Aloe vera has a long history of medicinal use. Many claims have been made about the benefits and its ability to treat various health conditions.
I have written about some of these benefits in greater detail in my previous blog.
While the wider benefits of aloe vera are still being investigated, the scientists are largely in agreement about the benefits relating to skin health.
Aloe vera has become one of the most used plants in the world, healing, rejuvenating and soothing skin.
MS Guardio is writing a series of short articles about the healing properties some plants, flowers and foods at this time of pandemic and national crisis.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew have produced a very informative short video about the benefits of aloe vera.
You can watch it here
The ‘ magic ingredient’ of aloe vera
The ‘ magic ingredient’ of aloe vera is the gel inside its leaves. The gel is used in many wound and burns remedies, and in cosmetic products.
The gel contains the following ingredients that are the secret of the benefits of aloe vera:
- Polysaccharides including acemannan, known anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agent which supports the production of collagen and accelerates healing
- The antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which help to neutralise free radicals, ensure that enzymes and plant hormones function properly, and reduce inflammation
- Anthraquinone, include emodin, aloin, and aloesin – powerful analgesic, antibacterial and anti-viral compounds.
Benefits of Aloe Vera gel for wound healing and burns
Aloe vera gel has been used for many years to effectively sooth burns
and treat various skin conditions.
The American Academy of Dermatology Association has acknowledged its benefits of aloe vera and recommends to use aloe vera to sooth sunburn.
The benefits of aloe vera for treating lichen planus
Lichen planus causes itchy irritation of the skin. Research has shown that topical application of aloe vera gel can be effective for treatment of lichen planus.
A 2016 study showed that while corticosteroids remain the standard treatment, aloe vera shows promising benefits, especially as it has no adverse effects com-pared with those of corticosteroids.
Benefits of aloe vera for cold sores and mouth ulcers
The benefits of aloe vera include the alleviation of cold sores and mouth ulcers. Corticosteroids are commonly used for cold sores and mouth ulcers. The antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera gel speed up healing and reduce pain associated with cold sores and mouth ulcers without the potential side effects of the conventional treatment.
I suffer from an occasional cold sore and whenever I have a flare up, I cover the sore with aloe vera gel a few times a day to prevent the unsightly scabbing and speed up the healing process.
Aloe vera and its cosmetic applications
The benefits of aloe vera gel for beauty and skin health have been lauded since time immemorial. The legend has it that Cleopatra used aloe vera gel as part of her beauty regime more than 2,000 years ago. Since then the benefits of aloe vera gel on skin have been well researched.
Various studies have shown evidence that the benefits of aloe vera gel taken internally increase the production of collagen and improved skin elasticity, acne, psoriasis, eczema.
A study involving Japanese women suggests that the sterols in aloe vera pro-mote the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid. The facial wrinkles of 54 study participants significantly improved after eight weeks of regular use of aloe vera gel.
A more recent (2020) study has shown that after a 12 week of treatment with aloe vera sterols, resulted in a significant improvement in skin acne and fingernail brittleness. A fascinating ‘side effect’ of the study was a marked increase in skin hydration of the participants – something that was not planned for before the study was initiated.
The benefits of aloe vera also include its use as a great remedy for dry hair or dandruff. The vitamins and minerals nourishing hair, and the enzymes in the gel benefit the scalp and promote the regeneration of skin around the hair follicles.
Carefully goes it!
Aloe vera gel is not an effective prevention for radiation-induced injuries and does not offer sunburn protection.
It is important to use quality aloe vera gel and avoid any creams and ointments that contain chemicals that may irritate the skin.
Some people can be allergic to aloe vera. If you have never used it before, I rec-ommend to test it first using a small quantity.
the endless benefits and applications of aloe vera gel
The benefits of using aloe vera to assist with healing, smooth and moisturise skin are indisputable. Aloe vera is much more than just a plant, and I am a great fan.
I grow it, I drink it, and I use it to as an anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agent on my skin. I slap it on to plump up my skin, and to moisturize my hair.
My favourite aloe vera products are made by Garnier, Dr Organic and Éclat.
But the use of this amazing plant, does not stop here. I have recently discovered bed sheets infused with aloe vera which apparently promote better sleep!
I am keen to try clothes made with aloe vera, infused for softness and a natural fresh fragrance .
I am also considering a new memory foam mattress made with aloe vera fabric which claims to offer the benefits of renewing skin cells, as well as comfort and aloe vera luxury.
Some foods are natural antiviral agents
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