Aloe Vera is a succulent plant which has hundreds of health and beauty benefits. It has been used as a medicinal plant for ages. Aloe Vera or Aloe barbadensis miller, as it is scientifically known, produces a gel which is used in cosmetics, skin care products as well as hair care formulations. In this guide, we will take a closer look at some of the benefits of using Aloe Vera.
1. As a moisturizer for the skin
Aloe Vera gel is an excellent remedy for all kinds of skin issues and particularly for dry, chapped skin. Simply cut open the leaf of the Aloe plant and extract the gel to apply it on the skin. You can store a large quantity of this gel in a glass container and refrigerate it for up to a week. You can also easily apply the inner fleshy part of the leaf directly on your skin and hair as to moisturize, heal and soothe.
2. To heal cuts, wounds, stings and burns
Use aloe vera gel on burns, cuts, scrapes or insect bites to get instant relief from pain, itching, burning and swelling. When treated in this manner, the skin heals quickly and you can prevent potential complications. This is owing to the antibacterial and antimicrobial effects of Aloe Vera.
3. As a sunscreen
If you are spending the day outdoors and have forgotten to apply sunscreen, you can use Aloe Vera gel in its place to easily prevent sun burn. The compounds in Aloe protect the skin from absorbing harmful UVA and UVB rays of the sun. Also, on days you have had excess sun exposure; you can apply the inner gel of the Aloe Vera leaf to lighten age spots and wrinkles and also cool down the skin.
4. To nourish the body and as a laxative
You can take the gel of Aloe Vera plant internally by making it into a juice with some water. This gel is tasteless so if you find it too bland, you can add some vegetable or fruit juice prior to consumption. Juicing and smoothie aficionados can also add the gel to green smoothies made with spinach, cucumber, algae and protein powder etc. Dried aloe vera gel or juice made in the above manner and taken orally can stimulate the bowels to prevent constipation. The anthraquinones present in Aloe Vera gel act as a laxative to stimulate bowels and prevent constipation. Aloe Vera can be taken orally each night when suffering from hard stools or irregularity. Aloe juice is also a powerful antioxidant that heals and protects the body and also nourishes it. Pregnant women must not take Aloe Vera as it can act as a uterine stimulant to induce labor pains and could lead to miscarriage in early pregnancy.
5. As an anti-ageing agent
One of the best uses of Aloe Vera for the skin is its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects. Apply the gel to your face and neck each night to brighten the skin and remove age spots, fine lines and wrinkles. Also take it internally as explained above to fight signs of aging. If you experience any side effects like diarrhea, then discontinue use immediately.
6. Aloe Vera hair mask
Aloe Vera is excellent remedy for detangling hair and also for preventing hair fall, dandruff and premature graying of hair. Apply it as is or mix it up with some coconut oil or olive oil each night to massage the hair and scalp. Use this hair mask once a week for deep conditioning dry hair and also for preventing other problems like dandruff, hair fall etc.
7. Anti-inflammatory agent to stop pain
Many in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that aloe gel has an anti-inflammatory action. In rats, it provided aspirin like action to stop pain and decreased inflammation by nearly 48%.
8. Antitumor activity
In rats, Aloe Vera extracts were known to prevent binding of benzopyrene adducts which are carcinogenic. Now, several studies are now suggesting possible role of aloe in cancer inhibition.
9. To heal cracked feet
Aloe vera gel can also heal cracked feet. Apply the gel all over the heels and cover it up with socks. Leave the gel on overnight to wake up to soft feet the next morning.
10. For dark, dry knees and elbows
Apply the gel to darkened skin around the knees and elbows to not just moisturize them but also remove tanning.
11. To treat eye and ear infections
Aloe vera can be used to treat eye infections like styes and boils on the eyelids and also for under-the-eye infections. Also, you can mix its gel with some warm olive oil and add the mixture inside painful ears when dealing with ear infections.
12. For treating dry nose
Mix up the gel with almond oil or use it inside the nose as is to prevent dryness and nosebleeds.
13. To treat cold sores and blisters in the mouth
The Academy of General dentistry has actually recommended this home remedy for treating cold sores and blisters in the mouth. It provides B vitamins and amino acids that clear up sores and blisters quickly.
These are just a few ways in which you can use Aloe Vera gel. Let us know other interesting ways to use this remedy if we you know any!