Aloe Vera is a powerful succulent plant that is known for its everlasting short stems and fleshy leaves. This diverse plant species is frequently cited as being used in herbal medicine since the beginning of the first century A.D. The same timeless healer that has been present in my Mum’s home since she arrived in America in the 70’s. Aloe Vera continues to be used around the world for a plethora of reasons. Once you purchase (or grow your first plant), your health and beauty options are ENDLESS!
Aloe Vera’s active ingredients are a pretty big deal. The leaf is filled with a gel containing many nutrients, 20 minerals, 12 vitamins, 18 amino acids, and 200 active enzymes! These compounds have tremendous benefit and potential in external and internal applications.
Benefits of Applying Aloe Vera Topically to Your Skin or Hair
Throughout my childhood and adolescence, I often used aloe vera topically. While visiting family in Jamaica, I remember the pain I experienced after burning my back from overexposure to the hot rays of the Caribbean sun. As a little brown girl, I had NO idea I also could get sunburned like my less melanated friends. The soothing relief I felt after finding fresh aloe was a game changer. Fast forward to my teenage years when my combination skin started trippin’ and experienced frequent breakouts. Despite trying every over the counter facial product, I always came back to my trusty aloe vera plant.
Often described as a medicinal plant, the cosmetic and alternative medicine industries regularly make claims regarding the soothing, moisturizing and healing properties of aloe vera. What does aloe vera actually do for your skin and hair?
- Due to Aloe’s high water content, it is a great way to hydrate, moisturize and rejuvenate the skin
- Increases the elasticity of skin and makes it more flexible through collagen and elastin repair
- Softens, soothes and balances the pH of skin and hair
- Acts as an analgesic, acting to help relieve pain and speeds recovery of wounds (abrasions, burns, psoriasis, and even bug bites)
- Heals impurities and can aid in clearing acne and scars
- Reduces inflammation, while relieving potential itching, soothes dry and burned skin
Benefits of Taking Aloe Vera Internally
Aloe is phenomenal for your skin, but there are also great benefits from taking pure aloe vera (juice or gel) internally. It has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that can boost the body’s immunity and also acts as an anti-inflammatory; it helps keep things moving along, while getting your digestive tract together.
- Boosts your immune system as it contains a high level of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
- Alkalizes the body and helps to balance overly acidic dietary habits
- Provides a boost of amino acids and fatty acids that lower fat and reduce symptoms of allergies and acid indegestion
- Helps to properly eliminate waste from your body and detoxify it
- Decreases the amount of unfriendly bacteria in our gut, while keeping your healthy intestinal flora in balance
Aloe Vera should not be consumed internally everyday – instead use it when it is actually necessary. Like all superfoods, aloe vera is not a magic bullet. It should be consumed in moderation like any other food.