When looking into your bathroom cabinets, what do you see? Medicines, lotions, facial cleansers, and moisturizers are just some of the items found in a typical household bathroom. With the plethora of different products, each with a different use, it can be difficult to sort through it all. What if you didn't need all of that clutter? A variety of these items can easily be replaced by something many individuals already own: aloe vera. Aloe vera has a versatility many would never expect. It is cheap, as well as easy to find and use. Start reading now to learn about how aloe vera can be used.
Treats Burns And Ailments
One of the most common uses for aloe vera is to treat various burns and ailments, which can be anything from a sunburn to a burn received from a stove or kitchen accident. Aloe vera works well to soothe burns because it has anti-inflammatory properties that not only reduces swelling but also decreases the overall temperature of the skin. Additionally, aloe vera can increase the moisture in the skin, which helps the skin heal from burns and other injuries in which the skin is broken. In turn, there is a significant decrease in pain soon after aloe vera is applied to the affected area.
As Food Or Drink
Aloe vera benefits the body not only externally, but internally as well. Aloe vera can be eaten raw as part of a salad, cooked in a stir-fry, or used in a drink. It is jam-packed with vitamins and minerals including niacin, folic acid, potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B12, and zinc. As a result of all the vitamins and minerals it contains, aloe vera can help with ailments such as cramps, a poor immune system, high cholesterol, and inflammation. Aloe vera can even improve heart health! It's safe to say when aloe vera is used as a food or drink, it can significantly improve health.
Acne is painful and can be hard to treat. The good news, however, is when aloe vera is applied to acne, it can greatly improve the appearance and overall feeling of the skin. This is something everyone can easily add to their beauty routine to decrease acne. Furthermore, because aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties, it can reduce the swelling acne often causes, along with the red appearance.
Its antibacterial properties help prevent the spread of bacteria from acne and reduce the treatment time. To use aloe vera to treat acne, simply slice open the aloe vera leaf to expose the liquid inside and gently rub it across the affected area. A store-bought gel can also be used, though it may not be as effective as the concentrated liquid itself. The niacin in aloe vera also helps improve the appearance of acne scarring, so it's flawless skin all around!
As Makeup Remover
Many individuals don't know aloe vera can also be used to remove makeup. Aloe vera is a great alternative to makeup removers with harsh chemicals since it is natural, safe, and even improves the skin's appearance. Unlike other makeup removers, aloe vera doesn't dry out the skin, and it can actually prevent skin irritations from forming and help clear up the skin over time, as discussed previously. Similar to treating acne, aloe vera to remove makeup can either stem straight from the plant or from a store-bought gel. Simply rub the aloe vera on a cotton swab or piece of cloth and gently scrub at the makeup. It should come right off!
Natural Skin Moisturizer
It can be hard to find a good, natural skin moisturizer, especially for individuals with oily skin, as many moisturizers just make the problem worse. There is also a long list of ingredients in lotions many individuals are allergic to, and it is difficult to look through the ingredients just to realize they can't use it. Thankfully, a great replacement for a generic lotion or moisturizer is aloe vera, which is a great way to moisturize skin without a long list of ingredients. The skin isn't left with a greasy residue like many moisturizers can cause, and because aloe vera contains niacin, it helps reduce sunspots as well as wrinkles.
Aloe vera has been shown in studies to reduce plaque. Plaque is the most common source of gum disease and tooth decay, which are common health problems faced by a majority of the population. Gum disease prevention includes reducing the amount of plaque that builds up in the mouth between brushing teeth. One study done of three hundred healthy individuals showed rinsing the mouth with aloe vera juice was equally as effective at reducing plaque as a standard mouthwash over four days.
Another study found equal benefits when the mouth rinse was used over periods of between fifteen and thirty days. The reason aloe vera does this is because it kills the bacterium Streptococcus mutans, which is found in the mouth. This bacteria produces plaque. In addition, the juice can kill Candida albicans yeast, which also contributes to plaque buildup. Using aloe vera as a mouth rinse confers very similar benefits to using traditional mouthwash.
Treats Canker Sores
Aloe vera can be very helpful in the treatment of canker sores, which are painful sores that form under the lip or inside the mouth. They typically stay on the face for anywhere from seven to ten days before resolving on their own. Most canker sores don't require treatment. However, they can be painful and uncomfortable, and at-home remedies like aloe vera might help them heal faster. There have been multiple studies indicating treating canker sores with aloe vera can help them heal faster.
One study was done of 180 individuals over seven days. All of the test subjects had recurring mouth ulcers. A patch of aloe vera was applied to the ulcers, and it was shown to reduce the overall size when compared to those who did not use treatment. With that said, it wasn't any more effective than traditional treatment methods, which use corticosteroids. Another study showed aloe vera patches were effective at reducing the pain from canker sores along with helping them heal more rapidly.
Aloe vera has been shown to alleviate constipation. This is true when individuals use it in latex form rather than gel form. Aloe vera latex looks very different from the gel because it's a different part of the plant. This sticky residue is yellow and can be harvested from below the leaf's skin. The compound that helps with constipation is referred to as barbaloin or aloin. It's a compound that has been established in multiple studies across multiple medical fields to be useful as a laxative.
With that said, some researchers have raised concerns the supplement might not be safe to use for prolonged or frequent periods. Because of safety concerns, individuals can't purchase aloe latex over-the-counter in the United States. It has been unavailable since 2002. Although multiple urban myths are saying aloe vera is helpful for any number of digestive disorders, that doesn't appear to be true. Studies have been done regarding the efficacy of aloe vera on inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome treatment, and there's been no conclusive evidence.
Lowers Blood Sugar
In some practices, aloe vera has been used as a diabetes remedy to lower blood sugar. It is a traditional remedy that might be helpful in blood sugar management, but patients should always talk to a doctor before trying any new regimens to manage their blood sugar. The theory is aloe vera can enhance the body's sensitivity to insulin, which in turn helps it manage its blood sugar. There have been multiple animal and human studies of type 2 diabetes that have indicated promising results in the use of aloe vera extract for blood sugar management.
With that said, these studies weren't of the best quality, so more research must be done before a conclusion is drawn. It's also important to note some patients have reported experiencing liver damage due to long-term consumption of aloe vera supplements. The early evidence suggests it might be helpful, but more research should be done before it's a recommended medical treatment.
Benefits Digestive Health
There's a good deal of information indicating aloe vera might help benefit digestive health, even if it hasn't been proven an effective treatment for chronic digestive illnesses. If an individual's digestive system is generally healthy but just needs a little extra assistance, aloe vera might be the right treatment. The extract has several different enzymes that help the body break down fats and sugars, which allows an individual's metabolism to run smoothly.
This is especially important since a digestive system that isn't operating at its full capacity will be unable to absorb the nutrients in food. This means vitamin and mineral levels may become dangerously low even if individuals are technically consuming the correct amount. There has been one study indicating aloe vera might be helpful for patients who have ulcerative colitis. The study was done with placebo controls and a double-blind setup, so it doesn't have as much room for human error as some other studies.