9 Surprising Uses of Aloe Vera:
Known as the “plant of immortality” among the ancient Egyptians, aloe vera is a versatile plant that has grown popular in use. Studies have tried to unveil the untold benefits and dangers of aloe and many have been able to support what centuries of tradition have passed on.
Aloe is a precarious plant whose benefits are dependent on moderate use. Too much ingested aloe vera can lead to uncomfortable side effects such as abdominal cramps or diarrhea. The topical use of aloe, however, has not been linked to any significant side effects.
This miraculous plant has been weaned into everyday products such as cosmetics and beverages. Manufacturers have fine tuned methods for processing out the potentially harmful components such as aloin to make aloe a safe ingredient for multiple uses. Yet many people also use their homegrown aloe for personal use.
Whether processed or freshly harvested from your own plant, here are 9 surprising uses of aloe vera that you can try at home:
- Treating Sun Burns: Place a fresh aloe leaf in the refrigerator and when cool, slice it in half to get two long slabs of aloe. Cutting those slabs into about 2x2in squares, rub the gel side of the plant on your sunburn. This will moisturize the burn and keep your skin from peeling while cooling the area. It’s also helpful in relieving 2nd degree burns!
- Acne Prevention: If you are prone to acne, apply some fresh aloe to your face after a wash. Aloe is known to reduce inflammation and irritation and it contains many vitamins to keep your skin healthy. It’s a great acne prevention method especially for people prone to oily skin.
- Bug Bites: Scratching pesky bug bites can lead to redness and swelling. Aloe’s antibacterial properties allow it to help reduce swelling and itching for some temporary relief.
- Moisturizer: If you are looking for a more natural remedy to skin dryness, aloe is probably your best bet. Because aloe is made mostly with water and a large mix of minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and other nutrients, a fresh application will provide hydration and nourishment to your skin.
- Wound Healing: Some evidence suggests that aloe helps heal wounds faster because of its circulation-promoting properties. Plus, its natural antibacterial and nutrients keep wounds clean and infection out. However, studies say that aloe should not be used for deep surgical wounds because it delays healing.
- Detox: Because aloe is a gelatinous plant like seaweed, it moves through the digestive tract and absorbs toxins on the way. So when it comes to your monthly cleanse, add a day or two of aloe detox.
- Immunity Boost: Every once in a while, have a spoonful of aloe to help with your immune system. On top of everything else, aloe is also an adaptogen that charges your body to resist illness and adapt to external changes like seasonal transitions.
- Toothpaste: You may not be brushing your teeth with just aloe extract, but studies show that aloe vera tooth gels are as effective in fighting off cavities as toothpaste. It’s gentler on the teeth compared to regular toothpaste and may also reduce inflammation in the gums.
- Intestinal Remedy: There are several situations in which aloe may help with one’s digestive system. Taking small doses of aloe gel has shown to relieve some symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome such as discomfort and bloating, and even diarrhea. Since ingesting too much aloe has lead to internal discomfort, it is recommended that one take small and infrequent doses of aloe at a time.
Aloe is a superpower in the plant world and we are fortunate that it provides many helpful uses for our health. However, remember that when it comes to the internal use of aloe, treat it like you would as a medication. Use only when needed and in safe doses to enjoy the wondrous benefits of aloe vera.