Benefits of Aloe Vera

Calming Remedies…10 Benefits of Aloe Vera {Get Natural}

Many people have aloe vera plants because they look nice and require little care. But is there more to this spiky green succulent? Of course there is! This plant is known for its treatment of injuries but has countless other benefits you may be unaware of. It can be applied topically as well as ingested, with few side effects to speak of. If you want to know the benefits of aloe vera and how to use it, check out our list below.

What is Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a cactus-like succulent with long, thick, spiky leaves. It is commonly called Lily of the Desert and is also referred to as the Burn Plant. There are two substances produced by this plant. These are gel and latex, both of which have medicinal uses. The gel is a clear and jelly-like, found on the inside of the plant leaf. The latex is yellow and is located just under the skin. Some companies even combine the two by crushing the whole leaf. There are countless ways to use aloe both internally and externally for a healthy body.

History of Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has been used for over 6000 years. The first documented reports were from ancient Egypt. This sacred plant was used by both Cleopatra and Nofretete. The juice nourished their skin and was part of their daily beauty routines. Aloe vera was even used as part of the embalming rituals. The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties helped preserve their dead. The Egyptians believed it would even help them attain eternal life.

aloevera plantThe Mesopotamians used aloe to help cleanse their intestines. This was especially important to them. They believed illnesses were due to demonic possession. To them, aloe was a divine plant with natural exorcising power. Alexander the Great was also known to use aloe juice to heal the battle wounds of him and his warriors. He kept the plants with him at all times during his campaigns for this purpose. In about 50 B.C., the naturalist and physician Dioscorides also documented aloe’s uses. He called it one of his favorite healing plants. He also recommended its use for a wide variety of physical disorders. Both the Chinese and Japanese have been known to use aloe for medical treatments.

Even Christopher Columbus kept potted aloe plants on his armada of ships to heal the wounds of his crews. There is documentation of aloe vera uses in Spain, Sweden, Africa, and North America. This plant is revered by all of these areas due to its healing properties and medicinal uses. Today, it shows up in countless food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical products.

Health Benefits of Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has more than 75 active components. This makes it the most biologically active plant in the entire Aloe species. To start with, it contains Vitamins A, C, and E, all of which are antioxidants. Aloe also includes Vitamin B12, folic acid, and choline, which are all beneficial to the body. Aloe vera contains 9 different enzymes. These include amylase, alkaline phosphatase, bradykinase, catalase, aliiase, lipase, carboxypeptidase, cellulase, and peroxidase. There are 12 anthraquinones in the extracts of this plant as well. These are known as laxatives. Two of them even have antibacterial, antiviral, and analgesic properties.

There are four fatty acids in there, including cholesterol, beta-sisosterol, lupeol, and campesterol. These give the aloe its anti-inflammatory effects. The hormones auxins and gibberellins are also anti-inflammatories. These two speed up healing in wounds. Aloe even has a wide variety of minerals present. Calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium, and much more add to aloe’s health benefits. All of these components work together to maintain your body’s function and growth.

Uses of Aloe Vera

#1 – Acne:

 

acne-scars

Salicylic acid is known for its antiseptic abilities. This product kills bacteria and cleanses the skin. Since aloe contains this compound, it makes it a great treatment for different types of acne. But aloe also has anti-inflammatory properties. Acne can be painful because of the swelling around these blemishes. Aloe can help reduce this inflammation, relieving the pain as it clears out the dirt.

Daily use can heal your skin and even keep the acne from coming back. Best of all, this natural remedy won’t dry out your skin like store-bought cleansers will. Instead, it will leave your skin soft and smooth. The best way to use aloe as an acne treatment is to apply pure acne gel to the affected area. You can buy aloe gel from your pharmacy or a health store. If you have an aloe vera plant at home, all you need to do is break off a small section of one leaf. Squeeze the gel out of the middle and apply it to your face. Be sure to do a small patch test first, to ensure no negative reactions.

#2 – Skin Care:

skincare

Aging skin is caused by a few different factors. These are called intrinsic aging and photoaging. The first one is caused by our natural aging processes. The latter happens because of repeated exposure to ultraviolet rays. Unfortunately, neither of these can be avoided. The photoaging can be slowed with the use of sunscreen to protect our skin, but it won’t stop it altogether. This is because of the collagen reduction that happens over time. Our skin begins to sag, forming lines and wrinkles.

Aloe vera has many healthy properties that can help reduce the signs of aging. It is an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal. Aloe vera is an antioxidant, which means it reduces free radical damage. This can help slow the aging process in your cells. It also moisturizes the skin, reducing dryness while firming up the skin. One study even showed that wrinkles and elasticity improved in women over a 90 day period. Their collagen production even increased, which would reduce the formation of more lines. You can take the aloe vera internally if you like. Another method is to apply it to your face and neck, gently rubbing it into the skin.

#3 – Hair and Scalp Dryness:

dandruff

It has been discovered that aloe vera can help treat dryness in the hair and itching in the scalp. This natural treatment contains moisturizing properties to hydrate these areas. Since dry scalps may also include flaking and irritation, this is quite beneficial. For those with dandruff, aloe vera can help to treat the symptom of this skin condition. There are both antibacterial and antifungal properties for this purpose. Aloe vera also contains enzymes that can remove the dead skin cells from your scalp. This product even promotes tissue regeneration around the hair follicles. This speeds up healing while reducing the inflammation and irritation.

Another benefit of using aloe for these issues is that it is completely natural. Many of the shampoos for dryness and dandruff are full of chemicals. These could lead to more irritation, especially if you have a bad reaction. Aloe won’t cause such issues. Just apply the gel on its own to your scalp and massage it in. You can also add it to your hair to moisturize it, reducing the dryness that could lead to damage and split ends.

#4 – Burns:

burn

Aloe has been used as a burn treatment for many years. This doesn’t just mean minor burns from cooking or a sunburn from too much time at the beach. Aloe can reduce the itching from chemical burns. It is even shown to have better results than corticosteroid medication. In first or second degree burns, aloe cream may even speed up healing time and reduce the size of the wound.

For those with cancer, radiation treatments are a necessity. But along with radiotherapy come radiation burns. There are a few ways aloe vera can help to reduce the discomfort from these treatments. For the burn area, you can apply aloe vera gel topically. Such an application can help to soothe the burned area, reducing the pain. It can also help the radiation area heal faster. Those taking radiation treatments can also drink aloe vera juice. This will help them heal from the inside as well. For any type of burn, keep an aloe plant on hand. When the burn occurs, cut off a bit of the leaf and apply the gel inside to the affected area.

#5 – Wounds:

wound

One of the most traditional uses for aloe vera is as a treatment for wounds. Its antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties make it a good healer. This plant is one of the best options for wound dressings of any type. Around your house, you can use aloe vera to treat small cuts and abrasions from your daily routine. This is a safe alternative for those chemical cleansing and healing products available.

But this product is also effective for more serious wounds. In fact, it can be used for a variety of surgical wounds. Aloe vera juice helps to seal the wound by drawing blood to the area. This induces clotting, which will speed up the healing process. Because it is also a moisturizer, aloe vera can also hydrate the wounded area. This will help boost your skin’s elasticity while it heals. This reduces the tightness that comes from scabs and scars. Recovery time can also be reduced from the speedy healing process of using aloe vera. For more serious injuries, it is always best to follow your doctor’s medical advice. But around the house, aloe vera is a great option.

#6 – Blood Sugar:

blood sugar

There are some cultures who have used aloe vera as a treatment for diabetes. The reason for this is that this gel is said to enhance insulin sensitivity. But this product has also shown to lower blood sugar levels. There was one study done in which patients were given a tablespoon of aloe vera juice twice each day. After two weeks their blood sugar levels dropped. Two weeks after that, their triglyceride levels did as well. Best of all, there were no toxic effects on either the liver or kidneys. This suggests that aloe vera can be an effective treatment for diabetes. But taking aloe vera internally can also help to reduce the chances of getting diabetes in those at risk.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you just start drinking aloe vera juice to deal with your own diabetes. Be sure to discuss this as an alternative medicine with your doctor first. This will ensure you are taking it properly with the correct dosage to treat your specific needs. Your doctor will also be able to monitor your progress and decide if such a treatment is effective for you.

#7 – Digestion:

digestion

There are a few ways in which aloe vera can aid the digestive processes. First of all, it has anti-inflammatory properties to help soothe your insides. It also has laxative components. These are the anthraquinones, which help increase intestinal water content. Mucus secretion is stimulated. Intestinal peristalsis breaks down your food, which is another process aloe vera increases. All this together keeps your bowel movements regular.

Aloe vera helps balance your internal pH by normalizing acid and alkaline levels. It reduces the amount of yeast formed and stimulates digestive bacteria. There is also evidence that aloe vera juice can help those suffering from IBS. The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome could be reduced, including flatulence and discomfort.

There was also a study that showed some benefit for gastrointestinal problems. The gastric acid levels in the rats tested were decreased significantly. Further studies need to be done on human patients, but these results are still promising. Another digestive benefit of aloe vera is for stomach ulcers. Aloe contains polysaccharides, which can treat and cure digestive issues and ulcers. Even those with Crohn’s disease and colitis can find some relief using aloe vera.

#8 – Immune System:

immune system

Many of the components of aloe vera can help improve the immune system. It contains a variety of enzymes with can help break down the proteins in our food. This converts them into amino acids and other enzymes that we need to fuel our cells. Aloe vera contains bradykinase, which kills off any infections. It also stimulates the immune system, helping it work better.

The zinc in aloe vera reduces the chance of a deficiency. This is especially important since zinc is necessary for our immune functions. This trace element helps us fight disease and kills harmful bacteria. Zinc also helps protect our cell membrane functions. It is a key structural component for many of our protein and hormone receptors. Along with proper immune functions, zinc even helps balance out our mood.

Other immune system benefits include aloe vera’s natural detoxifying properties. Since it helps us absorb nutrients faster, it also increases blood circulation. This improves cell function and turnover. This regeneration keeps our bodies working properly. We’ll also have more energy to perform our daily tasks. You can use aloe vera juice to make a variety of healthy beverages to keep your immune system at its best.

#9 – Mouth:

mouth

Aloe vera can help treat a few different issues, both inside and outside the mouth. Cold sores can show up at random times, causing discomfort and embarrassment. Applying aloe vera gel a few times each day can help reduce any discomfort. This gel can also speed up healing, reducing both the size and duration of the cold sore. Aloe works so well for these sores because it is both an antiviral and an anti-inflammatory.

You can also use aloe vera internally to help reduce dental plaque. Aloe vera kills the Streptococcus mutans, which are the bacteria that cause plaque. It also reduces Candida albicans. Using aloe vera as a mouthwash has even been proven as effective as chlorhexidine. Pus the aloe has an added benefit of being completely pure and natural.

Mouth ulcers and canker sores can form in the mouth and most people experience them at some point in life. Though it doesn’t outperform conventional treatments, aloe is just as effective at healing. The pain that comes with these mouth sores is also reduced, making it a healthy and safe alternative.

#10 – Joint and Muscle Pain:

joint and muscle pain

If you have pain in your joints and muscles, one of the best ways to treat it is to first reduce the inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties aloe vera contains make it a great option for treatment. This is true for strains you may sustain when playing sports or when working hard at a physical job.

For those suffering from arthritis, this is also a good option. Arthritis can cause debilitating pain. It becomes so bad that it may even interfere with your regular daily tasks, even the easy ones. Arthritis can also affect your sleep if the pain becomes too much. The anti-inflammatory benefits of aloe vera can soothe the pain. It can also reduce the swelling in the joints that come with this degenerative illness. There are two ways you can use aloe vera to combat any of these joint or muscle pains. The first is to apply the gel externally. You only need a small amount. Rub it into the affected area, letting it soak in. You can also drink aloe vera juice to help treat your pain and swelling from the inside.

Benefits of Aloe Vera Final Thoughts

Aloe vera has so many benefits for your internal health and external beauty. Because it is natural, it is also safe to use. You can buy it almost anywhere, or you can keep an aloe plant in your home to improve your health as needed. If you are looking for more hair care articles check out our hair care buyer’s guides.

Footnotes:

  • Dr. Axe: Aloe Vera Benefits: Heal Skin, Constipation & Immune System
  • Medical News Today: What are the benefits of aloe vera?
  • Organic Facts: 21 Surprising Benefits Of Aloe Vera
  • NCIB: Evaluation of the Nutritional and Metabolic Effects of Aloe vera
  • WebMD: ALOE

About the Author Emma O'Brien

I joined BloomGorgeous in 2014 and have been reviewing for them ever since. It's my passion and joy to help people thrive. I have had my up and down days with my my look and my mindset, it is our goal here to help people get through the rough times a little faster.