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Aloe Vera Benefits: We Look at The Best Ones

Benefits of Aloe Vera: Help Heal Skin, Constipation and the Immune System
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What are the best benefits of Aloe Vera? We take a look into this plant that is loved for healing skin, the stomach, and our immune system.

Benefits of Aloe Vera: Help Heal Skin, Constipation and the Immune System
Benefits of Aloe Vera: Help Heal Skin, Constipation and the Immune System

What Is Aloe Vera?

Did you know that the manufacturing of aloe vera (AV) extracts is one of the largest botanical industries in the world? In the U.S., it has found widespread use in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industries. If you walk down the health and beauty isles of your local grocery store, you’ll likely see multiple products made with AV. But this well-known plant has a long history of medicinal use.

In traditional medicine, aloe vera is used for constipation, skin diseases, worm infestation, infections and as a natural remedy for colic. And in Chinese medicine, it’s often recommended in the treatment of fungal diseases.

Aloe vera was officially listed as a purgative and skin protectant by the U.S. pharmacopoeia in 1820 and was clinically used in the 1930s for the treatment of radiotherapy burns to the skin and mucous membranes. Today, cosmetic companies commonly add sap or other derivatives from AV to a range of products, including makeup, soaps, sunscreens, incense, shaving cream, shampoos, tissues and moisturizers. The plant is even used commercially as an ingredient in yogurts, beverages and desserts.

Most people have heard of the aloe plant and know that it has some benefits, but may not fully understand its potential as a therapeutic tool for the treatment of issues affecting your skin, digestion, immunity and more.

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What is Aloe Vera: Key Points

  • Aloe vera is one of the most moisturizing natural plants.
  • Aloe vera is a traditional native medicine used for skin irritations and stomach irritations.
  • It is very common to use aloe vera lotion to soothe sun-burned skin.
  • Drinking aloe vera can ease an upset stomach.

What Is Aloe Vera? Continued

Aloe vera is one of 420 species of the genus Aloe. The botanical name of it is Aloe barbadensis miller, and it belongs to the Liliaceae family. It’s a perennial, xerophytic, succulent plant that’s green and has triangular, fleshy leaves with serrated edges.

The geographic origin of aloe vera is believed to be in Sudan, and it was later introduced in the Mediterranean region and most other warm areas of the world, including Africa, Asia, India, Europe and America.

Aloe gel is the clear, jelly-like substance found in the inner part of the aloe plant leaf. Aloe latex comes from just under the plant’s skin and is yellow in color. Some aloe products are made from the whole crushed leaf, so they contain both gel and latex.

Most people use aloe gel as a remedy for skin conditions, including burns, sunburn, frostbite, psoriasis and cold sores, but there’s a host of other AV benefits. And aloe latex is used to improve depression, constipation, asthma and diabetes.

Aloe Vera Nutrition Facts

Aloe vera is considered to be the most biologically active of the Aloe species; astonishingly, more than 75 potentially active components have been identified in the plant, including vitamins, minerals, saccharides, amino acids, anthraquinones, enzymes, lignin, saponins and salicylic acids. It provides 20 of the 22 human-required amino acids and eight of the nine essential amino acids.

It also contains many vitamins and minerals that are vital for proper growth and function of all body systems. Here’s an easy explanation of aloe vera’s active components:

  • Aloe vera contains antioxidant vitamins A, C and E — plus vitamin B12, folic acid and choline.
  • It contains eight enzymes, including aliiase, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, bradykinase, carboxypeptidase, catalase, cellulase, lipase and peroxidase.
  • The minerals present include calcium, copper, selenium, chromium, manganese, magnesium, potassium, sodium and zinc.
  • It provides 12 anthraquinones — or compounds known as laxatives. Among these are aloin and emodin, which act as analgesics, antibacterials and antivirals.
  • Four fatty acids are present, including cholesterol, campesterol, beta-sisosterol and lupeol — all providing anti-inflammatory results.
  • The hormones called auxins and gibberellins are present; they help with healing wounds and have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • AV provides sugars, such as monosaccharides (glucose and fructose) and polysaccharides.

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Health Benefits

1.Soothes Rashes and Skin Irritations

There have been numerous reports that have explored the role of topical aloe vera in skin conditions and wound healing. Including the treatment of psoriasis, dermatitis, oral mucositis, wounds and as a home remedy for burn injuries.

The first study of this kind is surprisingly from in 1935. AV extract was reported to provide rapid relief from the itching and burning associated with severe radiation dermatitis and skin regeneration.

A 1996 study done in Sweden included 60 patients with chronic psoriasis who participated in a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial of aloe vera or placebo cream. The cure rate in the AV group was 83 percent, compared to only 7 percent in the placebo group, and there were no relapses reported at the 12-month follow-up.

In 2009, a systematic review summarized 40 studies that involved using aloe vera for dermatological purposes. The results suggest that oral administration of aloe vera in mice works effectively to heal wounds, can decrease the number and size of papillomas (small growths on the skin), and reduce the incidence of tumors by more than 90 percent in the liver, spleen and bone marrow.

The studies also showed that aloe vera effectively treats genital herpes, psoriasis, dermatitis, frostbite, burns and inflammation. You can use it safely as an antifungal and antimicrobial agent.

2. Soothes Burns

Aloe vera gel has a protective effect against radiation damage to the skin. With the threat of nuclear warfare always looming, the U.S. government conducted research on the ability of aloe vera to treat thermal and radiation burns with the aim of introducing its use into the military.

By 1959, the FDA approved the use of ointments made with aloe vera as an over-the-counter medication for healing burns on the skin. Use aloe vera gel on burns, it prevents UV-induced suppression so the area can heal at a faster rate.

3. Heals Cold Sores

Research shows that aloe vera gel can help with a cold sore. Use it a few times a day, it helps to ease the discomfort and speed up the healing process. It’s also safe when consumed by mouth, so there is no need to worry about swallowing this natural treatment.

Aloe vera has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties that accelerate healing and reduce pain associated with cold sores — or any sores on the mouth.

The amino acids and vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6 and vitamin C are also extremely helpful. One of the vitamin B6 benefits, for example, is its ability to act as a natural pain treatment and create antibodies that our immune system uses to protect us.

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4. Moisturizes Hair and Scalp

Aloe vera is a great natural treatment for dry hair or an itchy scalp. It has nourishing properties, and the vitamins and minerals that are present in the plant keep your hair strong and healthy. Because of its antibacterial and antifungal properties, it also helps with dandruff, and the gel’s enzymes can rid the scalp of dead cells and promote the regeneration of skin tissue around the hair follicles.

Aloe also helps stop the itching associated with dandruff or a dried scalp. Too many shampoos and conditioners are full of chemicals that damage hair and can even cause inflammation and skin irritations; adding aloe vera is an effective way to keep your scalp free of bacteria and uncomfortable skin reactions.

5. Treats Constipation

There’s alot of research about the use of aloe latex as a laxative. The anthraquinones present in the latex create a potent laxative that increases intestinal water content, stimulates mucus secretion and increases intestinal peristalsis, which are contractions that break down food and mix the chyme.

In a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial of 28 healthy adults, aloe vera latex was reported to have a laxative effect compared to a placebo. The effect was stronger than the stimulant laxative phenolphthalein — making aloe vera a natural constipation relief remedy.

6. Helps with Digestion

Because of its anti-inflammatory and laxative components, another aloe vera benefit is its ability to help with digestion. Juice from the plant helps digestion, normalizes acid/alkaline and pH balance, lessens yeast formation, encourages digestive bacteria and regularizes bowel processing.

One study found that 30ml of aloe vera juice twice a day decreased the level of discomfort in 33 patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Flatulence also decreased for the participants, but stool consistence, urgency and frequency remained the same. Although the study suggests that the juice can be beneficial to people with IBS, more data is necessary to conclude that it can be an effective treatment.

Another study tested aloe vera on a group of rats with gastrointestinal problems. The gastric acid levels were significantly decreased in rats treated with the plant. The study also measured the gut-brain connection and reported data on the water content found in the brains of the rats with aloe vera treatment. The water content in the treated rats was reduced. Which suggests that the brain influences the gut and gastrointestinal problems.

You can use aloe vera juice to soothe and heal stomach ulcers because it has antibacterial agents and natural healing properties that can restore the stomach lining back to health.

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7. Boosts the Immune System

The enzymes present in aloe vera break down the proteins that we eat into amino acids and turn the enzymes into fuel for every cell in the body, which enables the cells to function properly. The bradykinase in aloe vera stimulates the immune system and kills infections. Zinc is also an important component in this beneficial plant — making it a great natural tool for combating zinc deficiency.

Zinc is essential to maintain immune function. It helps us ward off diseases, kill bacteria and protect the function of our cell membranes. Zinc is also a key structural component for a slew of hormone receptors and proteins that contribute to healthy, balanced mood and immune function.

A 2014 report points out that aloe vera is being studied for its uses in dentistry; this is because it has proved to be be an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antifungal plant, and it’s very good in building up the immune system without causing allergic reactions or side effects. It’s gaining popularity because it’s completely natural. Some call it a miracle plant.

8. Provides Antioxidants and Reduces Inflammation

We know that inflammation is at the root of most diseases. Aloe vera provides an amazing number of vitamins and minerals that help reduce inflammation and fight free radical damage.

Vitamin A, for instance, plays a critical role in maintaining healthy vision, neurological function and healthy skin because it’s an antioxidant that reduces inflammation. Vitamin C is another important component in aloe vera. It protects the body from cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease and even skin wrinkling. Vitamin E benefits include being a powerful antioxidant that reduces free radical damage, fights inflammation and helps naturally slow the aging of cells.

These antioxidant properties are also helpful when you’re near cigarette smoke or UV rays from sunlight. They protect the skin from skin cancer and fight skin inflammation after exposure to the sun. Aloe vera can also naturally treat acne and eczema since it helps the healing process in the skin. Bradykinase, also present in aloe vera, helps reduce excessive inflammation when applied to the skin topically.

9. Treats Diabetes

Some evidence in humans and animals suggests that aloe vera is able to alleviate the chronic hyperglycemia and perturbed lipid profile that are common among people with diabetes and are major risk factors for cardiovascular complications.

In two clinical trials, they gave 72 diabetic women without drug therapy one tablespoon of aloe vera gel or a placebo for six weeks. Blood glucose and serum triglyceride levels were significantly decreased with aloe vera treatment.

In the second trial, the effects of aloe vera gel or placebo in combination with glibenclamide, a common antidiabetic medication, were investigated. This, too, resulted in significant reductions in blood glucose and serum triglyceride concentrations in the aloe vera group.

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Aloe Vera Products and How to Find

It’s easy to find aloe vera products in your local health food store. These include aloe gel, latex, juice and extracts. But you’ll want to choose a reputable company to make the product. This is to ensure that the extraction and processing methods didn’t reduce the plant’s therapeutic properties.

At Capulets we offer a Lavender and Aloe soap bar that is fair trade. The bar is also totally sustainable. Finally, we make all our soap by hand in the USA.

Check it out today and grab a bar for you or a friend:

The processing method has the largest effect on the number and amount of active ingredients in a product. The commercial production of aloe vera products typically involves the crushing, grinding or pressing of the whole leaf into juice. Then they use various steps of filtration and stabilization to achieve the desired extract. Although this is easier for the manufacturers, it can result in a product that contains little or no active ingredients.

It turns out, the health benefits of AV are less after extracting the gel, heating and using fillers for aloe vera products. The International Aloe Science Council developed a certification program that validates the quality of aloe vera in approved commercial products. In order to stop the common misrepresentations in the industry. As well as, the false idea that all products produce the same benefits. When looking to purchase aloe vera, read the labels carefully and look for this important certification.

Aloe Vera Products Continued

In addition to purchasing, you also have the option to grow your own aloe plant at home. If you buy a potted plant, keep it in a window that gets a good amount of sunshine because aloes love the sun. Move the pot outdoors during the summer months.

Aloe is a succulent and therefore stores a lot of water within its leaves. But you need to water it at least two or three times a month. In the winter, aloe becomes somewhat dormant, and during this time you should water the plant very little. Having your own plant is an easy and inexpensive way to experience all of these amazing benefits every day.

These recommended doses are based on scientific research and publications. Make sure to read the label on each product before using it. Notify your doctor if you experience any side effects.

  • Constipation: take 100mg daily.
  • Wound healing, psoriasis and other skin infections: use 0.5% aloe extract cream three times daily.
  • Dental plaque and gum disease: Use a toothpaste that contains aloe vera for 24 weeks. Or, add a teaspoon of gel to your own toothpaste.
  • High cholesterol: Take one capsule containing 300ml twice daily for two months.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease: Take 100ml of aloe vera drink or juice twice daily for four weeks.
  • Skin burns: Use a 97.5 percent aloe gel on the burn until the burn heals.
  • Dry scalp or dandruff: Add a teaspoon of aloe gel to your shampoo or conditioner.
  • To protect your skin from infection and bacteria: add a teaspoon of aloe gel our Lavender and Aloe soap bar.

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Risks and Side Effects

Do not take Aloe latex in high doses because it may cause adverse side effects. These include stomach pain and cramps. Long term use of large amounts of aloe latex might also cause diarrhea, kidney problems, blood in the urine, low potassium, muscle weakness, weight loss and heart issues.

Don’t take aloe vera, either gel or latex, if you’re pregnant or breast feeding. There are some reports of aloe causing miscarriage and birth defects. Children younger than 12 years old may have abdominal pain, cramps and diarrhea. I don’t recommend it for child use either.

  • If you have diabetes, some research suggests aloe might lower blood sugar. So if you take it by mouth, monitor your blood sugar levels closely.
  • If you have intestinal conditions such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or obstruction, don’t take aloe latex because it’s a bowel irritant.
  • Don’t take aloe latex if you have hemorrhoids because it could make the condition worse.
  • High doses of aloe latex may cause kidney failure and other serious conditions, so don’t take it if you have kidney problems.
  • Aloe might affect blood sugar levels and could interfere with blood sugar control.
  • If you take digoxin, don’t use aloe. It works as a stimulant laxative and decreases potassium levels. Low potassium levels can increase the risk of side effects.

Before taking aloe vera, consult your doctor if you take the following medications:

Aloe Vera: Skin Care Takeaways

  • Aloe vera is a perennial plant that belongs to the Liliaceae family.
  • The plant produces two substances in use for medicine: a gel that we obtain from the cells in the center of the leaf, and the latex, which producers obtain from the cells just beneath the leaf’s skin.
  • Aloe vera contains more than 75 potentially active components, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes. It is these that give aloe its healing potential. The plant is in use for burns, wounds, digestive concerns, skin and hair health and inflammatory issues.
  • Aloe vera products, including aloe gel, latex, juice and extracts, are in many grocery and health food stores. Be sure to choose a product that’s made by a good company to ensure that the extraction and processing methods used don’t reduce the plant’s beneficial properties.

Our Lavender and Aloe Soap Bar

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At Capulet’s Soap Online Soap Store we offer a Lavender and Aloe soap bar. Head over to the store today and check it out. It boasts the benefits of both Lavender and Aloe. Meaning you get a nice, refreshing bath that will help relax you and your skin. Remember, skin is the largest organ of the body. Doesn’t your skin deserve to be taken care of?

We think so! Pick up a bar today…

What is Aloe Vera: Key Takeaways

  • Aloe vera is one of the most moisturizing natural plants.
  • Aloe vera is a traditional native medicine used for skin irritations and stomach irritations.
  • It is very common to use aloe vera lotion to soothe sun-burned skin.
  • Drinking aloe vera can ease an upset stomach.
  • We us all natural american aloe for our Lavender and Aloe soap bar.