Tag Archives: Benefits of Aloe Vera

Cool Ways To Use Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

After God created the world, he created a  beautiful garden.  This Garden was full of beautiful flowers and succulent fruits and small animals.  And in this Garden, God made Adam and, from Adam’s ribs, God made Eve.  And somewhere in this beautiful garden, God made aloe vera.  And God saw that it was good.

Ok.  So maybe aloe vera is not mentioned in the story of Adam and Eve, but it sure has a long history.  Ancient Chinese and Egyptians used it to treat burns, wounds and reduce fever.  It is said that Alexander the Great conquered the island of Socotra off Africa to get aloe to treat his soldiers for battle wounds.  Egyptian beauty queens, including Cleopatra, used them to enhance their complexions  and, in 1944, Japanese used it to soothe their wounds resulting from exposure to the A-bomb.

What is Aloe Vera?
Known as the natural healer, aloe vera  is most commonly found in warm and dry climates.  Although it looks like a cactus with thorny leaves, it is actually a member of the Lily family.  It possesses the unusual ability of being able to close its pores to prevent moisture loss and stays moist while other plants die.  ( Can we invent something so that humans can do this?) The lower leaf of the plant is used for medicinal purposes and, when sliced open, produces gels that can be applied to the skin. The leaves and seeds are edible.

Cool Ways to Use Aloe Vera
Is there anything this plant can’t do? While most commonly known to treat minor wounds and burns, the aloe vera plant can also be used to treat:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS):   A study done at the Royal London Hospital found an improvement of 38% of   patients suffering Ulcerative Collitis who were treated with aloe vera., as opposed to 8% who were given a placebo.
  • Asthma:  Boil some leaves in a pan of water and breathe in.
  • Constipation:   The aloe juice taken from the tubules are dried, becoming granules that are dark brown in color.  (Do you get where this is going?)
  • Aging skin: After being absorbed in the skin, aloe vera stimulates fibroblast cells that produce collagen and elastin. Drink in a tea or apply directly.
  • Bad breath:  A 2014 study showed that the vitamin c in aloe vera can block plaque, provide relief to bleeding gums and freshen breath.
  • Bacteria on Fruit: A recent study showed aloe vera, when used to coat tomatoes and apples was able to block many types of bacteria.  It could be used as an alternative to harmful chemical to keep fruit fresh.
  • Diabetes:  According to a study in Thailand, two tablespoons of the juice per day caused blood sugar levels to fall in people with type 2 diabetes

Well, hallelujah!  I don’t know if this stuff is sacred or not, but I am definitely a believer!  Also good for cancer, arthritis and looking lovely in the home or office as a plant, aloe vera is a miracle!

Aloe Vera Leaf Juice

Aloe vera

You’ve probably heard of the Aloe Vera plant as a pain reliever and healing salve for burns and sunburns, and, to be sure, it certainly excels in that regard, but it may have numerous other applications as well. Of course, the usual skepticism when discussing alternative medicine and folk remedies is advised, but aloe vera’s potential is at the very least worth investigation and objective assessment. Let’s take a look.

What’s Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is a species of succulent plant in the aloe genus with long, thick, dull green, spike-edged leaves all growing out of the center of the plant. When one of the leaves is cut open, a thick, sticky gel is revealed inside the plant. This gel is what’s of interest for potential health, medicinal, and skincare applications.

Burn Relief
One purported use for Aloe Vera is pain relief, especially for burns (including sunburns) but also for rashes, minor irritations, cuts, and other wounds, and etc.

This one actually holds a lot of water. There is ample evidence for aloe being effective on sunburns and other burns. It not only reduces pain, but causes the burn to heal faster than it would on its own. There’s also suggestive research and ample anecdotal evidence to suggest that aloe probably helps soothe and heal a variety of rashes and skin irritations. There is insufficient evidence supporting Aloe working well for wound healing of any kind, however, and what evidence does exist is conflicting.

Topical Skincare
It is also suggested that Aloe Vera can be used in or in addition to skincare products for purposes such as acne control, soothing sensitive skin and preventing flare-ups, and helping to nourish and moisturize skin.

While not conclusive as of yet, research does suggest that Aloe Vera is helpful at reducing acne, and it is less harsh than a lot of other acne treatments, like salicylic acid, which has a tendency to dry out the skin. However, aloe alone is not a sufficient acne treatment on its own, as research suggests that applying aloe gel in the morning and evening improves acne by about 35%. If you want that to be 100%, you should pair it with a prescription acne medication.

As for softening skin, there isn’t enough evidence to make a clear conclusion. It’s a “maybe, maybe not” kind of thing. Some studies were done, but the results are inconclusive, and it seems that aloe may increase water content in the very outermost layers, but not inner layers, meaning it doesn’t really fix the problem, so you’re better off with other skin softening ingredients.

Studies show promise for aloe treating psoriasis symptoms. A 0.5% aloe extract cream reduced skin plaques after about four weeks in clinical trials. It is more effective than corticosteroid creams commonly used for decreasing severity, however, it does not decrease other symptoms, so using prescription creams along with aloe is your best bet.

Ingestion
A lot of too-good-to-be-true claims for drinking beverages with aloe gel in them or taking aloe capsules have been made; everything from aloe juice as a depression cure to helping fight cancer to lowering cholesterol.

We’ll save you a lot of time on this one; almost none of these claims, or any other positive claims about aloe beverages, have any decent amount of supportive evidence. The singular exception is that aloe can be an effective treatment for constipation, but there are much better prescription and over-the-counter options for stool softeners or laxatives.

Aloe Vera, Lavender and Calendula

Many plants are incredibly versatile and can play an important role in your daily life. Aloe vera, lavender and calendula are three plants that you should consider keeping in your home or garden for their health benefits. Below, find out what health benefits aloe vera, lavender and calendula have to offer to your family and yourself.

Aloe vera

Aloe Vera
Perhaps most well-known for its after sun benefits, aloe vera is a small plant with some mighty powers. Keep aloe vera on hand to:

  • Boost Immune Function – Scientific studies have shown that aloe vera not only can boost immune function, it also has antitumor properties. The polysaccharides in aloe vera activate increased production of nitric oxide, which has been shown to have significant antitumor potential.
  • Calm Skin – Aloe vera certainly does help with inflammation, redness and irritation after a sunburn, but it can also be useful as a moisturizer, an anti-acne treatment, an anti-aging treatment and to reduce stretch marks. Aloe vera has antibacterial properties, making it beneficial for acne and it contains vitamin C and E which help to naturally firm the skin while adding hydration.
  • Lower Cholesterol – When taken orally, aloe vera plays a role in rebalancing your blood chemistry, which in turn lowers high cholesterol levels and triglycerides. A high level of triglycerides in the blood is associated with an increased risk of stroke.

Lavender

Lavender
Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils, and there is a good reason. This flowering herb has so many positive benefits and uses, and it is a great addition to any home. Use lavender for:

  • Sip It – You probably don’t think of lavender and drinks together, but lavender adds a unique flavor to everyday drinks. One popular way to drink lavender is to add it to lemonade for a refreshing drink. You can also spice up a cocktail, like a classic martini, by using lavender or lavender syrup.
  • Calm Down – One of lavender’s many day-to-day uses is stress and anxiety reduction. To boost your mood and reduce your stress, put some essential oil in a diffuser and let the scent hang in the air, or add a few drops of lavender essential oil for a soothing bath.
  • Soothe Skin – Lavender has a soothing effect on more than your mind, it can also help to calm your skin. Use lavender after shaving to reduce irritation, redness and inflammation. You can also use lavender to help eradicate dandruff and dry scalp problems.

Calendula

Calendula
The vibrant flowers of calendula may be what brings initial attention to this plant, but calendula has been used for a variety of purposes for hundreds of years. Use calendula to:

  • Improve Immune Function – Calendula tea has been used for many years as an immune system booster. Calendula is high in beta-carotene and when consumed regularly it can help to detoxify both your liver and gallbladder as well as boost the immune system. Calendula also can heal viral inflammations, candida and peptic ulcers. Studies have indicated that two to three cups of calendula tea per day provides the most benefits.
  • Prevent Infection – For minor cuts, burns, scrapes and other injuries, calendula can provide healing relief. The antibacterial properties of calendula prevent infection while the anti-inflammatory properties reduce swelling, inflammation and irritation.
  • Treat Varicose Veins – The unsightly veins that make you want to skip shorts in summer have been a source of frustration for years, but using a calendula ointment can eradicate these pesky problems. Calendula cleanses, stimulates circulation and improves healing, all of which are important as you rid your body of varicose veins.

Aloe vera, lavender and calendula all have unique health benefits that work for both internal and external conditions. You can grow your own aloe vera, lavender and calendula plants to ensure that you always have a fresh supply on hand. Use aloe vera, lavender and calendula to start improving your health today.