Scientists have discovered over 150 nutritional ingredients in Aloe vera. There seems to be no single magic ingredient. They all work together in a synergistic way to create healing and health-giving benefits. The ten main areas of chemical constituents of Aloe vera include amino acids, anthraquinones, enzymes, minerals, vitamins, lignins, monosaccharides, polysaccharides, salicylic acid, saponins, and sterols.
Located in the sap of the leaves we get twelve anthraquinones, a phenolic compound that has stimulating effects on the bowels and antibiotic properties. The most important anthraquinones are aloin and emodin. They are anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and analgesic. The anthraquinones in Aloe vera break up residue, pus, and lifeless cells, bring blood to the region and flush out material from the wounds and ulcers.
Enzymes act as biochemical catalysts that break down the proteins we eat into amino acids. The enzymes turn the food we eat into fuel for every cell in our body, enabling the cells to function and work efficiently. “The main enzymes found in Aloe vera include Amylase (breaks down sugars and starches), Bradykinase (stimulates the immune system, analgesic, anti-inflammatory), Catalase (prevents accumulation of water in the body), Cellulase (aids digestion – cellulose), Lipase (aids digestion – fats), Oxidase, Alkaline Phosphatase, Proteolytiase (hydrolyses proteins into their constituent elements), Creatine Phosphokinase (aids metabolism), and Carboxypeptidase.
Aloe vera, an anti-oxidant-rich plant, contains vitamins such as A, C, and E plus the minerals, zinc, and selenium. Anti-oxidants help boost the immune system and combat free radicals in the body. It also contains Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12 along with choline, calcium (teeth and bone formation, muscle contractions and heart health), magnesium(strengthens teeth and bones, maintains healthy muscles and nervous system, activates enzymes), zinc (speeds up wound healing, mental quickness assists with healthy teeth, bones, skin, immune system, and digestive aid), manganese (activates enzymes, builds healthy bones, nerves, and tissues), chromium (assists with protein metabolism and balancing of blood sugars), selenium which all influence our brain performance.
Additional minerals found in Aloe vera include copper (important for red blood cells, skin and hair pigment), iron (involved in oxygen transportation and making of hemoglobin in red blood cells), potassium (helps with fluid balance), phosphorus (helps build bones and teeth, assists with metabolism and body pH), and sodium (regulates body liquids, helps with nerve and muscle performance, and helps deliver nutrients into body cells). Aloe vera also contains the trace minerals of rhodium and iridium used in cancer and tumor research experiments.
Another component of Aloe vera consists of lignins, a major structural material of cellulose content, that allows for penetrative properties. Aloe vera can soak into the skin up to seven layers deep. Lignins penetrate the toughened areas of the skin being beneficial for skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis.
Other elements of Aloe vera include monosaccharides and polysaccharides. Monosaccharides contain simple sugars which include glucose. The polysaccharides are the more complex long-chain sugars involving glucose and mannose or gluco-mannans. These sugars are ingested whole from the stomach. They do not get broken down like other sugars, and appear in the bloodstream in exactly the same form. This process is known as pinocytosis. Once in the bloodstream, they exert their healing and immuno-regulating effect. Some of these polysaccharides are not absorbed but stick to certain cells lining the gut and form a barrier preventing the absorption of unwanted material so helping to prevent a leaking gut syndrome. The sugars are also used in moisturizing preparations.
Aloe vera contains salicylic acid which is an aspirin-like compound with anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-bacterial properties. It has antipyretic properties for reducing fevers. Other constituents of Aloe vera would include prostaglandins, tannins, magnesium lactate, resins, manning, proteins such as lectins, monosulfonic acid, and gibberellin.
Another constituent of Aloe vera includes saponins. These are soapy substances from the gel that is capable of cleansing and having antiseptic properties. The saponins perform strongly as anti-microbial against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and yeasts.51 The plant sterols or Phyto-steroids in Aloe vera include Cholesterol, Campesterol, Lupeol, and B (Beta sign) Sitosterol. The plant steroids have fatty acids in them that have antiseptic, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties.