Aloe vera was coined as the ‘plant of immortality’ by ancient Egyptians for good reason. It was held in high regard due to its multitude of health benefits and healing properties. With over 200 active components like vitamins, minerals and amino acids, aloe vera has become a key ingredient in our cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industries today. Here are just some of the seven amazing benefits of aloe vera you can reap.
As a natural moisturiser, aloe vera is a common ingredient in many cosmetic skincare products. It is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that hydrate and soften your skin without clogging your pores. It can combat dry and flaky skin without leaving a greasy film, making it suitable for all skin types. With more than 99 per cent water content, it is sure to provide your skin with the hydration it needs. You can apply pure aloe vera gel to your skin directly – it may feel slimy initially but let all the goodness soak into your skin!
Reduces acne and clears blemishes
Instead of picking at your pimples, try applying some aloe vera instead. With antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, aloe vera can prevent infections that stem from acne. Aloe vera also contains substances that trigger the regeneration of new cells, speeding up the healing process to prevent scars and clear up blemishes. According to research by Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, aloe vera gel is able to significantly improve acne. Further studies by Seoul National University Hospital also show that aloe vera gel reduces wrinkles and improves the elasticity of skin, with an increase of collagen production to improve overall condition of the skin.
As aloe vera has a pH level in the same range as healthy hair, it can help your hair and scalp stay strong by restoring it to its ideal pH levels. Many hair problems will arise if its pH levels fall beyond the healthy range. Applying aloe vera to your hair can also form a protective layer against pollutants, allowing your hair and scalp to stay fresh and hydrated. Its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties will help you to maintain a healthy scalp and keep dandruff away.
Maintain oral health
According to a study published in the journal General Dentistry, aloe vera based tooth gels are just as effective as commercially available brands of toothpaste in killing bacteria that cause oral diseases. In fact, it is more suitable for people with sensitive teeth and gums because unlike regular toothpaste, it does not contain abrasive elements.
Soothes minor burns
The hydrating and healing qualities of aloe vera make it a go-to natural remedy when it comes to soothing minor burns. It will be able to ease the pain and heal the skin from the burn. According to a study by Naresuan University from Thailand, aloe vera is able to reduce the healing time of minor burns by nine days as compared to the usual medication.
With its anti-inflammatory and laxative components, aloe vera is able to aid digestion. According to an article in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, enzymes in aloe vera help to break down sugar and fats whereas minerals are essential for the different metabolic pathways to function. It also helps to maintain the pH levels of your stomach for healthy digestion. A healthy digestive system would also mean healthier bowel movements, reducing symptoms of constipation or diarrhoea.
Immune system booster
The myriad minerals and vitamins in aloe vera can help to boost your immunity. Its anti-inflammatory components help stimulate the immune system to kill infections. You can get a quick and simple boost to your health by consuming 20ml of aloe vera juice with a glass of water every day before your first meal. However, as the juice acts as a laxative, it may not be suitable for everyone so consult a medical expert before making it part of your diet.
This article was first published on Shape.