Aloe Vera, ‘the wonder plant’ is a short stemmed shrub and belongs to genus aloe of succulent plants. The leaves are succulent and form a dense rosette. The gel in these leaves is useful for numerous purposes. In addition to its utility in cosmetics and personal care products, some studies claim its utility for therapeutics as well.
The US Food And Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its use for:
- Flavoring agent
- Cosmetics and personal care products
- Herbal remedies
- Moreover, ayurvedic practice, (An ancient Indian, natural and herbal practice for maintaining health) also applies this herb as herbal solution for hair care and skin care.
- The earliest records of human use for Aloe Vera dates back 16th century in Egyptian medical records. So, the plant is useful for its numerous benefits.
The Science Of Aloe Vera Benefits
What makes aloe vera so useful for beauty products and in therapeutics? The gel contains many bioactive compounds, minerals, vitamins and antioxidant such as polyphenolics. All these compounds are the reason for so many benefits and medicinal significance. In addition to these, the gel has antibacterial properties which make it useful for treating burn wounds.
Top 6 health benefits
Here are some major benefits of aloe vera plant and its gel:
1. Skin protection and anti aging effects
Natural herbs such as aloe vera have miraculous skin care and anti aging properties. One of the key studies has confirmed that this shrub and its gel is rich in an immune-modulating compound which is good for skin. This compound mainly protects the skin cells from harmful ultraviolet radiations. Moreover, together with the antioxidants, the gel helps in detoxification of skin. That’s why; the gel is constituent in skin care products. Also, you can apply the fresh gel directly extracted from plant. Its anti aging effects are because of production of collagen and elastin fibers. More elasticity in skin cells prevents wrinkles.
2. Lower the blood glucose levels
A study revealed the blood lowering potential of aloe vera herb. Five major types of phytosterols extracted from aloe vera herb are found to be effective for lowering blood glucose levels as well as triglycerides and free fatty acids.
3. Wound healing
The gel is capable of healing the wounds and scars. As reported by Journal of Pakistan Medical Association (JPMA), the burn wounds heal more quickly with aloe vera gel application as compared to commonly used silver sulfadiazine (SSD). Also, the gel is effective pain relief in many cases.
4. Healthy teeth and gums
The aloe vera herb and its gel contain a natural anti inflammatory compound-anthraquinone. This compound has been found effective for healthy teeth and gums.
5. Laxative effects
Studies reveal the potential of aloe vera plant for increasing intestinal water content. Moreover, it stimulates the peristalsis. These properties are attributed to a compound aleo-emodin-9-anthrone. Overall, it serves as an effective laxative for treating constipation.
6. Effective for Diabetes foot ulcer
Due to the antimicrobial and antibiotic properties of this shrub, this is effective for healing diabetic foot ulcers. Studies reveal that aloe gel prepared with Carbopol 974p and 1% of leaf extract significantly heals wounds and scars.
Herbal solutions are way more effective for skin care. Aloe vera, however, has more utilities in addition to skin care products. The gel is easily available in stores. However, using freshly excepted pure gel direct from plant is better to use. In this way, the gel is free of any additives and suits better for every skin type and wound healing.