Health / 15.12.2014

What it does… aloe vera

By Healthy Magazine
Aloe vera has been used for centuries for a multitude of conditions, from easing skin complaints to regulating digestion

112 Aloe Vera artwork copy

What is it?

A spiky plant, the leaves of which contain a clear gel that can be applied topically to the skin. The dried yellow sap from the leaf base can be diluted into a juice and used as an internal remedy. Aloe vera contains anti-inflammatory salicylic acid, polysaccharides, which promote skin growth and repair, and glycoproteins to reduce pain.

What does it do?

Soothes skin problems: Helps heal and alleviate symptoms of eczema, psoriasis, cuts, burns, grazes and rashes (including heat rashes) and insect bites. It also makes for an ideal cooling after-sun treatment.

Aids digestion: Eases bloating, pain and constipation. It can also help with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome – a clinical trial in the International Journal of Clinical Practice suggests it’s because of its anti-inflammatory effect.

Reduces cystitis: Symptoms disappeared completely in over half of patients with interstitial cystitis treated at the Urology Wellness Centre, Florida, USA.

Banishes pain in arthritis: A daily dose of fresh juice alleviates pain and inflammation in arthritic joints.

Eases dental problems: Sore gums or mouth ulcers? Rub the gel directly onto affected areas for the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

When do I need it?

For skin complaints, mouth ulcers and sore gums, and painful arthritic joints, take whenever the problem arises. Take daily if you’re using it as a digestive aid.

How do I get it?

Take it in the juice form for regulation of digestion or arthritic pain: mix it with a spoon of apple cider vinegar and shredded ginger for a great pain-busting remedy. If you find the taste is too bitter, give capsules or tablets a try instead. Apply the gel topically for skin complaints and dental problems – toothpastes and mouthwashes are also available.

Be careful if…

Don’t use aloe vera if you’re taking digoxin or diuretics, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What it does... aloe vera
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What it does... aloe vera
Aloe vera has been used for centuries for a multitude of conditions, from easing skin complaints to regulating digestion.
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Healthy Magazine
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