You must have used Aloe Vera after spending too much time in the sun for its cooling effect. However, are you aware that your favorite Aloe Vera has loads of other uses? From soothing to cleaning your teeth, you will be amazed at the versatile uses of this plant. Aloe vera is being used for centuries for its beauty, medicinal, health, and skin care benefits. Its name is derived from the Arabic word “Alloeh,” which means a shining bitter substance, and “vera” meaning “true” in Latin.
Each leaf of Aloe vera consists of 3 layers. The innermost layer is a clear gel, and 99% of its constituent is water. The middle layer consists of latex, which is the bitter sap. The outermost layer is a thick layer of dead cells and has a protective function.
Below are the 5 health benefits of Aloe vera. Ready? Let’s get started
Aloe vera for hair
This plant is rich in vitamins like A, E, and C, which promote the growth of hair. Aloe vera also contains vitamin B12, choline, and folic acid. All these vitamins prevent hair fall. Moreover, it is seen to improve blood circulation, preventing hair breakage. Aloe vera also has nourishing properties that are beneficial in the treatment of dry hair and itchy scalp.
Benefits of Aloe vera for constipation
Anthraquinones (phenolic compounds, known as natural laxatives) present in the latex of this plant are potent laxatives. These phenolic compounds reduce absorption of water from the intestinal cavity and trigger water secretion into the intestinal lumen by promoting water permeability across the intestinal mucosa, increasing colonic water content. Anthraquinones also stimulate mucus secretion and aid intestinal movements. All these mechanisms prevent constipation.
In a study on 28 healthy individuals, anthraquinones in Aloe vera were reported to have a significant laxative effect, compared to the placebo group.
Anti-obesity benefits of Aloe vera
You would be wondering what are the benefits of Aloe vera for obesity? Aloe vera is seen to reduce the number of adipocytes (fat cells) in the body by suppressing their receptors (scavenger receptor) on macrophages (a type of white blood cells). Moreover, supplementing with Aloe vera is seen to reduce obesity-induced inflammation. This is a result of the inhibitory effect on the release of obesity-related inflammatory cytokines (a chemical substance secreted by immune cells of the body).
Inflamed adipocytes in an obese individual, triggers the development of obesity-related metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes mellitus. Reduction in inflammatory cytokines is thus beneficial in preventing obesity-related metabolic disorders.
Aloe vera for face
Mucopolysaccharides in Aloe vera aid in binding moisture to the skin. Aloe vera triggers the formation of collagen and elastin fiber that causes the skin to be more elastic and less wrinkled. Moreover, it has a cohesive effect on the superficial layers of the skin by sticking them together, which softens the skin. The amino acids in Aloe vera soften the hardened cells, and zinc tightens the pores. Application of Aloe vera gel has shown to prevent acne.
Anti-septic effects of Aloe vera
Aloe vera contains various antiseptic agents like salicylic acid, phenols, sulfur, and Lupeol. These agents have an inhibitory action on bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Saponins, a soapy substance in the Aloe vera gel, has cleansing and antiseptic properties.
Aloe Vera benefits are many, and it is a powerful plant. Aloe vera contains 75 active constituents like enzymes, vitamins, minerals, sugars, and amino acids, which make it so beneficial. Other ailments where this plant can help include cancer, wounds, burns, mouth ulcer, and dental plaque. Though Aloe vera is safe, it is contraindicated for use in pregnant females and those who have an allergy to plants belonging to the same plant family (Liliaceae).