, either traditional or in extract form, (b) exudate (sap out of leaves when cut, taste bitter and thick), traditionally usually used directly for hair maintenance, wound healing, and so forth, (c) gel (part of mucus obtained by slicing the inside of the leaf after the exudate removed), is cool and easily damaged by oxidation, so that required further processing in order to obtain gel stable and durable.
Aloe vera gel contains carbohydrate digested, so it can be used as diet drinks. Aloe vera gel is composed of 96 percent water and 4 percent solids consisting of 75 components of efficacious compounds. Efficacy of aloe vera great dimliki strongly associated with the 75th component synergistically.
Substance Source Nutrition
Aloe vera has the necessary nutrients the body with a fairly complete, namely vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B12, C, E, choline, inositol and folic acid. Minerals, include: calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), potassium (K), sodium (Na), iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), and chromium (Cr). Some elements of vitamins and minerals can serve as building blocks of natural antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, magnesium, and zinc. Antioxidants are useful to prevent premature aging, heart attacks, and various degenerative diseases.
Fresh aloe leaf contains an enzyme amylase, catalase, cellulase, carboxypeptidase, and others. In addition, aloe vera also contains a number of amino acids arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, alanine, serine, valine, glutamate, threonine, glycine, lysine, proline, hisudin, leucine and isoleucine.
Sources of Antioxidants
Potential antioxidant compounds have been isolated from methanol extracts of aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis Miller) with a combination of column chromatography techniques (column chromatography) and TLC (thin layer chromatography). Analysis of in vitro using rat brain homogenates, indicating that the antioxidant activity of these compounds is as strong as indicated by alfatokoferol (vitamin E). The identification results indicate that these compounds belong to the phenolic group (Lee et al., 2000).
Growth phase (age harvest) appeared to have an important influence on the composition and antioxidant activity of aloe vera plant. Tests conducted on concentration and antioxidant activity of flavonoid compounds and polysaccharides from aloe vera aged 2, 3, and 4 years. The results showed that aloe vera has a 3-year-old polysaccharide and flavonoid content of greater than 2 and 4 years old.
The order of antioxidant activity respectively as compared with the controls, namely BHT (benzoyl hydroxytoluene) and alfatokoferol, ranked from strongest to weakest: 3 years aloe vera> BHT> 4 years aloe vera> alpha-tocopherol> aloe vera age 3 years showed aktvitas arrest of the most powerful free radical (72.19 percent) than BHT (70.52 percent) and alpha-tocopherol (65.20 percent) (Saada et al., 2003).
The elements found in Aloe vera leaves indicate a synergistic relationship with each other in maintaining the integrity of the status of antioxidants in the body. Tests using mice that were given irradiation of Aloe vera leaf juice filtrate of 0.25 ml / kg body weight / day, for 5 days before irradiation and 10 days after irradiation, showed significant improvement to the enzyme activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase in the lungs, kidneys, and heart (Saada et al., 2003). SOD and catalase is an intracellular antioxidant enzymes and also very useful to enhance the immune system against various diseases.
Healers Skin Diseases
Aloe vera gel has activity as an antibacterial, antifungal, increases blood flow to the injured area, and stimulates fibroblasts, the skin cells responsible for wound healing. Publication of the American Podiatric Medical Association showed that administration of aloe gel in animals, either by mouth or applied to the skin surface, can accelerate wound healing.
Giving oral aloe gel (drink) as much as 100 mg / kg body weight for two months to reduce the size of the wound as much as 62 percent, compared to 51 percent in the control group (without administration of gel). Application of a cream containing 25 per cent of aloe gel on the wound surface for six days can reduce injuries by 51 percent ukunan compared to 33 percent in the control group.
Publication in the Journal of Dermatolagic Surgery and Oncology also showed that aloe can accelerate healing after surgery. Aloe gel also can be used for facial cream mixture penyembuhanjerawat. Mix facial cream with aloe gel to cure acne, 72 hours faster than the group without aloe.
Aloe can also be used to prevent skin damage from X-ray Research at Hoshi University in Japan showed that aloe contains antioxidant compounds that can eliminate free radicals from radiation, and protects the two components of wound healing that occurs naturally in the body, namely superoxide dismutase (antioxidant enzyme) and glutathione (an amino acid that stimulates the immune system) .
Other studies also showed that 0.5 percent aloe extract into the cream mixture and mineral oil to cure psoriasis (a skin disease).
Drugs, Food, Drinks
Use of aloe vera are increasingly developing. At first known as Aloe vera just outside of medicine, with a variety of uses. Among the fertilizing hair, wound healing (burns / scalded), ulcer medication, acne / black stain, a natural moisturizer, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, as well as a natural sunscreen.
Aloe vera can also be processed into various food products and beverages, a kind of jelly, fresh drinks like juice, nata de aloe, dawet, dodol, jam, and others. Food and beverages processed aloe vera is a potential as a food / beverage health. This was caused by a combination of nutrients and nongizi which has properties to boost health.
Uses of Aloe vera as a food / beverage, among others efficacious for: worms, difficulty urinating, constipation (constipation), cough, sore throat, hepatoprotector (liver protector), immunomodulatory (plant's immune system), diabetes mellitus, lowering cholesterol, and coronary heart disease.