Aloe Vera is a medicinal plant that has been used therapeutically for over 5000 years. It is a succulent plant and part of the lily family (the same family that garlic and onions belong to). Aloe Vera contains over 200 active components including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, polysaccharide and fatty acids and is used both externally and internally.
Externally it is used as a skin healer , moisturiser and softener. Internally, it has a soothing effect on the digestive tract and so is effective in treating ulcers, constipation and colon problems.
Internal use: If you have exceptionally dry skin, eczema, psoriasis or are sun-burnt; apply as is to your skin as a moisturiser (see more benefits below).
External use: The suggested daily intake is 50 – 100 ml twice daily. You can drink it as is or add it to water or your daily smoothie / green juice.
There are lots of ‘Aloe Vera’ juices on the market that are very high in sugar so make sure that you rather buy from your local health store or pharmacy. We love this Nature’s Choice product:
High in Vitamins and Minerals
Aloe Vera contains many vitamins including A, C, E folic acid, choline, B1, B2, B3 (niacin) and B6. Aloe Vera is also one of the few plants that contains vitamin B12. 20 minerals are found in Aloe Vera, including; calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, selenium, sodium, iron, potassium, copper and manganese.
High in Amino Acids and Fatty Acids
As everyone knows, amino acids are the building blocks of protein. 18 – 20 of the 22 amino acids necessary for the human body are found in Aloe Vera juice, including all 8 of the essential amino acids. Aloe also contains three plant sterols which are important fatty acids: HCL cholestrol (which lowers fats in the blood), campesterol and B-sitosterol. These are helpful in reducing allergy symptoms and acid indigestion.
An adaptogen is something that boosts the body’s natural ability to adapt to external changes and resist illness. Aloe Vera is a well-known adoptogen so it will stimulate the defense and adaptive mechanisms of the copy – increasing your ability to cope with stress; physical, emotional and environmental stress like pollution.
Aids in Digestion
A properly functioning digestive system is one of the key fundamental foundations of health (poor digestion relates to many diseases and illnesses). Aloe is known to soothe and cleanse the digestive tract. As an adaptogen it helps with both constipation and diarrhea; regulating your elimination cycles in whichever way you need it to. For people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or acid reflux, it is an effective treatment. It also helps to decrease the amount of unfriendly bacteria in the gut, keeping healthy intestinal flora in balance.
Aids in Detoxification
Just like seaweeds and chia seeds, Aloe is a gelatinous plant food. The main benefit of this being that on consumption of gelatinous plant foods in the diet, the gels move through the intestinal tract and absorb toxins along the way which is then eliminated through the colon. This means that waste is properly eliminated from your body – detoxified.
Alkalizes the body
Most of the food that people consume are acidic. Aloe Vera is an alkaline forming food helping to balance overly acidic dietary habits. Disease cannot manifest in an alkaline environment.
Boosts the immune system
The polysaccharides in Aloe Vera juice stimulate the white blood cells of your immune system that fight against viruses. Aloe Vera also has high levels of anti-oxidants.
Great for the skin
The healing properties for the skin of Aloe is well-known and is one of the primary compounds used in many beauty products. It is a known vulnerary, meaning it helps heal wounds, and is great for applying topically to burns, abrasions, psoriasis, eczema and bug bites. Aloe acts as an analgesi, acting to help relieve pain of wounds. It feels especially good to cut a stem of aloe, place it in the fridge and rub it on sun burnt skin (an immediate soothing effect). Aloe is also an antipruritic which means that it relieves or prevents itching. Aloe vera is an astringent: which causes the contraction of body tissues, typically used to reduce bleeding from minor abrasions. Due to aloe’s high water content (over 99% water) it is a great way to hydrate, moisturize and rejuvenate the skin! Aloe increases the elasticity of the skin making it more flexible through collagen and elastin repair. Aloe is an emollient, helping to soften and soothe the skin. It helps supply oxygen to the skin cells, increasing the strength and synthesis of skin tissue and induces improved blood flow to the skin through capillary dilation.
Disinfectant, anti-biotic, anti-microbial, germicidal, anti-bacterial, anti-septic, anti-fungal & anti-viral
Need we say more?
Aloe Vera contains 12 substances which help to slow down or inhibit inflammation, helping with painful joints due to stifness, joint inflexibility or arthritis.
A few precautions: This plant is medicinal and incredibly potent and so should be used in the recommended dosages when taken internally. It is probably a good idea to use it for two weeks and then to take a two to three week break and start again and to stick to the daily recommended allowance (RDA). Aloe should not be ingested internally during pregnancy or menstruation,or if you have degeneration of the liver and gall bladder.