Aloe-Vera needs no introduction. Its widespread usage in cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industries has made it a household name. It is regarded as one of the most remarkable and versatile natural herbs with well proven health benefits. From minor burns to the dreaded cancer, it is traditionally used across the globe for treating a wide range of health conditions.
Aloe-Vera is a short-stemmed cactus plant with thick pointed and fleshy green leaves, which can grow up to 12-19 inches in length. Each leaf contains slimy, water filled tissues, commonly known as Aloe-Vera gel. This aloe gel is packed with antioxidants, amino acids, folic acid and essential vitamins like vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C and E. Moreover it also contains many minerals namely, copper, iron, sodium, calcium, zinc, potassium, chromium, magnesium and manganese. All these constituents make Aloe-Vera a handy and wholesome food supplement.
Here are the few well known health benefits of Aloe-Vera.
1. Beautifies Skin
From ageing to acne, Aloe-Vera is a natural antidote for all your beauty concerns. It soothes, hydrates and nourishes your skin. High on antioxidants, it also keeps a check on the growth of infection causing bacteria. Aloe-Vera also enhances elasticity of the skin by promoting collagen production, and thus helps to fight various signs of ageing. It protects you from Ultra Violet (UV) radiations and can even repair the skin from the existing damage from these harmful rays. Moreover it works wonderfully for all skin types and is easily available throughout the year. All these wonderful qualities make it one of the most sought after ingredients in cosmetic and skin care industry.
2. Stops Hair Fall
Like skin care industry, now-a-days hair care industry is also highly influenced by this magic potion called Aloe-Vera gel. With Aloe-Vera, you can bid adieu to your hair problems. It easily penetrates through the scalp and nourishes your locks from within. Aloe-Vera contains a chemical very similar to keratin (primary protein of our hair) that not only promotes hair growth but also protects your tresses from undue breakage by increasing their elasticity. Aloe-Vera gel is also beneficial for overall health of your scalp as it protects it against itching, dandruff, irritation, redness, inflammation and various bacterial & fungal infections. It also works superbly as a conditioner and maintains the correct ph balance of your hair. You may either apply it directly or in combination with other natural ingredients like honey, lemon, vinegar, etc. It ensures you have strong, voluminous, soft, shiny, beautiful and healthy hair.
3. Promotes Weight Loss
Drinking Aloe-Vera gel regularly can help you lose weight without losing your mind. Just scoop out the gel from Aloe-Vera leaf, dice it into small pieces and blend them to make a frothy juice. You may also add honey or lemon to make it taste better. Various vitamins and minerals in this juice such as vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, E, folic acid and niacin help in reducing the body fat. Moreover, it contains ample amount of amino acids, enzymes and sterols, which ensure better absorption and utilisation of essential nutrients in our body. Aloe-Vera also stimulates the product of collagen, which promotes muscle development and speeds up body’s metabolism.
4. Improves Digestive Health
A healthy digestive system makes you strong from inside and radiant from outside. Our amazing Aloe-Vera scores high on digestive health index too. Various enzymes in Aloe-Vera help in the breakdown of sugar and fats and thus ensure smooth digestion. It strengthens digestion and is a natural remedy for diarrhoea, heartburn, gastric ulcers and constipation. Aloe latex (the yellow sap in the outer skin of aloe leaf) has strong laxative effects, which helps in relieving constipation. It is an excellent source of prebiotics that feed good gut bacteria and maintains the intestinal flora. The cooling properties of Aloe juice make it a good natural cure for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and for other inflammatory disorders of the intestines. Moreover being an antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal agent, Aloe-Vera protects the digestive tract against all kind of infections.
5. As Topical Medication
Besides having plenty of beauty benefits as mentioned above, Aloe-Vera has antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which make it an excellent topical medicine. The soothing Aloe-Vera is commonly rubbed onto the skin as a remedy for various skin issues like blisters, rashes, itching and sunburns. Even for severe skin diseases like genital herpes, cancer sores, skin ulcers, dandruff etc., aloe gel provides great relief. Aloe-Vera is also approved by FDA as an effective topical treatment for first and second degree burns. It speeds up the healing of wounds. Moreover, it also works wonderfully as a natural moisturiser for dry and flaky skin and can be applied several times a day.
6. Boosts Immune System
Aloe-Vera functions as a great immunity booster as well. The high content of antioxidants in Aloe-Vera makes it the primary ingredient of various health care products and diet supplements. These antioxidants protect our body against free radicals damage. Moreover its antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties provide protection against various infections. It is also filled with many essential vitamins and nutrients, which help to keep us hale and hearty. It also improves body’s ability to adapt to external changes and to deal with mental, physical, emotional and environmental stress.
7. Good for Oral Health
Aloe-Vera can also be used as a mouthwash. It keeps a check on plaque build-up by killing the plaque-producing bacteria and yeast. It also accelerates the healing of canker sores (mouth ulcers) and reduces the pain associated with them.
8. Lowers Blood Sugar & Cholesterol
Aloe-Vera has been traditionally used as a remedy for diabetes. It helps patients of type 2 diabetes in blood sugar management by enhancing insulin sensitivity. Just incorporating little amount of Aloe-Vera juice into your daily diet is enough for lowering blood sugar. However, it should not be taken along with other glucose regulating medications.
It’s only ironical to note that this small Aloe-Vera plant houses mammoth wealth of nutrients and offers numerous benefits to mankind. But, before we end up, here are a few words of caution.
With great powers comes little responsibility- a responsibility to use in limit. A little of aloe- vera is beneficial, but excess of this may turn the face of the sword.
- Using aloe vera for longer results in loss of many electrolytes including potassium
- During pregnancy intake of aloe vera should be avoided.
- Avoid consuming aloe vera during mensuration cycle, as it may trigger the blood flow.
- Piles or haemorrhoids patients are not advised to have aloe vera at any point of time.
If you have any queries or you know some other amazing benefits of aloe vera, then keep posting in the comments so that everybody can enjoy this beautiful gift of nature.
A full time work from home mother, she utilises her spare time to contribute insightful articles around day to day lifestyle challenges and their remedies, that all can relate to. Trust Aafiya to provide apt advice on diet mechanism, nutritional facts and common home remedies.
Away from writing, Aafiya is statistics post graduate, has worked earlier in the field of Research & Education and loves travelling.
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