Aloe vera is a plant that has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal properties, nowadays you can buy aloe vera gel to apply as an ointment aloe vera is also sold in capsules for ingestion. Plus you can also apply raw aloe vera directly from the plant, however if you plan to ingest raw aloe vera you should prepare it since the plant itself contains latex, and other compounds which may have some side effects.
Technically you can eat the whole plant with skin and all however, unless you grew your aloe vera you won’t know if there are any pesticides or any other chemicals on the skin. That’s why only eating the gel is recommended in addition, the gel is where most of the health benefits reside. Next thing, aloe vera plants have latex inside of them, we think latex as material only present in modern day products however latex actually exists in nature.
How to prepare raw aloe vera;
- Thoroughly rinse the leaves
- Cut off the sharp tip and the sharp edges on each leaf
- Cut leaves into sections in order to make them more manageable
- Soak the leaves in water for about 10-20 mins this will make the skin softer and remove some of the compounds that may cause side effects
- Drain the water from the bowl and rinse the leaves again
- Slice off the skin on the flat side, aloe vera plants have a side that’s flatter than the other gently run the knife along the flatter side, scraping off the skin layer stop scraping the skin until you can see a translucent layer that’s the gel
- With a spoon or any other appropriate utensil scoop out the gel and transfer it into a bowl
- Now rinse one last time to make sure all the side effect inducing elements are out and now you have aloe vera gel ready to eat.
Here are some of the reasons you might want to start either consuming aloe vera or using it as an ointment
Antioxidant & Skin Care
Aloe vera has long been used in the skin-care industry, you may see it in the form of face masks, moisturizers and more this is due to aloe vera’s amazing properties. Moisturizers are an important part of daily skin care since they help capture water in the skin to make it look more youthful, dried skin on the other hand causes cells to shrivel and may lead to premature wrinkling. Aloe vera contains a high number of mucopolysaccharides, a hydrating molecule that keeps moisture in the skin. Also research has shown that properties in aloe vera have a significant effect in fighting the oxidation process that takes place in our body. Also thanks to its anti inflammatory properties aloe vera can be used as a natural treatment for acne, whether its applied directly to a pimple or to an area of redness and irritation aloe vera can diminish the appearance and the prominence of acne and even acne scars. However aloe vera shouldn’t not be applied directly to open acne blemishes.
Most people use aloe vera as a topical remedy, rubbing it onto the skin. Aloe vera has a long history of treating sores, wounds and burns. The antibacterial properties of Aloe vera and its compounds, can be used to retain skin moisture and integrity. It also prevents skin ulcers as aloe vera contains mucopolysaccharides, amino acids, zinc, and water. In terms of quality and speed of wound healing, Aloe vera is much more effective and less costly compared to the currently available alternative treatments.
People have used aloe vera as a natural remedy for diabetes this is due to its ability to enhance insulin sensitivity and improve blood sugar management. Research has hinted at the potential of aloe vera to be a powerful antidiabetic agent however, more research is required to fully understand the capability of aloe vera as a remedy for diabetes.
Aloe vera based toothpaste and mouthwash can be used to fight plaque and improve oral health. A study was carried out where participants were given a aloe vera mouthwash, chlorhexidine mouthwash and a placebo control. The results were measured after 30 days and the group both groups with the mouthwash showed equal reduction in plaque and gingivitis. However the group using the aloe vera based mouthwash did not show any side as effect where the chlorhexidine based mouthwash did.
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