The Astonishing Uses And Health Benefits Of Aloe Vera

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The Astonishing Uses And Health Benefits Of Aloe Vera
image 1 – casellesingold – image 2 – Wikipedia – lic. under GFDL

Aloe vera is a medicinal plant that grows in regions where there are warm, dry climates including India, Africa, and the Middle East. This herbal plant occupies an important position in the medical practices of various cultures around the world. Many civilizations including Egyptians, Persians, Greek, Italians, and Japanese revered the aloe vera for its astonishing uses and health benefits.

The gel and the latex are the most useful parts of the aloe vera. The cells in the center of the leaf are where the gel is obtained while the latex is located in the cells just beneath the leaf skin. The gel is a clear, jelly-like substance while the latex is yellow in color.

For this article, we will be discussing the most common uses and healing qualities of aloe vera. These amazing benefits are backed by scientific evidence (we have linked our references as always):

1. Heartburn Relief

Heartburn often leads to a digestive disorder known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Aloe vera was found to be effective in reducing the severity of GERD [1] by consuming one to three ounces of its gel. The plant has low toxicity, making it a safe natural remedy for heartburn.

2. Mouthwash Alternative

The Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences [2] published a study in April 2014 that revealed the potential of aloe vera extract as a safe and effective alternative to chemical-based mouthwashes due to its ability to reduce dental plaque.

3. Topical Medication For Burns

In 1959, the U.S Food and Drug Administration [3] gave its approval for aloe vera ointment as an over-the-counter medication for skin burns. The efficacy of the ointment as a topical treatment for first- and second-degree burns [4] has been validated by several studies.

4. Treatment Of Mouth Ulcers

Mouth ulcers form underneath the lip, inside the mouth. Studies have shown that aloe vera treatment can accelerate the healing of this disease which is also known as canker sores. Aloe vera gel also reduced the pain associated with mouth ulcers. [5]

5. Reduces Constipation

This benefit is provided by the latex and not by the gel. The sticky yellow residue contains a compound called aloin which has well-established laxative effects [6][7] However, aloe vera was found ineffective in treating inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. [8][9]

6. Improves Blood Sugar Management For Diabetics

Aloe vera may enhance insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes. Several studies conducted on animals and humans have indicated the potential of consuming Aloe vera extract for the treatment of type-2 diabetes. [10][11]

7. Help Prevent Wrinkles

One study [12] of women over the age of 45 discovered that Aloe vera gel could increase the production of collagen and improve skin elasticity. This result confirmed the potential of the gel to slow aging of the skin.

8. Potential To Fight Breast Cancer

The journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine published a study in 2013 that showed the potential of the succulent in slowing the growth of breast cancer. The research focused on the therapeutic properties of aloe emodin, [13] a compound in the plant’s leaves. Further studies are needed to advance this theory.

9. Preservation Of Fruits And Vegetables

Two studies have indicated that aloe gel coating could block the growth of many types of harmful bacteria. One was done on tomato plants [14] while another was performed on apples. [15]

10. Heals Side Effects Of Radiotherapy Treatments

Topical application of aloe vera gel has a soothing effect on the radiation area of a patient. Drinking aloe vera juice can also help in healing the radiation burns. [16] One study noted the efficacy of aloe vera on radiation-induced dermatitis. [17]

12. Wound Healing

Aloe vera has been proven to help improve wound healing and is effective by both oral and topical routes of administration. [18] Another work used aloe vera to deal with complications of wound healing following a gynecological surgery. [19]

13. Reduces Arthritis

Aloe vera’s anti-inflammatory properties can work instantly on the pain and swelling resulting from arthritis. [20] Topical application or drinking aloe vera juice both have positive results in curing arthritis pain.

14. Remedy For Asthma

Aloe vera was one of the medicinal herbs [21] used by asthmatic patients attending a public specialty care in Trinidad. The study explored the implications on the quality of healthcare delivery by the use of medicinal herbs for self-medication in disease management.

15. Nausea Alleviation

Aloe vera juice can indirectly alleviate the feelings of nausea. [22] It is considered valuable for a sick stomach and brings a calm feeling throughout the body.

Further Reading:

How To Make Your Own Aloe Vera Gel

How To Make A Cooling Peppermint And Aloe Vera Foot Mist


[1] Eric Yarnell and Kathy Abascal. 2010. Alternative & Complementary Therapies. Herbs for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.

[2] Gupta RK et. al. 2014. Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences. Preliminary antiplaque efficacy of aloe vera mouthwash on 4 day plaque re-growth model: randomized control trial.

[3] Conan Miller. 2016. The Epoch Times. Aloe Vera: Treatments and Safety Concerns.

[4] Maenthaisong R et. al. 2007. Burns: Journal for the International Society for Burn Injuries. The efficacy of aloe vera used for burn wound healing: a systematic review.

[5] Neda B et. al. 2012. Dental Research Journal. Evaluation of the therapeutic effects of Aloe vera gel on minor recurrent aphthous stomatitis.

[6] de Witte P. 1993. Pharmacology. Metabolism and pharmacokinetics of anthranoids.

[7] Ulbricht C et. al. 2007. Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy. An evidence-based systematic review of Aloe vera by the natural standard research collaboration.

[8] Davis K et. al. 2006. International Journal of Clinical Practice. Randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial of aloe vera for irritable bowel syndrome.

[9] Roja Rahimi and Mohammad Abdollahi. 2012. World Journal of Gastroenterology. Herbal medicines for the management of irritable bowel syndrome: A comprehensive review.

[10] Yongchaiyudha S et. al. 1996. Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology. Antidiabetic activity of Aloe vera L. juice. I. Clinical trial in new cases of diabetes mellitus.

[11] Bunyapraphatsara N et. al. 1996. Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology. Antidiabetic activity of Aloe vera L. juice II. Clinical trial in diabetes mellitus patients in combination with glibenclamide.

[12] Soyun C et. al. 2009. Annals of Dermatology. Dietary Aloe Vera Supplementation Improves Facial Wrinkles and Elasticity and It Increases the Type I Procollagen Gene Expression in Human Skin in vivo.

[13] Huang PH et. al. 2013. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Emodin and Aloe-Emodin Suppress Breast Cancer Cell Proliferation through ERa Inhibition.

[14] Garcia MA et. al. 2014. Fruits. Effects of Aloe vera coating on postharvest quality of tomato.

[15] Adetunji C et. al. 2012. Journal of Agricultural Research and Development. Effect of Edible Coatings from Aloe vera gel on Citrus sinensis during Ambient storage.

[16] Cancer Research UK.

[17] Haddad P et. al. 2013. Current Oncology. Aloe vera for prevention of radiation-induced dermatitis: a self-controlled clinical trial.

[18] Davis RH et. al. 1989. Wound healing. Oral and topical activity of Aloe vera.

[19] Schmidt J.M, Greenspoon J.S. 1991. Obstetrics and Gynecology. Aloe vera dermal wound gel is associated with a delay in wound healing.

[20] Cowan D. 2010. British Journal of Community Nursing. Oral Aloe vera as a treatment for osteoarthritis: a summary.

[21] Clement YN et. al. 2005. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Medicinal herb use among asthmatic patients attending a specialty care facility in Trinidad.

[22] U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2017. CDC Yellow Book 2018: Health Information for International Travel.

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