What is Aloe Vera?
Aloe Vera is a succulent plant that is a member of the Lily family. It is related to the some of your common kitchen staples, including: onions, garlic and turnips. Its origins are traced back to the warm, dry climates of Africa where it grows indigenously.
Aloe Vera is highly adaptive and has been used for thousands of years all over the world. It is generally found in a clear, gelatinous gel and has about 97% water content. People have long recognized aloe for its basic soothing properties for sunburns, bruises, cuts and scrapes, but it has the ability to do so much more.
What makes aloe such a rock star plant?
Aloe Vera contains over 200 active components, such as minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, enzymes and amino acids. Some other awesome reasons to use aloe are:
1. Weight Loss. Aloe Vera helps aids in digestion and overall detoxification, which helps your body to run optimally. Its healing properties allow it to cleanse the digestive tract of old waste and because it’s an adaptogen, it helpt to gently bring your body back into balance, naturally. Aloe also assists with yeast overgrowth in conditions such as candida, by ridding the body of unhealthy bacteria in the stomach and soothing the intestinal wall.
2. Anti-Inflammatory. Aloe Vera contains three very well known fatty acids: lupeol, campersterol and B-sitosterol (plant sterols). Because of this, aloe may have a positive impact on muscles, joints and tissues in your body. It not only helps to reduce cholesterol, but there are also studies linking Aloe Vera to a reduction of heart disease because it improves circulation, regulates blood pressure and leads to the tonification of the blood, making it less “sticky.” Applying Aloe Vera gel can prevent or stop chronic inflammation and reduce pain from injury, assist with immune dysfunction and a myriad of other issues.
3. Healing Properties. Aloe is an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic. Aloe is so great that it actually has the ability to adapt where needed in your body and serve as a cleanup crew for your individual health needs. I’ve read and heard countless stories about people recovering from life-threatening illnesses and major trauma to the body through regular use. Aloe Vera stimulates your body to produce macrophages, which are the white blood cells that your immune system uses to fight off viruses.
4. DNA Repair. Because Aloe oxygenates the blood and alkalizes the body, there is a positive impact on cellular health, which can lead to a reduction of disease in the body. There is a theory that part of the reason disease is so rampant in this generation is due to the increasingly acidic nature of our environments and physical bodies. Bringing in higher alkalizing content can combat some of the damage of the high levels of acidity you ingest through your food and environment each day. Aloe is also anti-aging because it combats free-radicals in the body and is rich in anti-oxidants.
5. Popular Uses. Skin care (sunburns, bruises, scrapes, facial hydration), aids in lowering blood sugar levels, weight loss, overall detoxification, increased oral hygiene, enhances heart health, digestive aid, stress reduction, cellular health optimization and boosts the immune system.
How can I use it?
Aloe Vera can be used topically or taken internally. If you are doing a detox or have an acute health issue, it’s best to take it frequently for a short amount of time (such as five times a day for up to two weeks and then take a break for two weeks). Aloe Vera is also contraindicated during pregnancy and while nursing. Check with your healthcare provider if you have specific questions or concerns.
Recommended Brands: Lily of the Dessert, Lakewood Organics and Trader Joe’s brand are all good options. Try to get Aloe Vera in a glass jar and always refrigerate after opening.
Disclaimer: Always check with your doctor or healthcare practitioner before trying a new health product or detoxification program.