Health Benefits of Aloe Vera: Just Your Average Elixir of Life
Aloe vera is a storehouse of vitamins, nutrients and minerals. (Photo: iStock)
Aloe vera is a storehouse of vitamins, nutrients and minerals. (Photo: iStock)

Health Benefits of Aloe Vera: Just Your Average Elixir of Life

You can drink it, you can put it on your face and you can even eat it. Aloe vera, that green prickly plant that grows in dry regions, is not just great for your skin, it’s also packed with nutrients and is rich in anti-bacterial properties. Get yourselves some of the green goodness right now people! There’s a reason why it’s a pet ingredient of the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, health and food industries.

We got in touch with Dr Shikha Sharma, founder of NutriHealth to shed light on the health benefits of aloe vera.

1. Works Wonders for Skin

From reducing acne to preventing premature ageing, aloe vera does it all! It is water-dense which keeps the skin hydrated from the inside. What’s more? Unlike many ingredients which are seasonal, aloe vera can be used all year round and works for most skin types.

Aloe vera is a rich source of antioxidants which inhibits the growth of infection spreading bacteria. Preliminary research has also shown that aloe vera can prevent wrinkles and fine lines. A study published in Annals of Dermatology found that dietary aloe increases collagen production and improves skin elasticity.

2. Excellent Topical Medicine

Due to its well known healing properties, aloe vera is increasingly being used as a topical medicine in the forms of gels and creams. Aloe vera gel is supposed to be quite effective against burns in particular.

Aloe vera leads to regeneration of skin after burns, protecting it from damage. 
Dr Shikha Sharma, Founder of NutriHealth

In comparison with corticosteroid medication in case of chemical burns, aloe vera creams are more effective as they reduce itching and skin picking significantly, according to WebMD.

According to University of Maryland Medical Centre research,

Aloe contains active compounds that may reduce pain and inflammation and stimulate skin growth and repair. It is also an effective moisturizing agent.

3. Gives Smooth Shiny Hair

Vitamins – A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and more. Aloe vera is packed with all the vitamins and minerals you need for shiny healthy hair! Nope, it doesn’t stop here. According to Diane Gage in her book Aloe Vera: Nature’s Soothing Healer, aloe’s deep penetrating property opens the scalp pores and cleanse the scalp by bringing impurities to the surface.

Keratin, the primary protein of hair, consists of amino acids, oxygen, carbon, and small amounts of hydrogen, nitrogen, and sulphur. Aloe vera has a chemical makeup similar to that of keratin, and it rejuvenates the hair with its own nutrients, giving it more elasticity and preventing breakage.
Diane Gage

4. Reduces Constipation

The latex (sticky yellow residue found just under the skin of the leaf) in aloe vera is considered to have strong laxative effects, which in turn helps relieve constipation.

Aloe vera juice is a very good lubricant for the intestine. It benefits people who suffer from constipation. The cooling effects of aloe vera benefit patients with problems of acidity.
Dr Shikha Sharma, Founder of NutriHealth

She further says that aloe vera detoxifies the stomach, curing indigestion, gas and curbs the growth of unhealthy bacterial growth.

So order yourselves those creams, juices and pickles!

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