Aloe vera is a pretty amazing plant! The use of its medicinal properties dates back as far as 6,000 years ago in ancient Egypt. Aloe is a succulent plant with over 420 different species and thrives in warmer regions. Its juicy leaves are harvested for many uses.
Aloe vera has so many beneficial properties:
- It’s an antioxidant and is antibacterial
- It speeds up the healing of wounds like cuts and burns
- It can reduce constipation
- It can lower blood sugar levels
- It soothes dry skin
- It alleviates inflammation and itchiness caused by eczema and psoriasis
- It’s pH balancing
What’s most fascinating is what aloe can do for you on the inside. Aloe vera is very water-dense, making it an ideal hydrator. When consumed orally like in a juice form, it increases the water content in your intestines, helps flush out impurities, and provides generous amounts of nutrients like vitamins B, C, E, and folic acid. Because aloe is so hydrating, it’s what makes it an effective treatment for constipation.
Aloe vera can balance our intestinal flora. The aloe vera plant contains important enzymes that support digestion and improve nutrient absorption by breaking down carbohydrates, starches, sugars, and fats. It’s also a source of polysaccharides, a nourishing beneficial gut bacteria that may act as a prebiotic. When probiotics and prebiotics work together, that’s when the magic happens!
Think of prebiotics as a fertilizer for your gut that encourages healthy bacteria, aka probiotics, to flourish.
Does this mean you can crack open an aloe vera leaf and ingest it?
It’s not recommended. While putting fresh aloe vera on your skin and hair topically is perfectly safe, consuming unpurified aloe vera juice can be harmful. Unpurified aloe vera contains anthraquinone, which acts as a laxative and can cause diarrhea and other stomach discomforts. It’s a good idea to keep some purified aloe vera juice in the fridge in case you experience heartburn. It is known to quickly soothe the side effects of acid reflux due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
If you have any questions about using aloe vera for its healing properties, always ask your health care provider before adding new remedies to your routine.