Who thought one little desert plant could have all these health benefits? Hindering cancerous growth, strengthening the immune system, regulating blood sugar… name it. Aloe vera can do it all!
This prickly green gem has seamlessly integrated itself into almost everything we use today from beauty creams to diet supplements and healthy juices.
You can use bottled aloe vera gels or just cut open some leaves from a fresh aloe plant. The latter is the reason many people grow aloe vera as a houseplant – it is just as valuable as it is beautiful to look at.
Top 10 Incredible Aloe Vera Benefits
1. Improves Digestion
A healthy digestive system positively affects how you think and act, hence promoting overall health. The latex of the aloe vera plant has remarkable laxative effects that help with digestion.
Taking aloe vera juice regularly ensures efficient nutrient absorption and gets rid of harmful ingredients through smooth secretion. It also heals irritable bowel syndrome and prevents piles, constipation, and other gastrointestinal conditions from harming your system.
Aloe vera plant is rich in polysaccharides too, active agents that help cure ulcers and numerous digestive disorders. Studies have proven that aloe extract alleviates peptic ulcers, Crohn’s disease, and other digestive system related disorders. It also inhibits the growth and multiplication of H. pylori, a bacterium that causes ulcers.
2. Treats Burns And Wounds
Owing to its cooling, moisturizing, and soothing properties, aloe has proven highly resourceful when it comes to treating burns. If you skip your sunscreen and end up with an ugly burn, applying aloe vera gel will help accelerate its healing.
The plant is also considered an amazing healer of wounds. This unique ability was discovered hundreds of years ago when Christopher Columbus and Alexander the Great used aloe vera gel on soldiers to treat their wounds. It is one of the most notable aloe vera benefits to the skin. It clearly points out the herb as one of the most reliable options for dressing wounds.
In fact, in most cases, aloe has worked like magic. The gel draws blood to the wound, which enhances the healing process and helps it to seal instantly.
In other studies, the plant has been shown to effectively treat third-degree burns and restore the burned skin faster. Used in larger amounts, aloe vera gel has also been observed to heal gunshot wounds and tissue injuries.
3. Cures Dental Plaque And Gum Disease
If you have been battling gum disease, tooth decay, or any other dental condition, try gargling with aloe vera juice. You can try this simple natural remedy at home. Just take a sip of aloe juice and gargle for 10 seconds or put some gel on your toothbrush and brush normally.
The active ingredients in aloe vera gel will penetrate through the gum and heal any kind of infection. It will also kill plaque and yeast producing bacteria, Streptococcus mutans, and Candida albicans, thus minimizing the buildup of bacterial biofilms on the teeth, which will leave you with a cleaner, whiter set.
Aloe vera juice has shown promising results when used as a mouthwash, and will undoubtedly keep your gums healthy. Try increasing your intake of vitamin D too and your gum will be back in shape in a few months.
Aloe vera benefits human skin in unimaginable ways and that’s why many skincare products, cosmetics, and toiletries include aloe extracts. The gooey inner gel obtained from the leaves of this adorable plant has been used for skin abrasions and a host of other skin ailments for years. It also keeps your skin hydrated, fades out scars, and diminishes the symptoms of aging.
If you have an aloe vera plant at home, just cut a small section of the leaf, squeeze the gel out, and apply it in its fresh form on your skin. This simple therapy might prove way better and way effective than the most expensive beauty creams on the market today.
Some people prefer drinking the juice, as the plant’s properties work internally too. This helps cure rashes, stings, and psoriasis and boosts your overall skin health. Combining aloe vera with tretinoin has been found to treat mild acne vulgaris.
5. Relieves Muscle And Joint Pain
When you do an intense workout like weight lifting, trail running, paddling, or swimming, your muscles and joints may feel a little sore. Drinking aloe vera juice or eating its capsules can aid in reducing the pain throughout the body.
This is due to the anti-inflammatory properties of the aloe vera plant that help soothe and revitalize your body. Researchers have found that people who consume aloe vera regularly experience considerable improvement in inflammation issues. To help aloe vera work efficiently on your muscles and joints, reduce your intake of white flour, milk, sugar, red meat, and fried foods.
6. Improves Immune System
The juice of aloe vera is packed with nutrients. It contains a great deal of vitamin B, C, E, B-12, and folic acid as well as fair amounts of copper, calcium, sodium, chromium, magnesium, selenium, potassium, zinc, and manganese. These nutrients have natural detoxifying properties that help cleanse your digestive and circulatory system.
Taking a teaspoon of aloe juice regularly is a great way to boost your immune system. As your intake of nutrients increases, your blood circulation and overall health are improved. And when the blood is rich in oxygen, nutrients are transported more efficiently within the body cells. As a result, your immune system is enhanced, heightening your body’s ability to fight infections.
People with a weak immune system are advised to take at least two teaspoons of aloe vera juice every day. Throwing in fruits and veggies rich in vitamin C and E will help build up the immune system faster.
7. Hinders Cancerous Growth
Aloe vera has also been observed to prevent cancer. The large volumes of nitric oxide produced by macrophages in the plant have huge antitumor properties.
In naturopathy, there are many methods to prevent cancer and those that are aloe vera based have proven to be among the most successful. Researchers argue that the immunomodulatory and antitumor properties that aloe exhibits are a result of the polysaccharides present in the plant.
Some experts, however, say that using aloe vera alone may not be a good idea in advanced cases. They advise combining it with other herbs such as cat’s claw and spirulina. Intravenous vitamin C and such therapies should also be included in severe cancer cases. Always consult a physician before starting any kind of home cancer treatment.
8. Treats Radiotherapy’s Side Effects
In addition to inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells, the aloe vera plant heals the side effects of radiotherapy. Radiotherapy is something that cancer patients can’t avoid during treatment, and sometimes its side effects can be very uncomfortable.
Several studies suggest that regular application of aloe gel can help prevent acute side effects on the skin in patients undergoing radiotherapy treatment for breast cancer. And as we stated earlier, aloe vera speeds up healing, so consuming its juice in such conditions accelerate the healing of the burns caused by radiation.
9. Boosts Hair Growth
Some of the products we use on our hair leave it weak and sometimes lead to baldness. But aloe vera has been observed to be a dependable option when it comes to strengthening hair and stimulating its growth.
Products that include aloe extract effectively retain the hair’s volume and strengthen the roots to avoid breakage. You can apply aloe gel to the hair or scalp to treat or prevent hair loss. Massaging your scalp with aloe vera also keeps it moisturized, which prevents dandruff.
If you are a swimmer, using hair products that contain aloe vera can help wash pool chemicals off your hair to avoid hair loss. Moreover, swimmers’ shampoo made from aloe improves the circulation of blood, keeping you from mental strain and stress.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, aloe vera has also been proven to treat male pattern baldness. Using it as a shampoo or conditioner regularly can help prevent premature hair loss.
10. Regulates Blood Sugar
When your body is not able to regulate blood sugar, you can easily develop type 2 diabetes, often marked by insulin resistance and obesity. Insulin is the hormone responsible for regulating the sugar molecules that enter our cells, which are then used to fuel our bodies.
If your cells are resistant to insulin, they will not be able to convert glucose (sugar molecules) to energy and therefore will not be able to function properly. Also, there will be a high concentration of glucose and insulin in the blood, which could result in a chain of health problems.
Studies have found that incorporating aloe vera into your low sugar diet and taking preventative lifestyle modifications can help manage insulin sensitivity and balance your blood sugar levels.
The Difference Between Aloe Vera Juice And Aloe Vera Gel
Both the juice and the gel that comes from the aloe vera plant are beneficial to the human body. They may be obtained from different parts of the leaf, with each having different uses and healing properties.
The juice is taken either from the inner part of the leaf or from the whole leaf and is usually consumed orally. Drinking juice from aloe vera benefits your body internally in many ways from boosting your immunity and improving your digestion to soothing joint and muscle pain.
The skin of aloe vera leaf secretes a bitter liquid that has been shown to have a laxative effect. That’s why many people prefer aloe juice extracted only from the inner fillet to avoid the laxative properties.
Always consult with your doctor before using aloe juice as a laxative especially if you have low blood sugar. This is because aloe vera is known to lower blood sugar too and could reduce the effectiveness of your medication if taken orally.
Aloe vera gel, on the other hand, is found inside the leaf and is mostly used externally. It is an excellent remedy for topical conditions like sunburns, cuts, acne, rashes, and flaking. This healing power is believed to come from the polysaccharides, glycoproteins, minerals, and vitamins present in the gel.
How To Use And Store Fresh Aloe Vera Gel And Juice
Aloe vera can be applied directly on the skin or added to other ingredients to make homemade beauty products. You can also add it to food, drinks, and smoothies.
To make aloe vera juice, use two tablespoons of gel for every one cup of liquid. Add any other ingredients like nuts, or fruits and use a food processor or blender to mix up the drink.
If you are not going to use your aloe vera right away, you can always store it in the fridge, but be sure to use it as soon as possible.
Buying Aloe Vera
The best source of aloe vera is from the plant itself. But if you don’t have one at your home yet, you can probably buy leaves or even a mature plant at a farmers’ market, plant nursery, or your local organic grocery.
However, be informed; only aloe barbadensis Miller species is recommended for internal use and topical applications. Other aloe varieties may be toxic and unsafe for human consumption.
Also, where you buy your aloe vera plant or leaves matters. Look for places that sell plants grown pesticides-free.
We don’t recommend buying many of these aloe concentrates or drinks we have in supermarkets today, as most of them contain preservatives and may not have the medicinal value or benefits you seek.
What Quantity Of Aloe Vera Is Recommended?
Gels, creams, and beauty products that contain aloe vary in dosage. Some products used for the treatment of minor cuts and burns will have only 0.7 % aloe vera. Others will have up to 75 % of aloe vera, like those used to treat psoriasis.
There is no set dose for oral aloe supplements yet, although, for constipation, most people use 50 mg of aloe extract or 150 mg of aloe juice daily. One tablespoon of aloe gel daily has worked perfectly for people with diabetes.
Taking a higher oral dosage of aloe juice or latex can be dangerous especially if you are on other medication. It is therefore important that you seek advice from your doctor before using aloe vera if you have an existing health condition.
How Safe Is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is 100% safe for most people. It is well-tolerated, though allergic reactions and skin irritations are sometimes experienced. Possible side effects of consuming aloe vera orally include blood in the urine, kidney issues, low potassium, stomach pain, diarrhea, and nausea.
Be attentive to how your skin or body reacts to aloe vera. If you experience any adverse reactions or sensitivities, stop using it immediately.
Avoid using aloe if you are allergic to tulips, onions, or garlic, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
The laxative properties of aloe latex have been seen to cause abdominal cramps and diarrhea. If you are on oral drugs, these effects could hinder their absorption, reducing their effectiveness.
Aloe vera should not be administered orally to children below the age of 10. It is also not recommended for internal use for people with certain health conditions such as kidney failure, hemorrhoids, renal disorder, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and intestinal obstruction.
Caring For Aloe Vera Plant
If you will be using aloe vera regularly, it would be wise to have a few plants in your backyard. Not only will you beautify your garden but also have an adequate supply of aloe gel and juice.
An aloe plant is usually very easy to grow. As long as it is getting enough warmth and sunlight, it won’t be too much of a bother.
On average, the aloe vera plant will need between 6 and 8 hours of sunlight a day. Mature plants will need more direct sunlight than younger plants.
Make sure to water the plant when the soil gets dry. Depending on the climate of your area, you may be required to water once or twice a week or less. Avoid overwatering, as this could cause the tips of the leaves to turn brown.
If you have planted your aloe vera in a pot, be sure to drill holes on the bottom so that any excess water can run out.
Pay attention to the health of your plant and treat any issues accordingly. You may also want to cut away dead leaves to encourage growth.
Q: Can You Use Aloe Vera Straight From The Plant?
Yes, you can use aloe vera straight from the plant. If you have a mature plant at home, just cut a leaf from it, crack it open and scoop the gooey translucent gel out with a spoon. Then use it as desired.
Q: How Do You Take Care Of An Aloe Plant?
To take care of an aloe plant, first off, make sure your plant is placed in a sunny spot. From there, water it sparingly, preferably, once in 2 weeks and even more infrequently during winter. Last, yet importantly, spray it regularly (with non-toxic pesticide) to keep bugs away.
Q: What Is Aloe Vera Plant Good For?
Aloe vera plant is good for burns and wounds. Its anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial properties have been observed to soothe burned, irritated skin and accelerate the healing of wounds. Recent studies have also suggested that ingesting aloe vera can help boost immunity, fix digestive problems, and treat diabetes. Read more about the uses of aloe vera here.
Q: Do Aloe Vera Leaves Grow Back?
No, aloe vera leaves do not grow back. When you cut an aloe leaf, the plant replaces it with a new one at the top. Always avoid cutting leaves that are closest to the plant’s stem. These leaves are still young and underdeveloped and the plant will need them to replace the old ones.
Q: Should I Cut The Brown Tips Off My Aloe Plant?
Yes, you should cut the brown tips off your aloe plant regularly if you hope to keep your plant healthy. Brown tips are a sign that the leaves are dying, so cutting them off helps your aloe vera plant stay green and healthy.
Q: Where Should We Keep Aloe Vera Plant At Home?
Aloe vera plant should be placed in a sunny place. A sunny bedroom window or any other sunny spot in your house would be perfect for your plant. Aloe will also do fine in bright, indirect sunlight. Never put an aloe vera plant in full shade; it just won’t thrive.
Q: How Big Do Aloe Plants Get?
Aloe vera plants can grow up to 3 ft high, but the average height is usually between 1 and 2 ft. How big your aloe vera gets, however, will depend on how well you take care of it. Regular trimming is always one of the best ways to promote your plant’s growth.
Q: Does Cutting Aloe Hurt The Plant?
No, cutting aloe vera does not hurt the plant. With time, the leaves you cut will be replaced with new ones. You can only hurt an aloe plant if you cut the young leaves that are sprouting next to its main stem or if you are using an infected cutting utensil.
Q: Can You Replant A Broken Aloe Leaf?
Yes, you can replant a broken aloe vera leaf. To do this, leave the leaf to dry for about 3 days. A thin skin layer will develop over the succulent sap. Insert the leaf in a pot with cactus soil, broken side down. Then add water until the soil gets moist and move the plant to a sunny spot.
Q: How Do You Take The Leaves Off An Aloe Vera Plant?
To take the leaves off an aloe plant, bring your cutting utensil to the base of the aloe vera stem and make a clean slice. Base leaves are usually the oldest and have the most gel. Those closest to the plant’s main stem are the youngest and should not be cut, unless you want your plant to die.
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If you are looking to boost your immunity, improve your digestion, regulate your blood sugar, or have glowing skin, then make aloe vera your friend. Aloe vera benefits our bodies both internally and externally, enabling us to live a healthy life.
You can use aloe vera topically as a gel or mix with drinks and consume it orally. Make sure you are using the right amounts and if you are on any medication, consult with your doctor before consuming it.
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- The Endless Benefits Of Aloe Vera Juice, marieclaire.co.uk