The wonder herb: Aloe Vera
Aloe vera was extensively used in olden days as a coolant and moisturizer. The herb has thousands of years’ medicinal history to its credit. Today, aloe vera is used in almost all cosmetic preparations and beauty products for its medicinal properties. (What Are Aloe vera Essential Oils Good For?)
Aloe plant is somewhat thick and stubby with fleshy, elongated and serrated leaves that contain juicy sap. The plant can grow up to 12”-19” in length. Aloe vera is cultivated in many parts of the globe, thanks to its adaptability and strength. Aloe vera is used for its, healing properties, lingering fragrance and ease of availability throughout the world.
Aloe for health improvement
- The fleshy green and thick leaves contain a juicy, water filled part that forms a layer of aloe gel that is used. The gel of the aloe leaves is said to be rich in bioactive compounds that provide numerous health benefits. Health experts believe that the slimy sap of the aloe leaf contains minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that are for our health.
- Antioxidants fight against free radicals that induce aging and diseases in our body. Aloe consists of polyphenols– a powerful group of antioxidants beneficial for our skin health and overall wellness.
- Aloe is also antibacterial in nature with its many antioxidant components that can combat the bacterial growth.
- One of the famous uses of aloe is that of the topical application in the form of creams, gels or just the plant sap. Doctors recommend aloe based creams for treating skin burns and wounds. FDA has approved the use of aloe vera for second degree burns in accidents and injuries.
- Due to its active antioxidant compounds called polyphenols, aloe can clear off the dental plaque or bacterial build-up in the mouth just like any other mouth wash. For the purpose of mouthwash, fresh aloe juice is recommended.
- Aloe juice not only targets the bacteria but it also combats yeast formation-Candida albicans in the mouth. For maintaining dental health, fresh aloe juice can be used regularly in the daily routine.
- Aloe vera is also a good medicine to treat stomach ailments, especially constipation. For treating constipation, the sticky, white substance that oozes from the leaf when cut should be used as a laxative.
- Though many people in America do not prefer to use aloe latex, it does contain compounds that are laxatives in nature such as, aloin and barbaloin.
- Probably, aloe is used extensively for anti ageing and soothing benefits compared to other conditions. Upon regular topical application, aloe is found to soothe the wrinkles and age spots by promoting collagen production in the skin. It is also known to enhance elasticity of the skin.
Boon to Diabetic patients
- Many people use aloe extracts in traditional therapies to treat insulin sensitivity. Aloe is found to help blood sugar level balancing and there are many researches going on to collect more evidence in this regard.
- A healthy immune system can keep diseases away in our entire lifetime. Many studies have found that macrophages or our white blood cells that fight diseases can be promoted by the polysaccharide components present in the aloe.
- Additionally aloe is also rich in antioxidants, another set of components that can stimulate immunity. In olden days aloe was used to treat fevers as it is antipyretic in nature. Another property of aloe vera can also contribute to our disease fighting abilities; it is an adaptogen which supports our disease resisting activities in the body.
What you need to know before taking aloe vera for health benefits
- Consult with your health care provider before taking aloe when lactating, pregnant or during menstruation.
- If you are suffering from liver disorders and gall bladder abnormalities, it is better to avoid aloe consumption
- The right dosage of aloe supplements and juice should be discussed with your doctor or therapist before use.
- Aloe vera is undoubtedly one of the most beneficial herbs for our health. There are many evidences of aloe as a wonder herb for various ailments. With proper guidance about aloe dosage, the health benefits of the plant can be reaped to improve our wellness.