One of the popular and ancient plants- Aloe vera has a long history in the folk cure for many illnesses including constipation and various skin issues. Interestingly, the current advanced research highlighted the potential aloe vera benefit in cancer treatment as well.
Now, before we dig deeper into the aloe vera benefits, let’s have a look at what aloe vera is?
The scientific name of aloe vera is “Aloe barbadensis”. It is a short-stemmed thick plant that store water in its leaves. Aloe vera especially aloe vera gel is famous for treating various skin injuries, but it has other amazing health benefits.
Who would have thought that this potted plant aloe vera had this many health benefits? Right!
If you are as curious as me, then you have landed on the right article. Now, without delay let’s explore the marvellous world of aloe vera benefits for your health.
Why is Aloe Vera Plant is Popular?
There is no such food or diet that contains aloe vera as a whole. So, it should be taken in either gel form or as a supplement after the recommendation of your doctor. Unless you are someone who is living in a cave, you must be aware of the role of aloe vera in the world of skincare and beauty.
This green plant that elegantly stands out in your garden is more than just an ancient plant. From diet supplements to healthy juices and beauty creams, aloe vera plant and aloe vera gel hold the crux of millions of dollars of the Industry.
If you look back, you would realize that the aloe vera plant has integrated itself into almost everything that we use. Now, you must be wondering what makes this plant a miracle and distinguishable plant. When you research and explore the benefits of aloe vera plants, you would realize that all the hype about this plant is true.
Benefits of Aloe Vera for Skin, Hair and Weight Loss
The aloe vera gel may be bitter but we can’t deny its use worldwide due to its incredible healing properties. This gel of aloe vera contains about 96% of the water, an 18-20 amino acid-containing protein, inorganic and organic compounds and Vitamins (A, B, C, D and E).
One of the quite important elements found in the aloe vera gel is “acemannan”. It is a form of a complex carbohydrate. Acemannan assists the nutrients to reach the cells, help them in their nourishment and also relieve them of the toxins. Herbal medicine has already advocated for the aloe vera as a healer owing to its benefits.
Following are some of the major health benefits of aloe vera.
Aloe Vera for Skin
Humans, since ancient times, have always been experimenting and looking for options to enhance their aesthetic beauty. The use of aloe vera for face has been in practice for quite a decade. Due to this reason, the potential benefits of aloe vera for skin were discovered. The skin needs its nutrition and aloe vera for skin is manufactured for this purpose.
The properly designed aloe vera cream or aloe vera gel for skin is for personal care regimen. It can help in treating, exfoliating, restoring, revealing and providing constant nourishment for your skin. One of the easiest ways to use is to apply aloe vera gel directly on your skin, you’ll realize how soothing and hydrating it is.
Beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E are abundantly present in the aloe vera. These nutrients help in skin nourishment and have anti-ageing properties. Aloe vera moisturizer is great for oily skin as it helps hydrating skin without making it greasy. Its juice helps improve digestion which in turn increases the glow on the skin.
Aloe vera for skin is beneficial due to the following reasons:
- Helps to moisturize the skin
- Aloe vera gel for sunburns helps in soothing the sunburn
- Lightens the blemishes on the face
- For whitening skin
- For hyperpigmentation
- Reduces acne and infection
- Fight the skin ageing
- Helps to treat eczema and psoriasis
- Prevent wrinkles
- Help boosting the healing of wounds
Aloe Vera for All Skin Types
Organic aloe vera gel can help people of all skin types in both winters and summer. Aloe vera for your skin works in a way that treats the epithelial cell of your skin. Due to this, aloe vera helps in treating sunburn, removes tan and is good for stretch marks. The easiest way to use aloe vera is to gently apply it to your skin. You can also add your other special home ingredients from your kitchen. Aloe vera gel on the face every day results in healthy glowing skin.
Here are some of the ways you can use aloe vera for various skin issues and get amazing results.
1. Aloe Vera Gel for Acne
To get the best results for acne, you can use aloe vera gel, honey and blended walnuts (flour-like consistency). You will get clear and smooth skin by the healing properties of aloe vera along with the antioxidant property of the honey. Aloe vera for pimples and dark spots and aloe vera for skin whitening is also getting quite attention considering their benefits. Aloe vera has also shown to be effective to cure dark circles naturally.
2. Aloe Vera Scrub
For this, you need a cup of fresh pure aloe vera gel, two tbsps of lemon juice and a cup of honey. Properly stir the mixture and use it as a face and body scrub. The aloe vera gel in this mixture will do deep cleansing of the skin, sugar helps in scrubbing and exfoliating the dead skin cells and the lemon has a role in fading tan skin and removing scars.
3. Aloe Vera for Sensitive Skin
In this, you need fresh pure aloe vera gel, rose oil, yoghurt and cucumber juice. Blend them properly into a paste. Gently apply it on your skin for 20-30 minutes and then rinse it off with water.
4. Aloe Vera for Dry Skin
Aloe vera gel for skincare has numerous applications. For sensitive skin, you need a teaspoon of honey, a pinch of turmeric, a teaspoon of milk, some of the aloe vera and a few drops of rose water. Properly blend the mixture in a paste. Gently apply it to your skin, leave it for 20-30 minutes and then wash your face with water.
Use of Aloe Vera for Hair
Who doesn’t love thick, healthy locks of hair? Everyone. Right?! The health benefits of aloe vera also include your hair benefits as well. The proteolytic enzymes in the aloe vera aid in repairing the dead skin cells on your scalp. The chemical present in the aloe vera is similar to that of the keratin. It is a protein that helps rejuvenate the hair, prevent hair breakage and provide hair with more elasticity.
Aloe vera for hair growth home remedies is getting quite an attention since ancient times. The best way to use aloe vera for hair is the raw aloe vera gel. You can easily get it from any supermarket or can even take out the fresh scoop from the aloe vera plant if you have one at home. The aloe vera gel for hair growth is clear and slightly watery inconsistency.
You can also rub the aloe vera on your scalp and hair. Doing this, the aloe vera penetrate your hair follicles. This improves the condition of dry hair. After leaving the aloe vera gel on your hair, rinse it with water and mild shampoo.
Aloe vera is good for hair due to the following reasons:
1. Repair and Strengthens the Strands of Hair
Aloe vera gel is rich in vitamin A, C and E. These vitamins promote shiny hair and healthy cell growth. Folic acid and vitamin B12 in the aloe vera gel help reduce hair fall. How much aloe vera is beneficial for hair still needs to be studied, but still, it is a popular choice for skincare as well. The collagen is rich in aloe vera gel helps in repairing sun damage.
2. Deep Cleaning the Oily Hair
Unlike other harmful chemicals, aloe vera is gentle on hair. It strips off the excessive oil or sebum and efficiently cleanses the hair shaft.
3. Soothe the Itchy Scalp
Dandruff is an irritating hair condition. The clinical term for dandruff is Seborrheic dermatitis. Aloe vera gel soothes the itchy scalp and the flaking skin. The fatty acids present in the aloe vera plant are reported to show anti-inflammatory properties.
4. Aloe Vera for Hair Fall and Hair Growth
The clinical studies are insufficient to back up the ability of aloe vera in promoting hair growth. But, many people claim that aloe vera has helped them with hair growth. The reason behind it is probably because aloe vera cleanse the scalp and reduces hair loss.
Aloe Vera for Weight Loss
Obesity or overweight is becoming one of the major health concerns worldwide. Many health issues result due to obesity. Therefore, weight loss is necessary for good health. The benefits of aloe vera are not merely limited to the aesthetic purpose. People from all over the globe use it in the form of aloe vera cream, aloe vera gels, aloe vera powder and even aloe vera juice.
Aloe vera juice reported having shown the ability of weight loss by improving the effectiveness of your diet. It is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, sterols, enzymes and amino acids. Aloe vera not only helps in weight loss but also improves the ability of the body to absorb and utilize the minerals.
Other Health Benefits of Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has immense use for health purposes due to the presence of beneficial bioactive compounds that includes antioxidants, amino acids, minerals, vitamins etc. So, its benefits are not merely limited to the skin, hair and weight loss.
Following are some of the other interesting health benefits and uses of aloe vera gel.
1. Prevent Infections
You all must be aware of polyphenols- the family of powerful antioxidants. Aloe vera even houses those antioxidants. Other essential compounds along with the antioxidants in the aloe vera prevent infection by inhibiting the growth of the bacteria.
Studies have shown that aloe vera has antiseptic, antiviral and antibacterial properties. For these very reasons, aloe vera helps in treating skin problems, healing wounds and even various infections.
2. Aloe Vera for Wound Healing
Aloe vera is commonly used for topical use as compared to consuming it. The use of aloe vera has a long history in treating burns, sunburns and sores. Aloe vera is also reported to be an effective topical medication for burns of the first degree and second degree.
Various research studies have reported that aloe vera helps in reducing the healing time of the burns by about 9 days as compared to the conventional treatment methods. The study further highlighted that it helped prevent itching, redness and even infections. But, there is a dire need for more research on the use of aloe vera and its potential benefits.
3. Aloe Vera for Constipation
Aloe vera has laxative properties and may help treat constipation. For this purpose, the latex of aloe vera is helpful instead of the gel. Latex is present under the skin of the leaves of aloe vera and is a yellow sticky residue.
Aloin or Barbaloin is a compound in aloe vera that has laxative properties. But, the use of aloe vera for constipation still needs to be researched upon due to various health concerns. Apart from this, aloe vera is not effective for digestive issues such as inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome.
4. Reduces Blood Sugar Levels
Aloe vera for diabetes is one of the home remedies to reduce blood sugar levels. The reason is that aloe vera improves the management of blood sugar by enhancing insulin sensitivity. Further research studies have shown the potential benefit of aloe vera for people suffering from type 2 diabetes. However, medical practitioners do not recommend its use for this purpose owing to the lack of studies on the use of aloe vera for this purpose.
5. Reduces Dental Plaque
Oral health issues such as tooth and gum disease are common health issues. The best way to prevent tooth decay is to reduce the buildup of plaque on the teeth. Aloe vera tooth gel is effective in reducing dental plaque. The benefit of aloe vera gel for oral health can be seen by the fact that it can effectively kill the plaque-forming bacteria Streptococcus mutans and yeast Candida albicans in the mouth.
6. Treating Canker Sores
Mouth sores or canker ulcers are one of the common health issues that people suffer from at least once in their lifetime. Studies have shown that aloe vera can accelerate mouth ulcers healing. Applying a small patch of the aloe vera on the mouth ulcer was even proved to be effective in reducing its size. But, still, it wasn’t as effective as the conventional treatment method for ulcers.
7. Health Benefit of Aloe Vera for Breast Cancer
A recent study conducted on a compound of aloe vera “emodin” reported interesting therapeutic properties. Emodin is present in the leaves of the aloe vera. The researchers reported that emodin showed a unique potential in reducing cancer cell growth in the case of breast cancer. Now, how much potential emodin and health benefits aloe vera has, still needs to be studied.
Risk Factors of Aloe Vera
The use of aloe vera is a safe option due to its benefits. This, however, do not omit the risk factors linked to aloe vera. For example:
- Aloe vera may cause skin sensitivity, therefore do a patch test before applying aloe vera to your skin.
- If you are allergic to tulips, garlic and onion, DO NOT USE aloe vera as an ointment for deep cuts. People allergic to the former ones also show allergic reaction towards aloe vera.
- Oral use of aloe vera may result in diarrhoea or stomach cramps because of its laxative property. Thus, it may also result in electrolyte imbalance in the blood.
- High doses of oral aloe vera are dangerous if you suffer from any intestinal problem, haemorrhoids, heart disease, diabetes, kidney problem and electrolyte imbalance.
- Long term aloe vera supplement may result in liver damage.
- Whole leaf extract of aloe vera showed an ambiguous risk of cancer in the lab rats.
- If you are on medication then avoid using aloe vera supplements as it may decrease the efficacy of the medication by blocking its absorption.
Aloe vera can be used in several ways such as powder, gel, extracts and as a whole plant. The use of aloe vera can be therapeutic particularly as an ointment for your gums and skin. Owing to the increase in benefits of aloe vera, researchers are continuously working on it to look for more applications. But, if you are thinking of using aloe vera for medicinal purposes, you need to consult your doctor first.