The plump leaves of aloe vera contain a gel-like substance that is best known for treating skin injuries like sunburns and wounds.
Have you thought of getting a low-maintenance plant for yourself as you sit at home during the pandemic? If you have, aloe vera is the perfect choice for you. Not only are aloe vera plants easy to maintain but their neat look offers some character that uplifts your mundane living space. Not just that, the plump, short leaves of aloe vera house so many benefits that it feels well worth the investment. The leaves are jam-packed with a thick, gel-like substance that is best known for treating skin injuries like sunburns and wounds. The succulent could also potentially benefit one's health in many ways and researchers are just starting to unlock its secrets.
Having the plant at home will allow you to extract its gel whenever you need it. Thankfully, the extraction process is quite simple and can be done in just 90 seconds. Watch the video below to know how to go about the process:
Here is why you should consider having this potted plant in your home:
Heartburn is often caused due to digestive disorders like Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). While there are many over-the-counter (OTC) antacids available in the market, aloe vera could be a natural solution to your issues. According to Healthline, a 2010 review suggested consuming 1 to 3 ounces of aloe gel during mealtime to reduce the severity of GERD. It could also help ease other problems related to digestion and due to its low toxicity, it is safe and gentle to relieve heartburn.
Aloe vera can be used in place of traditional mouthwash and a 2014 study agrees. Published in the Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences, researchers found that the extract of aloe vera was a safe yet effective alternative to the chemical-based mouthwashes. The plant contains a healthy dose of vitamin C, which can effectively block plaque. Additionally, it can provide relief if you're suffering from bleeding or swollen gums.
This time, it's the latex present in the succulent that could aid digestion and not the gel. The sticky yellow residue present beneath the skin of the leaf contains a key compound called aloin or barbaloin which has laxative effects. But as the results have been mixed, the US Food and Drug Administration removed all over-the-counter aloe laxative products from the US market in 2020. On the other hand, Mayo Clinic recommends that aloe vera can be used to relieve constipation, but sparingly.
Over 30 million Americans have diabetes (with type 2 diabetes being the most common type) and more than 84 million are prediabetic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). When used as supplements, aloe vera can be used to improve glycemic control in prediabetic people and the ones with type 2 diabetes. Per a study in Trusted Source in Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacy, consuming two tablespoons of aloe vera juice every day could help lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. That being said, diabetic people who take glucose-lowering medication should use the juice with caution as the aloe vera extract teamed with diabetic medications could lower one's glucose count to dangerous levels.
Cambridge University Press published a study online in 2014 which evaluated the benefits of coating tomato plants with aloe gel. Apparently, the coating successfully obstructed the growth of many types of harmful bacteria on the vegetables. In yet another study with apples, similar results were obtained. Thus, it is safe to say that aloe gel might be helpful in keeping fruits and vegetables fresh for a longer time. It also eliminates the use of dangerous chemicals that are employed to extend the shelf life of the vegetable and fruits.
It's no secret that aloe vera is used in many skin-care products, including moisturizers and face masks, due to its hydrating properties. It can help keep your skin clear while fighting off signs of aging. According to Mayo Clinic, using a moisturizer is an important step in a beauty regime as it locks in hydration and helps your face look more youthful. Whereas dry skin is caused when there's loss of moisture and it results in shriveled-up skin which could lead to premature wrinkles.
You can always lather a thick layer of aloe vera gel on your skin to soothe it after a nasty sunburn. "Aloe is my favorite natural choice for treating sunburns," says Adrienne Haughton, MD, a dermatologist with Stony Brook Medicine based in Commack, New York. Haughton added, "Aloe gel is cooling and has anti-inflammatory properties, so it’ll immediately provide some relief from discomfort associated with a sunburn." A 2019 study found that plant has the ability to fight off inflammation as it contains glucomannan, a compound that has regenerative properties. Thus, it can also reduce the recovery time of wounds, infections, and skin inflammation.
If getting a plant seems like too much of a responsibility, you can always get aloe vera gel from a store near you.
Cover image source: Getty | Photo by miodrag ignjatovicDisclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.