Most of us equate aloe vera to glowing skin and beauty, but did you know that it’s also one of the oldest mentioned plants on record due to its medicinal properties and health benefits? Used by ancient Egyptians, aloe was hailed as the secret to one’s beauty, health and immortality. Today, the herb is loved by both skin care professionals and doctors alike. Aloe vera not only adds radiance to your skin but also treats several conditions like inflammation, type II diabetes, and constipation.
A storehouse of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, C, E, B1, B2, B3 (niacin), B6, B12, choline, folic acid and minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, selenium, sodium, iron, potassium, copper, and manganese.
1. Reduces Inflammation
- Extract the gel from an aloe vera plant.
- Massage inflamed and affected areas of the skin using the gel.
- Alternatively, drink 2–3 ounces aloe juice every day.
Aloe vera juice has anti-inflammatory properties, which can provide relief from redness, swelling, pain, and stiffness. By topically applying aloe vera, you can treat inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, acne, and even pimples.1 The soothing activity of the gel can also provide relief from joint pain and muscle inflammation.2
It’s also been noted that consuming aloe vera juice can help bring the body into an alkaline state, thus soothing the symptoms caused by an overly acidic state. The anti-inflammatory nature of aloe vera can also help reduce stomach ulcers and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.3
2. Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Opt for freeze-dried aloe vera, as it’s abundant in beta-sitosterol, the compound responsible for the cholesterol-lowering properties of aloe vera.
If your cholesterol levels are high, drink aloe vera juice every day. Studies have shown that a compound called beta (β) sitosterol present in aloe vera can reduce the “bad” cholesterol levels in your body. By bringing your cholesterol levels under control, aloe vera can also reduce your risk of other cholesterol-related conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure.4 5
3. Boosts Immunity
By boosting the immune responses of your cells, aloe vera can increase your resistance and keep you away from diseases. Aloe vera is a potent antioxidant, which protects your cells from the scavenging effect of free radicals and boost immunity.6 Aloe vera also contains polysaccharides, which along with 18 other amino acids, promote a healthy immune system.7
4. Reduces Stress
If you’ve been feeling stressed or depressed of late, consider using aloe vera. By drinking aloe vera juice, you can help your body cope with the changes occurring within your body and external changes in your environment. In ayurveda, aloe vera is considered an adaptogen, a substance that helps your body to adapt to the surroundings.
In fact, aloe vera juice is believed to relieve not only mental stress but also improve brain function. In a study conducted on mice, it was observed that aloe vera can improve memory and reduce depression.8
5. Anti-Aging And Wrinkle Free
Aloe vera is also known as the plant of the youth, miracle plant, or the immortal plant. Apart from acting as a brilliant anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agent, it also reduces the sign of aging and prevents the formation of wrinkles. Aloe vera can also help moisturize and remove dead cells from the surface of the skin. This helps you achieve a radiant and glowing skin as opposed to wrinkles and dead, dry skin.9
6. Treats Wounds
When you apply aloe vera gel to the wound, don’t cover it with a bandage. To facilitate healing, aloe vera requires open air. However, avoid using aloe vera to treat deep wounds.
By increasing the collagen production and stimulating the growth of skin cells, aloe vera can help treat wounds and cuts. Aloe vera also seals off wounds by binding the skin tissues and works as an astringent. Furthermore, you can use aloe vera gel to treat insect bites, stings, and even sunburns.10
7. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
To reduce your blood sugar levels, consume the pulp or the juice of aloe vera, instead of the gel.
If you’re suffering from type II diabetes, aloe vera can help reduce your blood sugar levels. Most diabetic patients also carry high quantities of lipids in their blood. By reducing the blood lipid levels, aloe vera can help in the treatment of diabetes. However, aloe vera is beneficial only for subjects with type II diabetes and not type I.11 12
8. Relieves Constipation
- Extract the gel from an aloe vera leaf
- Add the gel to a glass of water
- Drink two glasses every day.
Made of complex nutrients, aloe vera can benefit the lining of the digestive tract. Drinking aloe vera juice can help decrease irritation and heal ulcers in the stomach and intestines. Aloe vera juice can also decrease inflammation of the intestine, thus easing symptoms of constipation. Moreover, aloe vera is known to aid digestion by increasing the number of healthy bacteria in the gut.13
However, the University of Maryland recommends that you try out other gentler herbs like senna or cascara before aloe, as the latter could cause intense cramping and dehydration in some cases.14
9. Acts As A Detoxifier
Aloe vera can improve your liver function and promote detoxification. The juice binds with toxins, absorbs them, and makes them less harmful. It also activates the enzymes responsible for detoxification and enables your liver to flush them out of your system.
When applied topically, aloe vera can also remove the harmful toxins and pollutants present on the surface of the skin. This not only cleanses your skin but also makes you look more radiant.
Aloe vera juice is no modern fad; it has a long history of being used as a health tonic and digestive aid in many indigenous cultures. Aloe vera juice can be used regularly as a general health enhancer or occasionally as a safe herbal remedy for several health ailments.
|↑1||Vera, Aloe. “Wound healing, oral & topical activity of Aloe vera.” Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association 79 (1989): 559-562.|
|↑2||Qadir, M. Imran. “Medicinal and cosmetological importance of Aloe vera.” Int J Nat Ther 2 (2009): 21-26.|
|↑3||Langmead, L., R. J. Makins, and D. S. Rampton. “Anti‐inflammatory effects of aloe vera gel in human colorectal mucosa in vitro.” Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics 19, no. 5 (2004): 521-527.|
|↑4||Chandrakar, Mamata, Sachin Palekar, Sudhir Chirade, and S. Hafiz. “Hypocholesterolemic effect of Aloe vera (L.) extract on high cholesterol fed calotes versicolor daudin.” Asian J Exp Sci 22, no. 3 (2008): 295-298.|
|↑5||Palermo, Francesco A., Paolo Cocci, Mauro Angeletti, Alberto Felici, Alberta Maria Polzonetti-Magni, and Gilberto Mosconi. “Dietary Aloe vera components’ effects on cholesterol lowering and estrogenic responses in juvenile goldfish, Carassius auratus.” Fish physiology and biochemistry 39, no. 4 (2013): 851-861.|
|↑6||Vahedi, Ghasem, Mehdi Taghavi, Amin Kheirollahzade Maleki, and Reza Habibian. “The effect of Aloe vera extract on humoral and cellular immune response in rabbit.” African Journal of Biotechnology 10, no. 26 (2011): 5225-5228.|
|↑7||Hamman, Josias H. “Composition and applications of Aloe vera leaf gel.” Molecules 13, no. 8 (2008): 1599-1616.|
|↑8||Halder, Sumita, Ashish K. Mehta, and Pramod K. Mediratta. “Aloe vera improves memory and reduces depression in mice.” Nutritional neuroscience 16, no. 6 (2013): 250-254.|
|↑9||Cho, Soyun, Serah Lee, Min-Jung Lee, Dong Hun Lee, Chong-Hyun Won, Sang Min Kim, and Jin Ho Chung. “Dietary Aloe vera supplementation improves facial wrinkles and elasticity and it increases the type I procollagen gene expression in human skin in vivo.” Annals of dermatology 21, no. 1 (2009): 6-11.|
|↑10||Aloe. University of Rochester Medical Center.|
|↑11||Okyar, Alper, Ayşe Can, Nuriye Akev, Gül Baktir, and Nurhayat Sütlüpinar. “Effect of Aloe vera leaves on blood glucose level in type I and type II diabetic rat models.” Phytotherapy Research 15, no. 2 (2001): 157-161.|
|↑12||Aloe Vera and Diabetes. Diabetes, UK.|
|↑13||Foster, Meika, Duncan Hunter, and Samir Samman. Evaluation of the nutritional and metabolic effects of Aloe vera. Vol. 3. chapter, 2011.|
|↑14||Constipation. University of Maryland Medical Center.|