A plant that works wonders for your body, health and skin
Aloe vera is one of the most medicinal plants on earth. This miraculous plant has been used since ancient times: it is known to have been used in Ayurveda 5,000 years ago as a plant that nourishes and brings longevity, the ancient Egyptians called it the 'plant of immortality', and many historical figures such as Aristotle, Christopher Columbus and King Solomon testified are about its miraculous healing properties. Egyptian queens considered this plant a 'source of beauty', and according to legend, it was Alexander the Great's army that made it indestructible - namely, his soldiers used it as protection against infections and a medicine for wounds during conquests.
Its composition is truly amazing: aloe vera contains as many as 240 nutrients and medicinal ingredients that provide us with numerous health benefits. The magical formula of aloe vera gel obtained from its leaves. It contains medicinal active substances such as anthraquinone, enzymes, amino acids, lignin, saponins and various vitamins and minerals, and some of its ingredients are not yet known to science.
Aloe vera (syn. A. barbadensis) is a herbaceous perennial with thick, slimy leaves that grows in tropical and subtropical areas, most commonly in Africa and the Caribbean. It is a perennial plant that can grow up to six meters. Its leaves are up to 60 centimeters long, prickly edge, pointed at the top, fleshy and pale green. There are several types of aloe plants that belong to the Aloaceae family, and they differ in appearance and composition. Today, only products obtained from the species Aloe barbadensis - West Indian aloe and Aloe capensis - African aloe are used in phytopharmacy and official medicine. The properties and appearance of aloe largely depend on the method of obtaining the product.
Active substances and their properties
Aloe vera leaves are filled with a transparent gel that contains 98% water and 2% over 240 active and potentially medicinal substances. Vitamins are one of the components of the plant gel. Aloe vera contains vitamins A, C and E known as antioxidants that neutralize free radicals in the body. It also contains vitamins B9 and B12 and choline, an essential organic compound similar to the B complex vitamins. The gel contains 8 enzymes important for reducing inflammation and breaking down sugars and fats. The plant also provides a large number of minerals: calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc, manganese, selenium, responsible for the proper function of enzyme systems, some of which are antioxidants. The leaves are rich in: sugars, fatty acids, hormones, saponins, amino acids and salicylic acid, which have anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and analgesic effects and help heal wounds. What characterizes aloe vera are the phenolic compounds anthraquinones. There are 12 of them in this plant, which are recognized as laxatives, and some as analgesics with antibacterial and antiviral action. Aloe vera with its rich composition provides a wide range of medicinal properties in improving health and therapies of certain medical conditions.
If you are dealing with a chronic skin condition, it would be a good idea to check with your dermatologist before applying any product to your face. Talk to your doctor about the following potential benefits of aloe vera:
For minor burns, apply aloe vera gel to the affected area up to three times a day. You may also need to protect the area with gauze.
Although aloe vera helps alleviate sunburn, a reliable source shows that it is not an effective way to prevent sunburn, so be sure to wear sunscreen every day!
If you have scratched your chin or forehead, you can apply aloe vera to that area to quickly relieve pain and burning sensation. Use three times a day.
If you’re used to grabbing Neosporin for less cutting, consider trying aloe vera instead. Its molecular structure helps wounds heal quickly and reduces scarring by boosting collagen and fighting bacteria. Apply up to three times a day.
Frostbite is a serious condition that requires urgent medical attention. Although aloe vera gel has been used as an anti-frostbite in the past, before you try it, consult your doctor first.
Unlike canker sores, canker sores develop on the outside of the mouth. Aloe vera can help treat the herpes virus, which is also the underlying cause of herpes. Apply a small amount of gel to the herpes twice a day until it disappears.
The moisturizing effects of aloe can help relieve dry, itchy skin associated with eczema. Aloe vera gel can also help relieve seborrheic dermatitis. Although this oily form of eczema is most commonly found in the scalp, it can also affect parts of your face and behind your ears.
As with eczema, aloe vera can help relieve inflammation and itching from psoriasis. For best results, apply aloe vera gel twice a day to the affected area of skin.
Due to the anti-inflammatory effects of aloe vera, the gel can help treat inflammatory forms of acne, such as pustules and nodules. Apply the gel with a cotton cloth three times a day directly on the pimple.
How to use
- with a sharp knife cut the leaf from the plant as close to the root as possible
- rinse the sheet and pat dry
- put the cut side in a bowl and leave for about 15 minutes for the yellow aloe vera latex to drain and discard - this has laxative properties and may not suit everyone
- cut off the narrow pointed end from the top of the leaf
- drain the latex again if necessary
- press the sheet to help it soften
- cut the ‘thorns’ on both sides of the plant as close to the edge as possible
- lay the leaf straight and cut it in the middle from top to top or for larger leaves cut off the outer green layer
- gently remove the gel with a spoon or knife blade - very large aloe leaves may contain solid blocks of gel
- wash the gel carefully to clean it of debris
- put the gel in a sealed container and refrigerate before use
- store the gel container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze the aloe vera gel in ice buckets
After washing your hands, apply a small amount of gel to your face with your fingertips. Gently cleanse the face of aloe vera with circular motions, covering the entire skin. Rinse with cold water and gently pat dry. Follow the aloe vera skin tonic.
To make an aloe vera skin tonic, mix 2 parts water with 1 part aloe vera gel. Pour into a clean airtight bottle and store in the refrigerator. Shake well before applying the tonic to the face with fresh cotton wool.
Treatment of insect bites
Wash the affected area with soap and water. Dry with a paper towel. Cover that area with aloe vera, leaving it on the skin for 15-20 minutes. Do it again if necessary.
Minor wounds or cuts on the skin
Wash the area well with soap and water and allow to dry. Apply a small amount of aloe vera on a plate or cut. Cover the area with a bandage and let it heal overnight. Repeat this procedure the next day if necessary.
Apply a small amount of gel to the area three times a day for 2 weeks.
Moisturizing effect and alleviation of eczema
Apply a small amount of gel on the face and leave it on for 5-10 minutes. Rinse with cold water and gently pat dry.
Make an acne solution using 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel with 2-3 drops of fresh lemon juice. Store the mixture in a closed jar in the refrigerator. After a gentle cleansing of the face, apply a small amount to spots and acne once or twice a day.
Alternatively, combine aloe vera gel with a few drops of tea tree oil.
Apply chilled aloe vera gel two or three times a day to the burnt area. Use for a few days or until the skin color returns to normal and the inflammation improves.
Alternatively, mix 2 parts water with 1 part aloe vera to make a spray. Keep the solution in the refrigerator. When using the spray, avoid the eyes.
Apply enough chilled aloe vera gel to completely burn the burn. Cover the burn with a bandage. Remove the dressing the next day.
Side effects and cautions
Although considered safe locally when used as directed, the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate aloe vera products. This means that it is up to you, the consumer, whether you will safely use aloe vera and report all harmful skin reactions to your doctor. You can also consider removing aloe vera if you have a serious burn or other significant wounds. In fact, there is even evidence that aloe can reduce your skin’s natural ability to heal from deep wounds associated with surgery.
Some users may feel itchy or slightly stinging while aloe vera acts on your skin. However, if you feel a rash or rash, you could feel the gel and you should stop using it immediately. Do not use aloe vera gel on infected skin. Although the gel has microbial properties, its protective layer can disrupt the healing process and worsen the infection.
Experience and evidence
In addition to traditional use, today Aloe vera is used in diabetes, asthma, osteoarthritis, burns, psoriasis and other ailments. All of these indications have not been proven in clinical studies and further research is needed for scientific evidence, but it has been shown to act as a laxative and is most commonly used in combination with other laxatives. The effect of aloe on psoriasis has been proven (cream 0.5% for four weeks), and it can also help with sunburn, frostbite, wound healing and diaper rash.
In folk medicine, it is most often used topically, fresh juice to heal wounds. This experience was used by the cosmetic industry that produced Aloe gel. For its production, plant tissue (parenchyma) of young, central leaves is used, i.e. fresh juice of the species Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera). This juice does not have a laxative effect, but is rich in carbohydrates, minerals and amino acids and is used to make medicinal juice that is often marketed in combination with other plant species to boost immunity, for example, noni. Precautions should be taken when taking orally for pregnant and breastfeeding women and young children (under 12 years of age), and it should not be used by people with Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, intestinal obstruction and those who have kidney problems and hemorrhoids.
As a laxative it can lower potassium levels
One should be careful when taking aloe if you are taking digoxin at the same time because Aloe vera as a laxative can reduce the level of potassium in the body, and low levels of potassium can increase the side effects of digoxin. Caution is also required when taking diuretics and other laxatives. Aloe vera gel and latex are used for medicinal preparations. Aloe gel is transparent, gelatinous, and is obtained from cells from the center of the leaf, while latex is obtained from cells just below the skin of the leaf and is yellow in color. Aloe vera comes on the market today in several forms - in the form of syrups, tablets, creams and for more indications such as raising immunity, treating constipation and more. It is popular to add aloe to cosmetic preparations - shampoos, toothpaste, shower gels, in water to remove makeup. Be sure to seek the opinion of your pharmacist before purchasing any product.
DETOX ALOE VERA DRINK
- 3 tablespoons of gel cleaned from Aloe vera leaves
- squeezed juice of 2 oranges
- 1 apple
Put everything in a blender. Aloe gel and juice are very bitter so adding fruit juices is a way to drink it fresh and clean.
Once we’ve done that, we choose a natural fruit juice of your choice, I recommend a squeezed orange, and you can also add half a lemon and put it all together for a few seconds in a blender or mix with a stick mixer to get a uniform drink. You can experiment with flavors by adding more or less Aloe Vera or changing the juice you mix the gel with. Just make sure the juice is natural and there is no added sugar or sweetener to make the drink completely healthy.
The skin of the leaf, instead of throwing it away, you can apply to your hands or face because the gel is extremely good for moisturizing the skin. If you haven’t used up the entire juice sheet, put it in the fridge until the next time you’re making a drink.