From the leaves that have small spikes along their edges, come the health benefits of the aloe vera plant. Aloe leaves contain two different fluids. The inner part of the fleshy leaf is filled with a clear gel, a thin jellylike substance that can be squeezed or scraped, and the thick aloe skin contains a bitter yellow juice or latex which is taken from specialized cells along the inner leaf skin and is extracted as a liquid, then dried into a yellow powder.
So, what are the health benefits of taking aloe vera?
The health benefits of the aloe vera plant are numerous. The gel is most often used externally and is widely touted for being able to treat skin conditions. These conditions include minor burns, scalds, sunburns, cuts, minor wounds, and even external hemorrhoids. Aloe helps to prevent scarring, relieves pain and promotes healing of minor burns, sunburns, scalds, and cuts. It reduces tissue damage from frostbite, helps prevent infection, and hastens healing of minor wounds. It also eases skin irritation and inflammation. In addition, aloe is used to reduce psoriasis symptoms and to lessen the painful effects of shingles.
But wait, there are more health benefits of taking aloe vera externally.
Aloe has a reputation as being a beauty aid. It is regarded as one of natures best natural moisturizers as it is often used to moisturize and soften dry, itchy, or rough skin.
In fact, Cleopatra, who was renowned for her beauty, regarded this natural beauty aid as a fountain of youth, and used the gel to preserve her skin against the ravages of the harsh and harmful rays of the Egyptian sun.
Indeed, aloe is a popular ingredient in skin lotions, shampoos, and cosmetics.
What are the possible health benefits of the aloe vera plant internally?
The aloe latex – the bitter-tasting juice from the leaf’s skin is taken internally to treat constipation. However, it’s important to note that aloe latex is very potent and, as such, the latex is not usually used alone but combined with gentler herbs, such as cascara sagrada.
In addition, a soothing juice is made from aloe gel and it can be taken internally to ease heartburn, ulcers, diverticular disorders, and other types of digestive upset. However, there is very little substantive evidence to support these internal uses.
Some preliminary studies suggest that aloe vera also has immune boosting properties.
Side Note: Aloe vera is also available as a standardized extract, derived from aloe gel that is taken internally to treat ulcers and other intestinal problems as well as to bolster immunity.
Intriguing possibilities on the health benefits of the aloe vera plant …
Aloe is even being explored for its ability to combat the HIV virus and to treat certain types of cancer. Research studies are also exploring its effects in managing diabetes.
Indeed, even though the health benefits of taking aloe vera are substantial, there are precautions.
Aloe vera gel for external use appears to be a safe. However, on rare occasions people have reported allergic skin reactions. It is recommended that you discontinue use if it causes skin redness, itching, or swelling.
Pregnant or nursing women should not take aloe internally. In addition, women trying to conceive should not take aloe latex.
It is highly recommended that you speak with a physician before taking aloe for internal use. In addition, anyone with a medical condition or are on any type of medications should always speak to a physician before taking any type of supplements.
Bottom line ..
Everyone should consult their physician before taking aloe vera, especially internally.
Buyer beware that many commercial products labeled "aloe" do not contain enough aloe to promote much of any healing or any other benefits.
Meet us on the web for tips on how to buy a quality aloe vera product by clicking on the link below.
Cindy Amorin is the chief editor of Nutritional-Supplement-Educational-Centre.com an information-rich site that discusses nutritional, dietary, and herbal supplements and their potential therapeutic value.
For tips on how to buy a quality aloe vera product, please visit us at our uses for aloe vera web page.