In this post, you’ll learn about the health benefits of Aloe Vera.
For centuries, Aloe vera has been used to aid skin conditions such as sunburns or even wounds.
Even today, most households have Aloe vera plants or Aloe vera infused products lying at home.
This is not surprising. This water-filled short-stemmed plant is rich in a lot of vitamins and minerals.
In this article, we’ll discuss the amazing and proven benefits of Aloe vera so keep reading!
What is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera, as we all know it, is a succulent plant used in a whole lot of ways, mostly for alternative medicine.
But did you know that the number of plant species of Aloe vera totals to 420?
It belongs to the Asphodelaceae family. And that grows in dry regions in Africa, Asia, America, and Europe.
The plant has three main layers.
- Outer layer: act as a protection for the inner part of the leaf while synthesizing proteins and carbohydrates.
- Middle layer: is a yellow sap made from latex which contains glycosides and anthraquinones.
- Inner gel: this is made from lipids, amino acids, sterols, and glucomannans. 99% of the inner gel is made from water.
Health Benefits of Aloe Vera
Well, the inside of the Aloe vera contains a lot of vitamins, minerals, and a lot more active compounds.
Let’s dive in and look at the benefits of aloe vera.
1. Contains powerful compounds
Aloe vera contains powerful bioactive compounds that are mainly found in the plant’s gel.
Plus, vitamin C is an immune booster and it also helps in strengthening our teeth and bones. Aloe Vera plant also contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, and B12.
It is rich in monosaccharides and polysaccharides that have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.
2. Relieves sunburn
One of the most popular uses of Aloe vera is to aid sunburn. Surely, most of us have enjoyed the cooling effect it gives.
In one study, researchers did a systematic review of clinical trials from 1918 to 2004.
The goal was to understand the effects of aloe vera. They reported that Aloe vera helps in healing first to second-degree burns.
Another study shows that the plant contains a compound called ‘aloin’. Aloin has anti-inflammatory effects that help with sunburn
Also, since the plant has moisturizing effects on the skin, it helps prevent the peeling that occurs with sunburns.
3. Eases symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
A clinical study looked into Aloe vera syrup’s impact for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease.
The researchers enrolled 79 participants in the study and assessed the GERD symptoms including:
- Food regurgitation
The findings showed that aloe vera was safe. And it reduced the frequencies of the symptoms of GERD with no withdrawal events.
4. Promotes skin health
Today, the use of Aloe vera as a skincare product has been patronized more and more.
You do not even need to cut off a plant and scrape the gel out of it since there are tons of Aloe vera infused products in the market today.
More so, studies have found that the plant can help to slow the aging of the skin.
Researchers at the Seoul National University Boramae Hospital examined the impact of aloe vera on skin health.
Specifically, they aimed to determine if Aloe vera gel has anti-aging properties on the skin. The results showed some profound insights.
Turns out 30 females aged 45 and up have increased the production of collagen in their skin. Thus preventing wrinkles to form.
Aloe vera is also known to help in moisturizing the skin, so it is very beneficial for those with dry skin.
5. Accelerates wound healing
Aloe vera has been used as a skin protectant as early as 1810.
This shows that Aloe vera has been used more often as a topical medication rather than being consumed.
For hundreds of years, the plant has been known to treat burns and sores. One study shows that the plant can heal burns faster than conventional medication.
But that’s not all.
An additional 23 studies have shown that the topical application of Aloe vera is effective.
Five of these studies even showed that Aloe vera is more effective than petroleum jelly or other conventional ointments. Especially when used to treat burn wounds.
Moreover, the plant can decrease the healing time by around nine days!
The anti-inflammatory properties of the plant also help in preventing itching and infections.
6. Has antibacterial properties
Our body needs antioxidants to stay healthy, and the Aloe vera plant contains a lot of it.
One study investigated the antibacterial activities and antioxidant capacity of Aloe vera. It concluded that due to the plant’s phytochemical composition.
The plant may help in preventing symptoms or diseases associated with the lack of antioxidants. For example cardiovascular diseases, neurodegeneration, and diabetes.
7. Helps reduce constipation
Remember the layers of the Aloe vera plant? Most benefits in this list rely on the gel of the plant, but this one is different.
The latex part of the plant can help reduce constipation. This part contains aloin which gives laxative effects.
One study found that aloin has a laxative effect compared to a placebo. It was stronger than the stimulant laxative phenolphthalein when introduced to 28 healthy adults.
Although, frequent use of the plant as a laxative may result in certain side effects.
8. Helps treat mouth ulcers
At some point in our lives, we have suffered from mouth ulcers. These ulcers can last more than a week, but Aloe vera can help treat them.
One research tested the effects of ‘acemannan’, a compound extracted from the plant, in 180 subjects.
The results showed that it helped greatly in reducing the size of ulcers in seven days.
9. Can help fight breast cancer
Studies into aloe vera’s impact to fight breast cancer is still in the early stages. But there are some promising findings.
One study showed that both emodin and aloe-emodin, which are found in the Aloe vera plant, has shown potential in slowing the growth of cancer.
10. Reduces dental plaque
Did you know that Aloe vera mouthwash is very effective?
One study administered Aloe vera mouthwash to 100 subjects. The results showed that it can be as effective as chlorhexidine in preventing cavities.
This is a great way to clean your teeth if you want to avoid a lot of chemicals.
11. Can lower blood sugar levels
Aloe vera can enhance insulin sensitivity, that’s why some people use it as a remedy for diabetes.
A review tested 470 patients with prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes. The researchers found out that the plant can help people in improving their glycaemic control.
Aloe vera indeed is a very powerful plant and has several health benefits. There is no reason to keep it only for decoration because it brings tons of benefits.
Still, it is important to always do extensive research and consult your doctors if you want to use it as a remedy for serious diseases.