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7 Unexpected Benefits and Usage of Aloe Vera

7 Unexpected Benefits and Usage of Aloe Vera

When people hear about aloe, they often will think immediately of the bottle of green gel that gets brought out every time someone has a sunburn.  While aloe is indeed a fantastic topical aid, treating red and peeling skin isn’t the only purpose this incredible plant serves.

Having been used medicinally for thousands of years, aloe can be traced back to ancient Egypt where pictures of the plant appear on pyramids and alongside the Pharaohs buried within.  Due to it’s ability to remedy so many maladies, aloe was once referred to as “the plant of immortality”.  To this day the plant is often grown, purchased, and used to treat a wide variety of issues.

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Let’s take a look at seven scientifically based benefits that this gift from nature can provide.

1. Aloe Vera Provides Antioxidant and Antibacterial Properties

Aloe contains a family of substances known as polyphenols which are converted into powerful antioxidants for the body.  For this reason, more and more people are adding aloe vera juice to their occasional diet.  Thought to help rid the digestive tract of toxins and impurities, the juice, which looks and tastes just like water, can be purchased at most health food stores.  Drinking just a cup of the juice can provide a powerful punch of antioxidants to the human body which can help fight off harmful bacteria.

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2.  Aloe Vera Juice Reduces Plaque

Don’t enjoy swishing with the powerful and chemically laden mouthwashes on the market?  Opt for a mouthful of aloe vera juice instead.  It may taste like water, but according to dental studies, aloe vera juice has reaped the same benefits of some of the strongest brands of mouthwash on the market.

The antibacterial properties of aloe kill off Steptococcus mutans and Candida albicans that are found in the mouth and can lead to plaque and tartar if not treated. The alkalizing properties of the plant are beneficial to prevent hair loss. Aloe vera can help to bring the scalp and hair’s pH to a more desirable level and free the skin from extensive sebum, which can suffocate hair follicles, causing thinning and brittleness of hair.

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3. Aloe Vera Can Relieve Canker Sores

The next time you have a painful canker sore in your mouth, instead of reaching for a tube of dental medicine that often doesn’t bring lasting relief, try an aloe patch instead.  In a study performed on 180 people with recurrent mouth ulcers, the aloe patch was proven to effectively reduce the size and symptoms of the sores.  If you don’t have a patch on hand, rubbing the plant’s gel directly on the sore will yield the same results.

4. Aloe Vera Provides Quick Relief to Burns

The FDA approved aloe vera as a powerful burn ointment back in 1959 and while many people use it for sunburns, they often forget about aloe when they obtain burns of another nature.  Compared to conventional medicine, studies have shown time and time again that aloe reduces the healing time of burns by up to 9 days.  Bypass the pharmaceuticals and reach for the aloe gel for fast relief when treating burns.

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5. Aloe Vera Improves the Efficiency of The Cardiovascular System

This powerful plant has the ability to reduce blood pressure by oxygenating the blood and helps reduce cholesterol due to its rich choline content.  Aloe has properties that allow for more efficient dilation of the blood vessels.  Whether taken in liquid or capsule form, or even applied topically, using aloe on a regular basis gives an extra boost to your hard working cardiovascular system.

6. Aloe Vera Can Be Used as a Regular Part of Your Skin Routine

Whether treating acne or attempting to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, aloe can help restore your skin’s vitality and improve the look and luster of your body’s largest organ. Used often for it’s soothing properties, aloe can be applied on sensitive or inflamed patches of skin, and can be applied after shaving to treat bumps or ingrown hairs. Due to it’s high water content, aloe can also be used to rehydrate skin, which will result in a glowing and radiant complexion. Even if you do not apply it directly, you can purchase lotion with aloe added to it.

7. Aloe Vera Helps Increase Vitamin Absorption

In a study conducted by the University of California’s Davis Medical Center, aloe vera was proven to help the body absorb vitamin C and B12. In this day and age, with food genetically modified and altered, often times our bodies cannot fully absorb the nutrients we ingest.  This can lead to malnutrition, which in turn leads to a host of bodily ailments and diseases. Using Aloe to increase absorption of important vitamins such as vitamin C and B12 can help the body function more efficiently and prevent malabsorption.

Sometimes nature’s miracles aren’t in test tubes or fancy bottles lining the pharmacy, but growing in our yards or in pots on a window sill.  Aloe vera is such a versatile and powerful plant that it has withstood vigorous testing by the FDA and proven time and time again that it is in a league of its own when it comes to medicine.  Whether you choose to grow your own plant or simply purchase it in the bottled form, aloe vera should be a part of your garden, grocery list, and regular routine.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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