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What is Aloe Vera?
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What is Aloe Vera?

You’ve likely experienced the amazing cooling power of Aloe Vera, or at the very least, you’ve probably heard of its wondrous ability to soothe a sunburn or ease itchy skin. But did you know that it also has the ability to soothe your stomach? That’s right – Aloe Vera promotes a healthy tummy.

In this blog article discussing Aloe Vera, LifeSeasons’ featured weekly ingredient, you’ll learn what Aloe Vera is, how this ingredient supports healthy digestion, and lastly, you’ll learn about the benefits and uses of this plant.

Aloe Vera, What is it?

Aloe Vera is a short-stemmed, cactus-like plant that grows in hot, dry climates, and it’s been used for centuries because of its healing properties. In fact, use of Aloe Vera dates back as far as 2100 BC, when its benefits appeared on a Mesopotamian tablet.1 Jump ahead a few thousand years and you’ll see that Aloe Vera’s medicinal benefits were depicted on Egyptian stone carvings.1 And as the years continue to move forward, Aloe Vera uses have continued to be documented for its healing properties.

Aloe Vera Benefits and Uses

Aloe Vera Benefits & Uses: Health Conditions Helped by Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera contains all kinds of good stuff. To be exact, there are 75 active components in Aloe Vera ranging from vitamins and minerals to amino acids and enzymes, all of which help with a variety of ailments.2 Now you might think that Aloe Vera is just good for the occasional skin condition, but take a look at this list of many other benefits Aloe Vera can provide to you.

  1. Aloe Vera is an Anti-Inflammatory. Everyone at some point in their life experiences inflammation, which usually results in redness, swelling, pain, or warmth, and can occur either internally or externally. Aloe Vera can be your best friend during these times of discomfort because it can reduce the inflammation while at the same time soothe and heal the inflammation.3 

  2. Aloe Vera has Antiseptic Effects. There are 6 antiseptic agents in Aloe Vera, and they all have the power to inhibit the growth of fungi, bacteria, and viruses.2 

  3. Aloe Vera has Positive Effects on the Immune System. The ability to detoxify makes Aloe Vera a good option to help keep the immune system in check. With many antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and flavonoids, Aloe Vera can assist with stopping cells from being damaged by free radicals (waste produced by cells), thus protecting the immune system.5 

  4. Aloe Vera is an Acne Fighter. Because of the anti-inflammatory properties, Aloe Vera is a great choice to fight off acne, which is an infection of the skin. In addition to soothing the inflammation that comes with acne, Aloe Vera with its antibacterial properties fights the bacteria that usually cause acne. And bonus – Aloe Vera is much gentler on skin than over-the-counter acne products, so it’s a great natural option if you have sensitive skin.3 

  5. Aloe Vera is a Burn Soother. Whether you have a sunburn or first degree burns, Aloe Vera will help soothe your pain and discomfort because it encourages new cells to form in the damaged area, and it calms the skin by boosting blood flow to the area.3  A team of plastic surgeons even concluded that Aloe Vera gel healed burn wounds significantly quicker than a medicated cream.8 

  6. Aloe Vera has a Protective Effect Against Radiation. Although it’s not entirely known how Aloe Vera has been reported to effectively protect skin against radiation damage. It’s been shown that after Aloe Vera is applied to the skin, hypersensitivity usually caused by UV-induced rays is prevented.2 

  7. Aloe Vera is an Arthritis Pain Reliever. Arthritis causes joint pain due to inflammation, and the enzymes and amino acids found in Aloe Vera are a natural anti-inflammatory. Also, Aloe Vera contains glucosamine (a natural compound found in cartilage), which is a known treatment for arthritis pain and stiffness.4 

  8. Aloe Vera Fights Cavities. There’s a germ-fighting ability within Aloe Vera that fights cavities as effectively as toothpaste, according to a study published in General Dentistry.8 

  9. Aloe Vera can Assist in Digestion. Detoxifying your digestive system, regenerating the walls of your colon and intestine, and healing your intestinal tract are all that Aloe Vera can do for you so that you can properly digest your food and absorb nutrients.3 

  10. Aloe Vera can Help with Constipation. In a study of chronic constipation patients, a combination of Aloe Vera and fiber pills helped reduce constipation more than a placebo, likely because of the phenolic compounds found in Aloe Vera that stimulates the intestine, increases intestinal water, and stimulates contractions.5  Be careful, though, because sometimes the Aloe Vera has such a good laxative effect that diarrhea is induced.

  11. Aloe Vera Promotes Regular Bowel Movements. Those wonderful enzymes found in Aloe Vera helps to break down food and to help easily move food through the intestines, which encourages regular bowel movements.7 

Aloe Vera Side Effects & Awareness Tips

It’s a general consensus that Aloe Vera gel is safe when applied to the skin appropriately, and likely safe when taken orally. However, if you’re considering taking Aloe Vera latex (the juice of the Aloe Vera leaf), speak with your doctor first because strong, serious side effects can occur.

Common Aloe Vera side effects include:2,5 

  • Skin rashes

  • Burning and stinging

  • Diarrhea

  • Vomiting

  • Stomach cramps

If you fall into one of the following categories, Aloe Vera should be avoided:6,5 

  • Pregnant or nursing – more studies are needed to ensure safety or risks of taking Aloe Vera.

  • Diabetic – some research suggests that Aloe Vera might lower blood sugar.

  • Have hemorrhoids – Aloe Vera could make this condition worse.

  • Have a potassium deficiency – prolonged oral supplementation of Aloe Vera can decrease potassium levels.

  • Have heart or kidney problems – Aloe Vera can create an imbalance in the body’s electrolytes and cause potassium deficiency.

The most important thing to remember is that when in doubt, always check with your doctor about including Aloe Vera into your daily regime.

Learn More About Aloe Vera and the Ingredients that Help Digestive Health

If Aloe Vera, in regards to ingredient knowledge, has piqued your interest for more information, here are some links where you can feed your curiosity:

Yes, Aloe Vera is a great go-to to soothe your skin, but also keep in mind that it’s great go-to to help keep your digestive tract on track. With a little Aloe Vera, your stomach could be on its way to good health.

We’d love for you to share any insights and tips you have about Aloe Vera, how you use the supplement, and how it helps you with digestive health, if not more. Share with the LifeSeasons’ community and support our belief that knowledge is power and our community our life source.

Aloe Vera References:

1.   https://www.naturalhealers.com/holistic-health/aloe-vera-ultimate-guide/ 
2.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763764/ 
3.   http://www.aloeplant.info/don%E2%80%99t-blow-up-about-it-just-ask-for-aloe/ 
4.   http://www.aloeplant.info/arthritis-getting-you-down-can-aloe-really-help/ 
5.   https://www.selfhacked.com/blog/aloe-vera-benefits/#1_Aloe_Vera_Is_Anti-Inflammatory 
6.   https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-607-aloe.aspx?activeingredientid=607&activeingredientname=aloe 
7.   https://www.guthealthproject.com/aloe-vera-gel-6-ways-this-super-plant-improves-digestion/ 
8.   https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265800.php