The famous Aloe vera or what we call “wonder plant” and it is simply a very short-stemmed shrub. This plant is a genus including alone hundreds of succulent components. Aloe vera grows in different regions including North Africa and Central America.
Different leaves of the “wonder plant” are very succulent and they put up and form a large and strong rosette. The gel we obtain from this plant is what defines benefits and different uses.
The Aloe vera plant is still up todate a very strong field of scientific studies. Let’s look then at some of common and known benefits and uses of this plant. At the end we will have a sneak peak at some research results as well as some direct applications. Are you ready to discover what is aloe vera good for ?
What’s exactly Aloe Vera and where was this plant born ?
Everyone knows the healing benefits of this plant for at least a couple of thousands years ago. At the beginning everyone referred to the name of “plant of immortality” and people used to present it to the top Egyptian pharaohs as a valuable funeral gift.
Over years different tribes from different geographical places have mastered the use of aloe vera, including indians in North America, Mexicans, Asians in China and even Indians.
Humans around the globe have known and discovered slowly the plant’s top healing processes and benefits, several names were given to this plant such as “burn plant”, elephant’s gall” and also “lily of the desert” — some of the first healing benefits were wounds healing, hemorrhoids, hair loss problems and difficult digestive issues.
Nowadays the Aloe vera plant is the core plant of a giant industry. The Aloe Vera juices and components are extracted for cosmetics and products for personal care : different moisturizers, shaving creams, soap and suntan lotions. The most common product that you might think of easily is the green gel available at drugstores shelves used against sunburns.
You can find Aloe Vera as well in a supplement form to help sustain and protect the skin and our digestive systems. Other versions of the plant are available as well depending on the use and the treatment people are looking for.
Aloe vera’s beneficial compounds and composition
The aloe vera plant is very thick, short-stemmed as well and it stores a huge amount of water inside its leaves.
This plant became of the most used plants within the pharmaceutical, the food industries and the cosmetics around us. The actual market value per year is around $13 billion worldwide.
You can recognize quickly the plant because it’s thick, with sharp green leaves and a very considerable length (from 12 to 19 inches usually)
Every leaf is fully covered with slime and tissues helping to store water, that is why the leaves are thick comparing to other plants. The tissue storing water is what we call “gel”. This “gel” is a word used as an official name of multiple products.
This famous gel contains almost all the bioactive constituents of the plant including amino acids, vitamins, minerals and a long list of essential antioxidants.
As a medicimal plant the aloe vera became popular and joined several industries such as pharmaceutical, cosmetic and the food and supplements industries. The thick leaves are full of a special gel substance wrapping a multitude of benefical compounds.
Antibacterial protection and antioxidants
Although so many people are not aware of the importance of antioxidants, they are very important and of a great job for health.
The aloe vera gel has a large group of antioxidants from a family of substances called “polyphenols“.
The polyphenols added to different compounds in the aloe vera gel can improve the protection against the growth of specific bacteria. These bacteria are responsible of infections inside the human body.
Antioxidants compounds which can be found in the aloe vera gel are very powerful and some of them protect against the growth of very dangerous bacteria.
New experiments around learning, memory and depression
Nutritional Neruscience have published a study about the Aloe vera reducing depression levels as well as improving memory of mice.
After the successful first studies, further ones will show how much correlation can be established with humans to extract the same benefits.
Skin protection against damage after effects of radiation therapy
The University of Naples in Italy carries a study using five different creams from tropical sources and the main goal is to observe the skin protection variation. The study targets patients with radiation therapy from breast cancer. Out of five creams one of them has aloe vera gel as a component.
From 100 patients they made five different groups of 20 and each one of these groups used a different treatment cream. the process took 15 days before the radiation therapy treatment start as well as one full month after.
For 6 straight weeks all participants applied the new skin protection assessment.
As a result, in a scientific journal “Radiation Oncology” all scientists reported that the tropical creams used during the experiment helped reducing the incidence of many side effects during the women treatment with radiation therapy for their breast cancer.
” 100% of moisturizing creams which were used during this study were valid along the skin treatment and damage occured by radiotherapy “
Benefits of Aloe Vera for beauty
Aloe vera is an important ingredient as it is in the cosometics and the beauty industries. You can find a large list of products designed for beauty and skin use such as moisturizers, shampoos, deep conditioners and toners. There are different lines of products like Aloe Fleur de Jouvence, a special line designed for sensitive skin protection.
There are reasons behind the big success of aloe vera products related to skin and beauty. The gel helps keeping the skin very hydrated as well as clear. A large amount of antioxidants like the vitamin E, vitamin A and vitamin C. In addition the gel contains essential amino acids. Some studies are now researching the anti-inflammatory properties behind this aloe vera gel.
A large number of studies proved the help of aloe vera gel to treat acne lesions. In addition to that, some studies have showed an important potential of aloe vera gel when applied to anti-aging process: an experiment was conducted with 30 women who consumed specific doses of aloe vera gel twice a day for three months. All these women saw an important improvement of their skin elasticity. This improvement is a direct result of an increase of collagen production.
Constipation treatment and reduction
Aloe vera is also known as a treatment for constipation.
For this specific use, it is not the aloe vera gel which is extracted but the aloe vera latex.
The aloe vera latex takes a form of a yellow residue very sticky which can be found under the first layer of skin of the aloe vera leaf.
the main compound used for this treatment is called “aloin” or “barbaloin” and this compound is responsible of producing laxative effects.
To treat constipation aloe vera latex can be of a great use. It has strong and confirmed laxative effects and you can find several products for this purpose.
Low blood sugar levels
The aloe vera plant has as well a very good history use as a traditional diabetes remedy.
The aloe vera gel helps enhance insulin sensitivity as well as the blood sugar control.
Many studies around type 2 of diabetics have showed excellent results especially when applied to humans and different kind of animals.
These studies are still new and there is a continuous work on them to get better and more accurate results. Linking type 2 diabetics to aloe vera extracts is of a great interest of different laboratories and manufacturers.
The Aloe Vera helps with healing different burns
Usually people use the aloe vera gel as an oriental or tropical medication, it is not known as a food supplement or a drink but a cream or gel to apply directly onto the skin.
For many years, the aloe vera plant used to treat sores and also different burns like sunburns.
In fact, the FDA first approved Aloe vera ointment as an over-the-counter medication for skin burns back in 1959.
Since 1959, the aloe vera ointment is officially considered as a parallel medication for skin burns by the FDA.
Various studies reveals that the aloe vera gel can be considered as a tropical treatment for two types of burns : the first as well as the second degree.
When compared to different healing processes, the Aloe Vera can reduce the healing time by approximately 9 days. Four experimental studies confirmed these results.
How to grow Aloe Vera at home
The aloe vera plant is extremely easy to grow at home. It’s a juicy plant that likes dry climates and warm conditions. No need for water everyday. It might be considered overwatering to take care of the plant. Make sure to cover it during rainy days.
Tropical climates are adequate for growing the aloe vera plant. Around 1 foot wide and two feet high. Some states like Southern Florida, Hawaii or California are suited for growing this plant. Sunlight is important to grow a healthy plant.
While choosing a spot for growing the aloe vera plant, choose a wide bowl to let the roots grow. New seeds will appear on the base of the plant and you can then transfer them to a new pot.
Research and Development around Aloe Vera
The National Center of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States confirmed as a medical advice that the Aloe Vera latex contains very strong laxative components.
The constant use of the Aloe gel is safe and of a big use. Before to use any make sure to check for any skin conditions or allergies. We highly recommend applying a small amount the first time and waiting at least 24 hours before the next application.
Few studies of the tropical use of Aloe Vera gel demonstrates a potential help for burns and abrasions.
There are already different products based on the Aloe Vera gel as well as the aloe latex available for purchase online.
to summarize …
Properties of aloe vera are unique and exceptional when applied as a strong ointment for your skin.
Several aloe vera products are already available to purchase online including the famous aloe vera gel, aloe vera juice, powders, supplements and also essential oils. We highly recommend to speak to your doctor for extra medical information before using any aloe vera product to treat a serious condition.