I don't like buying into "natural remedy" type things without seeing scientific proof behind them. There's an almost universal belief that aloe vera helps to heal burned skin, and whether that includes assisting in cell regrowth, preventing inflamation, or something else, I haven't bedn able to find any real scientific evidence.
Can anyone cite legitimate scientific evidence that aloe vera has any helpful effect for burned skin? If so, how does it work?
What Aloe Vera Does In Your Body: Why Egyptians Called It The Plant Of Immortality
Alanna Ketler 4 minute read
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Known to the Egyptians as the plant of immortality and to Native Americans as the wand of heaven, aloe vera comes with a wide array of amazing healing properties — some of which you may already know about. You might even have your own aloe vera plant in your home for those small emergencies like scrapes, cuts, and burns, but did you know that aloe vera is not only limited to topical use and is actually even more beneficial to your body when taken internally?
Aloe vera contains over 200 biologically active, naturally occurring constituents which include polysaccharides, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, and minerals.
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According to the Journal of Environmental Science and Health, aloe vera also possesses anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties that assist the immune system in cleansing the body of toxins and invading pathogens. But that isn’t all aloe vera juice/gel has to offer. 
Aloe vera has loads of minerals including calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, selenium, sodium, iron, potassium, copper, and manganese. These minerals work together to boost metabolic pathways.
Aloe vera contains important enzymes like amylase and lipase which can aid in digestion by breaking down fat and sugar molecules. One molecule in particular, Bradykinase, helps to reduce inflammation.
One study showed that aloe vera actually contains vitamin B12, which is required for the production of red blood cells. That would be great news for vegetarians and vegans in particular, who often do not get adequate amounts of B12 through their regular diet.
Other studies have shown that taking aloe can make vitamin B12 more bioavailable, meaning the body can more easily absorb and utilize it, thereby helping to prevent deficiency. Aloe vera is also a source of vitamins A, C, E, folic acid, choline, B1, B2, B3 (niacin), and B6. While it remains unclear whether we can rely solely on aloe as a source of B12, it can be used in conjunction with a supplement to help increase uptake.
Aloe vera contains 20 of the 22 essential amino acids required by the human body. It also contains salicylic acid, which fights inflammation and bacteria.
Other Uses for Aloe
Aside from being an excellent body cleanser, removing toxic matter from the stomach, kidneys, spleen, bladder, liver, and colon, aloe can also offer effective relief from more immediate ailments, such as indigestion, upset stomach, ulcers, and gut inflammation. It also strengthens the digestive tract and alleviates joint inflammation, making it a great option for arthritis sufferers.
One study found that aloe vera juice, when taken the same way as a mouthwash, was just as effective at removing plaque as the common mouthwash and its active ingredient, chlorhexidine. This is a much better alternative because it is all-natural, unlike the typically chemical-laden options found in stores.
Aloe vera gel has also been found to effectively heal mouth ulcers, more commonly known as canker sores.
How to Take Aloe?
Aloe can be consumed straight from the plant, but the easiest and most palatable option is probably aloe juice, which you can find in most health food stores. You can also buy the leaves from many common grocery stores, or harvest your own and juice them yourself.
You can buy the juice and mix it into your juices and smoothies or just drink it straight up. Make sure you are buying pure aloe juice/gel, which is made from either the whole leaf or just the inner filet. It does have a somewhat bitter taste though, so you may want to include other things. On the bottle you can find specific dosing instructions, but it would be wise to talk to a natural health expert or do some research to find instructions on specific dosing.
To learn more about the amazing benefits of aloe vera or purchase some for yourself, please click here.
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Fighting Fungus with the Aloe Plant
The green skin and clear gel of the Aloe Vera plant contain a wide range of enzymes, amino acids, and trace elements which provide astringent, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory benefits. In a study from 2004, Aloe gel was taken from plants grown in greenhouses at a university in Mexico, pasteurized, then applied to petri dishes containing three different growths of fungus. In all three cases, the pasteurized Aloe gel significantly inhibited the fungi’s ability to spread. This was the first time Aloe’s anti-fungal abilities had been officially studied.
More recently, scientists have isolated a novel protein present within the gel that clearly acts as an anti-fungal agent. The Aloe protein, known as 14 kDa, demonstrated potent suppressive activity on several strains of the Candida family, specifically C. albicans, C. krusei, and C. paraprilosis. In fact, the study goes on to recommend this Aloe protein as a basis for the development of further medicinal products.
Aloe’s ability to inhibit fungal growth is welcome news to those fighting stubborn yeast and fungal infections. It is an all-natural treatment with no known side effects, liberally laced with vitamins and nutrients which are easily taken up by the body. If a healthy Aloe vera plant isn’t available, most health food or whole foods stores have aloe products on their shelves. For external use, the list of ingredients should be limited to Aloe, distilled water, and perhaps tocopherol, a vitamin E derivative commonly used as a preservative. Avoid products with extra ingredients such as food coloring, lidocaine, alcohol, or chemical preservatives as these do nothing to promote healing.
- Suppositories of pure Aloe gel inserted into the vagina combat Candida, or yeast, infections, as well as nonspecific vaginitis.
- Use the gel topically for yeast infections that grow in skin folds, such as in the groin or under the breasts.
- Aloe gel relieves the pain and itching associated with athlete’s foot and jock itch, which are also classed as fungal infections.
- For dandruff that is caused by a fungus rather than dry skin, massaging Aloe gel into the scalp thirty minutes prior to shampooing is an excellent way to combat its spread.
- Ringworm is also a kind of fungus. Rub Aloe gel into infected areas, and surround them with a barrier of aloe to prevent it from spreading.
- For rectal itching caused by Candida overgrowth, Aloe gel relieves the itching and treats by inhibiting the yeast’s ability to grow.
- For dogs, Aloe gel rubbed into “hot spots” provides instant relief. be sure the product contains no extra chemicals or preservatives which might be ingested by the animal when it grooms.
Fungal infestations can be a symptom of a body that’s out of balance, or an immune system that’s been compromised. Most people don’t realize that their immune systems are located and maintained in the digestive tract. Aloe juice taken internally aids the digestive system in eliminating wastes and toxins, improves circulation, and is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamins C and E. These activities provide gentle but effective immune system support. When a body has a healthy immune system, it’s less likely to let fungi make themselves at home!
Aloe Vera Medicinal Uses
In those records, it is obvious that aloe vera was being used to detoxify the body and aid digestion. During this period of time, most illnesses were believed to be caused by demons inhabiting a body, and because aloe was so effective at helping to remedy those ailments, it was believed to be of divine origin and could actually exorcise demons from the body. While we now know that this is not the case, aloe vera is still being used to cure many of the ailments that it was used to cure in the very early days of human history.
How To Extract Aloe Vera Gel At Home
(i) Select aloe vera leaves that are thick, wide and juicy. Just cut the leaf from base of the plant, place it upright in a container in a tilted position. Hold the leaf in this position for about 10 minutes. This would make the sap to drain on its own. When it drains out, wash the leaf.
(ii) Place the leaf on a flat surface such as a cutting board. Now carefully cut off tip of the leaf and sides of the leaf those contain thorns all the way from top to bottom.
(iii) Remove the green layer from the inside of back and front of the leaf by slicing it lengthwise with help of a knife.
(iv) With help of a spoon, scoop out both the slimy mucilage and the clear inner gel that looks more as a solid gel. This all is aloe vera gel. Mash and use it for the above aloe vera gel homemade recipes.
The Benefits of Aloe Vera for Digestion & Skin
With the volume of bioactive compounds and properties available in Aloe vera, it should come as no surprise that studies into this gift of nature demonstrate this medicinal plant has other benefits to health. In fact there is a plethora of research to be found in PubMed, with close to 3,500 studies being listed that include investigation into Aloe vera .
Some other benefits of Aloe vera of note include:
Apart from burns, Aloe vera may be most famous as a digestive aid. This is mainly due to the latex (the yellow liquid just below the skin that surrounds the gel). It’s a known laxative that was used for many years in the United States .
Due to its potency and concerns over toxicity it was banned from over-the-counter use in 2002 . However, the FDA does state the following about Aloe vera toxicity in a March 2016 briefing document for the Pharmacy Compounding Advisory Committee (PCAC).
“Reports of previous human experience as a food, dietary supplement, and herbal medicine in the U.S. and other parts of the world, with data reported online in the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database and other sources (e.g., USP, WHO monographs, PubMed), suggests that Aloe vera products are generally well tolerated. Moderate and infrequent oral consumption of Aloe vera gel preparations (containing no anthraquinone derivatives) as food/beverages appears reasonably safe based on the marketed use of various products .”
In large amounts the anthraquinones in aloe do have a powerful purgative effect. (Purgative refers to a substance that loosens stools and increases bowel movements). According to research published in the Internet Journal of Microbiology, in smaller amounts anthraquinones aid the microbiome by increasing absorption, and acting as potent antimicrobials (killing less desirable bacteria) . In addition, aloe has been noted to improve the bioavailability of vitamins in humans .
There is some controversy surrounding the benefits of aloe for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), with some claiming there is no definitive evidence. However, one 2013 study found that 33 patients consuming aloe twice daily had decreased discomfort . It’s important to note, however, that this study found no notable difference in urgency or consistency.
There is also evidence from a 2014 animal study that ingesting aloe may assist with digestive issues involving imbalanced levels of stomach acid .
Aloe vera doesn’t just help your skin with burns topical application has been found to offer some skin protection by absorbing ultraviolet light, reducing both melanin formation and hyper-pigmentation .
According to 2013 research published in the journal Phytotherapy Research there is also evidence that the baby shoots of Aloe vera support healthy skin by offering protection from the aging effects of sunlight . A compound known as lignin in aloe assists aloe with its skin-nourishing abilities by aiding the penetration of active compounds .
Aloe vera has also been reported to have potent antibiotic, antivirus, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory effects on the skin, including the ability to help rid wounds of necrotic (dead) tissue [20-23].
Other studies have demonstrated that aloe may aid in maintaining younger looking skin by helping to increase collagen production and improve collagen elasticity, as well as reduce redness of the skin [24,25].
Aloe Vera’s Topical Uses
Aloe vera may be most well-known for its moisturizing properties. It can be found in plenty of skin and hair products, but it can also be used straight from the plant.
Aloe’s reputation for healing wounds starts as far back as 1935 when it was documented that the whole-leaf extract promoted complete regeneration of the skin. Research suggests that polysaccharides in the gel have anti-itching and anti-inflammatory that help with wound healing.
“The most remarkable experiences [I’ve seen] have been with topical uses,” Morrow recalls. “It encourages regeneration of tissue.”
However, more research is needed another study demonstrated that aloe may delay surgical wound healing.
Anecdotal evidence suggests aloe can be used topically for the following purposes:
Mix equal parts water and aloe vera gel together. Next, add an essential oil of your choice. The aloe locks in moisture and blocks external toxins from damaging hair.
The moisture from the aloe also promotes a healthy scalp and the anti fungal elements in the gel are known to eliminate dandruff.
The combination of vitamins and minerals in aloe can soothe skin that is red from inflammation and acne. Regularly applying aloe to the face can help reduce redness.
Some studies have found aloe may help treat the skin disease. The NIH cites research that used a cream with 0.5 percent aloe and after four to eight weeks, skin plaques were reduced and the overall severity lessened.
Skin Firmness and Tone
Moisture from aloe keeps skin firm while the antioxidants may provide a more vibrant complexion. Aloe is also used to lighten hyperpigmentation of the skin.
Aloe can help take the sting out of swollen lips and can also be used as a moisturizer for chapped lips.
Aloe Vera Recipes for Skin and Hair
It’s easy to whip up a few quick recipes using aloe vera as the main ingredient.
PH Balanced Shampoo
To Use: Defrost one cube in a bowl the night before use. Use as you would normal shampoo.
- Mix ingredients in a bowl with a wire whisk.
- Pour mixture into ice cube trays.
- Put in freezer and wait a few hours until frozen completely.
The Other Aloe Gel: Topical Use and Ingredients
You’ve likely seen topical aloe vera gel—intended for sunburns—in your local drugstore or supermarket. The gel is viscous, with air bubbles and sometimes a vibrant green color.
Not exactly “pure” or “natural.”
The draw of aloe vera is, of course, its ability to heal naturally, but unfortunately not all products are as pure as they want you to believe. For instance, one product’s label states:
This is a bit misleading because while the product is in fact, 100 percent gelatinous, it’s not made of 100 percent pure aloe.
Here’s a list of ingredients to look out for in topical gels:
These words would be great for a spelling bee, but for your skin? Not so much. Before you slather on the gel, consider what else you’re putting on your skin when using these products.
|Thickener||Carbomer gives the gel its consistency. The compound is a group of polymers made of acrylic acid.|
|Hydration||Glycerin is an emollient and is used to moisturize. It works by pulling water into the outer layer of the skin.|
|Surfactant||The surfactant in many aloe gel products is Polysorbate 20. This chemical mixture reduces surface tension. In other words, it helps the product glide onto the skin.|
|Emulsifier||Triethanolamine is used to help water-soluble and oil-soluble ingredients stay mixed together.|
|Preservatives||To keep the aloe from going bad, preservatives like Diazolidinyl Urea and DMDM Hydantoin, are used. These preservatives release formaldehyde. Tetrasodium EDTA is another preservative which may cause other chemicals to penetrate into the body. SD Alcohol is also known as denatured alcohol, which means ingredients have been added to make the substance undrinkable.|
Has aloe vera been proven to help heal burned skin areas? - Biology
Turns out it doesn't actually "expose the fiction of 'The Jungle.'" It cites "a 1906 report by the Bureau of Animal Industry" -- and nothing else. It then runs headlong into a classic libertarian diatribe against regulations.
And even if "The Jungle" /was/ pure fiction (instead of just fictionalize) -- readers didn't know that. And, despite their revulsion, the stockyards kept chugging along.
Libertarians have actually thought about this stuff quite a bit.
All society relies on a system of law. How this system is created or enforced is a seprete question. In almost all systems of law ever, there is a clause against fraud. Theirfore this company has defrauded everybody who has bought their product and therefore can be collectivly sued.
I must also mention that we have primitive collective suing systems in place. Many legal schooler have long advocated to change this.
It goes further then that, because the person that sold you the product and the producer might not be the same. The seller is also partially responsable and can be sued by the consumers, the seller must the sue the producer.
Its the same idea with river pollution, the lawcase goes up the river and expands.
As for discovering such cases. There are hole number of possible options if the options mentioned above are enforced.
First, there can be a commercial consumer group that finds error, the buys nearly wothless claims from lots of consumers and goes after the seller with those. This will pretty quickly have the effect that the seller has much more insentive to test himself.
Also you can have community no-profits doing this kind of things, that will make them seem less greedy.
Or his incentive is to run a fly by night operation that shuts down before it can be sued.
> Also you can have community no-profits doing this kind of things, that will make them seem less greedy.
This touches on one glaring problem with libertarian utopia. Their replacement for the evil gubmint is a host of other bureaucracies (giant consumer groups, a bunch of non-profits doing testing, insurance for everything, etc.) that presumably will have many of the same pathologies as the gubmint.
Which is kind of the point. Institutions can be functional or disfunctional. The only way to prevent disfunctional institutions bogging down the government is by not having the government run them in the first place.
The easiest way to deal with a dysfunctional institutions is by letting them die. Which is a lot easier when government is not involved.
Last but not least, there is also the element of freedom. One cannot opt-out of government and its institutions - without having to move or worse. While as proposed above - the possibility of opting out of institutions - is necessary for having any hope of not being stuck with corrupt institutions.
If, however - Oracle were a government institution - then it could leverage its monopoly over violence to get me to do its bidding - regardless of what I thought of its services.
And as one goes through history, one notices that most if not all of the institutions that governments provide - have started outside of government, yet have been included into the scope of government. Either because the ruling party at the time saw it as a means of expanding their reach OR because people have observed that it would be cheaper/more effective to run these institutions "collectively" - where the state pops up immediately as an endeavor that is already done for the "good of all".
Unfortunately - no institution is ideal. And as we have seen time and again through history, all institutions succumb to corruption eventually. And being stuck with corrupt institutions is no fun at all.
I have no idea, how you maligned my argument into the garbage you presented. But I would argue, that you are actually presenting an excellent case for striving towards preventing dishonest people such as yourself from getting power over others. Thus while you undoubtedly think yourself an edgy cynic - you are merely solidifying my point.
This kind of stuff happens every day between property owners. That's why we have things like zoning, permitting and environmental regulation. Nobody wants government intervention until their neighbor puts up a big ugly fence.
In my personal experience, I've been in disputes with government bureaucracy, and was able to get a reasonable resolution because we have elected representatives who care about constituent issues. I've also been party to disputes with large corporate bureaucracies, and your ability to push the needle as an individual is very limited.
If characterizing me as dishonest makes you feel good, go for it. But Iɽ return the favor by saying that like most libertarians, your position reflects an immature, self-centered and unsophisticated understanding of the world and how it works. I encourage you to take a few hours and study the history of how the negative outcomes of industrialization in 19th century America re-shaped societies thinking about regulation and property rights.
In response - your first post was snark and condescension. Now you are doubling down with vague anecdotes and sending me to "go educate myself".
How about showing some good will and trying to present a honest critique or counter argument in 1-3 sentences.
I accept that you are morally and intellectually superior - no need to exert yourself asserting your dominance. Now put up, please.
> Or his incentive is to run a fly by night operation that shuts down before it can be sued.
So what, you manufacture 10 bottles of creme and then vanish into the shadows?
Companies have a huge intensive to stay, establish partnerships, branding, funding and so on.
Also, I think the idea of legal person has gone to far. Im not against the idea of big cooperations but the legal system has clearly gone to far into the direction of none accountability (something that was actually often the case in common law legal systems).
> Their replacement for the evil gubmint is a host of other bureaucracies (giant consumer groups, a bunch of non-profits doing testing, insurance for everything, etc.) that presumably will have many of the same pathologies as the gubmint.
I have nothing against big organisations per se. That has never been my criticism of regulatory agencies.
The groups have much more intensive to actually provide value because they relay on people to be their costumer. Also, you have pluralism, different groups have different demands.
I honestly only care if stuff is not poisonous, and Im happy to pay for the lowest level of testing. I however don't really care if the meat is actually beef, Im fine with horse as long as it is tasty.
Other people, like vegans are willing to pay way more for exact information.
How about a suggestion that can make both of use happy? We keep the FDA, they do everything the do now, only that other products can still be sold, but they need to have a reasonably BIG label on it, that they are not FDA approved. We put a tiny tax on all products actually approved by the FDA to fund the FDA.
This way we the people who care about the FDA fund it. If you are not happy with that, how about we fund 50% of the FDA that way and the other 50% threw taxes? How about if its still fully tax funded?
Would that not make everybody at least reasonably happy?
Historically such system usually prove that the state is not needed, and rather then excepting that the state monopolises it.
Companies have huge incentives to act altruistically, but individuals within those companies sometimes have huge incentives to maximize short-term profits.
There's an asymmetry in the way companies and their employees operate. Employees can endanger the life of the company at a negligible-- or even negative-- cost to themselves. It's why banking executives might reward the opening of millions of fraudulent accounts, for example.
I've yet to see an example of a company that can completely prevent this problem. Given the lack of evidence, I have to continue to believe in regulations that protect consumers.
Each time there is a issue, there is a new movement for anther Basel. This time things will be different. But they are not. For some reason many people just keep yelling 'more regulation' without any evidence that they actually do or change much.
Yes, individuals do suboptimal things for the long term of the company, but I don't see a massive amount of cases were companies get created for a short time to defraud everybody and then leave. Every company has a intensive to set up a structure so that they can prevent this sort of stuff, its in the responsibility of the owner, who has the most to lose.
Interestingly enough Adam Smith had invested in a bank that went down. In this system you had companies with double exposure. That means that if you had a stock of a failing company you could lose the value of the stock plus pay that much into the bank.
This actually had the effect that banks when failing would try to fail early, now failing banks try to make high risk investments to get everything back and then ask for bailouts if it fails.
I would highly suggest you study historical bank systems. Compare the highly regulated US banking system (US banking was highly regulated from the very beginning, usually requiring a special charter, no branching and so on) to the hardly regulated banking system of Canada. During the Great Depression the US had about 3000 bank failures, Canada had 0-1 depending on how you count. Canada during that time did not have a central bank, but rather competitive note issue by a group of banks (the US had taxed this heavily during the Civil War and reduced it, then finally getting ride of it in 1913 with the Fed).
It must also be said that Canada suffered very heavily economically, but the banking system was stable. Canada was famed for its banking system on to this day have a far superior less regulated system. In the US many people actually wanted to adopt the Canadian unregulated system, but JPMorgan and friends did of course not want to lose their monopoly on the international market (small banks had to use a partner in New York).
You can also go back to England and Scotland. Scotland probably had the freest banking system that ever existed and it was one of the best performing system that we have historical evidence of.
Sure, with two small changes. One, we make the FDA tax progressive. Use whatever argument you like to justify this, like rich people's lives are more valuable, and therefore they can pay more to stay alive, but the key is that everyone will buy into the system in a way that they can both afford, AND be emotionally invested in.
Second, all non-FDA labeled products will have a MASSIVE tax applied, to pay for the externalized costs of bad food, such as emergency room visits, death, sickness, etc.
Of course we need a state to enforce this system, and it won't work any better than the existing one, but hey, it's a market solution!
> Second, all non-FDA labeled products will have a MASSIVE tax applied, to pay for the externalized costs of bad food, such as emergency room visits, death, sickness, etc.
That's another problem with government. Once it does everything, everything has effect on everything else. You can force any health measure on the population with the argument that others have to pay for you if you don't do something. You might as well require that everybody does mandatory sports and eat the state approved diet.
If you as a state want to make a commitment to universal health care then you have to accept people being people and doing unhealthy things. If you as a state don't want to do that, you have two options, don't do it or put a totalitarian policy state in place so people follow your rules.
Even so, there is no way to prove that these MASSIV externalisiere exist. That's simply your assertion. It could also be that these people are exactly the same on avg. It could be that because they abuse products they die faster and thus cost less money to the state.
> Of course we need a state to enforce this system, and it won't work any better than the existing one, but hey, it's a market solution!
You are contradicting yourself. Its not a market solution, its a state run system either way.
What this idea is about is testing if products that are not FDA approve really are worse in the longer term. Because if it turns out that it is the case that they are not, then we can just all agree to drop the FDA.
As long as the FDA has monopoly we have know way of knowing what there actual effects. Seems to me more people should care about stuff like that.
While we may not know exactly the actual effects of the FDA or any other governmental policy, we can have a pretty good idea. We do this via econometric analysis of countries with and without entities like the FDA. Ideally we can get time series data where a country created an FDA. Weɽ throw in a few control variables as well. Then we see the effects of the stuff like the FDA - and even if this isn't perfect, weɽ know in general the likely effects of it.
The evidence shows that having an agency regulating drugs and food increases safety. For example, England had a massive issue with a drug which impacted their newborns. We didn't have the issue because the FDA rejected it for use.
>Even so, there is no way to prove that these MASSIV externalisiere exist Well, actually we can prove externalities exist via various quasi-experiments and math. That's kind of what economists do in order to justify intervening in a market. There are measurable externalities in healthcare - which are at least a certain size and probably larger.
Healthcare in general is interesting because of stuff like the herd effect. If someone takes a bunch of sub-par antibiotics and the bacteria they have evolve around that pill all of society is negatively impacted. The disease is more resistant (kills more people) and society needs to pay for a new antibiotic to be researched and produced. And we don't know what these potential adverse effects are initially - what if we accidentally expose a bacteria to enough weak anti-bacterial agents that it becomes immune and kills millions of people? What if a sub-par untested drug turns all of it's users into homicidal maniacs? Or, like England, we could have years of birth defects.
The companies usually don't know the risks either - because before the FDA medical tests were usually very rushed.
So, as a society we have two options to fix these externalities.
One was listed above: charge producers˼onsumers of poor drugs a tax equal to the costs they impose on society. The government would then redistribute the tax to injured parties. The problem here is in pricing the externaities properly. Also, how do we know what a poor drug is without testing them? We can't, so weɽ have to tax all drugs the same. As a result, if we tax too high we have fewer drugs produced and society suffers. If we tax too low then bad drugs slip in and possibly we didn't guess the cost of compensating people properly. So we don't have enough to pay the widow of a man who took a pill and then died four minutes later.
The second option is to regulate away the possibility of poor drugs as much as is plausible. Here we don't need to guess at how much money the externalities would cost. We also don't need to figure out optimal tax rates to get new drugs produced. In the case of healthcare clearly regulation is the best way to deal with possible negative risks.
Aloe vera is a stemless or very short-stemmed plant growing to 60–100 centimetres (24–39 inches) tall, spreading by offsets.  The leaves are thick and fleshy, green to grey-green, with some varieties showing white flecks on their upper and lower stem surfaces.  The margin of the leaf is serrated and has small white teeth. The flowers are produced in summer on a spike up to 90 cm (35 in) tall, each flower being pendulous, with a yellow tubular corolla 2–3 cm ( 3 ⁄ 4 – 1 + 1 ⁄ 4 in) long.   Like other Aloe species, Aloe vera forms arbuscular mycorrhiza, a symbiosis that allows the plant better access to mineral nutrients in soil. 
Aloe vera leaves contain phytochemicals under study for possible bioactivity, such as acetylated mannans, polymannans, anthraquinone C-glycosides, anthrones, and other anthraquinones, such as emodin and various lectins.  
The species has a number of synonyms: A. barbadensis Mill., Aloe indica Royle, Aloe perfoliata L. var. vera and A. vulgaris Lam.   Common names include Chinese Aloe, Indian Aloe, True Aloe, Barbados Aloe, Burn Aloe, First Aid Plant.      The species epithet vera means "true" or "genuine".  Some literature identifies the white-spotted form of Aloe vera as Aloe vera var. chinensis   and it has been suggested that the spotted form of Aloe vera may be conspecific with A. massawana.  The species was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 as Aloe perfoliata var. vera,  and was described again in 1768 by Nicolaas Laurens Burman as Aloe vera in Flora Indica on 6 April and by Philip Miller as Aloe barbadensis some ten days after Burman in the Gardener's Dictionary. 
Techniques based on DNA comparison suggest Aloe vera is relatively closely related to Aloe perryi, a species endemic to Yemen.  Similar techniques, using chloroplast DNA sequence comparison and ISSR profiling have also suggested it is closely related to Aloe forbesii, Aloe inermis, Aloe scobinifolia, Aloe sinkatana, and Aloe striata.  With the exception of the South African species A. striata, these Aloe species are native to Socotra (Yemen), Somalia, and Sudan.  The lack of obvious natural populations of the species has led some authors to suggest Aloe vera may be of hybrid origin. 
A. vera is considered to be native only to the south-east  Arabian Peninsula in the Al-Hajar mountains in north-eastern Oman.  However, it has been widely cultivated around the world, and has become naturalized in North Africa, as well as Sudan and neighboring countries, along with the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, and Madeira Islands.  It has also naturalized in the Algarve region of Portugal,   and in wild areas across southern Spain, especially in the region of Murcia. 
The species was introduced to China and various parts of southern Europe in the 17th century.  It is widely naturalized elsewhere, occurring in arid, temperate, and tropical regions of temperate continents.    The current distribution may be the result of cultivation.  
Aloe vera has been widely grown as an ornamental plant. The species is popular with modern gardeners as a topical medicinal plant  and for its interesting flowers, form, and succulence. This succulence enables the species to survive in areas of low natural rainfall, making it ideal for rockeries and other low water-use gardens.  The species is hardy in zones 8–11, and is intolerant of heavy frost and snow.   The species is relatively resistant to most insect pests, though spider mites, mealy bugs, scale insects, and aphid species may cause a decline in plant health.   This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. 
In pots, the species requires well-drained, sandy potting soil and bright, sunny conditions. Aloe plants can turn red from sunburn under too much direct sun, though gradual acclimation may help.  The use of a good-quality commercial propagation mix or packaged "cacti and succulent mix" is recommended, as they allow good drainage.  Terra cotta pots are preferable as they are porous.  Potted plants should be allowed to completely dry before rewatering. When potted, aloes can become crowded with "pups" growing from the sides of the "mother plant". Plants that have become crowded can be divided and repotted to allow room for further growth, or the pups can be left with the mother plant.  During winter, Aloe vera may become dormant, during which little moisture is required.  In areas that receive frost or snow, the species is best kept indoors or in heated glasshouses.  Houseplants requiring similar care include haworthia and agave. 
There is large-scale agricultural production of Aloe vera in Australia,  Cuba, the Dominican Republic, China, Mexico,  India,  Jamaica,  Spain, where it grows even well inland,  Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa,  along with the USA  to supply the cosmetics industry. 
Two substances from Aloe vera – a clear gel and its yellow latex – are used to manufacture commercial products.   Aloe gel typically is used to make topical medications for skin conditions, such as burns, wounds, frostbite, rashes, psoriasis, cold sores, or dry skin.   Aloe latex is used individually or manufactured as a product with other ingredients to be ingested for relief of constipation.   Aloe latex may be obtained in a dried form called resin or as "aloe dried juice". 
There is conflicting evidence regarding whether Aloe vera is effective as a treatment for wounds or burns.   There is some evidence that topical use of aloe products might relieve symptoms of certain skin disorders, such as psoriasis, acne, or rashes.  
Aloe vera gel is used commercially as an ingredient in yogurts, beverages, and some desserts,  but at high or prolonged doses, ingesting aloe latex or whole leaf extract can be toxic.    Use of topical aloe vera in small amounts is likely to be safe.  
Topical medication and potential side effects Edit
Aloe vera may be prepared as a lotion, gel, soap or cosmetics product for use on skin as a topical medication.  For people with allergies to Aloe vera, skin reactions may include contact dermatitis with mild redness and itching, difficulty with breathing, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.  
Dietary supplement Edit
Aloin, a compound found in the semi-liquid latex of some Aloe species, was the common ingredient in over-the-counter (OTC) laxative products in the United States until 2002 when the Food and Drug Administration banned it because manufacturers failed to provide the necessary safety data.    Aloe vera has potential toxicity, with side effects occurring at some dose levels both when ingested and when applied topically.   Although toxicity may be less when aloin is removed by processing, Aloe vera ingested in high amounts may induce side effects, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea or hepatitis.   Chronic ingestion of aloe (dose of 1 gram per day) may cause adverse effects, including hematuria, weight loss, and cardiac or kidney disorders. 
Aloe vera juice is marketed to support the health of the digestive system, but there is neither scientific evidence nor regulatory approval to support this claim.    The extracts and quantities typically used for such purposes appear to be dose-dependent for toxic effects.  
Traditional medicine Edit
Aloe vera is used in traditional medicine as a skin treatment. Early records of Aloe vera use appear in the Ebers Papyrus from the 16th century BCE,  : 18 and in Dioscorides' De Materia Medica and Pliny the Elder's Natural History – both written in the mid-first century CE.  : 20 It is also written of in the Juliana Anicia Codex of 512 CE.  : 9
Aloe vera is used on facial tissues where it is promoted as a moisturizer and anti-irritant to reduce chafing of the nose. Cosmetic companies commonly add sap or other derivatives from Aloe vera to products such as makeup, tissues, moisturizers, soaps, sunscreens, incense, shaving cream, or shampoos.  A review of academic literature notes that its inclusion in many hygiene products is due to its "moisturizing emollient effect". 
Orally ingested non-decolorized aloe vera leaf extract was listed by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, along with goldenseal, among "chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity". 
Use of topical aloe vera is not associated with significant side effects.  Oral ingestion of aloe vera is potentially toxic,  and may cause abdominal cramps and diarrhea which in turn can decrease the absorption of drugs. 
Interactions with prescribed drugs Edit
Ingested aloe products may have adverse interactions with prescription drugs, such as those used to treat blood clots, diabetes, heart disease and potassium-lowering agents (such as Digoxin), and diuretics, among others. 
Ouch-How to Heal a Curling Iron Burn and Prevent Scarring
The curling iron has been around for more than 100 years, but we are still burning ourselves with it.
“Unfortunately, I burned my arm with a curling iron yesterday,” says one forum member. “Today my arm feels fine, although there is a nasty dark spot now.”
“I burned myself on my curling tong again this last week,” says blogger Zoe Foster. “I burn myself because I’m usually in a rush, and not being mindful that the tool in my hand is a scorching, skin-sizzling 220 degrees, and am doing odd angles with my arms and hair….”
I think this is really why most of us get burned-we use the curling iron so often that we become careless with it. Regardless of why we get burned, the important thing is to treat that burn right away. Like any skin wound, it can leave a scar, which is definitely something we don’t want!
Healing a burn from a curling iron is similar to healing any burn-your first step should be to cool it down. Apply cold water immediately! The faster you can cool the burn the more you’ll be able to prevent damage to the skin, which reduces the risk of scarring.
After the initial cooling, if you can, continue to cool the burn for about 20 minutes by applying cold water or cold compresses. Don’t use ice, however, as that can further damage the skin.
Once you’ve tamed the initial burn, try my Rescue + Relief Spray (store in the refrigerator) for cooling, healing relief.
The second thing you need to do is protect the burned skin. You can apply an antibacterial ointment to keep the wound moist and sterile. Some people like to use natural protective salves like tea tree oil and yogurt. These may help, but they can also cause irritation, depending on how bad your burn is. We like our CV Skinlabs healing balm that is choc full of healing properties. You can also try our other products that include Aloe which been shown in studies to help burns heal, and it’s also a natural antibacterial, so this one is usually a safe bet-just make sure it’s pure aloe, not a 10% solution.
Next, cover the area with a band-aid or sterile gauze to protect it as you go about your day. Avoid applying makeup to the area so that it can heal without risk of infection. Continue to protect the area until the skin has closed and the scab is gone. No matter what, don’t pick or scratch at the wound, as that only increases scarring.
3. Start to Moisturize
Once the wound has healed over and is no longer open or oozing, it’s important to start moisturizing. This will help keep the skin supple to avoid scarring. Try my Body Repair Lotion for burns on the body-it contains calming aloe and calendula. Use my Calming Moisture for burns on the face. It also has aloe as well as oat extract, which helps reduce post-healing itching and redness.
Once the wound has healed, it typically leaves behind a dark-colored scar. When your skin reaches this stage, you can treat it like you would any scar. First step-exfoliation. Try gentle acids like malic, lactic, and salicylic to break up the scarred tissue, but avoid rough scrubs that may further damage skin. You can use the same products you would use on your face on the scarred area, even if it appears on your arm or your neck.
Next, continue moisturizing with a healing balm. Try CV Skinlabs Restorative Skin Balm overnight, as it is made for reducing the appearance of scars, and will help protect the skin as it continues to heal.
You may also want to try a lightening product-look for those that include vitamin C, licorice root extract, uva ursi extract, and white tea extract. These are all natural ingredients that encourage skin lightening and brightening and will help fade the scar over time. While you’re treating the skin with both exfoliation and lightening, don’t forget to protect the area from the sun. Even five minutes of UV-exposure can erase all your progress, so cover the scar with clothes or use zinc oxide sunscreen.
It may take time, but your curling iron burn will most likely eventually fade. Best bet-don’t get the burn in the first place! Try these tips for preventing curling iron burns:
- Invest in a curling iron with a plastic tip to protect your fingers.
- Set the heating level as low as possible for the results you want-this is not only good for your skin, but for your hair as well!
- Go slow-if you’re in a hurry, pick a hairstyle that doesn’t require curling.
- Use a comb between the curling iron and your scalp.
- Be conscious of your forehead and neck when you curl-most burns occur when doing bangs or the short hairs at the back of the neck, so use extra caution when curling these areas.
- Look for a curling iron with a heat resistant, comfortable handle that makes it easy to keep your grip while styling.
- Consider using hot rollers instead-they create softer, more natural looking curls, and cause less damage to the hair and skin than curling irons do.
Have you suffered from a curling iron burn? Please share your tips on treatment or prevention.