Most people know Aloe Vera in the form of that green gel that helps soothe aching, sunburned skin. However, aloe has been used for centuries as a home remedy for many ailments. You can find aloe vera in many forms, such as creams, gels, juices, and powders and they all have different uses and benefits to your health.
Aloe vera is extracted from the aloe plant and its beneficial properties come from the 18 amino acids it contains. It also contains all the vitamins the body needs on a daily basis, except Vitamin D, along with containing enzymes, minerals, anti-microbial, amino acids and sugars that are all beneficial to the human body. All of these ingredients in aloe vera are why it is used to aid digestion, reduce inflammation, cleanse and sooth the body.
Aloe is used alone and in many products as a topical treatment to damaged skin. The anti-inflammatory properties, as well as, the ability to rebuild and repair skin cells makes it a wonderful product for burns, rashes, or scrapes. Many cosmetic companies add aloe to their products for the moisturizing effects.
The lesser known form of aloe vera is the juice. Aloe vera juice can be ingested in small quantities and produce a plethora of healthy results. Drinking an amount of two to four ounces twice a day is recommended to aid your digestion, improve your circulation and detoxify your body and cleanse your colon. The detoxification properties also help to detoxify your blood stream and if you suffer from stomach or intestinal problems it can help your digestive tract run smoothly. Another important health benefit of aloe is its ability to act as an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent. This means that it can help prevent the onset of disease in the body and help you maintain good health, have an overall sense of wellbeing and increased energy.
Like with most things in life, if not taken correctly or if over consumed, aloe vera can have a few side effects. However, side effects are rare, but they are worth mentioning. Possible side effects could include allergic reactions, liver dysfunction, nausea, or strangely colored urine. If you do experience any side effects, it is important that you discontinue the use of aloe vera and see a physician. Individuals that should be careful about using aloe vera juice are if you are pregnant or breast feeding, have kidney or heart disease, or are allergic to garlic or onions. Aloe vera juice also should not be given to young children as they can experience toxic reactions. Mostly, the benefits of aloe vera greatly outweigh the risk of the side effects and if taken in the recommended quantities the health benefits can be substantial.
I have just recently begun to test out the aloe vera juice. It can be found at most health food or supplement stores. I’ve actually been adding one ounce of the juice to my green smoothies in the morning the past couple of mornings. I will try to up my intake to a couple of ounces per day and let you know if I experience any of the health claims 🙂