Since ancient times, aloe vera is considered to be a miracle plant and natural healer. Amazing properties of this plant have been known as far as 4th century BC. It was considered to be a great healing medicine especially for wounds, cuts, ulcers and stomach related problems.
Aloe vera is a perennial, succulent plant, i.e. its leaves hold large amount of water in themselves. The plant is known to have more than 200 species but Aloe barbadensis is considered to be the one most beneficial. Modern world had somehow forgotten health benefits of aloe vera but with rising inclination towards herbal medicine and scientific research actually proving its benefits, Aloe Vera usage is again gaining popularity.
Why is Aloe Vera unique?
Although Aloe Vera is almost 99 percent water. Aloe Vera's health benefits are because of amazing and rich combination of more than 70 helpful ingredients such as minerals, amino acids, enzymes, vitamins (A, C, D, E, B-1 and B-2), fatty acids, saponins, salicylic acids, sugars, etc. Aloe vera juice contains close to 20 mineral, 19 amino acids and as many as 12 vitamins, thus making it one of the best health supplement available naturally. Aloe plant also contain glycoproteins and polysaccharides. Every constituent add to its uniqueness.Another unique aspect of Aloe Vera is that it case be used as a gel, juice, shampoo, paste, etc. Based on need, it can be applied externally (as paste, shampoo) or taken internally as juice / paste.
Health benefits of Aloe Vera
Aloe vera health benefits are many. Some of the most important ones are summarized below:
Amazing Immunity Enhancer : Aloe Vera is well known to improve immunity in body. It is considered to be excellent which themselves do not have a very good immune system and are suffering from diseases such as eczema, allergies, etc. Aloe Vera contains glucomannas, arabinans and galactans – these are known to help body fight antibodies and improve general immunity. Drinking even 2-3 ounce of its juice is known to strengthen immune system. These benefits of Aloe Vera have also been proved through numerous studies across the world.
Aloe Vera's immunity also comes from its anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-septic properties. Thus it helps in eliminating any pathogens from the body naturally. Another major reason why Aloe Vera is a great immunity enhancer is because it improves lymphatic circulation in the body, this in turn removes antibodies naturally.
It also helps in detoxification leading to better and health digestive system. This in turn improves absorption of nutrients from food which are essential for disease prevention.
Anti-inflammatory: One of the most well known benefit of aloe vera is its anti-inflammatory nature without any side effects. Aloe vera gel can be topically applied to reduce skin irritations, boils, bruises, etc. Its application gives a cool and soothing effect to the skin.
Not only skin inflammation, it has been observed that aloe vera also reduces chest inflammations due to allergies and also provides relief in sinus. These anti-inflammatory properties are due to presence of magnesium lactate in aloe vera.
The presence of mucopolysaccharides in aloe vera have been found particularly useful in muscle cell regeneration and promoting bone health. People with joint problems when drink aloe vera juice have been found to benefit from it. This is primarily because aloe vera juice strengthens joint muscles, reducing joint, muscle and ligament friction.
Natural Healer: Aloe vera's role as a natural healing remedy have been known since long. It has been used to treat boils, burns, sun burns, skin irritation, etc. Even today, aloe vera gel is considered as an excellent remedy for burns, skin inflammation, irritation, etc. It also soothes dry skin and in case of cuts / wounds reduces swelling and pain. Aloe vera leaf can also be directly applied to instantly protect from further infections and speed up the healing process.
Aloe vera gel has been proved to be useful in cases of first degree burns and sunburns. This quality of aloe vera is the reason why it is widely used in many skin / face lotions. It is also found useful in case of burns due to ultraviolet rays. According to a study, during treatment of people suffering from minor burns healed almost 33% faster when aloe vera gel was applied to the skin, as compared to ones which used regular dressing.
Aloe vera not only is known to heal externally, but its juice can help in healing of minor ulcers / lesions.
Benefits to skin: Aloe vera juice and gel are considered to be great anti-ageing, anti-wrinkle agents. They are effective in removing pimples, acne, dark spots and other skin related diseases.
Aloe vera juice is considered to be a great for skin as it helps in replenishing it. Aloe vera gel helps in hydrating and moisturizing the skin. When applied to the skin, aloe gel is absorbed and stimulates fibroblast cells which in turn makes ones skin look smoother and younger.
Benefits to teeth : Aloe vera's dental benefits are lesser known as compared to that for skin, immunity etc. Aloe vera is very useful for both gums and teeth. People suffering from gum inflammation can apply aloe vera gel directly to their gums to reduce pain and swelling. Aloe vera gel has active ingredient which removes disease causing bacteria and other pathogens from mouth, thus keeping teeth clean and healthy. Aloe vera usage is particularly useful for people with sensitive teeth as it is not as harsh as common toothpastes.
Health Benefits for Diabetes : Based on studies, it has been found that Aloe Vera juice can help in reducing blood sugar levels and reduce blood lipids. It has also been found to help in type 2 diabetes.
Asthma : Since long, Aloe Vera has been found useful for Asthma. Aloe Vera leaves were boiled and vapor inhaled. Also, drinking Aloe Vera juice have been found to help in asthma, even the oral usage has been found to help for this cause.
Healthy Scalp and hair : Aloe Vera contains Vitamin E, keratine and panthenol which act as great conditioner for hair. It helps in cleaning the scalp, healing scalp injuries and strengthening the hair.
Provides lot of essential vitamins and minerals: Aloe Vera is rich in minerals such as calcium, sodium, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc. All these are so essential for body's health and wellness.
Along with minerals, aloe vera (juice) includes vitamins such as Vitamin A, C, B2, B1, B6, B12, folic acid and many others. A regular diet of aloe vera juice provides all these important vitamins easily.
Controls cholesterol and triglycerides: Aloe vera helps in controlling both cholesterol and triglycerides, thus improving the quality of blood. Aloe vera and blueberry combination have been found very useful in this situation without any harmful effects which some drugs may have.
Anti-cancer: Aloe vera is believed to have anti-cancer benefits, especially in case of leukaemia, ovarian and breast cancer. While scientists are still debating on this but some researchers have shown strong immunomodulatory and anti-tumour properties for aloe vera polysaccharides. Benefits against cancer seem logical because of its anti-oxidant properties.
Other Aloe Vera Health benefits: Other benefits of aloe vera include relief in corns, calluses, canker sores, athlete's foot etc.
Aloe vera is blessing of nature to man. It can be consumed as gel, juice, paste, etc. With its amazing health benefits, it is a must have for each and every one who is looking for good health.
Precautions while using Aloe Vera
One can enjoy health benefits of aloe vera without worrying too much about its side effects as they are very rare and very few. Most of the side effects of aloe vera are because of presence of aloin and latex (found just below its skin).
Health benefits of aloe vera are numerous. This plant is a rare combination of useful vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes. Include it in your daily life as gel, paste, juice, powder or in any other manner you can!