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.
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.
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.
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.
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.