A Bevy of Aloe Vera Benefits




Aloe vera, otherwise called the Lily of the Desert, Elephant’s Gall, and the Burn Plant, belongs to the succulent family in the genus ‘Aloe.’ With origins dating back to the African region of Sudan in the 4th millennium BC, this versatile plant has been recognized for its beneficial uses in cultures from Greek to Japanese, Persian, Indian, African and Italian (among others), and has been widely used medicinally for numerous ailments over many centuries.

What makes it so great?

The most remarkable components of the aloe vera plant include the polysaccharides, lectins, anthraquinones, and mannans stored in its gel tissue, making it an excellent moisturizer and antibiotic. With 18 amino acids that work with the human body to promote stellar health benefits, the plant’s gel can be found in products ranging from cosmetics to food products and various types of pharmaceuticals. Used on the skin, it can diminish signs of aging, increase collagen production and improve skin elasticity. As a superb sunburn soother, its most prominent use, studies have shown aloe vera to be effective for both first and second degree burns, reducing the healing time of burn wounds by approximately 9 days over conventional treatments. Dermatitis and skin abrasions, stings, rashes, psoriasis and acne have all been successfully treated with aloe vera. Considered by some to be the optimal wound dressing, aloe vera is said to almost instantly seal wounds, drawing blood flow to the wound, and thereby greatly enhancing healing speed. Even gunshots and tissue tears are said to have been healed, at least in part, by aloe vera treatments. Fresh aloe straight from the flesh of the plant can often be used in various topical skin treatments as well, such as the prevention of scarring.

But it’s not only for the skin

Additionally, aloe vera gel can be used to inhibit bacteria with its polyphenols, and also contains health-boosting antioxidants. Aloe vera has been successfully used as a mouth rinse to reduce dental plaque, speed up the healing and reduce the pain of mouth ulcers or canker sores, alleviate constipation (the aloe’s leaf skin has aloin, known for its laxative effects), alleviate arthritis swelling and discomfort (apply topically to the area and ingest the juice form simultaneously for best results), improve blood sugar management in diabetics, and alleviate menstrual problems with its uterus-stimulating effects. Dental and gum diseases are known to be successfully treated with aloe vera gel, even when simply placing a bit of aloe vera powder on the toothbrush before brushing. A gargle or liquid rinse may also be helpful as well as consciously increasing vitamin D intake.

You can drink it too

Taken internally, the aloe vera plant is host to a myriad of additional health benefits. Most frequently ingested as a beverage in juice form, it can aid digestion, improve nutrient absorption, and help alleviate symptoms associated with peptic ulcers, Crohn’s disease, and other gastrointestinal conditions. By accelerating and purifying the blood supply simultaneously, aloe vera extract maximizes blood and organ functionality. As a detoxifying agent, aloe vera juice can cleanse and improve the circulatory system, thereby enriching blood oxygen, and further introducing antitumor and immunomodulatory properties. Rich in vitamins B1, B12, B2, B6, A, E, C, as well as folic acid and niacin, aloe vera gel and juice can help prevent oxidative stress in the body. The ingesting of aloe vera juice in combination with a diet excluding processed and fried foods entirely can be very helpful in acid reflux and heartburn discomfort. And, according to naturopaths alongside supporting studies in the International Immunopharmacology journals of 1995, certain forms of aloe vera in combination with other herbs (like cat’s claw and spirulina) and other therapies can be very beneficial in fighting cancer growth. It can also accelerate healing when applied to areas of radiation in patients treated with radiotherapy. The natural healing properties of aloe can also be applied topically and taken internally for pain in both muscles and joints. Two weeks of consumption in combination with a reduced sugar, red meat, white flour, milk, and fried food diet has also been known to reduce inflammation throughout the body. Also taken internally, aloe can improve blood quality and assist with the lowering of cholesterol and triglycerides in the body. Put aloe vera with fresh blueberries to experience a powerful cholesterol- lowering combo!

Promote hair growth and circulation

If that’s not enough, applying aloe vera gel to the scalp can promote hair growth in those experiencing difficulty, and has been known to treat some forms of alopecia with its anti-inflammatory properties. Some users swear by aloe vera shampoo to reduce stress and promote circulation. It is also said to have the ability to reduce premature hair loss in some.

With these and countless other aloe vera benefits, it’s probably time to grab a plant or two. Keep them on hand at home for DIY treatments, or purchase as needed from your local health food or grocery store for optimal health!







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