Aloe vera has been used for a host of purposes since the ancient Egyptians called it the “plant of immortality.” Since then, its uses have become more targeted and medicinal, and it's one of the leading therapies for sunburns.
Aloe vera is a cactus plant that belongs to the Liliaceae family. It grows in dry climates such as those found in parts of Africa and India and has been used medicinally for centuries. Aloe leaves secrete a clear gel that when broken off from the rest of the plant that can be applied topically to heal wounds and soothe skin.
Various studies have been conducted to examine the benefits of the aloe vera plant and it was found out that aloe vera does in fact have several properties that are effective in treating a variety of skin conditions, from flaky or dry skin, cosmetic ailments, hair and scalp problems to many more.
It is also said to be useful in treating wounds and burns, minor skin infections, cysts, diabetes, and elevated blood lipids in humans, and shows some promise in treating more serious and persistent conditions such as eczema, genital herpes, dandruff, psoriasis, canker sores, skin ulcers and others, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Here are 8 benefits of using aloe vera gel:
1. It treats sunburn.
Aloe Vera helps with sunburn through its powerful healing activity at the epithelial level of the skin, a layer of cells that cover the body. It acts as a protective layer on the skin and helps replenish its moisture. Because of its nutritional qualities and antioxidant properties, the skin heals quicker.
2. It acts as a moisturizer.
Aloe moisturizes the skin without giving it a greasy feel, so it`s perfect for anyone with an oily skin complexion. For women who use mineral-based make-up, aloe vera acts as a moisturizer and is great for the face prior to the application to prevents skin drying. For men: Aloe vera gel can be used as an aftershave treatment as its healing properties can treat small cuts caused by shaving.
3. It treats acne.
Aloe vera gel contains two hormones: Auxin and Gibberellins. These two hormones provide wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce skin inflammation. Giberellin in aloe vera acts as a growth hormone stimulating the growth of new cells. It allows the skin to heal quickly and naturally with minimal scarring.
Aloe is soothing and can reduce skin inflammations, blistering and itchiness, while helping the skin to heal more rapidly. Additionally, in Ayurvedic medicine, Aloe is used to effectively heal chronic skin problems, such as psoriasis, acne and eczema.
4. It fights aging.
As we age, everyone begins to worry about the appearance of fine lines and the loss of elasticity in their skin. Aloe leaves contain a plethora of antioxidants including, beta carotene, vitamin C and E that can help improve the skin's natural firmness and keep the skin hydrated.
5. It lessens the visibility of stretch marks.
The skin is like one big piece of elastic that’ll expand and contract as needed to accommodate growth. But if the skin stretches too far, too fast (due to pregnancy, rapid weight gain or loss) the elasticity of the skin can be damaged. That’s what leaves those unsightly stretch marks. These marks appear due to minor tears in the layers of the skin caused by sudden and excessive stretching. Aloe vera gel can help hide these stretch marks by healing these wounds.
6. It's nutrient rich for good health.
This solid material contains over 75 different nutrients including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, sugars, anthraquinones or phenolic compounds, lignin, saponins, sterols, amino acids and salicylic acid.
7. It soothes in periodontal disease.
According to a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, it's extremely helpful in the treatment of gum diseases like gingivitis, periodontitis. It reduces bleeding, inflammation and swelling of the gums. It is a powerful antiseptic in pockets where normal cleaning is difficult, and its antifungal properties help greatly in the problem of denture stomatitis, apthous ulcers, cracked and split corners of the mouth.
8. It aids in digestion.
The internal benefits of aloe vera are supposed to be just as amazing. The plant is said to improve the digestion and to relieve ulcers. Some people consider it a laxative, while others attribute that effect to its digestive qualities (which normalize the system and induce regularity). The juice is also prescribed for arthritis and rheumatism. To test any of these claims, steep the cut foliage in water or chew pieces of the fresh leaf.