Aloe Vera Uses for a Healthy Lifestyle
The Egyptians referred to Aloe Vera as “the plant of immortality,” so it no wonder that there are numerous beneficial uses for it today as well as historically. It has been used in assorted health elixirs as well as applied to the skin. Cleopatra used Aloe Vera gel as part of her daily beauty regimen. The ancient Greeks used Aloe to treat seemingly everything, from baldness to insomnia. The Native Americans even used aloe vera and called “the wand of the heavens.” The history of Aloe Vera goes back as far as 6,000 years and it has so many practical uses today.
Topical and External Uses
Aloe Vera is commonly turned to in order to treat skin ailments. It is applied topically and also used in exfoliating masks as well as face and body washes. Take a page from Cleopatra’s book – the so-called immortality plant contains a number of compounds that minimize wrinkles and other effects of aging, including pigmentation to dark spots. It also contains several antiseptics, antimicrobials, antifungals and antibacterials. From minor burns to scrapes, the gel from the middle of the plant will speed up the healing process, kill germs and soothe pain. Some other topical uses include treating the following:
The Greeks were on the right track using Aloe Vera to treat baldness. If you massage it into your scalp it will promote hair growth and can even reduce dandruff. Mix it with coconut milk and wheat germ oil to create a homemade organic shampoo that is completely biodegradable. Rinse it out just as you would commercial shampoo and then forego conditioner entirely because it will leave your hair silky smooth. Use it as shaving cream as well and as an added bonus, it soothes razor burn.
As with the shampoo, it is easy to make topical Aloe Vera at home. All you need is an Aloe Vera plant. The plants are easy to care for and do not require any sort of horticulture expert to grow. The gel inside of the spikes is easy to obtain. If you mix the gel with vitamin E it will also help it to last longer. Store it in a glass container and you can have it on hand for pretty much any skin issue you can imagine.
The uses for Aloe Vera are not limited to skin-related conditions by any means. Aloe Vera gel is packed full of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and healthy fatty acids, which are all around good for you. Aloe Vera is also known as an adaptogen, meaning that it boosts the body’s ability to resist disease and even stress from external factors. It is a great detoxifying agent and will make you have more energy and feel better all around.
Juice made from Aloe Vera gel is great for treating numerous digestive issues like indigestion and heart burn. Just as it soothes the skin it will also soothe your irritated stomach lining and intestinal tract. It is a great natural treatment of many of the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) like bloating and discomfort. Other reasons to consume aloe vera are:
- arthritis pain
- lowering blood sugar
- as a laxative
- treating urinary tract infections
- reduce cholesterol and triglycerides
- treat eye and ear inflammation
- general detoxifying
An interesting secondary effect of Aloe Vera juice is weight loss. It is not an instant weight loss medication by any means, but it helps so much in digestion and detoxification that you will eliminate toxins more efficiently. This means your body will get rid of more of what it does not need instead of holding onto it.
It is possible to juice the gel from the plant yourself and simply add it to smoothies or drink it however you see fit. You do not want to accidentally get any of the latex substance from the external rind or skin though, because it can actually have completely opposite effects on your body and cause stomach upset. Be particularly careful when collecting the gel before running it through a juicer.
Other Possible Uses for Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera has been the subject of a lot of recent research with dramatic implications on the medical world. The British Medical Journal published a study in 2000 that found that oral intake of Aloe Vera helped to regulate blood pressure as well as increases the oxygen transporting power of red blood cells. It is believed that Aloe Vera injections directly into the blood stream could treat heart disease. Aloe Vera’s immune system boosting qualities may also prove viable in treating HIV and AIDs.
Cancer Research UK has been looking into Aloe Vera not only to alleviate the negative side effects of cancer treatments, but as a cancer treatment itself. Some of the compounds of the gel my have an effect on cancer cells, shrinking them and slowing their growth. A 2009 study in Italy found no negative side effects in Aloe Vera treatments, but did find that patients lived an average of three years longer than those with chemotherapy alone. A 2010 study on mice also saw a decrease in skin cancers.
Aloe Vera as a Natural Treatment
Aloe Vera is a great natural remedy for a vast number of everyday conditions and promoting overall good health. When used topically it is considered safe, even safer than store-bought treatments for cuts and burns. It is also obviously very potent. Because it is so potent and so effective you should never forget to respect how powerful it is. “Too much of a good thing” applies to this magical healing plant. Long-term, excessive oral intake can result in a potassium deficiency.
Please take a look at our blog on the side effects of Aloe Vera for more information.
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Stay Healthy Folks ;)