All about Aloe Vera, a very easy plant to grow that contains incredible properties and benefits for both internal and external use
THEAloe vera (Aloe barbadensis Miller) is only one of the hundreds of aloe species in existence, but it is still the one currently most used in consumer products for both external and internal use due to its incredible properties.
The use of this plant has a long tradition in different parts of the world given the many benefits that have been found over the years, initially verified only with experience but today also confirmed by some scientific research.
To be used for the extraction of both the gel (for external use) that the juice (for internal use) are the leaves of this plant that can also be grown easily on the balcony. The gel has been shown to be particularly effective in the topical treatment of burns, abrasions, psoriasis and other skin diseases while the juice is mainly used as an immunomodulating, detoxifying and for gastrointestinal problems. (Read Aloe vera, how to grow it at home to always have juice and gel available)
Over time it has been understood that Aloin, an anthraquinone active ingredient naturally present in the plant, especially if taken continuously, is irritating to the intestinal mucosa with a very relevant laxative effect, which is why all (or almost) the products currently on the market based on Aloe, to be taken internally, have been subjected to a treatment that deprives the juice of this substance.
Aloe gel and juice are very versatile and can be used as needed in many situations. As for thetopical use of the gel based on this plant you can read 20 fantastic uses of Aloe Vera where we have already summarized the main situations in which it can be convenient to have this product at hand.
Instead, let's see what happens if it is assumed Aloe vera in juice and for which situations it is generally indicated. First, however, let's clarify what this plant contains so precious that it makes it special and appreciated all over the world. One of the most interesting active ingredients is undoubtedly theAcemannan, a mucopolysaccharide natural that has shown a protective effect against the gastric and intestinal mucosa but not only., (Read also: Aloe Vera juice: the fantastic benefits and 10 reasons to drink it every day)
The main benefits of Aloe Vera concern:
- Gastro-intestinal system
- Immune system
- Antibacterial action
- Antiviral action
- Antioxidant action
- Detoxifying action
In an interesting 2004 study conducted in the UK, researchers gave a group of people with ulcerative colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel disease, aloe vera juice to drink twice a day. After only four weeks there was an improvement in the pathology in the participants who had taken Aloe compared to the control group who had instead taken simple water.
Thanks to his anti-inflammatory properties, mainly due to the mucopolysaccharides contained in the plant, Aloe is also used for very common problems such as colite, gastrite and other types of inflammation but, as specified above, it must be strictly Aloin-free, in order not to find a worsening of symptoms.
It was later proved that Acemannan has immunostimulating propertiesin fact, it helps the production of interferon and stimulates the activity of macrophages. In this way the body is well protected from the attack of viruses and bacteria. Here then is that one of the main reasons for taking Aloe vera juice is precisely that of stimulate the body's natural defenses in the periods in which it is most tried, therefore in autumn, in winter or in the phase of transition from one season to another.
Some research has shown that Aloe extracts are capable of act against certain types of bacteria, viruses or fungi including Escherichia coli and Candida albicans. The intake of the juice, therefore, can help in cases where there are infections of this kind not only by supporting the immune system but also by acting actively, but probably for this purpose there are more specific natural remedies as can be for example tea tree oil.
Aloe vera also contains a mine of minerals and vitamins as well as other substances useful for the well-being of our body. The richness of this synergy of components makes this plant excellent also for its detoxifying and antioxidant properties, therefore able to fight the free radicals that contribute to the aging of the cells of our body. This is why by taking Aloe juice you often notice improvements in the skin, hair and nails.
The list is certainly not exhaustive, the many different and well-mixed substances that make up this plant make it a treasure still to be discovered. Recently, among other things, scientific research is focusing in particular on its anticancer potential, but in this case the variant seems to be more effective. Aloe Arborescens.
Aloe vera and health. Is it really that good to drink the juice? Assume the juice extracted from aloe vera it is often recommended to deal with various ailments but also simply to strengthen the immune system when it is most needed, detoxify or improve digestive functions.
Let's summarize which are the main ones benefits of Aloe Vera juice:
- It cleanses the body
- Protects the heart
- Protects the skin
- It is good for the gums and mouth
- Safeguard dental health
- Reduces inflammation
- Regulates blood sugars
What happens to the body if we take a small glass of Aloe Vera juice per day? The generally recommended dose of aloe vera to drink, as reported on the packaging, is 20 ml (one measuring cup) 2/3 times a day which corresponds to about a small glass. On the other hand, increasing too much, except in special cases and under the advice of an expert, can give many problems, first of all a sense of nausea and acidity.
Here what happens to the body taking a small glass of Aloe Vera juice per day. Aloe Vera juice:
- Improves digestion
- Strengthens the immune system
- It has an anti-aging action
- It has a hypoglycemic action
- Skin care
- Protects the intestine
- It is anti-inflammatory
- Helps heal burns and wounds
The best remedies for self-care often come straight from nature. You can extract the aloe vera gel directly from the leaves of this plant with due care or buy it ready-made in a herbalist's shop.
Here are the numerous uses of Aloe Vera gel in everyday life:
- Anti-dandruff lotion
- Do-it-yourself scrub
- Face cream
- Face mask
- Chapped hands
- Body lotion
- Natural remedy for sunburn
- To be applied on insect bites
- Pre-shampoo pack
- Post-shave remedy
- As a natural hair gel
- Natural remedy for scars
- To relieve dark spots
- For massages and muscle pains
- Natural remedy for red gums
- To massage tired feet
- To be applied in case of acne
- To prepare a natural toothpaste
- To massage the temples in case of headache
Read also: Aloe Vera: the surprising uses (backed by science) you do not expect
How to extract aloe vera gel from a plant? Cut the Aloe Vera leaf from your plant starting from the bottom. At this point you will have to engrave the leaf along its entire outline with a knife. You will have to remove the thorny part, cut a point on the leaf well and let the yellow liquid (which has a laxative effect) escape. In this way you can squeeze the leaf so that you have only the Aloe Vera gel available. You can separate the leaf into two parts and help you extract the Aloe Vera gel with a spoon or a knife.If the Aloe Vera gel stored in this way should change color, it means that it is damaged and can no longer be used. You will have to proceed to extract the new Aloe Vera gel from a leaf of the plant when needed.
Here is a video which will help you understand how to extract Aloe Vera gel.
Both aloe vera gel and aloe vera juice are easily found in herbal medicine, in natural product stores, in online shops dedicated to organic products and in some supermarkets. Aloe vera gel is easily obtained at home by carving the leaves of this plant.
Like all plants, even Aloe is not free from possible side effects found most often in particular in the gastrointestinal tract with cramps and diarrhea. In this case it is good to listen to your body and stop the treatment immediately. If you are taking drugs then it is always better to inform your doctor to avoid the opportunity that the two intakes may somehow interfere with each other.
It is not recommended to use the juice during pregnancy (there are no studies that prove its safety) and during breastfeeding (it would make the milk bitter and unwelcome to the baby).
Very important in the case of taking Aloe juice is respect the dosages indicated on the packaging and don't think, just because it is a natural remedy, that you can always use it. Like anything that is taken for therapeutic or preventive purposes it is always good to follow a cycle that can be from one month to three months and then stop.
Let's summarize the contraindications for taking aloe vera juice:
- Intestinal cramps
- Interaction with drugs
- Not recommended in pregnancy
- Not recommended during breastfeeding
The gel, on the other hand, has not shown any side effects and can be used by everyone, also great for children. Obviously, problems are encountered only if you suffer from allergy to the plant, which is generally rare in any case.
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