Aloe vera, sometimes described as a “wonder plant,” is a short-stemmed shrub. Aloe is a genus that contains more than 500 species of flowering succulent plants. Many Aloes occur naturally in North Africa. Surprising Benefits of Aloe Vera!
Surprising Benefits of Aloe Vera
The succulent has a long history of being used for medicinal purposes, dating back to ancient Egypt. The plant is native to North Africa, Southern Europe, and the Canary Islands. Today, aloe vera is grown in tropical climates worldwide. Although Aloe is about 99% water, the remaining 1% is extremely powerful and it is thought this is because the close to 100 ingredients work extremely well together.
From relieving heartburn to potentially slowing the spread of breast cancer, researchers are just beginning to unlock the benefits of this universal plant and its many byproducts. The leaves of Aloe vera are succulent, erect, and form a dense rosette. Many uses are made of the gel obtained from the plant’s leaves. Aloe vera is a popular medicinal plant that has been used for thousands of years!
Helps Immune System
Also seems to be excellent at regulating the immune system. This means it can both stimulate the immune response for those with weakened immune systems either from exisiting conditions or post-illness fatigue. It can also calm the immune response, such as for hayfever where less immune reaction is beneficial.
It may even have a role to play in managing diabetes. Numerous studies worldwide indicate that it is a general tonic for the immune system, helping it to fight illness of all kinds! In one study, oral use for six months helped mitigate asthma symptoms in almost half of the participants. Eleven of twenty-seven patients studied who drank Aloe reported feeling better at the end of the study. Researchers think that results might be due to stimulation of the immune system!
Helps Alleviate Menstrual Pain
During a woman’s menstrual cycle, the uterus typically contracts in pulsatile, painful fashion to get rid of unfertilized egg. This pain can range from minor to debilitating from woman to woman. But what is almost universal is the desire to numb the pain. One way to do so is to use an anti-spasmodic that reduces the frequency of unwanted cramps. Aloe Vera consumption can act via this mechanism, reducing overall pain load.
The pure inner gel extracted from the aloe leaf is the best natural remedy for skin abrasions and it also helps diminish the symptoms of aging skin conditions. Many skin care and personal care products, toiletries, and cosmetics include aloe extracts.
In fact, if you have its plant at home, simply tear a small part of the leaf, take the gel and apply it in the raw form on your face. This therapy will prove to be far better and more effective than many expensive skin creams on the market. Most people prefer drinking its juice, which also enhances skin health, as the properties of the plant work internally.
Lowers blood sugar levels
Aloe vera has sometimes been used as a traditional diabetes remedy. Several animal and human studies in type 2 diabetics have actually found promising results from consuming Aloe vera extract.
However, the quality of these studies was fairly poor, so it is definitely premature to recommend Aloe vera for this purpose. There have been some cases of liver damage reported with long-term ingestion of Aloe vera supplements. Ingesting Aloe vera supplements in the long term could also be hazardous.
Keeping produce fresh
A 2014 study published online by the Cambridge University Press looked at tomato plants coated with aloe gel. The report showed evidence that the coating successfully blocked the growth of many types of harmful bacteria on the vegetables.
This means that aloe gel could help fruits and vegetables stay fresh, and eliminate the need for dangerous chemicals that extend the shelf life of produce.
Possible Side Effects and Interactions
Don’t take aloe vera, either gel or latex, if you’re pregnant or breast feeding. There are some reports of aloe causing miscarriage and birth defects. Children younger than 12 years old may experience abdominal pain, cramps and diarrhea, so I don’t recommend aloe vera for child use either.