7 Best Health Benefits of Aloe Vera

This succulent is good for much more than just sunburn relief.

Aloe vera plants.

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Aloe vera, Aloe Barbadensis, is best known as an easy to care for houseplant where the gel-like substance can be used to help heal minor burns. You can also buy the gel in your pharmacy for sunburn relief and aloe is also a  common ingredient in skin care products. But this succulent has a host of other medicinal uses.

Aloe contains more than 75 active compounds including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, salicylic acids, and amino acids according to mindbodygreen. It’s no wonder that aloe has been used for thousands of years as a healing plant. Grow your own, keep some gel in your medicine cabinet, and drink aloe water or juice to maximize these seven health benefits:

Soothes a Sunburn

Aloe gel’s best-known medicinal use is for sunburn relief. It’s naturally moisturizing and healing properties can help with first-and second-degree burns according to a study about the efficacy of aloe for burn wound healing. The study’s authors concluded that aloe is an effective treatment to aid in healing burns.

The aloin compound contained in this helpful plant is full of antioxidants that can aid in the skin healing process, according to Medical News Today. And since aloe gel is very hydrating, it can also help combat skin peeling that usually occurs post-sunburn.

Take aloe vera gel to the beach.

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Contains Antibacterial Properties

The antioxidants found in aloe vera gel are polyphenols that are known to inhibit the growth of some infection causing bacteria according to mindbodygreen. The antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties of the gel can also help heal wounds and treat skin problems like eczema and acne. It’s no wonder that companies that make hand sanitizers use aloe vera in their products.

Hand sanitizer that contains aloe.

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Helps Lower Blood Sugar

Drinking just two tablespoons of aloe vera juice every day can cause blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes to fall, according to a study published in in Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacy. Although further research is needed, aloe could play a role in future diabetes treatment. Healthline cautions that you should not drink aloe vera juice if you use glucose lowering medication because your blood sugar levels could drop too low.

Aloe juice has health benefits.

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Could Treat and Prevent Dandruff

Aloe was found to be an effective treatment for the scalp irritation, scaliness and flaking caused by dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis) according to a study published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment. Participants who applied the gel to their scalps saw a significant reduction in the symptoms of dandruff and the antibacterial and antifungal properties of this handy succulent could prevent further outbreaks.

Aloe gel on the scalp may prevent dandruff.

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Reduces Dental Plaque

Tooth decay and gum disease is a common health issue for many people. According to Healthline, one of the best ways to prevent these conditions is by using a mouth rinse that prevents the build-up of plaque on your teeth. A study published in the Ethiopian Journal of Health Science compared rinsing with 100 percent aloe vera juice to a standard chlorhexidine mouthwash and found that after just four days, the aloe vera rinse was just as effective as the medicated one. That’s because the juice is effective in killing the plaque-producing bacteria found in people’s mouths.

Rinsing with aloe juice may prevent plaque.

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Natural Laxative

Aloe vera can also help treat constipation naturally. The aloin compound found in the latex (the sticky residue that is found under the skin of the leaf) has natural laxative properties. You can dry aloe juice to use this compound occasionally but do not overdo it. And do not use aloe vera if you have colitis, Crohn’s disease, or hemorrhoids cautions Healthline, because it can cause cramps and diarrhea.

The latex in aloe leaves is has health benefits.

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Can Help Clear Up Acne

The antimicrobial properties in aloe might help acne-prone skin and other skin conditions according to mindbodygreen. A study found that using aloe vera gel along with tretinoin cream can help clear up inflammatory and noninflammatory acne and prevent more breakouts. Since aloe is so hydrading, it can also moisturize your skin. This makes it an ideal ingredient in skin care lines

Skin care products contain aloe vera.

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