In the cosmetics industry, aloe vera is considered as one of the leading ingredients of many beauty products. It is mainly because of the wonderful results this plant can give to our skin. Legend tells that Cleopatra herself, used aloe vera as her daily beauty regimen to keep her skin flawless. But according to some researchers, the aloe vera plant has more to offer and not just for cosmetics.
Aloe Barbadensis Mill or more commonly known as aloe vera is part of the succulent plant species which means that the plant’s leaves are thick, fleshy and contains sup or juice. The plant is a native from the Arabian Peninsula and because of its unique looks, it became popular and was globally traded. At first the aloe vera plant was used as a mere house decoration. But as years progressed, our ancestors learned about the various benefits it offers and that is why they considered it as a wonder plant.
Long before the discovery and availability of commercialized medicines, our ancestors treated aloe vera as a remedy for different illnesses. They widely cultivated the aloe vera plant because they claimed that it has healing properties. Here are some of the notable benefits that we can get from using aloe vera.
Can Help in Healing Wounds
The aloe vera’s wound healing ability is probably the plant’s oldest known benefit. From the ancient Chinese to Egyptians, aloe vera was used in tending wounds. The plant’s clear gel, also known as aloe, helps to speed up the healing process and lessens the scarring damage a wound can leave to your skin. According to history, Alexander the Great used aloe to help him treat his wounds and his soldiers.
Aids in Skin burns
Because of aloe’s cooling effect, some people used it on skin burns. In addition to its fast healing property, they claim that it gives them relief from the burn’s stingy feeling. Story says that since sunblock is not yet available in the olden days, aloe vera gel was used as a skin protector. They applied it on their skin to avoid getting burned from long exposure under the sun.
Treats Skin Problems
The most evident use of aloe vera nowadays is for cosmetics and if you will visit a beauty shop, you will notice that there is a wide range of beauty products to choose from. But for someone who suffers from acne problems, using commercially-processed products with different ingredients can further add damage to their sensitive skin. Aloe vera gel can help in improving our skin’s condition not just only for moisturizing dry skin but also treating acne problems. It helps in reducing inflammation and gives a calming effect. To some, they claim that aloe vera gel can also be used on psoriasis because it can lessen its itchiness.
Used for Hair Growth Treatment
Of all the reported benefits of aloe vera, hair loss control is the most popular. Aloe vera is believed to be a good remedy for hair growth treatment. The aloe contains proteolytic enzymes that gives a soothing and nourishing effects on the scalp. It also helps in reducing itchiness because of dandruff and repairs dead skin cells. Regular use of aloe vera on your scalp improves its condition and eventually, will become healthier. And when a scalp is healthy, it becomes an ideal environment for growing hairs.
Controls Blood Sugar Level and Lowers the Risk of Having Heart Diseases.
Aside from the gel, an aloe vera plant contains sup or juice which can be extracted from its leaves. A research revealed that drinking its juice can help someone who suffers from diabetes mellitus type 2. One of the characteristics of this type of diabetes is having high level of sugar in their blood. And by drinking two tablespoons of the plant’s juice for two weeks, their blood sugar level will decrease. Aside from controlling the sugar level in the bloodstream, drinking aloe vera juice can improve a person’s diet. As a result, the body fat level will improve and the chance of developing heart diseases will be lower.
Helps in Digestion Problems
If you are experiencing or most of the time suffers from constipation, orally consuming of aloe vera juice is also advised. Aloe vera leaves contain laxative substance known as aloe latex and it is found at the base part of the plant’s leaves. It has a pulpy texture and gives off a yellow color. As advised, a cupful of aloe vera juice can give you a relief from stomach problems like constipation.
Encourages Increase in the Production of Red Blood Cells and Boost Immune System
Another benefit that we can get from drinking aloe vera juice is that it can increase the production of red blood cells. In fact, aloe vera is used in correcting disorders like anemia. It can also help our body cells to produce nitric oxide and cytokines that we need to boost our immune system.
Even though there are a lot of reports about the different benefits the aloe vera plant can give, science still lacks evidence to support its effectiveness. There are still not enough documentations to prove that the aloe vera plant has the ability to cure many health problems. Some scientists even claim that the plant contains potential toxic properties and if consumed at some dose level, can induce side effects.
Many people are allergic to latex and drinking aloe vera juice can cause side effects like stomach discomforts, diarrhea, lower potassium level and abdominal cramps. In addition to these, some people can also be sensitive to aloe vera gel and can have skin allergies, skin rash, irritation and burning sensation. Pregnant women are also not advised to drink aloe vera juice because it can cause contractions and can lead to birth complications
Nonetheless and since it has been used for such a long time, a lot of us still believe on its benefits. Because it is pure and free from chemical, some of us still choose to use raw aloe vera despite of its recorded side effects. As a smart consumer, always keep in mind that a doctor’s advice is still appropriate if you are planning to use the aloe vera plant.