The aloe vera plant has been treasured and revered in many cultures due its medicinal and skin benefits…
In India, China, Greece, and many other places.
The Egyptians even called it “The plant of immortality” and modern medical science has confirmed many of those benefits…
And the wonder plant is as useful today as it was in the ancient times. But there’s a lingering question: How many people are aware of the life-saving benefits of aloe-vera today?
Turns out, the glory of aloe vera has waned over time! There isn’t much talk about it; why?
And your guess is as good as mine: The takeover by conventional medicine and the splashing of the advertising dollar…
And it’s just simple business logic and wisdom–putting your money where your mouth is! After all, why spend money talking about something you can’t patent and own?
See, six thousand years ago, the ancient Egyptians regarded aloe vera as a miracle plant.
They used it in many ways–from treating burns to reducing fever. A few millennia later, Cleopatra herself used aloe in her daily skin treatments.
The ancient Greek scientists valued aloe as well, regarding the plant as the universal panacea…
And legend has it that Alexander The Great conquered territory off the coast of Africa to secure supplies of aloe vera for his soldiers.
The miracle plant was treated like a treasure throughout much of history.
So, why has the plant been pushed off the limelight?
It’s time aloe vera regained its pre-eminent position in the natural therapies space!
There are at least 420 different aloe species, but the one most used for skin and medicinal purposes is known as “bitter aloe“…
And it’s most renowned today for healing burns.
In fact, a 2019 study published in the US National Library of Medicine found that aloe vera is one of the most effective solutions in treating first and second degree burn wounds. This is due to the soothing and moisturizing properties of the plant that help the skin retain its integrity.
Further, the study concluded that aloe vera is much more effective and less costly compared to the currently available alternative treatments (petroleum jelly, silver sulfadiazine 1% ointment, and framycetin cream).
Another study showed the average time for healing a partially thick burn wound with aloe vera gel was 12 days. This was compared to Vaseline gauze to treat the same wound, which took 18 days.
However, aloe vera’s greatest-known strength may also be its greatest undoing, because it has become known as the “burn plant” today–which has inadvertently overshadowed its many other stellar benefits.
And one of the little-known benefit of aloe vera is anti-aging.
To properly understand and appreciate the anti-aging benefits of aloe vera, you have to understand the plant’s anatomy.
Each leaf of the jagged green plant is composed of 3 layers:
- The inner layer is that iconic clear gel. The aloe gel contains 99% water with the remainder being glucomannans ( a type of dietary fiber), amino acids, lipids, sterols, and vitamins.
- The middle layer is made of latex and appears as a yellow sap known as aloin. This layer contains glycosides ( a compound formed from a simple sugar) and anthraquinones–organic compounds that cause a laxative effect and help with pain relief.
- The last and outermost layer is known as the rind. This thick skin protects the plant and synthesizes carbohydrates and proteins.
From a structural standpoint, aloe vera has a lot happening inside–it’s like a candy factory for nutrients.
According to the International Aloe Medical Group, there are at least 160 important ingredients in aloe vera leaves.
Even better, other experts estimate around 300-400 vital components.
These components include amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, all of which promote a healthy immune system, aid in digestive health, and reduce harmful nitrates.
And with all these beneficial compounds, applying aloe vera topically would benefit your skin a great deal.
For example, topical aloe gel may increase collagen synthesis in the body and even change collagen composition.
You see, collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, making up one-third of your protein content–and is a major building block for the skin, bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Healthy collagen levels are also a key component behind healthy, young-looking skin.
In a nutshell, aloe’s effect on collagen may well help your skin look less wrinkled.
Not only that…
Aloe gel may aid in the removal of dead skin cells and acne.
A 2014 study found that combining conventional acne cream with aloe gel was significantly more effective than acne medication alone.
Aloe vera loads nutrition and anti-inflammatory benefits, too.
Like other leafy green plants, aloe vera packs an assortment of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
The aloe gel contains a number of important ingredients, including:
- Vitamins–vitamin A, which aids the immune system and reproduction; B12, which keeps blood cells healthy, besides helping create new DNA. It also contains vitamins C & E–the former is critical for a healthy immune system, while the latter prevents inflammation and promotes skin health.
- Amino acids–the building blocks of protein. Our bodies need around 20 amino acid proteins to perform vital processes. Of that 20, there are 9 the body cannot produce on its own. In other words, we have to find these amino acids in our food. Aloe gel provides 7 of the 9 essential amino acids.
- Digestive Enzymes–they are critical for breaking down macro-nutrients like fats, proteins, and carbs into even smaller pieces for ease of absorption.
Consuming foods high in digestive enzymes helps digestion, leading to better gut health.
Some foods that are high in digestive enzymes are kiwis, ginger, avocados, bananas…and aloe gel, which contains 8 digestive enzymes.
These enzymes include aliiase, alkaline, phosphatase, amylase, bradykinase, carboxypeptidase, catalase, cellulase, lipase, and peroxidase. Some of these help reduce inflammation, while others help break down sugar and fats.
- Minerals–aloe gel provides calcium, chromium, copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium, and zinc. The particular minerals that aloe gel contains help in promoting bone health, regulating blood pressure, and aiding metabolic functions.
- Anthraquinones–these are compounds that can help protect against kidney disease, liver disease, and liver cancer.
One study found that anthraquinones suppress inflammation and support a healthy gut.
Aloe provides 12 unique anthraquinones.
Besides the aforementioned macro-nutrients and their inherent benefits, consuming aloe gel may help relieve heartburn.
More specifically, aloe gel may help with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)–a digestive disorder that often results in heartburn.
A 2015 study from the National Library of Medicine found that ingesting aloe vera syrup twice a day reduced GERD symptoms, with no adverse events requiring withdrawal.
Not the least…
One of the emerging benefits of consuming aloe vera juice is its effects on lowering blood sugar.
A 2015 study suggests consuming aloe vera gel can help you achieve better fasting blood glucose levels, as well as reduce body fat and weight.
There is a caveat though…
Start with a small amount of aloe vera, as some people may experience a laxative effect (rapid bowel movement), perhaps due to the anthraquinones.
What about oral care benefits?
Aloe vera acts as a natural mouthwash. There are many studies of aloe vera-based mouthwash being used to treat gingivitis, plaque build-up, and to soothe mouth irritation…
And a 2014 study published in the Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences stands out…
Researchers found that an aloe vera-based mouthwash could be a safe and effective alternative to branded oral care products. Plus, aloe vera does not contain the unwanted chemicals commonly found in conventional brands…
And above all, it costs significantly less!
What if I told you aloe vera is a natural preservative?
Believe it or not, the aloe vera gel has the ability to preserve your fruits and vegetables when coated on them.
A 2014 study published in the American Journal of Food Science and Technology found that aloe gel has the ability to prolong the shelf-life of fruits and vegetables.
The plant is able to do this because it has antifungal and anti-bacterial properties that provide a defensive barrier against microbial contamination of produce.
Truly…aloe vera is the “Swiss army knife” of all plants…
Today, researchers are even experimenting to find out if aloe-emodin–a compound in the plant’s leaves, can slow down the growth of breast cancer.
And…how easily and readily available is aloe vera?
Both aloe vera plants and leaves are rather easy to find today. You can find them in your local herbal stores, local farmers’ markets, and even major supermarket chains.
Better still, you can easily grow your own in your backyard garden.
The bottom line is, aloe vera is easy to find, and there are many aloe-based products in health and whole foods stores.
Of utmost importance is to ensure the products are certified as organic by credible bodies in your respective jurisdictions, otherwise, many products may be loaded with toxic or synthetic ingredients.
And if you choose to grow your own aloe vera and harvest it for the gel and juice, please observe the following:
- Cut your leaves close to the stalk, as the richest nutrients are found at the base of the leaves
- Place the leaves in a jar to drain the aloin ( the yellowish latex substance) unless you’re planning to use it
- Wash and dry the leaves
- If you’re planning to use aloe for your skin, you can scoop the gel out with your fingers or a sharp object, and apply directly to your skin
- You can also squeeze out the gel once you’ve trimmed the prickly edges of your leaf
- Depending on the size of your aloe plant, 3-4 leaves should give you about half a cup of aloe vera gel
- Cut the aloe gel into slices or cubes and refrigerate them ASAP
- If you aren’t planning on using your leaf right away, be sure to refrigerate it as well.
There is a plethora of aloe vera information online, and this article will serve as a good guide in your engagement and consumption.
And should you desire to try an aloe-based cream on your skin…
Grown Alchemist Aloe Cream is a tested and proven option. It loads nature’s most effective ingredients to eliminate loose, sagging skin, fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, thin and crepe-papery skin, among other benefits.
Follow this link: https://amzn.to/2UVlrl3 to look your very best, thanks to your smart choice–Aloe Vera Cream.
And when your friends literally beg to know your “skin secret“, act graciously–tell them!
Please note that using the link above to acquire your aloe cream will earn me some sales commission on Amazon…
And thanks in advance for your support.
I don’t know about you, but I find this article too good to keep to yourself! Share it generously to enable those you care about benefit from the Aloe goodness.
And as usual, always consult your professional healthcare provider before changing or embarking on any new health product.