Aloe vera – the queen of medicinal plants
Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) is a perennial succulent plant with fleshy leaves and serrated edges. It belongs to the lily family (Liliaceae), and its name comes from the Arabic word “alloeh”, which in translation means bright bitter substance, while the Latin word “vera” means true.
It thrives best in tropical and arid climates, such as South America, the lower parts of the US, Africa, Asia and some parts of Europe.
Aloe vera consists of 95% water and 5% solid components. It contains more than 200 essential nutrients for the human body, including 75 active substances used in pharmacology, cosmetics and medicine.
Due to its exceptional medicinal properties, it is also called the “elixir of longevity”.
Aloe vera leaves in perfect balance contain:
- 20 amino acids – including 7 essential for the human body
- Monosaccharides (glucose and fructose) and polysaccharides (glucomannans and polymannoses), including acemannan (“aloverose”). Acemannan is well known for its ability to strengthen the immune system by stimulating macrophage production and improving T-lymphocyte activity by up to 50%.
- Soluble fibers that look like mucus (natural substances that coat and protect the mucous membrane)
- 20 minerals and trace elements , including organic germanium, which plays an important role in immunology and is present in most revitalizing plants. Aloe vera contains twice as much germanium as ginger, and four times as much as ginseng.
- 10 vitamins, vitamin A (beta-carotene), antioxidants C, E, and group B vitamins, including vitamin B12, folic acid and choline
- 8 enzymes: lipase, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, carboxypeptidase, catalase, cellulase, peroxidase and bradykinase (reduces the activity of bradykinin, which causes inflammation and pain)
- 12 anthraquinones (among them aloin and emodin), laxative phenolic components. Aloin and emodin have antibacterial, antiviral and analgesic effects
- Fatty acids , including 4 plant steroids: cholesterol, campesterol, beta-sitosterol and lupeol. All of them have anti-inflammatory effects, and lupeol has antiseptic and analgesic properties
- Auxin and gibberellin hormones, which have an anti-inflammatory effect and help with wound healing
- Other natural substances, such as lignins, saponins, salicylic acid (has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties) , prostaglandins, tannins, resins, magnesium lactate, proteins (lectins) and monosulfonic acid
Atalaya Bio – the first biodynamic aloe vera farm in the world
ATALAYA BIO, the only Mediterranean organic and Demeter Certified Biodynamic ® aloe vera farm, is located in the sunniest part of continental Spain, 10 kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea, with an average of 3,200 sunny hours a year in which there is no frost, which additionally makes the climate ideal for the organic cultivation of aloe vera .
Such weather conditions, together with the unique cultivation method, have the effect that ATALAYA BIO juices and cosmetics contain the highest possible proportion of polysaccharides (especially acemannan/aloverose), polyphenols and antioxidant activities.
This is the reason why the ingredients of this aloe vera are assimilated much more and faster than other reconstituted aloe juices produced from concentrated juice (which are by-products of filtration for the cosmetic industry).
Using the ideal growing climate, these biodynamic farming enthusiasts have perfected masterful skills to produce superior aloe vera, with serious attention to detail:
- Hand-cultivated, harvested, irrigated and watered with pure spring water , and hand-picked leaves result in superior aloe vera.
- Minimal processing of fresh leaves – Extraction and stabilization of the gel are carried out by an exclusive cold pressing process of only the inner parts of fresh leaves, in order to preserve all active ingredients
- Atalaya Bio aloe vera DOES NOT CONTAIN THE PEEL OR ANY PART OF THE OUTER PART OF THE LEAF
- Guaranteed freshness – Gel extraction is completed within a few hours of leaf collection. The juice is not pasteurized, not filtered, contains natural pulp and is filled into glass bottles within 24 hours after harvesting.
- Unlike other manufacturers, Atalaya Bio does not use aloe powder , which guarantees a completely different quality and healing effect
- It has a delicious taste, with very little lemon (for stabilization) and no added sugar
- It is delivered in specially designed, opaque glass bottles , to protect the active ingredients from decomposition and ultraviolet light.
- Use of biodegradable products – The use of plastic and other petroleum-based materials is avoided in production processes. Transport boxes are made from 100% recycled cardboard
- Support for renewable energy – The farm uses 100% renewable energy from solar panels
- Social responsibility – Atalaya Bio actively promotes and ensures employment in rural areas of the Natura 2000 network, protected natural habitats of endangered birds and turtles, which extends through 27 countries of the European Union
- As a founding partner and active participant of the “Castillo de Chuecos Foundation for Sustainability in the Mediterranean Regions”, it helps support, train, research, disseminate information and social participation initiatives that advocate sustainability in the Mediterranean Regions
Benefits of aloe vera :
1. Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory action
It has been confirmed that the inner gel of the aloe vera leaf has antibacterial properties against resistant strains of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, so it is recommended that oral preparations of aloe be combined with antibiotics in case of stomach infection.
A study from 2017. year also demonstrated the antibacterial effect of the gel against the investigated strains of Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Salmonella enterica, which may provide a new strategy for the clinical treatment of infections.
Recently, a new anti-inflammatory compound, called C-glucosyl chromone, was isolated from the gel extract.
2. Antiviral and anti-tumor protection
Aloe stimulates the immune system due to the action of the anthraquinone aloin, which inactivates various enveloped viruses, such as herpes simplex, varicella zoster, and influenza virus strains.
Polysaccharides from aloe juice stimulate macrophages, white blood cells of the immune system, which are the first in the line of defense against infections and viruses. The high level of antioxidants also effectively cancels the harmful effects of unstable compounds, free radicals.
Aloe emodin has been described in a large number of scientific papers as a powerful inhibitor of tumor cell growth.
Aloe is also antipyretic, which means it can be used to reduce and prevent fever.
3. It is rich in vitamins and minerals
Aloe vera contains many vitamins, including A, C, E, folic acid, choline, B1, B2, B3 (niacin) and B6. It is also one of the few plants that contains vitamin B12. Some of the 20 minerals found in aloe vera are: calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, selenium, sodium, iron, potassium, copper, manganese.
4. It contains an abundance of amino acids and fatty acids
The total estimated number of amino acids found in aloe vera is around 20, including 7 essential amino acids.
Aloe vera also contains quite an impressive number of fatty acids and 4 plant sterols. All of them are useful for reducing the symptoms of allergies, digestive and urological disorders. Fatty acids found in the inner part of the leaf are: linolenic, myristic, caprylic, oleic, palmitic and stearic acids.
5. Aloe vera is an adaptogen
Aloe vera is a well-known adaptogen. Adaptogens are plants that strengthen the body’s natural ability to adapt more easily to external changes. Aloe is thought to balance the body’s system by stimulating the body’s defense and adaptation mechanisms, thereby increasing the ability to cope with physical, emotional and environmental stress.
6. It helps with digestion
Optimal functioning of the digestive tract is one of the foundations of health. Aloe vera is known for soothing inflammation and pain in gastritis and regulating digestive elimination cycles.
It is a great help for people diagnosed with reflux, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. Aloe reduces the amount of hostile bacteria in the intestines and maintains a healthy intestinal flora in balance.
7. Participates in detoxification
Aloe vera is a gelatinous plant food, as are seaweed and chia seeds. The main advantage of consuming gelatinous plant foods is cleaning the intestinal tract, absorption of toxins and elimination through the large intestine, which is the main mechanism of natural detoxification of the body.
8. It alkalizes the body
The disease cannot manifest itself in an alkaline environment. Most people today consume foods that cause acidity in the body. For good health, the rule applies: 80/20 – 80% alkaline food and 20% acidic . Aloe vera alkalizes the body and restores balance in case of bad eating habits.
9. Supports healthy cholesterol levels
According to a study published in the British Medical Journal in 2000, beta sitosterol from aloe vera helps lower cholesterol, because it is very similar to the cholesterol in our body.
Plant sterols compete with our cholesterol for absorption in the digestive system. As a result, the body absorbs plant sterols instead of cholesterol, reducing triglycerides, LDL and total cholesterol.
Aloe vera juice improves blood circulation and oxidation, regulates blood pressure, makes blood less sticky, and thus contributes to reducing the risk of heart disease.
10. A natural remedy for the skin
Due to its well-known healing properties for the skin, aloe vera is one of the primary compounds used in the cosmetics industry. It helps to heal wounds, burns, psoriasis and insect bites. Aloe also acts as an analgesic and antipruritic (relieves itching).
Due to the high content of water (over 99%), it is excellent for hydration, moisturizing and rejuvenation, and thanks to elastin and collagen, it increases the elasticity and flexibility of the skin.
11. Antiseptic effect
Aloe vera contains 6 antiseptics: lupeol, salicylic acid, urea-nitrogen, cinnamic acid, phenols and sulfur. All of them have an inhibitory effect on fungi, bacteria and viruses.
12. Reduces blood glucose
In patients with prediabetes who consumed aloe vera gel for 8 weeks in the study, reduced fasting blood glucose values were demonstrated, along with an increase in insulin sensitivity. The HbA1C level was also lowered, an important indicator in the prevention of ketosis and hyperglycemia for possible complications of diabetes, such as retinopathy, neuropathy, nephropathy and heart disease.
13 . Supports prostate health
Beta sitosterol from the inner part of the leaf alleviates the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. It works by inhibiting the activity of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, which is an important trigger in the development of benign hyperplasia and prostate cancer. Beta sitosterol also improves the rate of urine flow, reduces frequent urination and the volume of residual urine in the bladder.
Aloe vera is one of the most studied plants in the world
According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the International Aloe Science Council (IASC):
- Aloe vera is a traditional medicine against diabetes (it helps in the absorption of glucose), asthma, epilepsy and osteoarthritis
- Aloe vera acts as a stimulant of the immune system , mainly thanks to the polysaccharide acemannan and other numerous nutrients
- Aloe vera improves digestion and helps better assimilation of nutrients. It is considered a protector of the liver , and also regulates digestive disorders, such as peptic ulcer, inflammatory colitis, gastroenteritis and constipation.
- Aloe vera helps in cholesterol regulation – in reducing “bad” cholesterol and increasing “good” cholesterol
- Aloe vera strengthens the gums , helps fight ulcers and sores and improves overall oral health
- Aloe vera is a detoxifying agent . It helps eliminate toxins, restore intestinal flora and purify the body
- Aloe vera helps with weight loss
- Aloe vera is a natural anti-allergic alkalizing antioxidant , laxative with anti-inflammatory, bactericidal and fungicidal components.
- Aloe vera has antibiotic and antiviral properties
- Aloe vera helps prevent cardiovascular diseases
- Aloe vera promotes a youthful appearance and the overall health of the skin and hair. Reduces wrinkles, scars, sunburns, protects against ultraviolet rays, and helps heal wounds
The oldest ecological certificate in the world, Demeter Certified Biodynamic ® is an approach to agriculture that is primarily focused on soil health, so that agricultural lands have a richer harvest of crops with a higher percentage of nutrients, as nature intended.
Viewing the farm as a living, self-sustaining organism, biodynamics follows nature’s cycles of a balanced ecosystem, promoting the overall health of crops and animals while healing our planet.
A healthy, living soil means: healthy plants, healthy animals and healthy people.
While industrial agriculture focuses on short-term practices that drain nutrients from the soil and disrupt natural cycles of regeneration, biodynamic agriculture thinks ahead. It unites with the earth and encourages natural solutions to improve the overall health of the farm, from bees, to livestock and crops.
Biodynamic farming is a way to help heal the planet and produce quality food – not as conquerors, but as guardians of the earth.
Demeter Certified Biodynamic® agriculture takes care of the whole farm instead of an individual crop
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Comparison of Demeter Certified Biodynamic ® cultivation with certified organic standards of the National Organic Program (NOP):
|Enables the import of organic fertilizers||Reduces imported fertilizers by using humus, rich in nutrients created in the eco-farming system|
|It allows imported organic pesticides||Creating a biologically diverse habitat encourages balanced insect-predator-prey relationships|
|It does not require the use of livestock||Integrates livestock for soil improvement|
|It does not deal with crop rotation||It promotes crop rotation and intensive use of cover crops (green manure) to add nutrients to the soil|
|Organic animal feed can come from anywhere in the world||50% of the feed must be grown on the farm|
|There are no requirements for biodiversity||10% of the total farm area must be set aside for biodiversity|
|It is focused on crops and allows certification of only one part of the farm||Focus on the whole farm, requires the whole farm to be certified|
|Product certification mainly focuses on the ingredients used||Product certification uses 12 standards of biodynamic processing, so that the product is defined by all the agricultural rules used|