Aloe vera is known for its amazing healing properties, and has been used across many continents for thousands of years. It is a member of the Old World succulent group known as Aloaceae.
Aloe vera leaves hold a gooey translucent gel that is slightly bitter. The gel is made up of around 96% water, 18 or the 20 amino acids found in the body, as well as vitamin A, B, C and E. However, one of the most crucial elements found in aloe vera gel is the complex carbohydrate known as acemannan. It allows nutrients to reach the cells, nourish them and at the same time relieve toxins.
30 Amazing Uses of Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has amazing health benefits, for both internal and external issues in the body. See below for how this plant can help you!
Aloe is a great immune system booster, and helps ward off almost any disease. The pulp contains a huge concentration of antioxidants, which fight against damage caused by free radicals (1).
Free radicals can come from anything in your environment, whether that be stress, lifestyle choices, poor air quality, diet, and so on. Free radicals produce oxidative stress, which contributes to the cell aging process. This is why aloe is so commonly promoted as an excellent anti-aging skin treatment. It also helps the skin produce metallothionein, an antioxidant protein that protects against radiation damage.
Taking aloe vera internally will not only help the skin, but it can reduce inflammation in the body and pain related to injuries, arthritis, or other trauma. It also offer anti-viral protection and inhibits tumour growth by strengthening the immune system.
Digestive health can also be improved by consuming aloe vera. This is particularly true of individuals suffering from ulcerative colitis and can treat constipation if taken in a high enough dose.
When taken internally, aloe vera also helps with:
– balancing the body’s system and ability to cope with stress (adaptogen)
– absorbs toxins in the intestinal tract, and helps with proper elimination of waste from your body
– alkalizes the body
– promotes cardiovascular stress by helping lower cholesterol, regulating blood pressure and improving circulation
– helps with weight loss (a secondary effect of the plant improving your digestion and detoxifying your body)
How To Take Internally
Drinking 2 ounces of aloe vera is recommended for 10 consecutive days to start feeling the full health benefits. It may take around 10 hours before it takes effect.
Aloe vera has many external uses. It can be found in millions of beauty and skin care products all over the world. The gel keeps the skin looking healthy and youthful by helping it retain moisture and stimulating the production of elastin and collagen – two fibrous proteins that increase skin elasticity and reduces wrinkles.
Aloe also binds skin cells together to prevent flaking, and therefore makes it an excellent treatment for those suffering from dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis. It has also been used to combat the effects of erythema and improve acne.
Aloe vera pulp reduces inflammation on the outside and inside of your skin as well. It soothes and heals burns and abrasions by preventing infection and promoting skin cell renewal.
Aloe possesses 6 antiseptic agents, namely, lapel, salicylic acid, urea nitrogen, cinnamon acid, phenols and sulphur. They act as anti-bacterials, anti-virals, and anti-fungals, meaning that it can help relieve rashes from allergies, bug bites, or from plants like poison ivy or oak.
It can also be used as a mouthwash or applied directly to the teeth or gums to promote oral health and fight the bacteria that cause gum disease and bad breath. It has been found to even work just as effectively as chlorhexidine in preventing periodontal disease (2).
How To Grow Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is one of the easiest plants to grow, mainly because it is a succulent (and succulents need very little care to thrive!). Plus, aloe vera propagates very quickly, and can be easily harvested. You can take a clipping from a friend and start that way, or you can purchase from a local garden store or health food store.
Alternatively, you can grow a new plant by transplanting the pups of a mature plant. make sure you use soil that most cacti thrive in – that is, five parts organic potting soil, two parts pumice, and one part coir. Or, you can use one part soil, and one part sand. Place the mixture into a well-draining post such as terra cotta.
Aloe vera doesn’t require much water, and if you keep it outside, it shouldn’t ever get too much rain. During the warmer months, the dew provided from sitting outside on the deck overnight is more than enough water for the plant. During the cooler months, aloe vera should always be kept inside, and requires less frequent watering during the winter months. Once the top three inches of soil are dry, then it needs water – until then, leave it as is!