The health benefits of aloe vera are numerous, beginning with improving the digestive system, it can result in an optimal health in the long run. It strengthens the immune system, delays the aging process, cures dermatitis, alleviates menstrual problems, reduces arthritis pain, and heals wounds. It also cures nausea, eliminates ulcers, lowers blood sugar levels, prevents diabetes, reduces oxidative stress, inhibits cancerous growth, heals the side effects of radiotherapy treatments, promotes hair growth, and soothes acid reflux symptoms.
This widely useful plant also lowers cholesterol and triglycerides, improves cardiovascular functions, alleviates joint and muscle pain, enhances lifespan, and cures gum diseases. It has been used for ages to alleviate pain since it has excellent anti-inflammatory properties.
Studies are still being conducted to discover more benefits of the aloe plant that will undoubtedly make it more important in the medicinal practices all around the world.
What is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is also known as medicinal aloe, and it is commonly called are lily of the desert, burn plant, and elephant’s gall. It belongs to the family of succulent plants in the genus ‘Aloe’. The origin of this burn plant is believed to be in Sudan and has been used for more than 6,000 years. The great virtues of this plant have been recognized by many civilizations, including the Egyptians, Spanish, Persians, Greeks, Italians, Africans, Japanese, and Indians. It grows best in warm and dry climates and is densely found in India, Africa, and other arid zones. This species has a wide usage in herbal medicines. The aloe vera plant has compounds such as mannans, polysaccharides, lectins, and anthraquinones that are extremely beneficial for human health.
Aloe vera plant is often a stemless or sometimes very short-stemmed juicy plant that grows around 60–100 cm (24–39 inch) in height and the offsets spread out wide. The leaves of this plant are thick and fleshy and the color varies from green to gray-green. Some varieties of this plant have white flecks on the upper and lower portions of the stem surfaces. The margin of the leaves is like saw-tooth and the flowers bloom during the summer. This plant can be easily grown both, indoors and outdoors.
How does Aloe Vera help you?
For decades, the soothing nature of aloe vera has been known and respected by the people who believe in naturopathy. It has 18 amino acids that work in association with other compounds of the human body to deliver numerous health benefits. It is best known for the healing of skin, wounds, and other skin issues. However, it also has other benefits like curing heart diseases, diabetes, asthma, and arthritis.
Health Benefits of Aloe Vera
Including aloe vera products in your regular nutritional plan, will automatically give a regenerated body and an attractive, youthful appearance. The common health benefits of aloe are discussed below.
The adaptogenic properties of aloe vera are beneficial for a proper digestion. It ensures better nutrient absorption and also eliminates harmful elements through smooth excretion. A healthy digestive process positively affects your thoughts and actions, thus promoting overall health. It cures irritable bowel syndrome and keeps constipation, piles, and other gastrointestinal conditions from damaging your system.
Aloe vera has compounds called polysaccharides that have the ability to cure a host of digestive disorders and ulcers. Ulcers are one of the most prominent consequences of digestive problems that are effectively cured by this plant extract. Many studies have proven that it cures issues like Crohn’s disease, peptic ulcers, and other digestive tract disorders. If you suffer from ulcers and consume aloe vera extract for at least 3 – 4 weeks, you will surely notice positive results.
Beverages made with aloe vera juice possess natural detoxifying properties that effectively cleanse the digestive system and the circulatory system. As the absorption level of nutrients accelerates, it results in better blood circulation and also improves health. When the blood is oxygen-rich, it automatically provides nutrients within the cells more proficiently. These healthy cells ensure your body’s ability to ward off infections, thereby strengthening your immune system. It has the capability to neutralize harmful bacteria and its rejuvenating properties work within your body to keep it fresh and active throughout the day. Many studies have shown that these antitumor and immunomodulatory properties are due to aloe vera polysaccharides.
Inhibits Cancerous Growth
As discussed in the previous sections, aloe vera helps in strengthening your immune system; the use of aloe gel also destroys cancerous tumors effectively. According to studies published in International Immunopharmacology (1995), aloe vera polysaccharides contain some effective macrophages that produce huge volumes of nitric oxide, which has antitumor potential. In naturopathy, there are innumerable methods of cancer prevention and the aloe vera-based has proven to be one of the most successful ones. However, some experts say that, when used alone, it may not be very effective in advanced cases, so a combination of herbs like spirulina, cat’s claw, and therapies like intravenous vitamin C should also be included. It is always advisable to start any kind of cancer treatment after consulting a physician.
Heals Side Effects of Radiotherapy
During a cancer treatment, radiotherapy is inevitable in most cases. Cancer patients often experience uncomfortable side effects due to radiotherapy. Topical application of aloe vera gel to the radiation area will make the patient immediately feel the soothing effect and it also accelerates healing. If you drink aloe juice in such conditions, it will help you in healing the radiation burns.
Aloe vera has been used for skin ailments since ancient times. The pure inner gel extracted from the aloe leaf is the best natural remedy for skin abrasions and it also helps diminish the symptoms of aging skin conditions. Many skin care and personal care products, toiletries, and cosmetics include aloe extracts. In fact, if you have its plant at home, simply tear a small part of the leaf, take the gel and apply it in the raw form on your face. This therapy will prove to be far better and more effective than many expensive skin creams on the market. Most people prefer drinking its juice, which also enhances skin health, as the properties of the plant work internally. It also helps in curing stings, rashes, acne, and psoriasis.
Aloe vera has proven to be an excellent option for promoting hair growth naturally. The hair products that contain it are essential to retain voluminous and healthy hair. You can apply its gel to the entire scalp and hair to treat hair loss as it has an enzyme that is beneficial for stimulating hair growth. Aloe vera shampoo improves blood circulation and keeps you away from stress and mental strain. In fact, it has anti-inflammatory properties that effectively treat androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness. If you use it regularly as a shampoo and conditioner, you are sure to prevent premature hair loss.
Reduces Arthritis Pain
Aloe vera is noted for its amazing anti-inflammatory properties that work instantly on the pain and swelling resulting from arthritis. Its juice is also extremely effective in calming the swelling and inflammation that are closely associated with arthritis. In fact, topical application on swelling or drinking aloe vera juice, both show positive results in curing arthritis pain.
Relieves Joint & Muscle Pain
The anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera help it to work efficiently on joint and muscle pains. Applying aloe gel topically eases inflammation of the joints. Aloe juice can also be consumed to reduce inflammation throughout the body, thus revitalizing it. In some studies, it has been reported that people who regularly consume aloe vera juice for at least two weeks experience a significant improvement in inflammation issues. However, it works efficiently when your diet contains less intake of red meat, sugar, milk, fried foods, and white flour.
Aloe vera has been considered a natural healer ever since it was discovered thousands of years ago. If used externally, it is the best option for dressing wounds. In fact, in many cases, it is seen that aloe vera works like magic, even in the most serious of emergency room wound cases. The juice instantly seals the wound while drawing the flow of blood to the wound, thus enhancing the process of wound healing. In many studies, it has been proven that aloe effectively treats third-degree burn victims and it restores the burned skin faster. It is also known that a large amount of aloe vera gel can heal wounds of gunshots and tissue injuries.
Cures Menstrual Problems
The extract of aloe vera has shown to be an excellent stimulant of the uterus and intake of its juice is very beneficial during painful menstruation.
Nausea can occur due to a host of reasons, including consuming contaminated food, having a virus or flu, or even due to chemotherapy treatments. There are many man-made medicines for nausea, however, nowadays doctors are also prescribing natural options for treatment. Oftentimes, feelings of nausea originate from disorders in the stomach or in the digestive tract. Aloe vera juice is excellent for a sick stomach and makes you feel better by bringing a calm feeling throughout the body. This indirectly helps alleviate the feelings of nausea.
Reduces Blood Sugar Level
Aloe vera is also used for lowering blood sugar levels. Consuming it has beneficial effects on reducing blood sugar levels. A result of the study on the effects of aloe vera on diabetic rat models suggests that it is useful in the treatment of diabetes as well.
Prevents Oxidative Stress
Aloe vera gel is rich in vitamins like vitamin B12, B1, B2, B6, and vitamin A, E, and C, and niacin, and folic acid. These vitamins are required for a proper functioning of human body. The body’s defensive system is thus kept intact with the regular intake of its juice and thus keeps you away from the dangerous impact of oxidative stress.
Soothes Acid Reflux Symptoms
Acid reflux is often wrongly known as a disease, while it is actually just a symptom that involves heartburn and discomfort. Initially, you can try the natural remedy of consuming soothing aloe vera juice, which usually works effectively and initiates proper functioning. However, you should try to avoid eating fried and processed food to evade the problem altogether.
Lowers Cholesterol & Triglycerides
Aloe vera gel, when used internally, automatically improves blood quality and thus helps in re-balancing the other components in it like cholesterol and glucose. It effectively lowers cholesterol and total triglyceride content. Blueberries are also powerful, cholesterol-lowering agents and you can imagine how great a natural remedy it can be if you combine blueberries and aloe vera.
Improves Cardiovascular Function
Aloe vera extract accelerates the supply of blood and purifies it at the same time. This blood accelerates the delivery of oxygen to the organs in the body, thereby maximizing their functionality. Organs like the brain and heart need oxygen that is supported by this purified blood. Therefore, aloe vera indirectly keeps the blood fresh and rich in oxygen to serve these purposes perfectly.
Cures Gum Diseases
Dental and gum diseases can also be cured by aloe vera. You can try out this natural remedy at home; put some aloe vera powder on your toothbrush, then brush normally. The aloe vera powder will soothe your gums and cure any kind of infection or bruises. Aloe vera juice can also help in keeping gums healthy. Just gargle the liquid around your mouth before swallowing. Also, try to increase your intake of vitamin D. Both these measures will be enough to get your gums back in shape within a few months.
Professor Daniel Valero, from the University of Miguel Hernández in Alicante, Spain has proved that a thin layer of aloe vera gel can act as a natural food preservative. In the experiment, they immersed some table grapes into a bowl of aloe vera gel and then kept it in the refrigerator. The table grape without aloe vera gel went bad in 7 days, but the gelled ones stayed fresh for more than 35 days and still tasted fresh.
Many scientists say that this benefit of aloe vera can bring a new dimension to food safety regulations around the world. Further experiments showed that dipping fruits and vegetables in aloe vera gel effectively eliminated E.coli, retained freshness, and also extended their shelf life. The FDA has also approved it as a natural food flavoring agent.
Boosts Oxygenation of the Blood
Blood oxygenation benefits the supplying of CO2 (carbon dioxide) to vital organs. In some studies, it has been reported that aloe vera aids in blood oxygenation. However, more evidence is required to back up this potential benefit.
Aloe vera has been a primary component of many skin products that help in retaining youthfulness through the healthier skin. The added support of aloe in any skin cream enhances its function as a wrinkle fader and skin rejuvenator. The anti-aging properties work on the skin and keep it fresh, supple, wrinkle-free, and bright. The properties of aloe vera make it penetrate quickly within the various layers of the skin, even to the muscles of the body.
Aloe Vera FAQs
How to Use Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera, with its many uses, is a succulent plant, and its benefits are typically obtained by breaking off a stalk to extract the gel-like substance within; it is then either applied topically to the skin or ingested. The gel can also be combined with other natural ingredients to form part of your health or beauty routine.
What is Aloe Vera Good for?
You can apply aloe vera gel to relieve sunburn, acne, irritated, and dry skin; some people also perceive benefits in reducing the appearance of stretch marks and get anti-aging benefits by applying the gel to fine lines and wrinkles. The gel may also be ingested to help relieve acid reflux and mild constipation. Aloe vera gel can even be diluted and combined with other natural ingredients to make a homemade mouthwash.
What is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is a type of succulent plant, which, despite its resemblance to some types of cacti, actually belongs to the Aloe family. These plants are found growing in many dry regions in the world. These plants can also be cultivated as a pot-plant in your own home, where they can prove useful for all sorts of health and beauty purposes.
What does Aloe Vera do?
Aloe Vera has a range of benefits for the humans; when applied topically, it can soothe irritated skin, sunburn, and act as a moisturizer; when ingested, it can help ease certain types of gastrointestinal discomfort.
Where to Buy Aloe Vera from?
You can purchase aloe vera plants at your local plant nursery; there are also many online retailers from which you can buy one. There is a myriad of health and beauty products in the market that contains Aloe vera; you should be able to buy these from your local supermarkets, pharmacies, and of course, online.