Deriving from Africa and the family of lilies, aloe vera, one of the greatest healing plants in the world, has countless benefits beyond the healing of sunburned skin. This gel-filled plant also has miraculous health and hair benefits.  In my opinion, of all the plants out there, aloe vera should be the one to keep in your home at all times.  It is seriously, one of the most useful plants.  There are so many amazing uses for aloe vera and its  juice. 

Used for medicinal purposes and herbal remedies, as well as ranging from various food to natural energy drinks, this widely known tropical and spiky edged plant can help cure almost everything. Need internal healing?  Aloe vera will do the job, as it will not only clean the inner body but repair the inner organs. Need topical healing?  Rub that gel in to help quickly heal the skin. Below is a list of ten benefits that aloe has for the human body.
1.  Adaptogen / Nutritional Supplement:

Studies have proven the significance of aloe vera acting as an adaptogen. This miracle plant has clearly been seen to adapt to various stresses put on the body, ultimately reducing or completely eliminating the stressor’s effects. Aloe vera has many antioxidant properties and contains considerable amounts of minerals and vitamins such as A, E, C, B1,B6, B3, B12, folic acid and more. It also contains zinc, iron, sodium, magnesium, and the list continues. Yes, it helps the body adapt to both internal and external stresses that trigger a variety of responses.

2. Anti-aging 

Aloe, also popular in modern beauty culture contains many softening properties. Cleansers, soaps, toners, serums and various other skin and beauty products have recently been adding aloe vera gel, as it not only assists in healing the skin, but it also firms the fine lines and improves the elasticity of the body’s skin as the gel smooths over wrinkles making it seem as if time has turned back a year, or two or three.

3. Diabetes Control

Recent studies have shown that the intake of aloe vera may be helpful in improving blood glucose levels, ultimately treating those with diabetes, specifically type 2. Preliminary research shows it may also be effective in reducing fasting plasma glucose levels in people who are pre-diabetic. Ingesting aloe orally has also been linked to the decrease of blood lipids in people whose levels are abnormally high, along with a decrease in swelling and a rapid increase of healing wounds.

4. Bad Breath Control

As a result of acid indigestion, we all get bad breath. Sometimes, gum and mints just won’t solve your stinky breath problems. However, Earth has its way of telling others to “come a little closer”. Many natural herbalists suggest to sip a quarter of a cup of aloe vera juice + half cup of water or fruit juice as a natural remedy to relieve bad breath. In this circumstance, aloe contains B-sitosterol, an anti-inflammatory compound that’ll soothe the body’s indigestion.

5.  Gastrointestinal Disorders

Many people who experience gastrointestinal disorders such as heartburn, ulcers, indigestion, congestion, urinary tract infections, prostate problems, etc. can orally ingest aloe vera. This brings comfort to the pain and side effects of various gastrointestinal disorders. However, when orally taking aloe, keep in mind the way it is ingested as well as the pace can result into different affects. When sipping aloe, be aware not to chug-a-lug. This will result into acting as a laxative, thus can result in loose bowels, cramping or even diarrhea.

6.  Eases constipation

Aloe vera can also be beneficial as a laxative. It is comprised of anthraquinones, which serve as a powerful laxative, as they can increase levels of water in the intestines, stimulate the secretion of mucus and increase peristalsis motion.  If you are suffering from constipation, try drinking aloe vera juice or take a supplement that contains aloe vera to improve the function of your bowels. Excessive consumption of aloe latex (aloe latex comes from just under the plant’s skin and is yellow in color) is not recommended because it can cause stomach cramps or diarrhea.

7. Aids in Weight loss

Many people who are overweight often times suffer from a heart that is strained, causing the body’s cardiovascular system work extra hard. The aloe vera plant can contribute to the body’s overall health by delivering into your body thousands of essential micronutrients. As mentioned before, It also has been linked to easing constipation as a result of its high content of water and enzymes.

8. Benefits the heart

Of all the benefits of aloe vera, its effectiveness on the cardiovascular system is becoming more prevalent as scientists are slowly seeing the beneficial uses of aloe in preventing strokes and heart attacks. Aloe has been known to improve overall heart health and completely block the absorption of cholesterol in our bodily systems, meaning a decrease of fat in the body’s bloodstream and reducing the risks of various disorders, diseases and other problems.

9. Inflammation / Immunity

Aloe vera has been found to ease joint inflammation and soothe the pain of arthritis when used both topically and orally. It has been known to boost the body’s immune system and protect the body from oxidative stress, reducing the inflammation of disorders such as IBS and various other digestive disorders. Aloe’s disinfecting properties as well as antimicrobial properties play a large role in attacking and warding off harmful bacteria in the body.

10. Sunburn, cuts, and superficial burns

Aloe vera provides a cooling sensation for many sunburns and superficial burns on the body. Yes, it truly is nature’s first aid kit, as many of us have first handedly seen the positive effects of this miracle plant. The aloe vera plant is antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial which creates an amazing and effective product to assist in healing wounds. It diminishes bacteria and prevents infection all while it nourishes, seals and restores burns, cuts, acne sores and larger surgical wounds. Aloe vera has been proven to ramp up the healing process creating a plaster cover for scrapes.

Aloe vera is readily available in most grocery stores.  But as with anything you put in or on your body, always make sure that you’re buying organic or at least non-gmo.  And if you keep this plant growing in your house all year, then you’ve got an endless supply.

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Dr. Kim M. Filkins, DACM, Dipl. Ac.
Zen Penguin Wellness

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Suite C-11,
Indianapolis, IN 46227

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