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Aloe Vera

by the red flower STAFF

    aloe thrives in the driest of deserts, a prickly succulent universally known by its mere shape alone. a rosette of verdant, fleshy leaves, whose barbed exterior protects the miraculous, healing matter inside.

aloe vera extract and aloe vera leaf juice are found in the following red flower products:

"aloe vera gel contains a glycoprotein with cell proliferating- promoting activity, while in one research it is found that aloe vera gel improved wound healing by increasing blood supply, which increased oxygenation as a result. topical application of the aloe vera derived allantoin gel stimulated fibroblast activity and collagen proliferation."

-- pharmacological attribute of
aloe vera:

revalidation through
experimental and clinical studies,
us national library of medicine
national institutes of health

a soothsayer for the skin, aloe vera's curative effects are evident in nearly every culture around the world. christened "the miracle plant," this desert botanical's persistent application in herbal medicine has led to its reputation as a powerful emollient for the skin. parsing fact from fiction is the more difficult task. due to its inherent mystique, aloe vera is the source of endless study, with new applications and healing methods constantly being discovered.

the restorative powers of aloe vera are well documented. first depicted on sumerian clay tablets from 1750 bc, it has entranced ancient physicians -- appearing in the egyptian book of remedies, and touted by greek physicians such as dioscorides for treating burns. aloe's influence in the ancient world was so great, it's believed that alexander the great invaded the yemini island of socotra to secure enough of this "true alloeh" to treat the wounds of his soldiers. native to the mediterranean, aloe made its way across the old world, leaving traces of its presence in the native pharmacology of every country. while the juice has many internal benefits, it is the gel or "mucilage" that's responsible for its skin-soothing abilities. a staple in ayurvedic medicine, knowledge of aloe vera in asia dates back to 4th century bc. a chinese scholar discovered this miraculous plant, known as "jelly leek," while traveling through tibet -- when he cut often the leaf to heal the eczema on his skin. it was also used in arabian medicine to treat vitiligo (loss of pigmentation of the skin) and fungus infections.

the image of aloe vera that comes to mind most frequently, is that of a giant, cactus-like varieties that lay claim to the dusty deserts of mexico. first used to beautify the skin of the mayan women of the yucatan, the penetrating gel is used for all matters of ailments, from burns, skin irritations, insect bites and athlete's foot for its antifungal and antibacterial properties. rooted in folklore, as much as it is in herbal medicine, aloe is believed to bring about good luck, and is a fixture in front of most mexican households and businesses. as a succulent, aloe vera is able to sprout new leaves up to seven years without water. it is this enduring nature that makes it a symbolic gift for newlyweds, with each new sprout representing a lasting relationship.

a prime example of desert adaptation, aloe vera survives its arid conditions through the remarkable, gel-like tissue that lies within. with a great capacity to hold moisture, aloe can quickly heal itself when a leaf is cut, and even grow in another direction. this regenerative quality is what makes this plant such a potent panacea. aloe vera dominates the realm of beauty, with over 250,000 gallons of gel being used each year in cosmetics and health supplements. despite its prevalence in the beauty aisle, few actually know how it works. commonly known for its ability to soothe sun-parched and damaged skin, the extract provides more than just cooling relief. numerous studies have found it can regenerate capillaries, by improving blood and oxygen circulation to accelerate the healing process.

aloe vera gel is 99% water. the remaining 1% is home to antioxidants, skin-enhancing enzymes and several anti-inflammatory compounds. containing amino acids, nutrients, minerals, and vitamins, aloe vera gel is one of the healthiest plant substances in the world and one of the only vegetarian sources of vitamin B12. with over 200 ingredients, aloe vera is more than a sum of its parts, as all of the ingredients are enhanced through a synergistic effect of working in harmony with one another. three chemicals that give aloe its powerful soothing properties are aloin, barbaloin, and aloe-emodin, which help to fight infection and act as an anti-inflammatory to cuts, burns and skin irritations. athletes also use aloe to treat muscle aches, sprains, skin abrasions and blisters, since it contains choline salicylate -- a chemical similar to the active ingredient in muscle rub creams. aloe vera is also responsible for several beauty-enhancing elements beyond its treatment of minor burns: reducing puffiness under the eyes, hydrating chapped lips, eliminating dandruff, and healing blemishes are just a few benefits of this truly unique perennial. as a natural toner for the skin, it contains salicylic acid, that firms the skin, tightens the pores and calms swelling and redness associated with hormonal acne and irritation.

while most popular botanicals are brimming with essentials vitamins and minerals, most never reach the layers of skin where they are needed most. aloe vera has the unique ability to deeply penetrate the skin, with an absorptive capacity four times faster than water. the lignin inside the plant is responsible for its penetrative power, reaching the deeper layers of the skin and aiding in the absorption of other ingredients. when applied topically aloe vera blocks free radicals and stimulates the immune system, preventing potential cancer-causing UV damage to the skin. deeply moisturizing, aloe vera's most glowing advantage however, is its ability to trigger fibroblast cells into producing more collagen -- resulting in plump, illuminated skin.

because of aloe vera's many healing properties, this miracle plant has come a long way from socotra, as it is now distilled commercially all over the world. because of the high demand of aloe vera, most products labeled as such, rarely contain the pure material. and the addition of alcohol dilutes it further, stripping it of its many inherent healing properties. for formulations containing pure aloe vera, a hand filleting method involves slicing open each leaf individually and carefully removing the gel. this methodical process ensures the potency and pureness of the gel. to extract the juice from the leaf, the juice is released from the fibrous gel by means of filtration and immediately sterilized using pasteurization. this not only preserves the active ingredients of the plant, but also prevents the inclusion of harmful bacteria. aloe vera only displays its true effectiveness in its original state, without being overly processed. red flower uses aloe leaf extract and aloe leaf juice throughout each collection, as almost every part of the body can benefit from its deeply moisturizing, calming and skin-soothing properties. there is a beauty in its simplicity. in its purest form, aloe vera is designed to nourish and provide for the skin the way in which mother nature intended.

aloe vera extract and aloe vera leaf juice are found in the following red flower products:

active organic milk forest purifier | bioactive berry white peat exfoliant | lymphatic phytopower sea cleanser and masque | arctic berry cloud milk cream | wild cherry blossom rice bran buff | plum blossom silk cream | tangerine fig butter creme | purifying body wash | isla das rocas revitalizing sea salt scrubs | italian blood orange cleansing hand soap | softening hair conditioner

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