Aloe vera has a long history of medicinal use. The plant is native to northern Africa, southern Europe, and the Canary Islands. Today, they cultivate aloe vera worldwide in tropical climates. Beside 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.
1. Drinking Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera gel is renowned for sunburn relief and helping cure wounds. But you can use your favorite potted plant 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 flavour. Therefore, you can consume it in the form 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 are few scientific evidence on drinking aloe vera juice and most of these claims are anecdotal, which has no scientific evidence behind. For more information, read about 8 health benefits of drinking aloe vera juice.
Summary: Aloe vera gel is well-known for its ability to relieve sunburn and aid in the healing of wounds. You can make the juice from the aloe plant. It has a pleasant flavour and can be served as a smoothie or shake.
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 help in healing by lowering inflammation and preventing bacteria. It is best to use aloe vera gel that has been extracted directly from an aloe vera plant. Plastic surgery department, Nishtar Hospital Multan Pakistan compared Aloe Vera gel to 1 percent silver sulphadiazine cream for second-degree burn wounds therapy. They stated burn wounds among Aloe Vera-treated patients cured considerably faster than those treated with 1 percent silver sulfadiazine (SSD). The scientists added that there was considerably more and earlier pain relief in aloe vera group compared to the SSD group. (1)
Summary: Aloe vera gel can treat first and second-degree burns. Aloe vera relieves inflammation and inhibits bacterial growth. Its effects on burn wounds are comparable to that of 1% silver sulphadiazine cream.
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 rather than 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 uses of aloe vera on the skin. The moisturizing and pain-relieving effects of aloe vera may be because it grows in dry environments and the leaves of the plant store water to survive. Therefore, it contains a unique plant compounds known as complex carbohydrates, which make it efficient for moisturizing and pain relieving. Some of the above conditions, such as frostbite, are significant, which may require emergency medical treatment. However, aloe vera gel has been used historically as a frostbite treatment. Before using aloe vera for skin condition, ask your a dermatologist first.
Summary: Aloe vera can help in the treatment of acne and dry skin. It works better on the skin’s surface. Some manifestations, such as frostbite, are severe and may require medical attention.
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’s 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)
Summary: If you experience more frequent heartburn, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which can lead to serious complications if left untreated. Aloe vera is a safe and effective heartburn remedy.
5. Aloe Vera Uses for Constipation
People who suffer from 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 laxative effects of aloe vera are conducted in animals. A Nigerian study in rats discovered that aloe vera gel produced from typical aloe vera houseplants can relieve constipation. Another animal study shows that eating aloe vera whole-leave extract can cause tumor growth in laboratory rat’s big intestines. (3, 4)
It is not clear wether eating aloe vera whole-leave extract can be safe for treating constipation. We need further human studies to understand the effectiveness of aloe vera whole-leave 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.
Summary: People who suffer from constipation regularly may benefit from aloe vera juice. Anthraquinones, which have a laxative effect, are found in the plant’s outer layer.
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, this is not clear whether you should use aloe vera supplements as diabetes treatment. To understand the effects of aloe vera juice on diabetes, we need further studies. Individuals who take glucose-lowering medicines should be careful. The juice and diabetes medicines may interact with each other and reduce your glucose level to an extreme extend. (5, 6)
Summary: Aloe vera supplements may aid in the management of fasting blood glucose levels. The juice and diabetes medications may interact and cause your glucose level to drop dramatically.
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 mouth rinse 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. Aloe vera can also provide relief if you have bleeding or swollen gums. (7, 8, 9)
Summary: Aloe vera mouth rinse works just as well as other mouthwash products to enhance dental health and prevent gingivitis. The plant’s natural components, which include an exorbitant amount of vitamin C, can help prevent plaque formation.
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. 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). However, to further promote this hypothesis, we need more studies. (10, 11, 12)
Summary: Aloe vera is being investigated for a variety of health advantages, including cancer prevention. Aloe-emodin, a chemical found in aloe-vera leaves, can halt the progression of breast cancer. According to the findings, it could be a useful anti-neoplastic drug for preventing cancer cell formation.
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 on their skin. However, if you experience a rash, stop using aloe vera gel immediately. Do not use aloe gel on the skin that has been infected. Because it can interrupt with the healing process and make the infection worse by its protective coating.
Consuming aloe vera juice is safe, but it may cause a laxative effect, leading to uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms. There are many ways of using the plant of aloe 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 about aloe vera uses.
- Effects of Aloe vera coating on postharvest quality of tomato. Cambridge University Press. 2014.
- Effect of Edible Coatings from Aloe vera gel on Citrus sinensis during Ambient storage. 2012.
- Effectiveness of Aloe Vera gel compared with 1% silver sulphadiazine cream as burn wound dressing in second degree burns. J Pak Med Assoc.
- Laxative potential of the ethanolic leaf extract of Aloe vera (L.) Burm. f. in Wistar rats with loperamide-induced constipation. Journal of Natural Pharmaceuticals. 2011.
- Clinical trial in new cases of diabetes mellitus. Phytomedicine. 1996.
- Effect of Aloe vera leaves on blood glucose level in type I and type II diabetic rat models. Phytother Res. 2001.
- Preliminary antiplaque efficacy of aloe vera mouthwash on 4 day plaque re-growth model: randomized control trial. Ethiop J Health Sci. 2014.
- Emodin and Aloe-Emodin Suppress Breast Cancer Cell Proliferation through ERα Inhibition“, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2013.