The gel within the skin of the aloe vera plant contains many beneficial vitamins and nutrients, including vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, E, and folic acid, iron, sodium, copper, zinc, calcium, potassium, chromium, magnesium, and manganese. This healing plant is known for its benefits to both the inside and outside of the human body.
Everyone should apply a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 before spending time in the sun, but most of us forget once in a while. The resulting sunburn can be painful, but aloe vera gel can ease the pain and promote healing. The plant is also useful for treating blisters, other burns, and sites of allergic reactions. Aloe has been shown to protect against the sun's radiation damage. Some studies suggest that compounds in the plant can speed healing and encourage cell regeneration.
Along with vitamins and minerals, aloe vera is rich in monosaccharides and polysaccharides. Together, these compounds strengthen white blood cells, making the body more capable of fending off bacteria, viruses, and other diseases. Aloe vera is also full of antioxidants that help block free radicals that adversely affect health and contribute to aging. Drinking aloe vera juice regularly could help to naturally enhance the immune system.
Gums that bleed during or following brushing and flossing could be developing gum disease. Aloe vera gel has natural antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that can help heal mouth ulcers and bleeding gums and promote cell growth. Massaging the gel into the gums is one effective option, and some people brush their teeth with tooth powders or pastes containing the plant.
Aloe vera contains active enzymes that aid in digestion. Alkaline phosphatase, catalase, lipase, and peroxidase are just a few; they help break down fats and sugars while promoting healthy nutrient absorption. People with acid reflux, indigestion, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can benefit from drinking aloe vera juice.
The same qualities that make aloe vera good for the digestive system enable it to act as a natural laxative that can treat constipation. Fiber and compounds such as adaptogen promote regular bowel movements. Some research suggests drinking about two ounces of aloe vera juice each day when feeling constipated can alleviate symptoms, though the plant usually takes many hours to take effect.
People with arthritis or general joint inflammation can benefit from the anthraquinones, including aloetic acid and cinnamic acid, in aloe vera. Rubbing the gel directly on the painful areas can alleviate discomfort, and the anti-inflammatory benefits of aloe vera juice can take effect internally, helping treat ulcers or conditions such as ulcerative colitis.
Besides treating sunburns, aloe vera enhances skin health in general. Applying the gel to the face twice a day can help reduce acne pimples and scars. Facial cleansers and cosmetics with aloe vera are also helpful in treating redness and scars more naturally than the chemicals in some products. In addition to helping these problem areas, aloe vera can also hydrate and encourage cell growth from glowing, supple skin.
The moisturizing properties of aloe vera can help prevent hair breakage and promote growth. In addition to possible protection from radiation damage, aloe gel can also assist with scalp ailments such as dandruff, itchiness, and pH imbalance. A natural, at-home hair mask is easy to make by extracting the gel from two aloe vera leaves and combining it with the juice from half a lemon. Applying the mixture as a conditioner and leaving it in for around fifteen minutes can leave hair healthy and shiny.
Aloe vera juice can help maintain blood sugar levels and reduce triglycerides in people with type two diabetes. Some studies suggest that regular consumption of the beverage can even decrease blood sugar. One study shows that an extract of aloe vera can help ease neuropathic pain common in people with diabetes.
Research shows aloe vera may be able to lower cholesterol. The British Medical Journal published a study that indicated beta-sitosterol in the plant could reduce cholesterol levels. Aloe vera has a high concentration of this substance. Another study in Vitaminology and the Journal of Nutritional Science showed that consuming aloe vera supplements may assist in lowering liver production of cholesterol.
Aloe vera gel could help absorb toxins. Ayurveda, the medical system of India, recommends extracting liquid from the leaves to rid the body of ama or toxic waste that builds up in the stomach and intestinal walls and plays a role in disease development.
In addition to aiding the immune system, aloe vera contains compounds such as sulfur, lupeol, phenol, and urea nitrogen that have various antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties that can help fend off microorganisms that spread disease.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.