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Ten Amazing Uses for Aloe Vera

Updated on April 10, 2015
Aloe vera can have a wide variety of potential health benefits, both when taken internally and externally.
Aloe vera can have a wide variety of potential health benefits, both when taken internally and externally. | Source

Aloe vera, a plant native to the Middle East but now grown all over the world, is one of the most incredibly useful medicinal plants in existence. Not all folk remedies have a great deal of scientific research back up their usefulness, but that is not the case with aloe vera. Aloe and its uses have been studied extensively for many years, and in many cases research is confirming what many already new: that it can have a staggering array of health benefits, whether used as a gel, a juice or simply as a crushed or peeled leaf. These are just a few of the most significant such uses.

# 1: Treat Minor Injuries

One of aloe vera’s most famous purposes is in helping speed the time required to heal minor injuries, as well as in minimizing the pain they cause. Sunburns, ordinary burns, scrapes, bug bites, bruises, frostbite, small cuts and some rashes may all benefit from topical aloe application.

# 2: Regulate Digestion

The exact impact on human beings is not yet certain, but research on rats has found that consuming aloe vera can help ensure a healthy, regular digestion and prevent constipation.

# 3: Improve Skin Health

Aloe vera is a popular ingredient in a wide variety of different skin creams and cosmetic products. However, you can enjoy many of the plant’s skin health benefits simply by using the plant itself. For example, massaging in aloe vera gel can help hydrate and moisturize all three layers of the skin. Aloe vera may also help treat and prevent acne, eczema, pimples, cold sores and similar skin irritations, and may help fade or prevent scars and stretch marks.

Topical application aloe vera gel can help smooth, relax and moisturize the face.
Topical application aloe vera gel can help smooth, relax and moisturize the face. | Source

# 4: Preserve Produce

Covering fruits and vegetables with a thin coating of aloe vera gel has been found to keep out many varieties of bacteria, helping the produce stay fresh longer.

# 5: Boost Hair Health

Some evidence suggests that rubbing aloe gel into the scalp like shampoo can help condition hair and treat dandruff, as well as speed the growth of healthy, silky hair.

# 6: Treat Heartburn

GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a common cause of heartburn and similar digestion-related diseases. Studies have found indications that orally taking between one and three ounces of aloe gel with food can help substantially minimize GERD’s symptoms.

Although taking aloe vera orally will not necessarily leave you completely immune to heartburn, it may help reduce your heartburn risk.
Although taking aloe vera orally will not necessarily leave you completely immune to heartburn, it may help reduce your heartburn risk. | Source

# 7: Remove Makeup

Many preformulated makeup removers are extremely hard on your skin. Fortunately, aloe gel works just as well to remove many different types of makeup.

# 8: Regulate Blood Sugar Levels

Preliminary research has found that individuals with type 2 diabetes who consumed two tablespoons of aloe vera juice daily brought down their blood sugar levels, much like ordinary diabetes medication would do.

Research has indicated that taking aloe vera orally may help regulate blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
Research has indicated that taking aloe vera orally may help regulate blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. | Source

# 9: Protect the Mouth

Aloe vera has been found to benefit the teeth and gums in a variety of different ways, much like many modern high-tech mouthwashes. It can help prevent canker sores, improve the breath, prevent the growth of plaque and heal irritated gums.

# 10: Replace Shaving Cream

Aloe vera gel’s moisturizing and antibacterial properties make it a perfect substitute for ordinary shaving cream. Some find that it actually allows for a closer, more comfortable shave than does shaving cream.

Final Considerations

As you can see, aloe vera has a remarkable range of potential health benefits, and research continues to find other benefits and to determine how best to take advantage of those already discovered. However, much of this research is still in the preliminary stages, with further study needed to confirm these benefits. In addition, no product has the exact same impact on everyone, even a product with as many potential health benefits as aloe vera. For that reason, you should always check with your doctor before you take aloe vera to treat any health condition, either internally or externally.

Where do you procure aloe vera?

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References

Alternative & Complementary Therapies: “Herbs for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease”

ResearchGate: “Effect of Edible Coatings from Aloe Vera Gel on Citrus Sinensis during Ambient Storage”

Cambridge Journals Online: “Effects of Aloe Vera Coating on Postharvest Quality of Tomato”

Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences: “Preliminary Antiplaque Efficacy of Aloe Vera Mouthwash on 4 Day Plaque Re-Growth Model: Randomized Control Trial”

Journal of Natural Pharmaceuticals: “Laxative Potential of the Ethanolic Leaf Extract of Aloe Vera (L.) Burm. F. In Wistar Rats With Loperamide-Induced Constipation”

Prevention Magazine: “10 Things You Can Do With Aloe Vera”

Healthline: “7 Amazing Uses for Aloe Vera”

Drugs.com: “Aloe Vera Gel”

Mayo Clinic: “Aloe (Aloe Vera)”

Shape Magazine: “Ask the Diet Doctor: The Truth About Aloe Vera Juice”

Marie Claire: “Aloe Vera Juice Benefits: They Seem to Be Endless…"

WebMD: “Aloe”

What is your favorite way to use aloe vera?

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    • ShyeAnne profile image

      ShyeAnne 2 years ago from Deep Bay, British Columbia, Canada

      great info, thanks very much. I always keep an aloe plant or two in my home to use for burns, bites, etc. Well done !

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very informative and useful hub about the benefits of Aloe Vera.

      I have tried this for skin and digestion and got great results. The plant can be easily grown here. Medicinal products are also available at the chemist's shop.

      Thanks and voted up!

    • easylearningweb profile image

      Amelia Griggs 3 years ago

      Very informative helpful hub! Wegmans supermarket was recently demo'ing edible aloe vera. Tried it, it was very different and odd to eat it, but does have so many health benefits. Interesting.

    • radhapriestess profile image

      radhapriestess 3 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Well written and informative article on aloe vera. I used it all the time. It is truly an amazing plant. I think they also used on radiation victims from nuclear bombs in Japan.

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