Aloe Vera: The amazing things you can do with this antioxidant-rich gel


Last Updated June 24th, 2019

What is aloe vera?

Aloe vera is a cactus-like succulent plant.  Aloe vera belongs to the genus of the liliaceous plants.  The plant is either stem-less or very short-stemmed.  Stems are around 25 cm long with an average of about 20 leaves in a straight, dense rosette. The leaves grow to up to 40 to 50 cm long and 6 to 7 cm wide.  The leaves are thick, fleshy, water retaining, and concave on the top side.  The underside of the leaf is convex with a pale pink rim and is dressed with 2 mm long thorny teeth spaced at every 10 to 20 mm.  Each leaf can weigh as much as 1.5 to 2 kg.

Aloe: The plant

The roots of the aloe are relatively short and lay flat embedded in the earth.  Aloe is a genus that contains more than 500 species of flowering succulent plants.  Like other Aloe species, Aloe vera forms arbuscular mycorrhiza (type of mycorrhiza in which the fungus penetrates the cortical cells of the roots of a vascular plant), a symbiosis, which allows the plant better access to mineral nutrients in soil.  Many Aloe vera plants occur naturally in North Africa.  Aloe vera is also described as a wonder plant.  Aloe vera has been the subject of much scientific study over the last few years, regarding several claimed therapeutic properties.  Many uses are made of the gel obtained from the plant’s leaves.

What does Aloe Vera contain?

Vitamins:  Aloe Vera is rich in many vitamins, especially the antioxidant Vitamins A (beta-carotene), C and E and even contains a trace of vitamin B12, one of the very few plant sources of this vitamin.

Enzymes:  It contains 8 enzymes namely aliiase, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, bradykinase, carboxypeptidase, catalase, cellulase, lipase, and peroxidase.  The enzyme bradykinase helps to reduce excessive inflammation when applied to the skin topically.  Other enzymes help in digestion and breakdown of sugars and fats.

Minerals:  Aloe vera is rich in minerals and contains Calcium, Sodium, Potassium, Manganese, Magnesium, Copper, Zinc, Chromium, and the anti-oxidant Selenium.   Minerals are essential for the proper functioning of various enzyme systems in different metabolic pathways.

Sugars:  Aloe vera contains monosaccharides (glucose and fructose) and polysaccharides (glucomannans/polymannose).  These sugars are extracted from the mucilage layer, which surrounds the inner gel of the plant and are known as mucopolysaccharides.  Mucopolysaccharides have the ability to enhance the immune system and help to detoxify.

These sugars are ingested whole from the gut, which is not broken down like other sugars, and appear in the bloodstream in exactly the same form and this phenomenon is called pinocytosis.  Once these sugars enter the bloodstream, they are able to exert their immuno-regulating effect.  Polysaccharides are not absorbed and stick to certain cells lining the gut and form a barrier preventing absorption of unwanted material and help to prevent leaking gut syndrome.

Anthraquinones:  Anthraquinones are phenolic compounds known as laxatives.  There are 12 phenolic compounds present in aloe vera.  These phenolic compounds aid in absorption from the gastrointestinal tract and have anti-microbial and pain killing effects.  Specifically, Aloin and Emodin, act as painkillers and also function as anti-bacterial and anti-viral agents.

Lignin:  Lignin is a class of complex organic polymers that form important structural materials in the support tissues of vascular plants and some algae.  Lignins are added in topical preparation, which gives aloe vera with a singular penetrative effect and by this, the other ingredients are absorbed into the skin.

Saponins:  Saponins are toxic compounds which are present in soapwort and makes foam when shaken with water.  These soapy substances have antiseptic properties and act as a powerful antimicrobial against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and yeasts.

Fatty Acids:  Aloe vera contains four fatty acids namely Cholesterol, Campesterol, b. Sisosterol and Lupeol.  These four plant steroids are important anti-inflammatory agents.  Lupeol is also known for its antiseptic and analgesic properties.

Salicylic acid:  Salicylic acid is a common ingredient available in many skincare products.  Salicylic acid is an aspirin-like compound possessing anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.  This along with benzoyl peroxide are two of the most well-known acne fighters.

Amino AcidsAmino acids are a simple organic compound.  Amino acids link together into polypeptide chains called proteins.  Aloe vera contains 20 amino acids and importantly contains 7 essential amino acids.

What are the health benefits of aloe vera?

Teeth and Gums

Aloe vera contains anthraquinones, which are phenolic compounds and known for their antibacterial effects.  Aloe vera is also known to have another component called salicylic acid, which is known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects.  Due to the presence of these substances, aloe vera is used in the form of tooth gel, which has shown promising results in combating cavity-forming bacteria and preventing cavities.

Constipation

Constipation is a condition in which there is difficulty in emptying the bowels.  Constipation can occur due to a number of reasons.  Anthraquinones present in aloe vera is known for its laxative effects.  Laxatives increase intestinal water content, stimulates mucus secretion, and increases intestinal peristalsis.  Aloe vera is available in a supplemental form called Aloe latex and are commonly taken in liquid or capsule form once daily for up to 10 days to help with constipation.

Heartburn Relief

Heartburn is a painful burning feeling in the chest or throat.  Heartburn usually occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, the tube which carries food from the mouth to the stomach.  As we know that aloe vera contains compounds, which have a laxative effect.  Moderate consumption of aloe extract is known to provide a soothing effect for heartburn symptoms and can help prevent heartburn.

Healing properties

Aloe vera is known for its healing properties of wounds and burns and also diabetes-induced wound ulcers.  Aloe gel has the ability to increase the collagen content of the wound and can change the collagen composition and increases the degree of collagen cross-linking.  Due to this process, it helps in accelerating wound contraction and increased the breaking strength of resulting scar tissue.  Aloe gel has the ability to increase the synthesis of hyaluronic acid and dermatan sulfate in the granulation tissue of a healing wound following oral or topical treatment.

Antioxidant

An antioxidant substance such as vitamin C or E removes potentially damaging oxidizing agents in a living organism.  Antioxidants can clean out free radicals in the body that contribute to organ or tissue breakdown, inflammation, degeneration, and help reduce the effects of aging.  Aloe Vera is a rich source of antioxidant vitamins namely vitamin A, C, and E.

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is caused by uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the breast.  Breast cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in women.  Aloe vera consists phytochemicals namely aloe-emodin.  Aloe-emodin suppresses breast cancer cell proliferation by targeting estrogen receptor protein stability through distinct mechanisms.  Findings suggest that many phytochemicals derived from plants, including anthraquinone, have been reported to have anticancer potential.

Lowers Blood Sugar

Blood sugar is called glucose, which is the main sugar found in the blood.  It is formed from the food we eat and is the body’s main source of energy.  Blood carries glucose to all the body’s cells to use for energy.  Diabetes is a disease in which blood sugar levels are too high.  Studies have shown that the extract of aloe vera has the ability to stimulate the secretion of insulin and reduce blood sugar.  This is very beneficial to people, who suffer from type 2 diabetes.

Moisturizing and Anti-aging effect

Aloe vera is one of the widely used ingredients in many skin products for moisturizing and anti-aging effects.  Aloe vera is known to stimulate fibroblast which produces the collagen and elastin fibers.  Due to the stimulation of fibroblast, it makes the skin more elastic and less wrinkled.  It is also known for its cohesive effects and helps in binding the superficial flaking epidermal cells by sticking them together, which softens the skin.

The amino acids present in aloe vera is helpful to soften hardened skin cells and zinc acts as an astringent to tighten pores.  Due to the presence of essential amino acids and the water content, it is well known for its moisturizing effects, which is helpful in the treatment of dry skin.  Aloe vera gel is also very effective in fighting acne.

Antiseptic Effect

Aloe vera contains 6 antiseptic agents namely lupeol, salicylic acid, urea nitrogen, cinnamonic acid, phenols, and sulfur.  These agents are helpful in fighting harmful fungus, bacteria, and virus.

Are there any side-effects?

There are very minimal side effects of aloe vera and can be easily avoided.  Some of the side effects caused by topical use include redness, burning, stinging sensation, and rarely generalized dermatitis in sensitive individuals.  Side effects from oral use include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, red urine, hepatitis, dependency or worsening of constipation.

Regular use of the entire leaf, which includes the latex, can deplete potassium in the body.  Electrolyte imbalances due to this can lead to muscle weakness and cardiac problems.  Supplemental products containing the latex can exacerbate intestinal illnesses such as Crohn’s disease (a chronic inflammatory disease of the digestive tract) and ulcerative colitis (inflammatory bowel disease, which causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers in the digestive tract).

People suffering from diabetes should monitor their blood sugar levels when consuming aloe products.  Consuming aloe vera in any form is not advisable during pregnancy, as it may cause uterine contractions or miscarriage.  Excessive use of aloe latex has the potential to also cause kidney failure and should strictly be avoided by people suffering from kidney problems.

The many ways you can use Aloe vera

Aloe Vera Juice:  Aloe vera juice is made by crushing or grinding entire leaves, including the latex portion.  Since the latex has a bitter flavor and laxative effects, it is removed during processing using a stripping agent.

Aloe Vera Gel:  Aloe vera gel is made without the outer rind and aloe latex.  It is then ground into juice or kept in gel form.  Carrageenan is used to thicken this and commercially sold as aloe vera gel form.

Aloe vera concentrate:  Commonly made from the whole aloe leaf.  Since it is more potent, it is used by people who want to take a small dose once a day.

 Aloe vera powder:  The aloe vera gel is rinsed to remove remnants of aloin (the laxative ingredient in the latex) and dehydrated.  The dried gel is then ground into powder form and used in food and beverages.

Aloe vera capsules:  Aloe vera capsule is made from the whole leaf and freeze-dried into capsule form.  This offers a more concentrated form of aloe vera.  The main purpose of doing this is it does not need to be refrigerated and is travel-friendly.

Aloe vera has a wide spectrum of properties and uses and there is a number of ways to use the aloe vera plant and the various gels and extracts that can be made from it.  Aloe vera has been the subject of much scientific study over the last few years, regarding several claimed therapeutic properties.  Researchers are continuing to discover new methods to use this succulent plant.  It is always advisable to consult a medical professional when used to treat any diseases.


TL;DR?

Aloe-vera infographic

 

Display this infographic on your website

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

 

 

 

Related Posts

Trending Topics

anal sex
Anal Sex : Tips from experts on how to be kinky yet safe Whether it irks you or stokes your fantasies, anal sex has always been an intriguing…
diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can…
Penis pump: Pump your way out of erectile dysfunction One of the options to treat erectile dysfunction is by the use of a penis…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many…
apple cider vinegar weight loss
Apple cider vinegar: Weight loss, shinier hair, and more! Did you know that apple cider vinegar, produced by the simple fermentation of apple juice,…
Clitoris: Why is it called the gateway to toe-curling female orgasms? The word clitoris comes from the Greek word kleitoris or “little hill.”  Many compare the…
Lectin: The common link of proteins between peas and people Lectins are a type of protein that are found majorly in legumes. Most people are…
dandelion health benefits
Dandelion: Little parachutes of health and wellness for your whole body Dandelions are not just bright looking blossoms that cheer your mind. These are powerpacked with…
Find the G spot: The top sex positions that guarantee an orgasm There has been a long debate as to whether the G-spot actually exists as a…
Female Masturbation: Tips on how to turn up the heat during a solo mission As a female, do you find yourself constantly wondering as to what is the best…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders?…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make…
Garlic health benefits cloves
Garlic: Nature’s white pill as an effective home remedy What are the secrets hidden in these tiny white pills? Find out the immense health…
The science behind daith piercing: Can it really cure migraine? Since the ear has several pressure points, it is believed that daith piercing activates the…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling…
turmeric skin
We bet you didn’t know that turmeric could be this beneficial! Did you know that turmeric, a humble ingredient found in most Indian kitchens could cure…
eating myths debunked
8 ‘healthy eating’ myths you believed until now Is a zero-carb diet really healthy for you? Are organic products worth their cost? Did…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It…
The right way to prepare Alfalfa sprouts at home Alfalfa or lusan ghas is not just a nutritious animal fodder. This flavonoid-rich herb has…
CLA: A breakthrough weight loss supplement with minimal side effects Tried every weight loss supplement in the market with no substantial gain? Why not try…
How can Kegels help you overcome weak pelvic muscles & incontinence? Kegel exercises are pelvic floor strengthening exercises that can help you overcome incontinence issues that…
nature health benefits
Green Healing: The amazing health benefits of being in nature You have no idea what sitting in a closed room does to your body and…
Keto diet healthy
Keto Diet: Did you know you could eat fats to burn fats? Keto diet - A wonder diet that lets you eat fats and lose weight too!…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet…
Anhedonia: Does the chronic inability to feel joy affect you too? How often do you feel dragged down by an invisible force? Do you feel an…
BRAT Diet: What is the right way to follow this diarrhea-relieving diet? BRAT diet, a simple diet consisting of just bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, can help…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be.…
back pain relief
Don’t choose pain: 10 truths about your back ache (and how to get relief) Back pain is one of the most common ailments in the world. Almost 80% of…
Pumpkin Seeds: Why pumpkins are more than just for pies! Pumpkins have been long associated with Halloween carvings and delicious pies. But did you know…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes…
erectile dysfunction treatment
Erectile Dysfunction: Effective tips to help you get back on charge Erectile dysfunction is a common male sexual dysfunction. Don't stress out. Just follow these amazing…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how…
Love tea, hate tannins? Rooibos tea is just what you need The market is brimming with a multitude of herbal teas. But what makes rooibos tea…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are…
How accurate is the hair follicle drug test? Hair follicle drug test is one of the best ways to identify drug use in…
Appendix pain: Recent findings on this not-so vestigial organ The exact function of the appendix is still not clear. Some consider it as an…
Is this is the real life? Is this just fantasy? – Decoding the myths of lucid dreaming Lucid dreaming or dreaming with a state of awareness has often intrigued the minds of…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you…
Chromium Picolinate: An essential mineral supplement for faster weight loss Did you know that about 1.6 million deaths were directly linked to diabetes globally? How…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the…
What is the average penis size and why should you care? Scientifically speaking, the average size of the penis depends on numerous factors such as genes,…
Internal bleeding brain
Beware: Ignoring these tell-tale signs of stroke could cost a life The signs and symptoms of a stroke differ depending on which part of the brain…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media?…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple…
oral hygiene tips
6 shocking consequences of bad oral hygiene (and how to avoid them) Did you know bad breath is not just turning off, but also harms your body…
Fluoride: An indispensible mineral or a potential toxin ? Fluoride, the main ingredient of toothpaste, has shown a great potential as a cleanser. However,…
Spirulina: Battle diabetes and cholesterol with this blue-green algae Spirulina, a species of salt water algae, has now become a billion dollar industry. How…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket The dragon fruit is packed with nutrients and yet low on calories and is the…
Military diet
Military Diet : Why following a highly restrictive diet is a bad idea Is seiging your calorie intake the right way to attack fats? Read more about Military…
ashwagandha brain
Ashwagandha: The best-kept secret of Ayurveda now revealed! Ashwagandha literally means "smell of horse". Don't get bogged down by that one tiny detail…
green poop causes
Green poop : What are the reasons and how can you correct it Ever sneak a peek down the toilet only to shockingly find green poop? Why does…
Tea Tree Oil : The one stop cure for skin ailments and more… The popularity of tea tree oil, an essential oil, as the ultimate skin care pick…
Experts reveal, how long does marijuana actually stay in your system… Weed or marijuana is one of the most widely abused recreational drug. But did you…
Piaget stages: Do they accurately describe the way the human brain develops?  A common assumption was that children are less competent thinkers as compared to adults, but…
V for Vagina: How well do you know this extraordinary part of the female anatomy? Vagina - a simple part of the human anatomy that has often created a feeling…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking…
aspartame or sugar
Aspartame – Hidden truths about this storm in a teacup Aspartame, the artificial sweetener, has gone under the scanner on several occasions for allegedly doing…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity ,…
Improve sex life
9 best tips from around the world for better sex life How can the pungent-smelling garlic pack in a punch to your libido? How could something…
Isagenix diet
Isagenix Diet: Do you really need liquid meal replacements to lose weight? Isagenix Diet - What are liquid meal replacements and why is the world going ga-ga…
gout diet purines
Gout Diet : Get relief from painful joints by eating these foods Are you a victim of this painful condition? Are medications providing only short relief? Find…
TBHQ: A carcinogen lingering in your child’s favorite snacks TBHQ - Why you should shun the practice of eating instant noodles or microwave popcorn…
Hydroquinone: Is it the best topical treatment for hyperpigmentation? Darkening of the skin due to high melanin levels is called hyperpigmentation.  Hydroquinone interferes with melanin…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of…
Vitamin C: The instant health benefits of adding the citrusy goodness to your diet Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that cannot be synthesized in your body and has…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know…
tips for perfect sleep
Stop hitting the snooze button: 8 proven steps to perfect sleep Are you tired of not getting enough sleep? All your efforts for a sound sleep…
occupational hazards types
Occupational Hazards: How to vouch for your health at your workplace Occupational hazards affect millions worldwide. Chemical spills, faulty wires, deadly pathogen, and work-stress can happen…
quinoa salad
Quinoa : A prodigious superfood you need to include in your diet today! Quinoa - what is so special about this native South American grain that has taken…
DASH Diet: What to eat in a “Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension”? If you or your loved one is suffering from chronic hypertension (high blood pressure), dash…
The real reason why you shouldn’t be eating ramen noodles Instant ramen noodles might be your go-to snack for your hunger pangs. But with each…
waterchestnut
Water Chestnuts: The tastiest ways to include this healthy tuber in your diet Water chestnut is not a nut after all. It is a tuber (much like the…
Colloidal silver benefits
Colloidal silver: An essential dietary supplement or yet another pharmaceutical hoax? Colloidal silver is hailed as an effective home remedy for infections. Many believe it can…
What is the eustachian tube and how does it help you maintain body balance? Pressure equalization, mucus drainage and protecting the middle ear from bacteria and viruses are the…
GERD heartburn
Heartburn: What are the exact symptoms and the best home remedies? There are easy home remedies for heartburn, which not only acts as a first aid…
TRX: Why is this total resistance workout the best choice for your body? TRX or total resistance exercise is a form of exercise where suspension belts are used…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your…
cold flu sinus treatment
How to beat the common cold, flu, and sinus infection instantly? Can you guess some of the easiest tricks to treat cold and sinus infections? How…

Related Posts

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.