If you’re looking for a simpler, more natural approach to wellness, aloe vera should be at the top of your list. This multifaceted succulent has been used therapeutically for thousands of years and is today one of the most widely used medicinal plants in the world.
The slippery, transparent gel found in aloe leaves has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and healing properties. Whether you apply it fresh to your skin, sip the juice, or take it as a supplement, aloe offers an impressive list of health benefits.
Nourishes your skin
Ancient Egyptian queens Nefertiti and Cleopatra both used aloe vera as part of their daily skincare rituals – and you can too. Aloe gel is rich in amino acids, minerals, and vitamins that nourish and hydrate the skin without leaving a greasy residue.
It also contains lignans which help move nutrients deeper into the dermal layer of the skin and moisturizing properties to help lock in moisture.
aloe vera is nature’s gift to aging skin. Research shows that supplementing with aloe sterols may help stimulate the skin’s production of collagen and hyaluronic acid. Women taking part in clinical studies found that aloe sterols improved their skin’s elasticity and helped smooth out their facial wrinkles after only a few months of supplementation.
Speeds Up Healing
Aloesin, aloin, and emodin are the secret to the healing properties of aloe. They have been clinically shown to speed healing of all kinds of flesh wounds, from surgical wounds and burns to bedsores and frostbite.
Daily application of aloe soothes inflammation and oxidative stress in wounds while stimulating collagen production to help repair damaged skin tissue. Even Alexander the Great was known to apply aloe vera to soldiers’ wounds to speed up their recovery.
If your acne treatment leaves your skin dry and itchy, try combining it with aloe vera. Aloe contains a natural source of salicylic acid and is used in various Ayurvedic preparations to fight acne-causing bacteria.
Combining aloe gel with common acne remedies, such as retinoids, increases their anti-acne benefits while minimizing irritating side effects.
Aloe’s reputation as a burn remedy is well deserved and supported by science. Aloe’s combination of antibacterial and skin healing ingredients helps soothe and repair sun and heat burnt skin.
Clinical research shows that its gel is even more effective in reducing pain, itching, infection, and recovery time in burn patients than many common treatments, including silver sulfadiazine 1% cream ( SSD).
Refreshes your mouth
Regular swishing with an aloe-based mouthwash can do wonders for your oral health. aloe vera gel has many antibacterial ingredients, including bitter-tasting aloin, that help kill cavity- and plaque-causing bacteria.
Rinsing with aloe juice can also soothe irritated mouth and gum tissue. Studies show that it lowers pain and inflammation from dental surgery and helps to prevent mouth sores from braces and other orthodontic appliances.07
Nourishes Your Body
With over 75 different nutrients, aloe vera juice is both refreshing and nourishing. Its gel contains a range of minerals, including zinc and magnesium, antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, and choline. Aloe is also one of the few plant sources of vitamin B12, which is especially important for vegans and vegetarians.
The trick with aloe juice is not to overdo it! Drinking too much can have a laxative effect, so sprinkle it on or add a splash to your favorite elixir.
Heals your gut
About 40% of North Americans suffer from a functional gastrointestinal disorder. If you are one of them, aloe vera juice and extracts can help relieve your symptoms. They work by
- soothe irritated intestinal tissue
- inhibit bacteria causing ulcers
- fight against oxidative stress
- lower stomach acid production
Many people have successfully used aloe to relieve the discomfort of irritable bowel syndrome; and symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), such as heartburn, dysphagia, gas, and nausea.
aloe vera shows great promise for the 29 percent of Canadians and 45 percent of Americans who live with diabetes, prediabetes; or undiagnosed high blood sugar.
Its gel is used in folk medicine for managing blood sugar; although more research is needed to confirm this benefit; aloe’s low-carb juice makes an excellent addition to low GI (glycemic index) diets.10
Keeps Your Regular
aloe vera is traditionally used as an herbal laxative—and it’s effective! Thanks to the compounds aloin A and barbaloin found within the latex of its leaves; aloe stimulates the large intestine to relieve short-term constipation.
Because aloe latex is potent, it should not be used for long periods or at high doses. As a precaution, discuss aloe latex with your health care practitioner before use.
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