Health Benefits of Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera, the well-known plant composed of chemical compounds like mannans, polysaccharides, lectins, and anthraquinones, provides an abundance of health benefits besides improving the digestive system and preserving food. Its properties strengthen the immune system and hair growth, delay aging, cure skin conditions like dermatitis, and cure gum disease. The plant can also lessen arthritis pain, rid ulcers, and prevent blood sugar conditions like diabetes. It doesn’t stop there. Aloe Vera can be used to relieve menstrual problems, heal wounds, rid nausea, reduce oxidative stress, inhibit cancer growth, reduce radiotherapy side effects, and soothe acid reflux symptoms.
It also functions to soothe joint and muscle pain. Given its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to enhance the life span, this is no surprise. Aloe Vera can also lower cholesterol a.k.a. lipoproteins that can clog arteries, and triglycerides which are fatty substances that can lead to heart disease. Aloe Vera, which belongs to the family of succulent plants of the genus Aloe, is currently undergoing scientific studies in order to produce greater knowledge of its medicinal applications. It already has many herbal medicine uses and grows in warm, dry climates like India, Africa, and similar agricultural desert areas. It is easily grown in indoor and outdoor areas. Aloe Vera, thought to originate in Sudan, also goes by the name medicinal aloe in addition to Lily of the Desert, Burn Plant, and Elephant’s Gall. In use for over 6,000 years, the plant was popular with not only the Egyptians, Spanish, Persians, and Greek, but also the Italians, Africans, Japanese, and Indians.
The plant has a defined structure that is stemless or short-stemmed with widely spread offsets and grows 24-39 inches tall. Some plant forms have white specks on the stem surfaces. While its color dictates green or grey-green and its flowers bloom in the summertime, the leaves are often full and thick. The margin of the leaves is comparable to a saw-tooth. The plant is often used in naturopathic medicine, the discipline that relies on a holistic health approach but takes advantage of its natural healing properties, such as the 18 amino acids that interact with the human body. Through diet, Aloe Vera products can lead to a regenerated body with a youthful glow. Its role in curing heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and arthritis is related to its properties.
For instance, Aloe Vera’s polysaccharides, which are linear or branched polymers that include cellulose, allow the body to better handle stress and improve the digestive system. While it expels harmful elements, more nutrients are absorbed. Individuals with Crohn’s disease, peptic ulcers, and other digestive tract problems, it would be beneficial to use the plant, as Aloe Vera prevents damage from constipation, piles, and other gastrointestinal complications. In just 3-4 weeks after consuming Aloe Vera extract, those with ulcers will experience less suffering. The plant’s immune system booster properties allow cleansing of the digestive and circulatory system. Individuals interested in enhancing their immune system should try drinks with Aloe Vera juice, as those drinks contain detoxifying properties. Being that individuals will be able to absorb more nutrients, blood circulation will improve and cells will have better nutritional quality. Fractions of Aloe Vera are also able to make body cells more resistant to harmful bacteria.
The plant’s beneficial effects on the immune system also may translate into working against cancerous tumors. The International Immunopharmacology (1995) studies suggest that the active polysaccharides in aloe, called galacto-mannans or beta-glucomannans, improve macrophage activity in the body. Macrophages are a type of white blood cell that can engulf foreign proteins or even cancer cells, therefore providing evidence of an effective attack against cancerous tumors. It is important to note that Aloe Vera alone cannot necessarily rid cancer, and its suggested that in agreement from a medical professional or physician, herbs like spirulina, cat’s claw, and therapies that include intravenous vitamin C are used as well. The plant’s properties nonetheless provide a safe measure against cancerous tumors.
The side effects associated with radiotherapy treatments can also be reduced by Aloe Vera. For this type of common cancer treatment determined by medical professionals, side effects can include acute dermatitis, burns, and skin problems. The topical application of Aloe Vera can not only speed up the healing process of skin, but offer a soothing feel to the areas that have been damaged. The juice from Aloe Vera can aid in healing radiation burns as well as enhance skin health. There are a lot of topical skin care products, personal care products, and cosmetics that contain Aloe Vera extract, but it in order to receive its full benefits, it would be efficient to directly use the inner gel from the leaf itself. Other than reducing the symptoms of aging skin, healing skin abrasions, and diminishing dermatitis, the plant can also fight against symptoms from stings, rashes, acne, and psoriasis. These claims have been supported since ancient times, which is why Aloe Vera is one of the most popular additions to skin care products.
Aloe Vera appears in hair products as well to promote natural hair growth and work against hair loss conditions like Androgenetic Alopecia, which is a genetically determined disorder. To work against hair loss, Aloe Vera should be applied on the scalp. Aloe Vera hair products create voluminous, healthy hair for a full and beautiful approach to maintaining hair growth. This is because of the enzymes that clear dead skin cells and maintain particular pH levels that give the hair a moisturized and smooth existence. Another productive reason to select Aloe Vera hair products is the increase in blood circulation and reduction in stress and mental anguish.
These anti-inflammatory properties also work to reduce the pain and swelling associated with arthritis, a degenerative condition where there is inflammation in the joints. In the case of arthritis, Aloe Vera can be applied topically or used as a drink in order to reduce pain and revitalize the body. There have even been studies that support the consumption of Aloe Vera, which show that individuals who consume Aloe Vera juice daily over the span of two weeks develop a significant improvement in inflammatory issues. Other factors contribute to the improvement as well, and so individuals should also consider regulating their diets by reducing the consumption of red meat, sugar, milk, fried foods, and white flour. These foods are not only unhealthy overall, but can lead to inflammatory conditions and symptoms. With a diet change and the incorporation of Aloe Vera, individuals are likely to see a reduction in inflammation.
Aloe Vera’s soothing properties also make it an option for healing wounds. The idea isn’t new, as the plant has been treated as a natural healer for over thousands of years. It applies to not only simple wounds but according to studies, advanced stages seen in third-degree burn victims. This makes the plant a great resource for emergency room wound cases, as Aloe Vera gel can restore burned skin at a faster rate than normal and even heal gunshot wounds and tissue tears. It works by enhancing blood flow to the site of the wound and sealing it. Aloe Vera has also been suggested by proponents of herbal remedies in dealing with menstrual problems. It reduces the pain associated with menstruation and some research has shown that Aloe Vera serves as a stimulus for the uterus. In addition, nausea, whether attached to menstruation or other reasons such as food positioning, viruses, and side effects of chemotherapy, can be alleviated by Aloe Vera. Digestive issues and inflammatory disorders often warrant some kind of treatment, and although man-made medicines for nausea exist, medical professionals can also suggest natural remedies. This is because Aloe Vera juice calms the stomach and can mask the symptoms of nausea.
For those who seek health benefits from Aloe Vera that may directly impact bodily functioning and metabolism, there are quite a few ways in which the plant proves to be a successful option. In fact, a study performed on diabetic rat models that tested the effects of Aloe Vera found that the substance aids in the treatment of diabetes. Consumption of Aloe Vera guarantees lower blood sugar levels, although by how much lower may be dependent on the individual and outside factors. Aloe Vera also improves bodily function by offering a reprieve to oxidative stress, or the stress called by highly reactive atoms or molecules that may contribute to aging. By delivering vitamins such as B12, B1, B2, B6, A, E, C, niacin, and folic acid through its juice, Aloe Vera improves metabolism as well as the immune system. The juice can also be used to sooth acid reflux symptoms. Acid reflux refers to the movement of acid from stomach contents to the esophagus, where symptoms such as burning, regurgitation, and heartburn are often described. To further prevent acid reflux, in addition to drinking Aloe Vera juice, individuals should stop the consumption of processed and fried foods.
For some individuals, Aloe Vera can be a good alternative to the offerings of the pharmaceutical industry and restore blood quality by lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and blood glucose levels. By lowering the total triglyceride content, the LDL cholesterol or “bad cholesterol” decreases. The sugars, known as glucose, that travel through the bloodstream can cause diabetes and so it may be helpful to try Aloe Vera. This does not go without saying that diet changes should accompany Aloe Vera, as blueberries, powerful antioxidants, also reduce cholesterol among other foods. While Aloe Vera is assumed to lower blood sugar levels, it is suggested that the plant also increases oxygen supply through the blood. This can lead to an improvement in cardiovascular functions, as the blood delivers the oxygen to the organs in the body at a faster rate. Aloe Vera increases the viscosity of blood, thereby allowing oxygen to move faster into red blood cells to be carried by hemoglobin to organ destinations.
Aloe Vera can also work against gum diseases. A simple home remedy includes placing Aloe Vera powder on the tip of a toothbrush before brushing to deliver a soothing experience. Aloe Vera juice can also deliver the same effects through gargling and then swallowing. It is suspected that Aloe Vera not only soothes the gums, but reduces and sometimes cures infections and bruises. Sometimes its properties are limited, however, and individuals can also take vitamin D to see healthy gums. This could be due to a change in bacterial populations on the gums.
Aloe Vera’s properties have been shown to eliminate the bacterium E.coli in studies that were conducted on fruits and vegetables dipped in the gel. By eliminating E.coli, the freshness and shelf life of the fruits and vegetables were increased. This is one of the ways that Aloe Vera can act as a natural food preservative. Another study by Daniel Valero, a professor from the University of Miguel Hernandez in Alicante, Spain, showed that a thin layer of Aloe Vera on grapes was able to increase freshness and preserve taste. The FDA has already approved of Aloe Vera as a natural food flavoring agent, and so it shows potential for improving food safety regulations around the world.
There are also further benefits to using Aloe Vera than improving bodily functions such as with increased blood oxygenation, related to the aging process. It is speculated that Aloe Vera may be one of the best natural ways to rejuvenate skin cells and delay aging. Its application allows it to penetrate through several layers of the skin and possibly reach the bones. For this reason, there are many skin products on the market aimed at fading wrinkles and rejuvenating skin through its inclusion of Aloe Vera. Many individuals notice increased youthful appearance and smooth, bright skin.