Aloe VeraAloe Vera is one of approximately 420 species of the genus Aloe; the botanical name of aloe Vera is Aloe barbadensis miller, and it belongs to the Liliaceae family.
It’s a perennial, xerophytic, succulent plant that’s green and has triangular, fleshy leaves with serrated edges.
Geographic Origin Of Aloe Vera
The geographic origin of aloe Vera is believed to be in Sudan, and it was later introduced in the Mediterranean region and most other warm areas of the world, including Africa, Asia, India, Europe and America.
Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe gel is the clear, jelly-like substance found in the inner part of the aloe plant leaf. Aloe latex comes from just under the plant’s skin and is yellow in color. Some aloe products are made from the whole crushed leaf, so they contain both gel and latex.
Aloe Vera Nutrition
Aloe vera is considered to be the most biologically active of the Aloespecies; astonishingly, more than 75 potentially active components have been identified in the plant, including vitamins, minerals, saccharides, amino acids, anthraquinones, enzymes, lignin, saponins and salicylic acids. It provides 20 of the 22 human-required amino acids and eight of the eight essential amino acids.
Aloe vera contains many vitamins and minerals vital for proper growth and function of all the body’s systems.
Benefits Of Aloe Vera: Heals Skin, Constipation And Immune System
Aloe leaves secrete a clear gel that when broken off from the rest of the plant that can be applied topically to heal wounds and soothe skin.
Various studies have been conducted to examine the benefits of the aloe Vera plant and it was found out that aloe Vera does in fact have several properties that are effective in treating a variety of skin conditions, from flaky or dry skin, cosmetic ailments, hair and scalp problems to many more.
Most common are: nutrient rich for good health, treats sunburn, acts as a moisturizer, treats acne, fights aging, lessens the visibility of stretch marks, soothes in periodontal disease, aids in digestion.
It is said to be useful in treating wounds and burns, minor skin infections, cysts, diabetes, and elevated blood lipids in humans, and shows some promise in treating more serious and persistent conditions such as eczema, genital herpes, dandruff, psoriasis, canker sores, skin ulcers and others.
How To Use Aloe Vera?
40 Uses of Aloe Vera:
Below are 40 Selected Top Uses of Aloe Vera:
- Give yourself to a soothing body rub. Slice aloe leaves lengthwise and use the inner sides as a biodegradable body scrub in the shower.
- Treat burns from minor mishaps in the kitchen from grease splatters or hot utensils. For more major kitchen mishaps like a scald, mix some aloe gel and vitamin E oil into a little jar for a homemade burn healer.
- Banish black and blue bruises by swapping on the good go.
- Soothe and heal sunburns the feel-good way. Aloe contains cooling properties similar to menthol.
- Take the sting or itch out of insect bites.
- Reduce tissue damage from frostbite.
- Alleviate mysterious rashes.
- Make feet baby soft with an exfoliating foot mask by mixing together a half cup of oatmeal, a half cup of corn meal, four tbsp. of aloe vera gel and a half cup of unscented body lotion.
- Help heal herpes outbreaks.
- Fight Athlete’s Foot.
- Swab over blisters for quick relief.
- Use as an antidote to allergic skin reactions.
- Replace creams and lotions as a general moisturizer for dry skin. Aloe Vera is fast absorbing.
- Prevent pesky pimples and treat acne.
- Soothe Psoriasis.
- Prevent scarring and stretch marks.
- Help rid of Rosacea.
- Shrink warts.
- Reverse signs of aging skin and wrinkles.
- Help eliminate Eczema.
- Brighten skin. Aloe can decrease pigmentation and dark spots.
- Make skin new again with an exfoliating, organic sugar scrub by mixing together two tbsp. of aloe vera, 2 tbsp. of organic brown sugar and 1 tsp. of organic lemon juice.
- For rougher patches mix together an organic salt skin scrub using two cups of sea salt, one cup of aloe vera, one cup of organic coconut oil and two tbsp. of local, organic honey.
- Speed up hair growth by massaging aloe into the scalp, letting it sit for 30 minutes, and rinsing.
- Reduce hair dandruff by mixing aloe vera juice with coconut milk and wheat germ oil. Massage into scalp and rinse.
- Replace aloe with conditioner for silkier, smoother hair.
- Remove eye makeup.
- Treat minor vaginal irritations.
- Treat minor vaginal irritations.
- Drink aloe vera juice to relieve gastrointestinal disorders like indigestion.
- Sip it to aid in elimination. Many times, it’s recommended for its laxative effects.
- Take a swig to reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome including bloating and discomfort.
- Take aloe orally to relieve heartburn, arthritis and rheumatism pain.
- Boil leaves in a pan of water and breathe in the vapor to alleviate asthma.
- Drink to lower blood sugar levels—especially for diabetics.
- Strengthen gums and promote strong, healthy teeth by taking orally or use toothpaste with Aloe Vera ingredients.
- Drink to help ease congestion, stomach ulcers, colitis, hemorrhoids, urinary tract infections and prostate problems.
- Take orally to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides for a healthy heart.
- Sip to minimize inflammation and infection of the eye and ear.
- Toast to its general detoxify and health boosting qualities.
Aloe Vera Use FAQs
1. What Is The Difference Between Aloe Vera Gel And Aloe Vera Juice?
This is a very common question and as there is no strict labeling laws there are only general rules that can be applied.
Aloe Vera Juices: are made from the bitter part of the leaf known as Aloe Latex. There is very little to suggest that this part of the leaf carries any health benefits but it can be highly laxative.
Aloe Vera Gels: are made from the inner 'gel' of the leaf which seems to be the most beneficial part of the plant.
This said some companies also use juice and gel as part of their labeling with juice for drinking and gel to be used on the skin. Some use carrageenan (from seaweed) which they add to the juice and then call it gel because it thickens the juice.
In general both quality aloe vera juices and gels can be taken orally and applied topically but check with the distributor or manufacturer first.
2. Can Aloe Vera Help Me Lose Weight?Aloe Vera taken as a drink will detoxify the body and clean out the digestive tract over time. It also contains a large number of vitamins and minerals which help bring the body back to a natural balance.
For some this means weight loss but not for all. Note that many recovering from Anorexia find Aloe Vera actually helps them with weight gain.
3. Can I Use Aloe Vera For Skin Problems?Many people do. It is used, for example, in hot countries where it grows naturally to heal sunburn because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
Aloe Vera has also anti-fungal and anti-bacterial so it is a popular remedy for afflictions such as athletes foot.
It has also been reported that it accelerates the rate at which cells divide (50-100% faster than naturally occurs) and hence why many use it for cuts, wounds and other types of burns.
4. Can You Grow Your Own Aloe Vera?Yes, and many people do. In many European countries it is common for some to have an Aloe Vera pot plant. The leaves can then be broken off and the gel squeezed out to treat cuts, burns and grazes.
In the Americas, Africa and Australia the climate is much better for growing Aloe Vera outside. Note the gel in these plants is at its best when the plant reaches maturity (after 5 years).
5. Should I Boil Aloe Vera Juice Or Gel Before Drinking It?It does not matter if you buy an aloe vera juice or gel from a shop or squeeze it from the leaf, you should not boil or heat it.
Boiling or heating aloe vera kills many of the nutrients that make it work which means it will not do you any harm, but it will not do you any good either!
6. Should You Refrigerate Aloe Vera Juice?Aloe Vera juice or gel is a natural vegetable juice so it should always be kept refrigerated.
If you have squeezed or taken the gel directly from a leaf you should use it within a couple of weeks. If you have bought a product from a shop you should refrigerate it and use it within a month. Bottled aloe vera will last slightly longer because of the preservatives added by the manufacturer.
7. Who Can Use Aloe Vera?On the skin in creams, gels, juices and lotions or in it's raw form no adverse side effects have ever been recorded and this is why it can be found in so many shampoos and cosmetics. But just like any other natural product there are some people who can be allergic to it. For Aloe Vera unofficial estimates suggest about 2% of any given population.
Taken orally more care must be considered. Aloe Vera can have side effects (see Aloe Vera Side Effects) although these can be minimised or even completely eliminated with Good Quality Aloe Vera.
8. Pregnant Women And Aloe Vera
Pregnant women should never make any major changes to their diet as they may be allergic to new foodstuffs. The same goes for Aloe Vera. If you have never drunk Aloe Vera do not start while you are pregnant.
Cautions When Using Aloe Vera
Is Aloe Vera Dangerous? It can be - especially if you use the wrong variety or if you try injecting it (some people have died through the injection method). Make sure you are using Aloe Barbadensis Miller - most commercial products are made from this.
Avoid the outer skin or using the 'Whole Leaf'. The rind is highly toxic and is the plants natural defense against being eaten in the wild!
Do not drink large amounts of Aloe straight away. It cleans the digestive tract and so may have a laxative effect is large quantities until your body is used to it.
Do not drink/use Aloe if you are pregnant and you have never drunk Aloe before.
Can You Take Aloe Vera If You Are On Medication?
It's possible and many people do but you should first check with your doctor.