Aloe Vera and Health Benefits
Aloe Vera is constituted as a plant and belongs to the Aloe family. The leaves of the plant are greenish in color while the flowers of the plant could exhibit yellow or red color. The plant may or may not contain stems and even if stems are present they are usually short in size. The leaves of the aloe vera plant can be described as thick and minute lines can be seen on the leaf edges. The plant can be grown at home either indoors or outdoors.
Extracts of the aloe vera plant have herbal, medicinal and cosmetic uses. The food and cosmetic industry widely uses aloe vera in the engineering of their products. Aloe Vera finds its uses in gel, juices and powder. Cosmetic establishments use aloe vera when manufacturing soaps, sunscreens, face-wash and shampoos. The leaves of the plant are useful in the manufacture of gels. Gels made from aloe vera is added in yogurts, dessert dishes and some beverages. Aloe vera gels can also treat sunburns, wounds, rashes, and bruises. The gel can also be applied on insect or mosquito bites for soothing effect. Skins are also moisturized with the application of aloe vera gel. Drinking of aloe vera juice is also considered good where health of the body is concerned. The juice can be extracted from the leaves of the aloe vera plant. Aloe vera juice can be consumed in the morning on an empty stomach for detoxification of the body. Aloe can be consumed in salads with seasoning ingredients.
When purchasing aloe vera, ensure the color of the leaves is bright green and no spots or bruises can be spotted on the surface. Keep in the refrigerator in zip-lock bags or in air-tight containers for 7 days for storage.
The various names given to the aloe vera plant are the ‘miracle plant’, ‘plant of immorality’ or ‘wonder plant’ keeping in mind the therapeutic properties of the plant. The health benefits of aloe vera are detailed in the following points.
- Nutritional Value
Aloe Vera is rich in vitamins and these could include Vitamin A, B1, B6, B9, B12, C and E. Dietary fiber is also contained in aloe vera. The water content in aloe vera sums upto above 95 %. Keeping these factors in mind it would be safe to say that aloe vera has high nutritional value.
The anti-oxidants in aloe vera incorporating Vitamin C are known to improve immunity levels of the body and resist infections and the effects of inflammation. Here the free radicals are also combated and illnesses such as cancer are prevented.
- Digestive Health
With the intake of aloe vera, waste components in the body are effectively eliminated and digestive disorders are corrected. Hence the digestion process is smoother and bowel movements are regularized. Here it can be said that digestive health is maintained.
- Cardio-Vascular Health
Consumption of aloe vera can lower the cholesterol and sugar levels in the blood and thus blood quality is considerably improved. As a result cardio-vascular health is enhanced as issues relating to the heart such as hypertension and stroke are contained.
- Other Benefits
Relief from pain in the joints and muscles is given when aloe vera is consumed as aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties. Also swelling associated with Arthritis is alleviated with aloe vera.
For weight-loss aloe vera can be beneficial as there is increased metabolism in the body leading to the burning of additional calories.
The anti-bacterial nature of aloe vera keeps the gums and teeth healthy.
Aloe vera also is useful where health of the skin is concerned. The water content hydrates and moisturizes the skin and lends a natural glow.