Aloe Vera: let's discover a plant with multiple healing properties.

Did you have a good holiday?
Have you been with family and friends?
Have you joked and shared over aperitifs and around laden tables?
Very good! I'm glad you were able to enjoy the winter festivities!
I know, unfortunately there remains that sense of heaviness that after three seconds and four first courses perhaps we could have expected...
In your case too, the hope that it was only a Has the passing sensation been broken by the hand of the scale?

So I have a solution to share with you!
It's called Aloe Vera.

festeggiamenti a tavola durante il natale

You must have heard of it! Creams, lotions, gels, but also drinks and foods. The products based on Aloe Vera, also called Aloe barbadensis, are truly numerous.
Aloe extracts have been used for thousands of years for the most varied uses, from the treatment of wounds and burns to the embalming of the deceased.

Why is Aloe Vera so famous? What are the most effective applications?

Today we try to answer these questions and continue our overview of the active ingredients present in cosmetic and wellness products. We started some time ago by addressing the fundamental topic of INCI. Subsequently, we dedicated ourselves to various molecules with fascinating beneficial properties, such as Visnadine and DMAE.
This time, it is not an active ingredient in particular that deserves our attention, but the extract of the plant as a whole.
But I'm running too fast! Let's proceed step by step and find out what has chosen FGM04 to offer you, with its ALOE 200:1, a purifying and beneficial drink.
First of all, let's get to know this famous medicinal plant and look together at the traces it has left in human history.

pergamena egizia con raffigurazioni di dottori e medicamenti

A plant with ancient roots

Aloe Vera is a native tropical plant of North Africa, attributed – according to the most recent classification – to the Xanthorrhoeaceae family.
Its fat leaves (or more properly "succulent") arranged in a rosette, are excellently adapted to collect and store water. It is in fact a plant that prefers dry climates.
However, you don't need to fly to exotic locations to get to know it up close.
We find it wild in almost all the countries bordering the Mediterranean, but also in China, Australia, Central America and the list would still be long!
Aloe has in fact been traded and cultivated for many centuries and has therefore enjoyed an almost global diffusion. It does not happen infrequently to find it as an ornamental plant in arid gardens or even for interiors.
The oldest evidence of man's interest in Aloe dates back to four millennia ago, at the Sumerians, in Mesopotamia. Subsequently, references to the use of this plant for medicinal purposes can be found in ancient Egypt, Greece, the Roman Empire ... gradually up to the present day.
The Egyptians considered Aloe an elixir of life. Among the Chinese it was called "harmonious remedy". Medieval herbalists referred to it as the "natural healer" [1].
In short, the valorisation of this plant is not due to our times!
It instead belongs to the most ancient medical tradition, which we have inherited.
In the modern context, it was the illustrious Swedish naturalist Carl Linneaus (known as Linnaeus, in Italian) who described the plant for the first time. Linnaeus invented the systematic classification of living species which is the basis of the one in use today. Within his work, it was he who called this plant Aloe perfoliata var. true in 1753.
Finally, the way for the commercial use of Aloe was opened by the American pharmacist Bill Coats. In 1959 he succeeded for the first time in making the pulp stable, which would otherwise be rapidly subject to degradation.
But what are the virtues attributed to this plant of ours and what made it so lucky?

aloe vera. foglie e trattamenti cosmetici

A doctor in a vase

The name “Aloe” comes from the Arabic and means “bitter” and “shimmering”, reflecting the properties of the leaf pulp. In fact, once the opaque green coating has been removed, the inside is shiny and transparent and has a strongly bitter taste.
Aloe extracts are found in both traditional Western and Eastern medicine, for a long list of purposes:
Hydration and skin protection, burn treatment, bowel cleansing, painkiller, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant. These are only the uses of which evidence is most often found!

In addition, we can recall the Egyptian use in embalming rites or the more recent ones for contrasting skin aging.
With good reason, Christopher Columbus in his diaries called it "doctor in a pot" and elevated it to a medicinal plant essential for health [1].
Good. It is undoubtedly a plant with great potential. But how is Aloe used to obtain these medicinal benefits?
The processing of the leaf allows to obtain two main products: a milky and bitter juice, also called Aloe latex, and a transparent gel. The first is obtained from the layer directly below the leaf skin, while the second is found in the innermost part of the leaf.

foglie e trattamenti cosmetici con aloe vera

Here we get to the heart of our journey to discover Aloe Vera! Let's go down together into the details of today's knowledge of this extraordinary plant and understand what virtues it offers to our Aloe 200:1.

The benefits of Aloe

Let's start from the outside!
The properties of the milky juice have been clearly understood. It is a powerful laxative, used for millennia to purify the intestines.
The effect is due to molecules called anthraquinones, among which we mainly find aloin, also known as barbaloin, and emodin. Anthraquinones are also responsible for the bitter taste of the juice, but above all they are considered powerful antibacterials [1, 2].

So Aloe latex can be used to cleanse the intestines and to counteract constipation! A particularly welcome help after the festive binge!
Right, but in moderation. Excessive amounts of anthraquinones can cause intestinal irritation and diarrhea, resulting in reduced nutrient absorption.
On the other hand, Aloe latex can be useful for solving a particularly stubborn condition of constipation. As when softer solutions - for example the abundant ingestion of water and fibers - have not given results.
Or again, in the absence of other means, latex can provide a solution to quickly expel an ingested toxic substance.
To avoid the potential undesirable effects of Aloe juice, FGM04 drastically reduces the presence of aloin in its Aloe 200:1. In this way we can benefit from the properties of the leaves in their entirety, without having to fear unpleasant drawbacks!
Initially, latex was the driving force behind the interest in biomedical and cosmetic research. The attention, however, has gradually shifted to the gel of the inner leaf.
There are indications that the internal transparent gel produces an extraordinary set of beneficial effects. At the top of the list we find: contrast of free radicals, anti-bacterial action and anti-fungal action, stimulation of the immune system, effect anti-inflammatory [2, 3].
But moreover, experimental data indicate a possible utility in order to counteract psoriasis [4] and also diabetes [5, 6].
And again, recent studies support the efficacy of the anti-inflammatory activity also at the level of the intestine, thanks to dietary integration [7].

pancia piatta donna. cura e benessere femminile

Respectable credentials!

Traditional medicine proves to be a precious source of clues for modern medicine or scientific. However, the latter is based on the accumulation of substantial evidence and requires accurate and systematic methodologies.
Unfortunately, information about the exact chemical composition of the gel is still limited today. As a result, the scientific studies that have been conducted report conflicting, though often positive, results.
It is therefore not clear which compounds could be responsible for the effects we have listed [8].

Skin elixir

On the other hand, the field in which Aloe has already passed the test of modern investigations is that of the treatment of burns and healing.
The extract of this plant of ours naturally facilitates the healing of wounds, while hindering infection [3].
More generally, the application on the skin has a remarkable moisturising and emollient effect. But that's not all!
Aloe gel stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, key constituents for the structure and functionality of the skin. And in addition, it also promotes the proliferation of epithelial cells. In this way the gel promotes the well-being of the skin and provides protection against aging and the formation of wrinkles [2, 3, 9].
For this virtue, the gel is also indicated as a natural emergency remedy for the treatment of wounds and burns [10].

viso di donna over 40

Conclusions and notes

On this occasion we were able to study not a molecule, but a plant in its entirety, with its history and its universe of compounds. With its leaves, Aloe Vera offers us the oldest medicinal properties and FGM04 has made them available to us with Aloe 200:1.
We have discovered the many benefits deriving from the extract of this plant and in particular that it can be used for:

  • Obtaining a powerful laxative effect;
  • Induce an anti-inflammatory activity on the intestinal walls;
  • Protect wounds from infections and promote healing;
  • Regenerate the skin after burns and defend it from ageing.

We have also highlighted that while the internal gel of the leaf does not give undesirable effects, it is inadvisable to abuse the outermost latex.
So, now you know the natural virtues on which Aloe 200:1, the purifying drink of FGM04, is based. We have designed it to offer you the maximum potential of Aloe Vera and with the addition of the benefits of honey and anti-oxidant active ingredients. The perfect remedy to purify our body after the liberties we have allowed ourselves at the table in recent weeks!
There is one last note that I want to share with you, before saying goodbye.
If you're thinking “Amazing! I immediately cut off a leaf and make myself a drink!” I am happy that Aloe has conquered you.
Before throwing yourself on the drink you have earned, however, make sure that the plant in question is actually Aloe Vera!
Agave, for example, is quite similar and can be misleading. Also in this case it is a succulent plant with fleshy leaves arranged in a rosette. However, the similarities end there.
Agave is native to Central America and has no gel under the leaf coating.
On the other hand, it has a compact pulp that is not suitable for direct consumption, while it is perfect for distilling spirits, including Tequila.

That's all for today. I greet you until the next deepening of substances useful for our well-being.
See you soon!

Roberto, Molecular Biologist


• Frisaldi, Elisa, et al. Is natural beautiful? The science of natural beauty remedies. Sironi Editore, 2009.
• Pereira, Rúben F. , and Paulo J. Bartolo. “Traditional therapies for skin wound healing. " Advances in wound care 5. 5 (2016): 208-229.
• Mandal, Priyanka, Mohammad A. Khan, and Sunil Shah. “Drugs–Do we need them? Applications of non-pharmaceutical therapy in anterior eye disease: A review. Contact Lens and Anterior Eye (2017).
• Farahnik, Benjamin, et al. “Topical Botanical Agents for the Treatment of Psoriasis: A Systematic Review. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology (2017): 1-18.
• Zhang, Yiyi, et al. “Efficacy of Aloe vera supplementation on prediabetes and early non-treated diabetic patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. "Nutrients 8. 7 (2016): 388.
• Suksomboon, N. , No. Poolsup, and S. Punthanitisarn. “Effect of Aloe vera on glycaemic control in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta‐analysis. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics 41. 2 (2016): 180-188.
• Triantafillidis, John K. , et al. “Favourable results from the use of herbal and plant products in inflammatory bowel disease: evidence from experimental animal studies. Annals of gastroenterology: quarterly publication of the Hellenic Society of Gastroenterology 29. 3 (2016): 268.
• Akaberi, Maryam, et al. “Therapeutic effects of Aloe spp. in traditional and modern medicine: A review. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy 84 (2016): 759-772.
• Ganesan, Palanivel, and Dong-Kug Choi. “Current application of phytocompound-based nanocosmeceuticals for beauty and skin therapy. International journal of nanomedicine 11 (2016): 1987.
• Bitter, Cindy C. , and Timothy B. Erickson. “Management of Burn Injuries in the Wilderness: Lessons from Low-Resource Settings. Wilderness & Environmental Medicine 27. 4 (2016): 519-525.