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Famous as a topical treatment for sunburn and other skin conditions and irritations, aloe vera also boasts a landslide of other health benefits that scientists are only just beginning to understand. Through all the studies conducted on this plant no negative effects have been found. On the opposite, tests on animals have shown that the animals lived 25 percent longer than those not consuming the aloe. Further more, animals consuming the aloe showed reduced incidences of heart disease, leukemia and kidney disease. So without further a due, let’s take a closer look at this remarkable herb.
Although Aloe’s make up is predominantly water (approximately 96-99%) the remaining ingredients (Vitamins, Minerals, Sugars, Enzymes, Lignins, Amino Acids, Anthraquinones, Saponins, Fatty Acids, Salicylic Acid) pack quite a powerful nutritional punch. Scientists believe that it is; A) the huge variety of constituents (close to 100) and B) their ability to work synergistically, that makes aloe such a powerful helper for such a variety of ailments.
Despite having only trace amounts of B12, the other active ingredients greatly increase the absorption and bio-availability of the B12 to the body thus making aloe a valuable addition to vegetarian and vegan diets. Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin, interestingly enough it has also been shown to aid the body in absorbing Vitamin E which is fat soluble. These findings would suggest that aloe may in fact help in the absorption of all fat and water soluble vitamins making it a wonderful addition to any menu.
Externally aloe has been shown to give relief to skin problems including sun burn, acne, rashes, cuts, insect bites, poison ivy. In addition to its soothing effect, aloe has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties helping accelerate healing and preventing infection.
Taken internally aloe has been shown to be beneficial in combating a plethora of ailments from irritable bowel syndrome to cancer, and hemorrhoids to HIV. It is believed this is largely due to its ability to help regulate the immune system. In those with weak immune systems it can stimulate immune response while for those suffering from an over active immune system such as allergy sufferers it can help calm the immune system. Beneficial as a mouth rinse, aloe helps relieve canker sores, gum disease and accelerate healing of other dental ailments. It also has a wonderful reputation as a cleanser for many of the organs, especially the colon.
The list of health benefits for aloe vera really does just go on and on … what more needs to be said… time to get a shovel, some potting mix and pop a few plants around your kitchen and living room.
Warning! Aloe may have a laxative effect and cause abdominal cramps in some people if over consumed.
Tip!!! When harvesting your own Aloe Vera, prop the leaves up vertically and allow the yellow sap to drain out for 10 minutes. It’s the yellow sap, other wise known as aloe latex which is responsible for causing cramps and the plants laxative effects.