Aloe vera has a long history of medicinal use. The plant is native to northern Africa, southern Europe, and the Canary Islands.
Today, people cultivate aloe vera worldwide in tropical climates. Besides its pharmaceutical uses, aloe vera has some other wonderful uses, too.
For example, aloe vera gel can keep fruits and vegetables fresh by blocking many harmful bacteria.
Research released by the Cambridge University Press in 2014 looked at aloe vera gel-coated tomato crops.
The study showed proof that the aloe vera gel coating blocked many kinds of harmful bacteria in vegetables.
This implies that aloe vera gel can help fruits and vegetables remain fresh and reduce the need for hazardous chemicals that decrease the product’s shelf life.
Here are 8 wonderful uses for aloe vera you should know.
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1. Drinking Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera gel is renowned for providing sunburn relief and helping cure wounds. But you can use your favorite potted plant for more than sunburn relief and household decoration.
Aloe vera juice is produced by crushing or grinding the whole leaf of the aloe plant, followed by different measures to purify and refine the liquid.
The juice, however, has a tolerable flavor. Therefore, you can consume it as a smoothie or shake. Some health benefits of drinking aloe vera juice include:
- can detox the liver
- alkalizes the body
- can relief heartburn
- treat constipation,
- can smooth digestion
- good for your skin
- can hydrate you
- can prevent deficiencies
While many cultures have used aloe vera for hundreds of years as a traditional remedy for various conditions.
However, there is little scientific evidence on drinking aloe vera juice, and most of these claims are anecdotal, which has no scientific evidence behind it.
2. Aloe Vera for Burn Wounds
Aloe vera gel is effective in treating first- and second-degree burns. Applying aloe vera to your burn will aid in healing by reducing inflammation and preventing bacteria.
It is best to use aloe vera gel that has been extracted directly from an aloe vera plant.
The plastic surgery department at Nishtar Hospital Multan Pakistan, compared Aloe Vera gel to 1 percent silver sulfadiazine cream for second-degree burn wound therapy.
They discovered burn wounds treated with Aloe Vera healed much faster than those treated with 1% silver sulfadiazine (SSD).
The scientists added that there was considerably more and earlier pain relief in the aloe vera group compared to the SSD group (1).
3. Aloe Vera for Skin
Aloe vera is rich in antioxidants such as vitamins A and C. It can aid in the treatment of acne and dry skin.
For acne, aloe vera works better on the surface of the skin than with cystic or deeper acne.
Its enzymes can help exfoliate the skin, making it smoother.
Here are some potential benefits of using aloe vera gel on the skin:
- soothes sunburn
- relieves abrasions
- heals small wounds
- treats dry skin
- relieves frostbite
- treats cold sores
- eases eczema
- relieves psoriasis
- treats inflammatory acne
There is no solid scientific evidence to support the use of aloe vera on the skin.
The moisturizing and pain-relieving effects of aloe vera may be due to the fact that it grows in dry environments and the leaves of the plant store water to survive.
As a result, it contains distinct plant compounds known as complex carbohydrates, which make it effective at moisturizing and pain relief.
Some of the above conditions, such as frostbite, are significant and may require emergency medical treatment.
However, aloe vera gel has been used historically as a frostbite treatment. Before using aloe vera for skin conditions, ask a dermatologist first.
4. Aloe Vera for Heartburn
Heartburn occurs as stomach contents return to the esophagus. It is also called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
If you have more frequent heartburn, you may have a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This can cause serious problems if left untreated.
A 2015 study suggested that decolorized and purified aloe vera juice may decrease GERD symptoms. It can also relieve other digestion-related problems.
The low acidity of the aloe vera plant makes it a reliable heartburn remedy without side effects (2).
5. Aloe Vera Uses for Constipation
People who have constipation regularly might use aloe vera juice as a natural laxative remedy.
The plant’s outer layer contains compounds known as anthraquinones, which have a laxative effect.
However, most of the studies on the laxative effects of aloe vera are conducted on animals.
A Nigerian study in rats discovered that aloe vera gel produced from typical aloe vera houseplants can relieve constipation.
It is not clear whether eating aloe vera whole-leaf extract can be safe for treating constipation.
We need further human studies to understand the effectiveness of aloe vera whole-leaf extract on constipation.
You should not eat aloe vera if you have Crohn’s disease or hemorrhoids. It can trigger serious cramps and diarrhea in the abdomen.
If you are taking other medicines, donnot use aloe vera products and talk to your doctor before use.
6. Aloe Vera Uses for Diabetes
Aloe vera supplements may be beneficial to diabetics.
According to one 2015 study, consuming aloe vera gel can help people attain better fasting blood glucose levels while also reducing body fat and weight.
This suggests that aloe vera may have a use in diabetes treatment.
Another animal study carried out on rats concluded that Aloe vera pulps could be effective in the treatment of non-insulin-dependent diabetics.
However, it is unclear whether aloe vera supplements should treat diabetes. To understand the effects of aloe vera juice on diabetes, we need further studies.
Individuals who take glucose-lowering medicines should be careful.
7. Aloe Vera Uses as a Mouthwash
Aloe vera is a natural plant having high medicinal value and powerful properties for treating and preventing oral diseases.
The aloe vera mouthwash is equally effective as other mouthwash products for improving oral health and preventing gingivitis.
A 2016 study conducted in 390 dental students compared aloe vera with chlorhexidine, a mouthwash product.
They found that aloe vera had a similar effect as chlorhexidine mouthwash. The natural ingredients of the plant can block plaque, including a good dose of vitamin C.
8. Aloe Vera and Breast Cancer
Many anti-cancer medicines currently in use have their origins in natural sources, such as plants.
Aloe vera is one such plant that is being extensively researched for its several health benefits, including cancer prevention.
A recent study has examined the therapeutic qualities of aloe-emodin, a compound in the aloe vera leaves. They concluded aloe vera has the potential to slow breast cancer development.
These findings suggest that Aloe vera may be a useful anti-neoplastic agent for inhibiting cancer cell development and increasing the therapeutic efficacy of conventional drugs, like cisplatin (a chemotherapy medication used to treat several cancers).
Aloe vera side effects
If you have extreme burns or other serious injuries, we suggest you seek medical attention.
There is also some evidence that aloe may decrease the natural ability of your skin to heal from deep burns and wounds.
Many users can experience itching or burning when they apply aloe vera gel to their skin. However, if you experience a rash, stop using aloe vera gel immediately.
Do not use aloe gel on skin that has been infected. Because its protective coating can interfere with the healing process and worsen the infection.
Consuming aloe vera juice is safe, but it may cause a laxative effect, leading to uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms.
There are many ways to use the aloe plant and the different gels and extracts that are produced from it. Researchers continue to find new ways to make use of this succulent.
If you are taking medicine, be sure to talk with your doctor.