What are the health benefits of aloe vera?
Aloe Vera is often referred to as a miracle plant because of its many uses in beauty and health, and it does indeed contain an impressive list of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that can be of benefit for skin care, hair care and general health. Whilst aloe vera is perfectly safe for most people to use topically, and to take internally, there are some things about the plant that people should be aware of. Many of the side effects that have been reported do appear to be the result of using, or consuming, low quality aloe vera, so it would seem that it is worth paying for high quality aloe vera products, instead of just looking for the cheapest. So, rather than just give you a list of some of the many uses and health benefits of aloe vera, we’ve included some of the potential side effects as well to give you a more balanced view.
1. It is a great natural skin care product
Everyone must have heard about the wonderful things that aloe vera gel can do for the skin. Aloe vera is now used in many skin care products because of how it can hydrate, nourish, and promote the generation of new skin cells. It is also very soothing and it is often used to treat sunburn, allergic skin reactions, and skin conditions such as acne.
2. Aloe vera can cause an allergic reaction
Although, for most people, aloe vera can be used to treat skin irritations, for some people, it can cause an allergic reaction. When some people drink aloe vera juice or they apply aloe vera gel topically, they do experience skin rashes. This reaction is not very common, but if you are using aloe vera for the first time, you might want to try it on a small patch of skin first or start off by drinking a small amount of the juice.
3. Treats constipation
One of great health benefits of aloe vera is that aloe vera contains natural fibre that will have a laxative effect and relieve constipation. It usually takes about 8-10 hours to work, so if you drink aloe vera juice before you go to bed, it should ease the symptoms by the morning. The flip side to this, of course, is that, if you consume too much aloe vera, it can cause diarrhea.
4. Stabilises blood sugar levels
Drinking aloe vera juice regularly has been shown to help stabilise blood sugar levels in people who have Type 2 diabetes. This ability can also be useful if you are trying to lose weight as it is often the peaks and troughs in blood sugar levels that are responsible for sugar and other food cravings.
5. It can adversely affect prescription medicines
If you are undergoing any medical treatment, or taking medicines that have been prescribed by a doctor, you should check with your doctor before you drink aloe vera juice, because it can affect the potency of some drugs. It can also react with some herbs, such as fenugreek and garlic, and cause a drop in blood sugar levels.
6. Reduces inflammation
Another one of fabulous health benefits of aloe vera is that aloe vera contains anti-inflammatory ingredients that can ease the pain and discomfort of conditions like arthritis. You can gain these anti-inflammatory benefits by whether rubbing aloe vera gel into the affected area, or by drinking the juice. You can also use aloe vera gel to treat general muscle pain and cramps.
7. It is not recommended for people with heart conditions
Drinking aloe vera juice is not recommended for people with heart conditions, because it can cause the body to over-produce adrenaline and cause an irregular heartbeat. For the same reasons, aloe vera juice is not recommended for small children or the elderly.
8. Reduces cholesterol
Some studies have suggested that aloe vera juice can reduce cholesterol and, one study that was published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, showed that aloe vera juice could reduce cholesterol in the blood by as much as 30 percent.
9. Aloe vera juice is not suitable for pregnant women
You should not consume aloe vera juice when you are pregnant, because it can cause uterine contractions that might lead to a miscarriage. Aloe vera juice consumption is not recommended for women who are breastfeeding either, because it can cause diarrhoea and other complications.
10. Provides a good source of antioxidants
And finally, another one of great health benefits of aloe vera is that it is a good source of antioxidants, which help to boost the immune system by combatting free radicals in the body. This helps to protect the body against cancer, heart disease, and it helps to slow the onset of the signs ageing too.
Do you know other health benefits of aloe vera?