When it comes to Aloe, you must keep evolving your consciousness about its unbelievable health benefits.
The Aloe (aka Aloe vera) is a flowering succulent plant native to Africa. Its thick, fleshy leaves contain a gel that is used medicinally, while the green, more fibrous part that surrounds the Aloe vera is the source of aloe latex, which is principally used as a laxative. The Aloe vera has amazing 6,000-year history of use!
Truly, for many justified reasons, the plant was known among the Egyptians as the plant of immortality and among the Native Americans as the wand of heaven. It was depicted on stone carvings and given as burial gifts to pharaohs. The Aloe vera was used then, as it is today, for medicinal purposes. The Aloe vera gel is widely used in skin products such as moisturizing lotion and sun block products, and it is a natural food flavoring.
(!)Safety concerns: The Aloe latex taken orally may be unsafe in high doses, and should be avoided. Women who are pregnant should avoid taking the Aloe latex orally, as it may raise the risk of miscarriage and even birth defects.
People with hemorrhoids or kidney problems should not take the Aloe latex either. Because the Aloe may affect blood sugar levels, people scheduled for surgery should not take the Aloe for at least 2 weeks prior to the scheduled date for surgery.
The above safety concerns should be taken into account of course. Yet, the Aloe vera plant comes with a dazzling array of healing benefits — some of which you may have already heard of. You may be even one of those herbalists who grow their own Aloe vera plant in the garden, or in a pot, for those small traumas such as accidental cuts, scrapes, and burns.
Anyway, did you know that the Aloe vera is not only limited to topical use, but it is actually even more beneficial for you when taken orally?
This wellness of the Aloe vera comes from over 200 biologically active, naturally occurring constituents in the plant, which include: amino acids, polysaccharides, vitamins, enzymes, and minerals that play an important role in nutrient absorption in the body.
As per The Journal of Environmental Science and Health, the Aloe vera possesses anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties that help the immune system in cleansing the body of numerous toxins and invading pathogens. But that just isn’t all that the Aloe vera juice/gel keeps in stock for you!
Along with adding a nice decorative touch to your home, the Aloe vera boasts a wide range of health benefits:
One scientific study showed that the Aloe vera actually contains vitamin B12, which is required for the production of red blood cells. It could be page-turner news for vegetarians and vegans in particular, who often do not get adequate amounts of B12 through their regular meat-free diet.
However, you should not rely solely on the Aloe for your daily requirements of B12. Other studies have shown that taking the Aloe can assist with the bioavailability of vitamin B12, meaning that the body can more easily absorb and utilize it, and thus prevent deficiency. The Aloe vera is also a source of vitamins A, C,E, folic acid, choline, B1, B2, B3 (niacin), and B6.
The Aloe vera plant is chock-full of minerals including: magnesium, calcium, zinc, chromium, selenium, sodium, iron, potassium, copper, and manganese. These minerals work in best consort to boost your metabolic pathways and bring harmony in your body.
The Aloe vera also contains important enzymes including amylase and lipase which are great aid in digestion by breaking down fat and sugar molecules. One molecule in particular, bradykinase, is ‘in charge of’ reducing dangerous inflammation processes.
4. Aloe vera plant contains valuable amino acids
Read carefully: the Aloe vera contains 20 of the 22 essential amino acids that are needed for your normal body functions. It also contains salicylic acid, which fights numerous inflammations and bacteria.
Other uses of the Aloe vera plant
Besides being an excellent body cleanser, removing toxic matter from the stomach, kidneys, spleen, bladder, liver, and colon, the Aloe vera can also offer an effective relief from more immediate ailments, such as upset stomach (i.e. indigestion), ulcers, and inflammation in the gut. It also strengthens the digestive tract and alleviates joint inflammation, making it a great option for arthritis sufferers.
One study found that the Aloe vera juice, when taken in the same way as a mouthwash, was just as effective at removing plaque as the common mouthwash due to the work of its active ingredient, chlorhexidine.
Undoubtedly, this is a much better alternative for your oral hygiene because it is all-natural, unlike the typical chemicals-laden options found in stores and pharmacies. On the other hand, the Aloe vera gel has been found to effectively heal mouth ulcers, which are more commonly known as canker sores.
How to take the fabulous Aloe vera plant?
The Aloe vera can be consumed straight from the plant, but the easiest and most palatable option is probably the aloe juice and gel, which you can buy in most health-food outlets. You can also buy the Aloe leaves from many regular grocery stores, or harvest your own, and juice them yourself. Or you can simply buy the juice and mix it into your other juices and smoothies, or just drink it straight up.
Note: Make sure you are buying the pure aloe juice/gel which is made either of the whole leaf or just the inner filet. When pure, it does have a somewhat bitter taste, so you may want to “soften” it other ingredients. Although on the bottle you can find specific dosing instructions, it would be wise to talk to a natural health expert for best dosing. Usually, for internal use, 30 ml of the Aloe gel 3 times a day is enough. Topically, the fresh Aloe gel is applied as needed.
Indeed, the Aloe vera plant can be an effective antidote herbal therapy against many poisonous drugs bought over-the counter!
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The Journal of Environmental Science and Health