Dark green and smooth, with small prickles lining both edges from base to tip.
Found in desert or tropical places, what could it be but the beloved aloe vera plant.
Since ancient times, aloe has been used to treat multiple health concerns, including worm infestation, skin diseases, infections, and constipation (1).
What other benefits does this tropical plant offer? Below is a compact list of 10 amazing uses for aloe vera.
#1. Can Help Digestion
Occasional indigestion is completely normal, but frequent digestive issues can raise a red flag.
Because of its laxative nature, aloe vera can help get things moving if you’re feeling backed up. When taken internally, aloe vera also seemed to help those diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) over those that simply took a placebo (2).
#2. Soothes Skin Burns & Cuts
Abrasion, cuts, scrapes and burns cause damage to the skin. Your body responds to this damage by sending out signals that cause inflammation.
Aloe vera seems to contain anti-inflammatory properties. When applied to your skin, it can help soothe burns and heal cuts (3).
#3. Boosts Oral Health
Your dentist may tell you that you need to floss more, but mouthwash can also be an important part of oral health.
If you’d rather stay away from commercial brands, swishing aloe vera may help. A 2014 study showed that aloe vera can help keep plaque from building up on your teeth (4), and may provide relief from swelling or infections.
#4. Eases Eye Irritations
Your vision is extremely important. That’s why it’s all the more aggravating when there’s something in it. Small, foreign objects like dirt, hair, or other things can cause irritation, itching, and watering.
A small study suggests that aloe vera extract can be used in eye drops to soothe inflammation and irritation, especially around the corneal area (5).
#5. Can Help Wound Healing
In addition to its anti-inflammatory components, aloe vera contained a major sugar called mannose-6-phosphate. This sugar seems to be responsible for speeding up healing times in an older animal study (6).
#6. Acts as a Skin Moisturizer
Dry skin can be itchy, flaky, and irritating. If you’re older, dehydration can also accentuate fine lines and wrinkles.
Because aloe vera is made up of 98.5% water, it can be applied to the face and body as a skin moisturizer. It also adds nutrients, like fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and enzymes to boost hydration (7).
#7. Anti-Aging Effects
Moisture isn’t the only thing aloe vera can give your skin. It can also fight off signs of aging, keeping it young and vibrant.
One study showed an improvement in skin elasticity in men over 46. Another study showed increased collagen production in women over 40 (11, 12).
It’s important to note that aloe vera supplements were used in these studies, not gel or juice.
#8. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Part of the diabetic dilemma is uncontrolled blood sugar levels. When this happens, complications such as vomiting, increased heart rate, vision problems, headaches, and more (8).
Research is limited, but some studies note that ingesting both the juice and the gel of the aloe vera plant can have a positive effect on blood sugars. Some studies show it can help lower fasting blood sugar levels in those with both prediabetes and type 2 diabetes (9).
#9. Keeps produce fresher, longer
Can’t eat your cherry tomatoes fast enough? Coat them in a layer of aloe vera get to preserve them a bit longer.
It’s true, in 2014 a study was published by the Cambridge University Press observed what happened when produce like apples or tomatoes were coated with aloe vera. The gel seemed to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria (10). This could help eliminate the needs for harmful preservative chemicals.
#10. Provides Reflux Relief
If you suffer from GERD, you know how much it impacts your daily life. The frequent heartburn, belching, and nausea, and sleep disruptions can get exhausting.
Aloe vera syrup has been used to see if it can help. Sure enough, those that participated in a study found that their GERD symptoms decreased with daily usage, with no adverse side effects (13).
It’s rare that you’ll find a plant that only serves one function. Aloe vera offers a host of benefits, both internally and externally.
When applied topically, it can help soothe burns and cuts. It can help speed up healing times for wounds, and provide necessary moisture.
When taken internally, studies support the notion that it can help balance blood sugar levels, alleviate symptoms of GERD, and aid in digestion. Its high antioxidants can also help your body fight oxidative stress, leaving you looking and feeling younger.
You can find aloe vera at health stores, supermarkets, and in supplement form. Check with your doctor if you have any preexisting health conditions, or if aloe vera may be right for you.
Do you know someone who might like to learn more about aloe vera? Be sure to share this with friends and family today!
References & Disclaimer
††This noted statement is based on independent research and is not necessarily the opinion of the author