Chronic inflammation, acne, stove burns, acne, scars, sun burns, pathogens in the digestive system, candida, cholesterol, dry skin, oily skin, bacteria, dandruff, digestive issues.
Some of the most common problems we have today and ones that we can often not find the right product or prescription for. If we do find a product, they often have a long list of ingredients that boggle our mind, or prescriptions that mask the problem, not helping it, possibly increasing our inner toxicity, or giving us other side effects.
Aloe Vera is a great replacement for these, or complimentary aid, as it’s known for both its beauty and medicinal properties.
There are a lot of properties, components, and benefits (yes more than already listed) of aloe vera, so we are going to break it down for you below, which can hopefully serve as a reference point for you in the long term, as well as explain this ‘medicine plant’ (as it is known in Egyptian and Indian culture).
Let’s start with what the plant is good for, and how it can be used, and then go into why and what components of the plant make it good for these situations.
Natural Antibiotic / Antibacterial
Anti-Inflammatory / Reduce Inflammation
Deeply Hydrating (which can also help the healing process, prevent dandruff, maintain skin’s beauty and bounce).
Does not clog pores
Antioxidant vitamins that also neutralize free radicals (such as Vitamin E, C (both are good for anti aging), A, B12 (also good for energy), Folic Acid, Choline).
Enzymes (such as alkaline phosphate, amylase, lipase, catalase) that help reduce excessive inflammation and also breakdown sugars and fats.
Minerals (such as calcium, copper, manganese, potassium, etc.) that are essential for the proper functioning of various enzyme systems in metabolic pathways.
Analgesic (pain reliever)
Hormones that help heal wounds.
Sugars (monosaccharides, and polysaccharides) that contain anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Decreases the overall temperature of the skin.
Niacin (Vitamin B3) (more info here)
Situations that Aloe Vera can help with, and why
Purify blood - anti bacterial and anti viral, breaks down sugar and fats, and hydration.
Reduce inflammation - anti-inflammatory due to the enzymes and sugars it is made of.
Ease arthritis pain - anti-inflammatory and analgesic.
Prevent kidney stones - Medical Medium states that Aloe vera is also great for assimilation, circulation, and elimination, but in simple terms, we have all heard that hydration can help prevent kidney stones.
Lower high cholesterol - due to the minerals and vitamins it contains.
Prevent candida - breaks down sugars and fats, helps maintain healthy digestive system.
Digestive disorders - laxative properties (in the case of constipation), alkaline nature - helping gut health and contract foods that cause indigestion.
Healthy teeth and gums - Anti-bacterial, and analgesic, and anti-inflammatory. (Scientists recommend the stiff gel in the middle of the plant to be used here for effect)
Bug bites - Anti-inflammatory, cooling, and analgesic (pain management)
Rashes / Scratches - hydration helping heal skin, prevent scars and prevent wrinkles. Provide cooling and calming effect through analgesic and cooling nature
Scars - Vitamin E (great for regeneration and avoiding scars), Niacin (helps healing process speed up, and anti-inflammation)
Anti aging - Vitamin C, E, Hydrating
Moisturizer - Very hydrating (without clogging pores)
Make up remover - moisturizing and hydrating, but breaks down the fats/oils so easily removes without hurting delicate skin around the eye
Dandruff - Anti-bacterial, moisturizing, healing
Stimulate hair growth - moisturizing, cleansing, avoid hair fall as scalp is hydrated, vitamins and minerals
After-shave - vitamins, minerals, cooling, hydrating
Cracked feet - hydrating and soothing, healing
Eyebrow gel - slightly stiff, conditioning (use a brow brush)
How to Use
Buy fresh aloe vera plant
Cut two inch pieces at a time
Slice the outer border away (with the pokey parts)
Gently glide knife between gel interior and outer tough skin (do this on both sides)
Spoon or scrape out gel into a clean glass jar or container
This can then be applied topically, plain or mixed with other ingredients, to hair, face, skin, teeth, cotton ball (make up remover)
Anecdotally, it is suggested to wipe off gently after 20-30 minutes from application on skin, as it might tighten as it dries, and therefore feel dry or tight on your face.
If using immediately, you can also, alternatively, repeat the first 5 steps of prep and apply directly onto your skin (don’t peel off the skin on one side, so you may hold the piece as you glide it on to your skin).
Eaten or drunk in juices/smoothies
Can be eaten raw or cooked
Think ceviche style with the aloe in tiny pieces
This south asian recipe calls for it to be cooked just like any other vegetable
Popsicles - blend aloe vera with kiwi or your favorite fruit, freeze in a mold
Granita - blend 1 cup of aloe vera, with water, lime, and cucumber juice and follow your favorite granita recipe method
Mixed with other ingredients for use in your juice, aloe water, and smoothies,
Things to be aware of
Check with your doctor if pregnant or breast feeding. Indian Journal of Dermatology mentions that Aloe’s laxative effects may be a cause of discomfort or indigestion or possibly interfere with contractions.
Allergy to plants in Liliaceae family, means you will possibly be allergic to aloe.
Stinging / burning due to its cooling nature.
Consumed in excessive amounts could cause lower potassium levels as an effect of it’s laxative properties.
Always test a small area first if it's your first time using the plant.
Scientific/Professional Sources: Natural Medicine Journal, National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health, Dr. Axe, Medical News Today