Aloe Vera Deserves Great Recognition
There are many amazing products that nature has given us, one of which is Aloe Vera. Aloe Vera has been used as a traditional remedy for many ailments throughout the years, but it deserves great recognition for its long list of health benefits beyond the skin. Did you know there are approximately 75 active constituents that have been isolated from Aloe Vera? Some of which are: Vitamin A, C and E (antioxidants), Vitamins B12, Folic Acid and Choline, which help to
neutralize free radicals. It contains eight different enzymes (including amylase, cellulase, lipase and peroxidase, etc.), which can help to reduce inflammation when applied to the skin or improve digestion and gut health when taken in juice form. Aloe Vera contains minerals such as calcium, chromium, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc, each with a different metabolic benefit to your health. Aloe contains specific sugars (mucopolysaccharides and polysaccharides,) derived from the outer layer of the plant. Some of which you may recognize; mannose, and the most common being glucomannan, (fibre type product). The laxative effect of Aloe (when taken internally) comes from a natural compound called “Anthraquinones,” These same compounds have analgesic, antibacterial and antiviral effects when used topically. What was surprising to us is that Aloe Vera also contains natural plant sterols, which have anti-inflammatory actions. It also contains 20 of the 22 different types of human-required amino acids and seven of the eight essential amino acids. Lastly, it contains salicylic acid, which when used topically possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and “Saponins” that are the soapy substances that have cleansing and antiseptic properties.
How to use Aloe Vera
It is critical to recognize that the Aloe Vera used for sunburns and purchased in your pharmacy isle is not the same type of Aloe that we are discussing here. In many cases, the “over the counter” types of Aloe Vera are not pure aloe and may contain other ingredients that limit their use to topical only. The Aloe Vera that we are discussing is organic and 100% aloe. The most known brand being “Lily of the Desert.” The aloe gel can be added into your shampoo and conditioner for an itchy, dry scalp. Drinking aloe juice has been shown to help alleviate constipation by increasing water in the intestine, which in turn stimulates the secretion and intestinal peristalsis. It is also beneficial for heartburn and acid
reflux by soothing the digestive tract. The most recognized use for Aloe Vera Gel is to relieve the inflammation and pain associated with a sunburn and to promote the healing of your damaged skin. However, based on its far-reaching benefits, there are other ways to incorporate Aloe Vera into your daily regimen. Try adding a bit of the gel (the internal use form only) to your toothpaste or using the juice as a mouthwash – the naturally occurring antibacterial chemicals may help to remove plaque. If you have candida overgrowth, you can try a small amount of the internal-use gel vaginally and drink a small amount of the juice to help reduce bacterial growth. Consider using the aloe juice as a facial astringent and the gel as a topical moisturizer for acne, topical candida or rashes. Aloe Vera Gel can also help improve dry skin by helping to increase collagen and elastin and may help improve skin conditions such as psoriasis by decreasing the redness, peeling and pain. Just because this plant provides many “wow” benefits does not mean you can or should consume it in high doses every day. With excessively prolonged internal use, it can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps. Topically, it can cause temporary burning and stinging. Do not use Aloe Vera if you have an allergy to Liliaceous plants (onions, garlic, tulips, etc.) Pregnant women must NOT take Aloe Vera, as it can have toxic effects on their embryo and fetus. People with heart or kidney problems should be careful taking Aloe Vera as it can create an imbalance in the body’s electrolytes and cause potassium deficiency. Drinking the diluted juice reduces adverse effects.
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