Even if you're not a huge enthusiast when it comes to natural remedies, chances are you've heard of some of the health benefits of Aloe vera.
Aloe vera has been used as a traditional medicinal treatment in various cultures for millennia. References can be found in Greece, Egypt, India, Mexico, Japan and China.
There are two major components of the Aloe vera plant which are often confused when it comes to natural remedies: Aloe vera gel and Aloe vera juice.
Aloe vera juice is a yellow compound found in a thin layer under the plant's skin. It tastes very bitter and has a completely different chemical make-up to the gel, which is what we're after. Aloe vera juice is also known as Aloe vera latex or sap.
Most medical and food products labelled as containing Aloe vera are made up of the gel. This is the substance in the middle of the leaf with a high water content. Its effect on the human body is much milder as it doesn't contain anthraquinones.
The reason for the interest in this particular plant is undoubtedly its numerous health benefits. Ranging from digestion to skincare to the heart and circulatory system, let's separate fact from speculation and check out the health benefits of Aloe vera.
If you are suffering from severe constipation and want something natural to treat it, Aloe vera could be an option. The gel does have a high fiber content, so this alone will improve digestion.
Vitamin and Mineral Boost
Incorporating Aloe vera products into your diet can provide a not-insignificant vitamin and mineral boost.
Livestrong lists some of the benefits of the particular nutrients in Aloe vera, including:
- B-12: helps make DNA, maintains blood and nerve cells
- Folic acid: involved in formation of new cells and preventing birth defects during pregnancy
- Choline: involved in nerve signalling
- Vitamins A, C and E: have antioxidant capabilities.
If you've been to your local pharmacy, you've probably seen an Aloe vera gel for treating skin wounds or specifically burns. It's said that Aloe vera can speed up wound healing.
Aloe vera seems to do this by improving blood circulation to the damaged spot and stopping cell death around a wound. The cooling sensation of the gel will also provide some physical relief.
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