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The 5 Top Benefits of Aloe Vera – A Health and Anti-Aging Natural Wonder

The benefits of aloe vera were once more widely known than they are today.

You see, six thousand years ago, the ancient Egyptians regarded aloe vera as a miracle plant.

They used it in many ways, from treating burns to reducing fever. A few millennia later, Cleopatra herself used aloe in her daily skin treatments.

The ancient Greek scientists valued aloe as well, regarding the plant as the universal panacea.

And legend has it that Alexander the Great conquered territory off the coast of Africa to secure supplies of aloe vera for his soldiers.

The “miracle plant” was treated like a treasure throughout much of history.

So why, aside from using it for cuts and burns, have we largely forgotten its many benefits today?

It’s time aloe vera regained its throne, so below are the top benefits of this incredibly versatile plant.


The “Burn Plant”

aloe vera for burns

There are at least 420 different plant species of aloe, but the species used most for skin and medicinal purposes is known as “bitter aloe.”

And its most renowned benefit today is helping to heal burns.

In fact, a 2019 study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health found that aloe vera is one of the most effective solutions in treating first- and second-degree burn wounds. This is due to the soothing and moisturizing properties of the plant that help skin retain its integrity.

Moreover, the study concluded that aloe vera is much more effective and less costly compared to the currently available alternative treatments (petroleum jelly, silver sulfadiazine 1% ointment, and framycetin cream).

Another study showed that the average time of healing a partially thick burn wound with aloe gel was 12 days. This was compared to vaseline gauze to treat the same wound which took 18 days.

However, aloe vera’s greatest-known strength may also be its greatest hurdle, because it has become known today as the “burn plant” — which has overshadowed its many other excellent benefits!


The Anti-Aging Benefits of Aloe Vera

aloe vera anti-aging

In order to understand the anti-aging benefits of aloe vera, you have to understand the plant’s anatomy. Each leaf of the jagged green plant are composed of three layers:

  1. The inner layer is that iconic clear gel. The aloe gel contains 99 percent water with the remainder composed of glucomannans (a type of dietary fiber), amino acids, lipids, sterols, and vitamins.
  2. The middle layer is made of latex and appears as a yellow sap known as aloin. This layer contains glycosides (a compound formed from a simple sugar) and anthraquinones (organic compounds that cause a laxative effect and help with pain relief).
  3. The last and outermost layer is known as the rind. This thick skin protects the plant and synthesizes carbohydrates and proteins.

From a structural standpoint, aloe vera has a lot going on inside — it’s like a candy factory for nutrients.

According to the International Aloe Medical Group, there are at least 160 important ingredients in aloe vera leaves. However, some other experts estimate around 300 to 400 vital components.

These components include amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals, all of which promote a healthy immune system, aid in digestive health, and reduce harmful nitrates.

And with all these beneficial compounds, applying aloe topically also provides skin a range of benefits.

For example, topical aloe gel may increase collagen synthesis in the body and even change collagen composition.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body — making up one-third of our protein content — and is a major building block for our skin, bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Healthy collagen levels are also a key component behind healthy, young-looking skin.

In short, because of its effect on collagen, aloe may well help your skin look less wrinkled!

Furthermore, aloe gel may aid in the removal of dead skin cells and acne. A 2014 study found that combining conventional acne cream with aloe gel was significantly more effective than acne medication alone.

All of this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.

If the “burn plant” can heal first- and second-degree burns, why wouldn’t it also work well aging or sun-damaged skin?


The Nutrition and Anti-Inflammatory Benefits of Aloe Vera

aloe vera nutrition benefits

Like other leafy green plants, aloe vera is loaded with an assortment of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

Here are a few of the important ingredients inside aloe gel:

  • Vitamins: Aloe vera contains vitamin A, which aids the immune system and reproduction; B12, which keeps blood cells healthy and helps create new DNA. It also contains vitamins C and E; the former is critical for a healthy immune system and the latter prevents inflammation and promotes skin health.
  • Amino Acids (The Building Blocks of Protein): There are 20 amino acid proteins that our bodies need for vital processes. Of that 20, there are 9 that our body cannot produce on its own. In other words, we have to find these amino acids in our foods, thus these are dubbed essential amino acids. Aloe gel provides 7 of the 9 essential amino acids.
  • Digestive Enzymes: Digestive enzymes are critical in breaking down macronutrients like fats, proteins, and carbs into even smaller pieces to be absorbed. Consuming foods high in digestive enzymes helps digestion and leads to better gut health. Some foods that are high in digestive enzymes are kiwis, ginger, avocados, bananas,… and YES, aloe gel, which contains 8 digestive enzymes. These enzymes include aliiase, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, bradykinase, carboxypeptidase, catalase, cellulase, lipase, and peroxidase. Some of these help reduce inflammation, and others help breakdown sugar and fats.
  • Minerals: Aloe gel provides calcium, chromium, copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc. The particular minerals that aloe gel are higher in promote bone health, regulate blood pressure, and aid metabolic functions.
  • Anthraquinones: Anthraquinones are compounds that can help protect against kidney disease, liver disease, and cancer. One study found that anthraquinones suppress inflammation and support a healthy gut. Aloe provides 12 unique anthraquinones.

In addition to the aforementioned micronutrients and their benefits, consuming aloe gel may help relieve heartburn.

More specifically, aloe gel may help with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a digestive disorder that often results in heartburn. A 2015 study from the National Library of Medicine found that ingesting aloe vera syrup twice a day reduced GERD symptoms, with no adverse events requiring withdrawal.

Finally, one of the emerging benefits of consuming aloe vera juice is its effect on lowering blood sugar. A 2015 study suggests that consuming aloe vera gel can help people achieve better fasting blood glucose levels, as well as reduce body fat and weight.

One important caveat with consuming aloe vera — start with a small amount, as some people may experience a laxative effect (likely due to the anthraquinones).


Oral Care Benefits of Aloe Vera

aloe vera oral health benefits

Another little-known benefit of aloe vera is as a natural mouthwash.

There are many studies of aloe vera-based mouthwash being used to treat gingivitis, plaque build-up and soothe mouth irritation.

One that stands out, however, is a 2014 study published in the Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences.

Researchers found that an aloe vera-based mouthwash can be a safe and effective alternative to store-brand products. Plus, aloe vera does not contain the unwanted chemicals  common to store-brand options. And it cost significantly less than those store-brand options!

Truly Obscure Benefit of Aloe Vera — A Natural Preservative!

aloe vera preserve fruits and vegetables

Another very little-known use for aloe vera gel is its ability to preserve fruits and vegetables when coated on them.

A 2014 study published in the American Journal of Food Science and Technology found that aloe gel has the ability to prolong the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. The plant is able to do this because it has antifungal and antibacterial properties that provide a defensive barrier against microbial contamination of produce.

Yes, aloe vera really is the “Swiss army knife” of plants. Today, researchers are even experimenting to see if aloe-emodin, a compound in the plant’s leaves, can slow the growth of breast cancer. More research is needed to further this theory, though.

Bottom line, and as the ancients seemed to know, the big question with aloe vera seems to be what CAN’T it do?


8 Key Steps for Using Fresh Aloe Vera

Both aloe vera plants and leaves are rather easy to find today. You can find the plants to raise in your home or garden, and the freshly cut leaves if you prefer that route, everywhere from local farmer’s markets to major supermarket chains like Whole Foods and Walmart.

Additionally, aloe-based products are sold in many stores. HOWEVER, please be certain those products are USDA Certified Organic (or the equivalent, such as in other countries) because such products can otherwise be loaded with other toxic or synthetic ingredients.

If you do choose to grow your own aloe vera and harvest it for the gel and juice, remember to:

  • Cut your leaves close to the stalk, as most of the beneficial nutrients are found at the base of the leaves.
  • Place the leaves in a jar (cut side down) to drain the aloin (the yellowish latex substance) unless you’re planning on using it
  • Wash and dry the leaves
  • If you’re planning on using the aloe for your skin, you can scoop the gel out with your fingers (or a sharp object) and apply directly to your skin.
  • You can also squeeze out the gel once you’ve trimmed the prickly edges of your leaf
  • Depending on the size of your aloe plant, 3-4 leaves should leave you with about ½ to ¾ cup of aloe vera gel.
  • Cut the aloe gel into slices or cubes and refrigerate them ASAP
  • If you aren’t planning on using your leaf right away make sure to refrigerate it as well

Finally, as for consuming aloe vera, there are many online recipes you will find by searching “aloe vera recipes.”

One of my favorites is simply aloe and cucumber water — just combine some aloe vera juice with cucumber and water (or coconut water) for a healthy and delicious beverage!

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32 thoughts on “The 5 Top Benefits of Aloe Vera – A Health and Anti-Aging Natural Wonder”

  1. Amazing. I knew aloe only as the burn plant. I have a tube of organic aloe gel which I do use for skin irritations. It has a few other organic and vegan ingredients, too, but I guess that’s okay.

    I am using your serum now and plan adding your day cream as soon as I can. I’d like to learn more about using the two together.

    Reply
    • Aloe vera is also good for hair growth. Just rub the cut leaf directly to your scalp. Leave it for about 15 minutes before washing it.

      Reply
      • do you do this everyday? My hair is thinning and I used the aloe I usually drink. I have Lily Aloe of Texas. IS the cut leaf the only way to regrow hair or is the inner gel good too?

        Reply
  2. I drink aloe juice every morning to help digestion. I’ve been using organic prepared juice for the convenience. It’s has really helped!

    Reply
  3. I know, that Aloe has its of health benefits, and I had a plant which died.
    Where do I can buy organic Aloe Vera plant?

    Reply
    • All plants are organic by nature. As they grow, do not spray them with chemicals and they will stay organic.

      Reply
  4. Great, very informative article. We have learned so much.
    We have many plants around the house and consume and promote aloe Vera gel juice.
    Blessings with you and your team.
    Thank you

    Reply
  5. I’m using your Dream Cream now–and have ditched all the expensive, toxin loaded skin care products I’ve used in the past. Even dermatologists recommend the high end label products that have known carcinogenic ingredients in them, and that have been banned in Europe! I love the smell of your product, and how smooth it makes my skin feel! I am in my 60s, so I am anxious to see how well it can arrest the sands of time!

    Reply
  6. I actually have been very interested in aloe as I have a Friend with severe stomach issues and was thinking about getting her some. A timely article!

    Reply
  7. I love the aloe plant, but when I set it on my natural stone counter I had no idea it would leave a purple stain. I’ve tried everything to neutralize it with no luck what so ever. I can’t tell you how much this eye catching stain distressed me. I’m hoping someone knows something that might lighten the stain and also to warn others to be careful where you set it!

    Reply
    • Have you tried lemon juice to treat the stain? In this covid era I have made our own hand sanitizer using 2/3 cup alcohol & 1/3 cup aloe vera gel; it will not dry out your skin like commercial products do!

      Reply
    • You can try vinegar (strength min 20% ). Just put some of it on the stain and leave it for a while 15-20 minutes and you should be fine. May be you need to repeat this process for few times. Also, bicarbonate soda can be your solution too.

      Reply
  8. I use aloe for everything–even pain (topically applied and massaged into painful area). Combined with exercise, massage, and a tumeric-boswalia-ginger supplement I overcame a pinched sciatic nerve within 3 months without any pain medication or other medical treatment (except Xray to make sure I had not broken my hip). Recently used it to help cure painful ingrown toenail. Had incidence where my husband had a deep wound on finger (to the bone). After cleaning the wound, I butterflied it and then wrapped the finger with an opened piece of the leaf. Healed beautifully. Also a man teaching Native American crafts who claimed he was sent home from the hospital to die with cancer of stomach. Claims he cured it with aloe juice ingested internally. Yes, it truly is a miracle plant. I won’t do without it.

    Reply
  9. Thank you for sharing this amazing information about this lovely plant! I’m looking forward to sharing this with everyone! Plus I’m going to purchase a few aloe plants for my home:)
    God bless you and your family 🙏🏽💖

    Reply
  10. Aloe vera has SO many benefits: For eye or earinfections, wounds and scars to heal faster and better, in the mouth after chemotherapy/radiation, swallow when there’s a sore troat, stops itching after insect bites, to avoid and heal when sore diaperbottoms. I even use it on the tip of the thermometer so it’s smoother when used on the youngest ones. It is safe to use both topical and internal for all ages

    Reply
  11. Please tell me what you have already tried, perhaps I have an idea. Strange you should mention this, I had angioedema of the lips from a food allergy and when I applied aloe they turned bright purple. What kind of stone is it, do you know? When you say natural stone, I am assuming there is no sealant of any kind on it?

    Reply
  12. Thanks for your precious article on top benefits of ALOE VERA which I till now know its anti-burn agent. Indeed as an ancient saying:” Vietnamese are dying on lots of unknown precious medici-
    nal plants”, I now understand not to miss such yours. Blessings to your work.

    Reply
  13. Wow! everyone here seems to be aware of What Aloe Vera does!!! I use Lilly of the Desert Aloe, grown in Texas of all organic plants! been around for 40 yrs. I had a dancing friend with terrible stomach pains, mentioned Aloe, he can’t thank me enough! it really is a miracle plant!!! the stain might be gone, make a paste with Oxygen Cleanse powder, with a little baking soda added, let it sit overnight..could help!!!on the stone!! I use it it on my skin combined with arnica (homeopath cream) under my eyes, hair and on skin under arms to tighten!!! Suma G Nathan, Holistic Health Practitioner, Certified Planetary Chinese Herbologist, Strength Trainer, Rock & Roll dancer 83yrs young Pioneering Holistic since the 1960’s

    Reply
  14. I peel the leaf then gently rinse the bitter yellow sap off in water. Is this ok or am I washing away goodness?

    Reply
  15. My husband buys large aloe leaves at local markets. He washes leaves well and put them in the fridge. Every morning and night we both eat the gel inside and then rub our bodies with the green skins and leftover gel. My husband uses the skin and gel instead of sunscreen and he never burns. However, during his long bike rides he applies it 2 to 3 times. I was very pleased to read all the benefits of this miracle plants.

    Reply
  16. Aloe Vera juice or gel mixed 50/50 with colloidal silver immediately stops burn pain (area will feel fizzy) and will start growing new skin within 3 days. A large 2nd/3rd degree burn in my armpit (fell on the wood stove), covered with a clean cotton t-shirt kept moistened. Eliminated the pain and in 3 days I had new skin. My wife regrew the end of her thumb (meat slicer accident) in 5 days by soaking it in this solution. MIRACLES are natural.

    Reply
  17. I have a small seborrheic keratosis on my forehead and nightly application of aloe vera gel is reducing it.
    Also aloe vera juice is very good for constipation.

    Reply
  18. I find aloe keeps moles at bay eventually shrinking them, had a cancerous one on my leg and has helped with that. Also coconut oil is a great sunscreen.

    Reply
  19. If you harvest a plant [I’m in Yorkshire in the UK so mine are pot grown indoors.] by cutting through the stem an inch or two above the soil level, then clean the stem up of the bases of the leaves, the plant will quite soon grow an abundance of little plantlets which can be potted individually or left to grow communally.

    I have found the best way to cut an individual leaf, ALWAYS from the bottom of the stem up, is to go to the opposite side of the stem from where the leaf is pointing and, with a very sharp knife, carefully cut down along the ‘papery’ wrap that comes round from the base of the leaf, then the leaf will come away entire and whole with a gentle and firm pull/twist. It’s tricky near the soil level but once you get above that it is easy. Don’t cut deep tho, just enough to get thru’ the ‘papery’ bit.

    When I harvest a plant [Usually at around 1 & 1/2 to 2 ft tall.] I wash and dry it then slice it into [around] 1/2 inch long bits and keep these in the freezer for use in smoothies. This way one can try a low dose first and gradually increase it up to that which you desire your daily intake to be. I was dubious at first because of the reports of adverse effects to the digestive system of the middle, yellow sappy, layer but I have had no reactions yet, after many years and, like the article states, the sap does drain a little when drying [So make sure you got it on something to catch the mess !! Like a tissue which then goes in the compost heap.] By the way ‘drying’ does not mean crisping the leaf, just the water on the surface, in case there is any confusion here.

    Happy gardening, happy taking and luv’n’lite to all. 🙂

    Reply
  20. Thanks for this great information about Aloe vera. I have the plant in my house but hardly use it, but right now I shall begin to use it to the maximum. Thank you for the information once again.

    Reply
  21. I just love my own story about an aloe vera plant experience. Once upon a time -lol- about 35 years ago I was boiling 3 gallons of water with tea bags. Once it had boiled for a minute, I took it off the burner. In a huge hurry I turned around to the sink, grabbed a dish cloth to wipe off the stove and with my bare hand picked up that same very hot burner to clean under it. Even though I did yet feel pain, I immediately screamed and dropped the burner. I knew it was going to be bad – it was going to hurt SO much and I was such a pain wimp. My husband somehow knew what I had done. In under 20 seconds he was in the kitchen with a piece of aloe vera smearing it thickly everywhere on my hand. OMG — I never did have any pain and the palm of my hand and undersides of my fingers were just a little red. To this day I can still hardly believe it and I lived it. That is one amazing plant. My husband was pretty amazing too!

    Reply

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