Aloe vera Health Benefits

aloe-vera-health-benefits-1024w For centuries people have respected the soothing nature of Aloe vera. The beneficial properties of the aloe plant come from the 20 amino acids it contains. It is used to support the natural healing of skin that has been damaged. A common usage is to sooth sunburned skin.

Aloe vera is known as the medicine plant. It is known to have healing and rejuvenating properties. Everywhere on television are beauty products for skincare. Do you realize how many chemicals and artificial substances are contained in those products. Drugstore bought Aloe vera gel contains ingredients like Triethanolamine, Tocopherly Acetate, Tetrasodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin and Diazolidinyl Urea to name just a few. That is in a product that boasts Aloe vera 100% gel.

Did you know 60% of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your body. You can get the freshest active ingredients from live Aloe vera plants, by extracting and applying, real pure Aloe vera gel from the live aloe vera plant. Forget about foundation or concealer, all that does is plug up the pores of your skin defeating the purpose of the function of the pore, which is to allow sweat or perspiration to emerge from the pore.

The historical use of Aloe vera dates back to the ancient Egyptians, who used it for natural wound care and healing. Over the centuries, different cultures around the world have ascribed aloe gel with a near-miraculous healing capacity not only to promote the healing of wounded or infected skin and restore it to health, but also to help keep it beautiful.

Aloe has been used medicinally for as long as recorded history, both externally and internally. There are records of it on Sumerian clay tablets as early as 2,200 BC. The great Roman pharmacologist Dioscorides (41-68 AD), who travelled with the army, gave the first detailed description. He described its power to induce sleep, loosen the belly, heal bruises and mouth irritations, cleanse the stomach, ease haemorrhoids and salve boils. What’s more, he added that the whole leaf when pulverised could stop wounds from bleeding.

Aloe vera gel contains a wealth of biologically active compounds that give this herb its potent medicinal properties. It is rich in nourishing phytonutrients that play a key role in the healing process. Aloe vera leaves contain over 75 nutrients and 200 active compounds. These include vitamins, especially the antioxidant vitamins A, B complex, C and E, minerals including calcium, magnesium and zinc as well as amino acids like tyrosine and phenylalanine. Other beneficial compounds include: prostaglandins, polysaccharides, saponins, enzymes, glycoproteins, anthraquinones, plant sterols and lignin

Aloe gel, made from the central part of the aloe leaf, is a common household remedy for minor cuts and burns, as well as sunburns. It can be found in many commercial skin lotions and cosmetics. Aloe contains active compounds that may decrease pain and inflammation and stimulate skin growth and repair. For this reason, aloe vera gel has gained tremendous popularity for relief of burns, with individual success in helping minor burns.

In one study, burn sites treated with aloe healed completely in less than 16 days compared to 19 days for sites treated with silver sulfadiazine. In a review of the scientific literature, researchers found that patients who were treated with aloe vera healed an average of almost 9 days sooner than those who weren’t treated with the medicinal plant. However, other studies show mixed results, including at least one study that found aloe actually delayed healing. Aloe is best used for minor burns and skin irritations, and should never be applied to an open wound.

Aloe vera has been described as a portable first aid kit that you can use to treat cuts, burns, bruises, scrapes, sunburn, bites and stings. When aloe vera gel is applied topically onto or into a wound, it serves as a natural, band aid or wound dressing that seals it against outside infection, accelerating the body’s own healing process. It is an effective, inexpensive first-aid solution for all minor burns and scalds.

The juice’s power has been known by indigenous groups for ages. Franciscan Friar Romano Zago discovered how to make the juice from Brazilian Indians, used it with local villagers, and published his findings in the 1980s. He used their recipe based on the indigenous aloe arborescense plant . You can download a pdf summary of his book/recipe here (

To increase the vitality of your skin, drink some freshly-squeezed organic aloe vera juice daily. To make aloe vera juice, simply pick the largest leaves from an aloe vera plant in the afternoon, clean away all dirt and debris and process the leaves in your juicer. It is recommended that you drink between 2-4 ounces, twice a day. For added flavor, you can mix the aloe vera juice with some organic carrot juice.

When we hear about Aloe vera, most of us are under the impression that there must be just one aloe vera which we use. You have to change your opinion if you too think this way. There are over 240 different species of aloe, which grow in dry and arid climate zones of Africa, Asia, Europe and America. Of all these different types of aloe plants, only four are identified as fit for human consumption and Aloe Vera Barbadensis Miller is the ace in the pack. Therefore you must ensure that any aloe based product that you buy should be made from Aloe Vera Barbadensis Miller and nothing else.

  • It contains over 20 amino acids, 8 of which are critical for the human body, as our bodies cannot make them. Aloe contains all of these 8 important amino acids over and above 11 of the 14 ‘secondary’ amino acids.
  • This herb is also enriched with a host of vitamins including A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E. Vitamins too cannot be manufactured by the body and some cannot even be stored by the body.
  • Aloe Vera is packed full of elements a person needs to help remain healthy, there are 75 different vitamins, minerals, amino acids etc. to be found in these plants.
  • Minerals – Aloe Vera contains copper, calcium, selenium, chromium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, sodium and zinc. Some of these can function as antioxidants while others are vital for the correct workings of numerous enzyme systems for various metabolic pathways.
  • Vitamins – Vitamin A, C and E are all contained within Aloe Vera and function as antioxidants which help remove free radicals from a persons system, other vitamins include B12, choline and B9 (folic acid).
  • Enzymes – Aloe Vera contains 7 enzymes that help the body breakdown fats and sugars, these are aliinase, amylase, alkaline phosphatase, lipase, catalase, carboxypeptidase, cellulase, and peroxidase. It also contains 1 enzyme that functions as an anti-inflammatory when used on skin, bradykinase.
  • Amino acids – Humans require 22 amino acids of which Aloe Vera provides 20.
  • Sugars – It offers onosaccharides and polysaccharides. The most leading monosaccharide is mannose-6-phosphate, and the most typical polysaccharides are named glucomannans.
  • Hormones – It provides gibberellin and auxins which work as an anti-inflammatory and aid in the healing of wounds.
  • Anthraquinones – Aloe Vera offers 12 anthraquinones, which are phenolic compounds usually known as laxatives. Aloin and emodin function as analgesics, antivirals and antibacterials but cause diarrhea.
  • Fatty Acids – Aloe Vera contains 4 plant steroids, these are campesterol, beta-Sitosterol, lupeol and cholresterol. Lupeol functions as an analgesic and antiseptic while the rest are anti-inflammatory.
  • Miscellaneous – Aloe Vera also contains Saponins which has antiseptic properties, Lignin which does nothing on its own but increases the penetrative effect of other substances it is mixed with and salicylic acid which has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial affects.

The Aloe vera plant is made up of 3 parts. The outer green layer, the clear gel part in between the green layers, and in between the freen layer and the gel is the latex called aloin. Aloin is a bitter, yellow-brown colored compound noted that exudes from the cells, found under the rind of the leaf and in between it and the gel. The latex you want to avoid.


Aloe vera Side Effects

Aloin, a compound found in the exudate of some Aloe species, was the common ingredient in over-the-counter (OTC) laxative products in the United States prior to 2003, when the Food and Drug Administration ruled that aloin was a class III ingredient, thereby banning its use. Aloe vera is non-toxic provided the aloin has been removed by processing.


The use of herbs is a time honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.

Aloe gel is considered safe when applied to the surface of the skin, but should not be applied to open or deep wounds. In rare cases, it may cause an allergic reaction, mainly a skin rash. If you develop a rash, stop using the gel.

Taking aloe latex orally may cause severe intestinal cramps or diarrhea and is not recommended. Pregnant women should never take aloe latex because it may cause uterine contractions and trigger miscarriage. Nursing mothers should not take aloe latex either because the effects and safety for infants and children are not known.

Possible Interactions:

If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use aloe vera without first talking to your doctor. Do not take aloe for 2 weeks prior to any surgical procedure as it may cause increased bleeding during surgery.

Medications for diabetes — The combination of aloe vera and glyburide, a medication used to treat type 2 diabetes, may help control blood sugar and triglyceride (fat) levels in the blood. People with diabetes who use aloe either alone or in combination with other medications must be monitored closely by their doctor to make sure blood sugar levels don’t fall too low (a condition called hypoglycemia).

Digoxin and diuretics — Because taking oral aloe can decrease levels of potassium in the body, aloe latex should not be used by people taking diuretics (water pills) or digoxin (a medication used to treat irregular heart rhythms and congestive heart failure). These drugs also lower potassium levels in the body, so a combination of aloe and digoxin or diuretics could cause potassium levels to fall too low.

Warnings and Precautions for Using Aloe Vera:

1. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use the exterior portion of aloe vera leaves for treating ailments or creating drinks.

2. People who have hemorrhoids, ulcers, diverticulosis, colitis, Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome should not use aloe vera without first consulting a physician.

3. Be cautious when using aloe vera as a laxative, as it may cause digestive problems


Some Simple Homemade Remedies Using Aloe vera:

Acne Treatment – Rub the gel on the affected area twice a day. Your acne will improve within one week.

Body Rub – Cut open an aloe leaf, remove the gel out and rub it all over your body. Rinse off the gel after twenty minutes and feel the difference.

Cold Sores – Apply aloe vera to cold sores twice daily. The symptoms will be resolved within one day and cured within one week.

Diaper Rash – After a warm bath, massage the affected areas with aloe vera gel. You will see results within three days.

Eczema – Create a paste using the leaves of the aloe vera plant and apply to dry skin three times daily. You will see results in one month.

Skin Care – Apply the gel liberally to all affected areas. You will see results in three months.

Skin Wounds and Abrasions – Rub the gel onto wounds or abrasions twice a day. Improvement and healing will be observed within three days.

Power-Packed Energizing Green Smoothie Recipe:

1 cup of water
1 cup of spinach
1 banana
1 pear or any fruit you desire
1 leaf (enough to make 2-4 ounces of juice) of an aloe vera plant (the whole leaf)
1 tablespoon of raw honey
2 tablespoons of ground olive leaf

For a delicious, energizing green smoothie, blend all the ingredients for one minute and enjoy.

Aloe vera is now widely used on facial tissues, where it is promoted as a moisturiser and/or anti-irritant to reduce chafing of the nose of users suffering hay-fever or cold. It is common practice for cosmetic companies to add sap or other derivatives from Aloe vera to products such as makeup, tissues, moisturizers, soaps, sunscreens, incense, shaving cream, and shampoos.

In pots, the species requires well-drained sandy potting soil and bright sunny conditions; however, in very hot and humid tropical or subtropical climates, aloe plants should be protected from direct sun and rain, as they will burn and/or turn mushy easily under these conditions. The use of a good-quality commercial propagation mix or pre-packaged “cacti and succulent mix” is recommended, as they allow good drainage. Terracotta pots are preferable as they are porous. Potted plants should be allowed to completely dry prior to re-watering. When potted aloes become crowded with “pups” growing from the sides of the “mother plant,” they should be divided and re-potted to allow room for further growth and help prevent pest infestations. During winter, Aloe vera may become dormant, during which little moisture is required. In areas that receive frost or snow, the species is best kept indoors or in heated glasshouses.

I believe it is BEST when used from the live plant with no other ingredients that are usually added to products that use Aloe vera in it. Aloe vera has been widely grown as an ornamental plant and can easily be grown in a container as a house plant or grown outside in the ground during the summer in climates that aren’t advantagous to winter weather.

Most store shelf aloe vera juices don’t do much beyond soothing the minor ailments mentioned earlier. Those juices are processed, heated, and diluted. That’s not the case with all aloe vera products.

Open up mother nature’s medicine cabinet. It is full of natural antidotes that may improve or even reverse ailments and disease. It is one of the most astounding gifts from nature. Inside each leaf is a universe of miracles available to human beings if we would only have the patience and willingness to explore.

Grow your own Aloe vera plants. If you can’t grow them, then purchase Aloe vera gel products, and make sure they’re made only with 100% organic aloe vera gel, not with added water. In fact, if you’re purchasing an Aloe vera product, and it isn’t a clumpy looking gel substance, then it’s not the real thing. Aloe vera gel does not look like water with a little bit of yellow color in it. That’s mostly just some water with some aloe vera blended in. What you want is the real thing, the real gel, and one of the best makers of the gel is a company called Lily of the Desert. They are based in Texas, and they make several aloe vera gel products

Make your own Aloe vera gel to get the freshest ingredients. If you make a batch that is more than you can use in one application, refrigerate it. Avoid exposure to sunlight, that will decrease potency. Green glass jars are the best for storage to avoid degradation from UV light. You’re best to make a small batch and use it fresh everytime you want to use it. It only takes a couple of minutes to prepare the Aloe vera gel. Apply it anytime of the day. It might be best to apply it in the evening and leave it on overnight and rinse it off when you wake.

Gently apply REAL Aloe vera gel to the body wherever needed to re-hydrate and moisturize parched, dry skin.

…If under medical supervision or pregnant please consult with a physician before use…

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