Aloe vera is perennial succulent plant that originates from Northern Africa. There are over 400 different aloe species that can be found around the world with aloe vera being the commonly used for medicinal purposes which dates back hundreds of years. If you walk into any health store today you will find it in many different forms, from gels, lotions, tablets to refreshing drinks.
Aloe vera is made up of fleshy green leaves that contain a ‘gel’ which is what will come to mind for most when they think of the plant. The gel contains antioxidants, antiviral, anti fungal, anti inflammatories and antibacterial properties. Interestingly aloe vera contains 20 amino acids, including 8 out of the 9 essential amino acids.
Aloe vera is most commonly know for its use in wound healing and sunburn, but it has quite a few benefits when taken as a supplement or drink.
When taken internally aloe vera can help with the below.
Aloe vera contains a latex that is yellow in colour and can be found under the plants skin. There are many studies done on the use of aloe latex as a natural laxative. The compounds found in the latex increase intestinal water and stimulate the excretion of the water.
The juice from the aloe vera plant helps keep our pH levels balanced in our bodies. It also helps increase digestive bacteria. Some even use the juice to help heal stomach ulcers thanks to it’s antibacterial properties.
Improves immune system function.
Aloe vera contains many enzymes, in particular one called bradykinase which helps stimulate the immune system. Aloe vera contains many vitamins and minerals that can support our immune system function, in particular zinc, vitamin A and vitamin C.
Use for dental health
A lot of research is going into aloe vera and the benefits when used to improve oral health. Studies have shown aloe vera to be beneficial in treating mouth ulcers and oral cavities. Additionally studies have shown it to beneficial in treating gingivitis and plaque build up.
Reduces oxidative stress
Aloe vera contains a high level of antioxidants which gives it the ability to fight free radicals. Free radicals cause oxidative stress in our body which is believed to be the cause of most chronic diseases and disorders.
Remember to always speak to your Doctor before starting any new supplement. Especially if you are already taking medications or have an illness.
My next blog I will focus on the benefits of aloe vera when used topically.