Benefits of Aloe Vera And Its Side Effects
Last Updated: Jul 02, 2020
The health benefits of Aloe Vera are such that it helps to boosts the immune system, cures dermatitis, cures wounds, halts cancerous growth, reduces arthritis pain, delays the aging process, helps in alleviating nausea, soothes Acid Reflux Symptoms, promotes hair growth, helps in lowering cholesterol and triglycerides, improves cardiovascular function and cures gum diseases.
Aloe Vera is a plant species of the genus Aloe. It grows wild in tropical climates around the world and is cultivated for agricultural and medicinal uses. Aloe is also used for decorative purposes and grows successfully indoors as a potted plant. It is found in many consumer products including beverages, skin lotion, cosmetics, or ointments for minor burns and sunburns.
Aloe Vera is a stem less or very short-stemmed plant growing to 60–100 cm (24–39 in) tall, spreading by offsets. The leaves are thick and fleshy, green to grey-green, with some varieties showing white flecks on their upper and lower stem surfaces. The margin of the leaf is serrated and has small white teeth. The flowers are produced in summer on a spike up to 90 cm (35 in) tall, each flower being pendulous, with a yellow tubular corolla 2–3 cm (0.8–1.2 in) long.
Interesting Facts: The Egyptians called aloe vera as the plant of immortality.
Like other Aloe species, Aloe Vera forms arbuscular mycorrhiza, a symbiosis that allows the plant better access to mineral nutrients in soil. Aloe Vera leaves contain phytochemicals under study for possible bioactivity, such as acetylated mannans, polymannans, anthraquinone C-glycosides, anthrones, other anthraquinones, such as emodin and various lectins.
Nutritional Value of Aloe Vera
The leaves of Aloe Vera contain a certain amount of water, which brings to this plant a wonderful soothing quality. In Aloe Vera gel, a lot of vitamins and essential minerals that are beneficial for human health are found, such as vitamins A, C, E, B1, B6, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
There are about 18 amino acids found in Aloe Vera and these amino acids work closely with other essential compounds to constitute many health benefits of Aloe Vera. Antioxidants in Aloe Vera are polyphenols which have powerful influence on the prevention against infections.
Nutritional facts Per 1 cup
Health Benefits of Aloe Vera
Helps to boosts the immune system
Beverages made from aloe vera juice possess natural detoxifying properties that effectively cleanse the digestive system and the circulatory system. As the absorption level of nutrients accelerates, it results in better blood circulation and also improves the body’s nutritional quality within the cells.
When the blood is oxygen rich, it automatically provides nutrients within the cells more proficiently. These healthy cells ensure body’s ability to ward off infections, thereby strengthening the immune system.
It has the capability to neutralize harmful bacteria. Its rejuvenating properties work within the body to keep it fresh and active throughout the day. Many studies have shown that these antitumor and immune-modulatory properties are due to aloe vera polysaccharides.
Helps in curing dermatitis
Aloe vera has been used for skin ailments since ancient times. The pure inner gel extracted from the aloe leaf is the best natural remedy for skin abrasions and it also helps to diminish the symptoms of aging skin conditions. Many topical skin care products and even personal care products, toiletries, and skin cosmetics include aloe vera extract. It also helps in curing stings, rashes, acne, and psoriasis.
Helps in curing wounds
Aloe vera has been considered a natural healer ever since it was discovered thousands of years ago. If used externally, it is the best option for wound dressing. In fact, in many cases it is seen that aloe vera works like magic, even in the most serious of emergency room wound cases.
The juice instantly seals the wound while drawing the flow of blood to the wound, thus enhancing the process of wound healing. In many studies, it has been proven that aloe effectively treats third-degree burn victims and it restores the burned skin faster. It is also known that a large amount of aloe vera gel can heal wounds of gunshots and tissue injuries.
Helps in halting cancerous growth
Aloe vera helps in strengthening the immune system. The use of aloe gel also destroys cancerous tumors effectively. According to some researches, aloe vera polysaccharides contain some effective macrophages that produce huge volumes of nitric oxide, which has antitumor potential. In naturopathy, there are innumerable methods of cancer prevention and the aloe vera-based method has proven to be one of the most successful ones.
However, some experts say that it may when used alone may not be very effective in advanced cases so a combination of proper herbs like spirulina, cat’s claw and advanced therapies like intravenous vitamin C should also be included. It is always advisable to start any kind of cancer treatment after consulting a medical professional or physician.
Helps in reducing arthritis pain
Aloe Vera is used for its amazing anti-inflammatory properties that work instantly on the pain and swelling resulting from arthritis. Its juice is extremely effective in calming the swelling and inflammation that are closely associated with arthritis conditions. In fact, topical application on swelling or drinking aloe vera juice both show positive results in curing arthritis pain.
Helps in delaying the aging process
Aloe vera has been a primary component in many skin products that help in retaining youthfulness through healthier skin. The added support of aloe vera in any skin cream enhances its function as a wrinkle fader and skin rejuvenator. The anti-aging properties work on the skin and keep it fresh, supple, wrinkle-free and bright. The properties of aloe vera make it penetrate quickly within the various layers of the skin, even down to the muscles of the body.
Helps in alleviating nausea
Nausea can occur due to a host of reasons, including consuming contaminated food, having a virus or flu, or even due to chemotherapy treatments. There are many man-made medicines for nausea, however nowadays doctors are also prescribing natural options for treatment.
Oftentimes, nausea feelings originate from disorders in the stomach or in the digestive tract. Aloe vera juice is excellent for a sick stomach and makes a person feel better by bringing a calm feeling throughout the body. This indirectly helps to alleviate the feelings of nausea.
Soothes Acid Reflux Symptoms
Acid reflux is often wrongly known to be a disease, while it is actually just a symptom that involves heart burn and discomfort. Initially, one can try the natural remedy of consuming the soothing aloe vera juice, which usually works effectively and initiates proper functioning. However, eating fried and processed food should be avoided.
Promotes Hair Growth
Aloe vera has proven to be an excellent option for promoting hair growth naturally. The hair products that contain it are essential to retain voluminous and healthy hair. A person can apply its gel on the entire scalp and hair to treat hair loss. It has an enzyme that is beneficial in stimulating hair growth.
Aloe vera shampoo improves blood circulation and keeps away from stress and mental strain. In fact, it has anti-inflammatory properties that effectively treat ‘Androgenetic Alopecia’. Using it regularly as shampoo and conditioner, helps to prevent the disturbing problem of premature hair loss.
Helps in lowering Cholesterol and Triglycerides
Aloe vera gel, when used internally, automatically improves the blood quality and thus helps in re-balancing the other components in blood like cholesterol and glucose. It effectively lowers cholesterol and total triglyceride content. Blueberries are also powerful, cholesterol-lowering agents, thus one can imagine how great a natural remedy it can be if one combine blueberries and aloe vera.
Improves Cardiovascular Function
Aloe vera extract accelerates the supply of blood and purifies it at the same time. This blood accelerates the delivery of oxygen to the organs in the body, thereby maximizing their functionality. Organs like the brain and the heart need oxygen compulsorily that is supported by this purified blood. Therefore, aloe vera indirectly keeps the blood fresh and rich in oxygen to serve these purposes perfectly.
Helps in curing gum diseases
Dental and gum diseases can be cured by aloe vera. One can try out this natural remedy at home by putting some aloe vera powder on a toothbrush, then brushing normally. The aloe vera powder soothes gums and cures any kind of infection or bruises. Aloe vera juice can also help in keeping gums healthy.
Just gargling the liquid within mouth before swallowing can do the need full. There should also be an increase in the dietary intake of vitamin D. Both these measures are sufficient to get the gums back in shape within a few months.
Uses of Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is widely used in products for personal care products, cosmetics, detergents, and is popular as a dietary supplement. Aloe Vera is also added to other ingredients to make soap, facial toners, facial scrubs and masks, after shave, mists, lip balm, salve, tinctures, washes, shampoos, creams, astringents and to prepare Aloe Vera juice.
Allergies and Side effects of Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera juice is considered as extremely unsafe to take during pregnancy. It is seen as harmful both for mother and unborn child inside the mother. So it is highly recommended not to consume aloe vera juice during pregnancy.
Many times abdominal cramps and diarrhea are resulted due to the raw use of aloe vera. It is not safe for sensitive people to drink aloe vera juice raw. This juice has warm property so it may result in abdominal cramps and diarrhea in some cases. To avoid this, water or cucumber juice can be mixed in it and then used.
People who already have low blood sugar level should also avoid aloe vera juice strictly. Aloe vera juice has natural property to lower blood sugar level, and if a person already has low blood sugar, then aloe vera can make it even lower. So it is highly recommended to avoid aloe vera juice in case the person is a patient of low blood sugar level.
Cultivation of Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a favourite herb of many nations of the world. Ancient physicians considered it to be a blessing to mankind. The origins of Aloe Vera are in North Africa. Its name derives from the Arabic word 'alloeh' which means 'bitter'. This name was given to aloe because of its juice, which has a bitter taste. Vera in Latin means 'real'. There are more than 300 species of Aloe, but only 4 of them have medicinal properties. Aloe barbadensis miller is at the top of the list for its healing properties.
The first note of aloe is found on the Sumerian clay tables that date back to 2100 BC. Antiquity of these plants is confirmed by the Egyptian papyri that date back to 1500 BC. The famous 'Egyptian Book of medicines' on Ebers papyrus reveals how to use aloe for medicinal purposes.
They used it in the treatment of infection, against the parasites and for treating skin diseases. Queens of Egypt considered aloe to be the source of their beauty, and pharaohs took it in their afterlife. African hunters have used aloe as a natural deodorant. Filipinos used aloe for treating kidney infection.
In India, China, Greece and the Roman Empire aloe vera has been used as a remedy for injuries, bites, burns, infections, inflammation and swelling. Ayurveda (the ancient Indian science of health and life) is considered aloe vera to be rasayana – the rejuvenator of the organism. According to Ayurveda, aloe vera contains 4 flavours: sweet, sour, bitter and astringent. Plants that contain four flavours are rare and are considered extremely medicinal. In addition to aloe, only two plants in the world contain four flavours: rose petals and guggul.
Now aloe vera is grown in many parts of the world with warm climate. Aloe is widely used in products for personal care products, cosmetics, detergents, and is popular as a dietary supplement.
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