Aloe vera is one of the most versatile plants when it comes to health benefits. It can be used in several forms, from fresh, raw juice to manufactured extracts. It is used both topically and orally.
About aloe vera
Aloe vera is a succulent plant believed to have originated from northeastern Africa. It is a relatively short plant, usually with no stems, and the leaves are long, narrow, very flashy and with rimmed edges. The leaves, in fact, are made of 96% water and they are packed with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, essential oils, fatty acids, manose, galactose and glycoproteins.
Aloe vera plant is usually grown for decorative purposes and many people like to have at least one aloe vera in their garden, for decoration and for medicinal purposes. It can also be grown in the pot.
Benefits of aloe vera
Aloe vera has been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. Historically, it has been used to treat peptic ulcer, colitis, circulation problems, kidney disorders, liver and gallbladder problems, inflammatory conditions and many more.
Today, aloe vera is used as an additional or alternative treatment for serious diseases like lupus, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, mental disorder and even HIV.
Aloe vera extract can be taken orally to boost the immune system and to treat inflammatory conditions, especially arthritis.
This extract contains active constituents that act as scavengers of free radicals. This helps in prevention of various diseases, from cancer to heart disease, Parkinson’s and arteriosclerosis.
The extract obtained from aloe vera juice regulates blood sugar levels and it is therefore recommended for persons who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Aloe vera extracts are commercially sold in almost all countries of the Western world. They can be found in supermarkets, drugstores and health food shops. There are many manufacturers and brands of this product and it is important to choose the one that contains the highest percentage of pure aloe vera juice, with little or no additives like preservatives, flavorings and colors.
Aloe vera can be used externally too. The juice that is extracted from the leaf, after cutting it diagonally, can be applied directly to any type of sore, cut or scrape. It speeds up the healing process and prevents infections that often occur after the sin has been damaged. This juice can be applied to first and second degree burns in order to speed up the recovery and to stimulate regeneration of damaged tissues.
It can be applied to acne, eczema, dry skin, boils, insect bites, sunburns and any other issue that affects the skin.