Aloe vera. It’s in most of our medicine cabinets and used in our favorite skincare products. But did you know that in Chinese medicine it is recommended in the treatment of fungal diseases and has widespread use in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industries? In fact, the manufacturing of aloe vera extracts is one of the largest botanical industries in the world. Find out what it can do for you.
Soothes Rashes and Skin Irritations
Sure, when we have a rash or sunburn, aloe vera may be the first thing we reach for. But did you know that numerous reports have explored the role of topical aloe vera and its effectiveness in treatment of psoriasis, surgical wounds and burn remedies yielding astonishing results?
A 1996 study done at the Department of Clinical Physiology in Sweden tested 60 patients with chronic psoriasis and found results when part of the group used aloe vera vs. others who used a placebo. Those who used aloe vera came up with a cure rate of 83% with no relapses reported in a 12 month follow-up. Also, a systematic review of 40 studies was performed in 2009 showing that the oral administration of aloe vera in mice can heal wounds, decrease the number and size of papillomas (small growths on skin) and reduce the incidence of tumors by more than 90% in the liver, spleen and bone marrow. The studies also show that aloe vera effectively treats genital herpes, cold sores, dermatitis, frostbite, burns and can be safely used as an antifungal and antimicrobial agent.
Moisturizes Hair and Scalp
Aloe vera is also a great hair and scalp moisturizer. It’s nourishing properties and tons of vitamins and minerals will keep hair strong and healthy. It’s antibacterial and antifungal properties help with dandruff and the gel’s enzymes can rid the scalp of dead cells and promote regeneration of skin tissues around the hair follicles. Unlike many shampoos and conditioners, aloe vera is free of chemicals that can damage hair and cause skin irritations.
Aloe latex is a fluid derived from the inner lining of the leaves of the aloe vera plant. This juice has a natural fiber that aids digestion and improves bowel movements. Experts recommend drinking two ounces of aloe vera juice daily when constipated.
Boosts Immune System
The enzymes present in aloe vera break down what we eat into amino acids which turn the enzymes into fuel for every cell in the body, allowing the cells to function properly. Bradykinase, an anti-inflammatory mediator found in aloe vera, stimulates the immune system and kills infections. Since zinc is an important component in aloe vera, it could also help those with a zinc deficiency. Other vitamins present in aloe vera include Vitamin C which protects the body from cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease and skin wrinkling; and Vitamin E which reduces free radical damage, fights inflammation and helps naturally slow the aging process.