by Dr. Edward Group 

benefits-of-aloe-veraSometimes dubbed as the “First Aid” plant because of the soothing gel inside the thick, succulent leaves, aloe vera has incredible, natural, skin care properties. Aloe vera is commonly used on sunburns, cuts, or even consumed. The 2011 2nd edition of Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects cites the extraordinarily long use of aloe vera for its therapeutic benefits, both internal and external. [1] Its use extends as far back as biblical times and was mentioned in the New Testament as an herb for embalming.

Aloe Vera’s Active Ingredients

Aloe vera could be considered a superfood, the leaf is filled with a gel containing at least 75 nutrients, 20 minerals, 12 vitamins, 18 amino acids, and 200 active enzymes. These compounds, particularly acemannan, have tremendous benefit and potential in external and internal applications.

What Nutrients Does Aloe Vera Contain?

Though you might not think of it for its nutritional qualities, aloe vera is an all-star superfood. It contains a broad spectrum of essential nutrients and beneficial plant compounds. At this point, about 75 different nutrients have been identified.[2]

Vitamins In Aloe Vera

  • Vitamin A (beta-carotene): A fat-soluble vitamin that supports the immune system, vision, reproductive health and the chemical communication between your cells[3]
  • Vitamin C: An antioxidant involved in healthy immune function, collagen synthesis, and wound repair[4]
  • Vitamin E: A fat-soluble antioxidant that helps regulate gene expression and may inhibit the development of cardiovascular disease[5]
  • Vitamin B-12: A B vitamin involved in healthy cognitive function, brain aging, the synthesis of DNA, and the production of red blood cells[6]
  • Folic acid: Another B vitamin that contributes to the conversion of amino acids and the formation of DNA[7]

Minerals In Aloe Vera

  • Calcium: A macromineral involved in bone strength, the contraction of muscles, and metabolic functions[8]
  • Chromium: A trace mineral responsible for blood sugar balance and immune functions[9]
  • Copper: A cofactor involved in the release of energy, the development of certain tissues, and the transmission of nerve impulses[10]
  • Selenium: A trace mineral that contributes to immune defenses, such as the regulation of cell growth and cell death[11]
  • Magnesium: A cofactor involved in the function of hundreds of enzymes including those involved in glucose metabolism, protein synthesis, calcium balance, and blood sugar regulation[12]
  • Manganese: An essential part of an important antioxidant enzyme produced by the body — manganese superoxide dismutase[13]
  • Potassium: A critical mineral and electrolyte concerned with nerve impulses, muscle, and heart contractions[14]
  • Sodium: Another electrolyte involved in muscle function and nerve impulses[1516]
  • Zinc: A trace mineral involved in growth, development, reproduction, brain function, and metabolism[17]

Phytonutrients In Aloe Vera

Though these aren’t necessary according to government guidelines, an overwhelming proportion of evidence suggests that many of these plant compounds support excellent health.[18] Aloe vera contains many phytonutrients that are involved in immune responses to damaged tissue, both on the surface and internally. Some of these phytonutrients include:[19]

  • Acemannan
  • Lignans
  • Saponins
  • Sterols
  • Anthraquinones

Enzymes In Aloe Vera

Aloe vera contains at least eight different types of enzymes — alliinase, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, bradykinase, carboxypeptidase, catalase, cellulase, lipase, and peroxidase.[20] Bradykinase can help reduce skin swelling and irritation when applied to the skin.[21] Some of the other enzymes can help the body break down nutrients in the digestive tract and even prompt the recycling of damaged tissue in the body itself.

Additionally, catalase, an enzyme found in most organisms, protects cells from oxidative damage, which is implicated in many diseases, as well as the body’s aging process.[2223, 24]

Skin Care Benefits of Aloe Vera

Aloe Fuzion™ is a powerful aloe vera supplement made from 100% organic inner leaf aloe vera gel. Supports the immune system, skin, and even gut health.Aloe vera has been anecdotally cited for quite some time for a topical burn or cut remedy. Multiple studies have examined aloe vera as an agent to speeds recovery of skin wounds and found it to be beneficial, supporting traditional folk use of aloe vera to stimulate cellular rejuvenation. [2] [3] [4]

Additionally, The Department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Cosmetology at the University in Belgrade, Serbia, published research in 2011 noting that gel from aloe is believed to promote and assist the growth of new cells. [5]

Additional Benefits of Aloe Vera

  • Studies show aloe vera gel is effective at reducing the pain of canker sores and helps them to go away faster. [6]
  • With regard to interaction with ulcers, aloe vera has a cytoprotective action, meaning it helps to increase stomach mucosal production. It is this trait that lead to the Sinhgad College of Pharmacy including it in the development of a medication for ulcers. [7]
  • Has hypoglycemic activity and anti-obesity effects.[8]
  • Aloe vera gel has frequently been cited for its powerful antioxidant effect.[9]
  • As may be expected, the beneficial components, including antioxidants, amino acids, and enzymes, increase as plant size increases.[10]
  • Clinical studies at the Texas Children’s Hospital show that aloe vera offers a strategy to alleviate certain glucose related ailments associated with pre diabetes and metabolic syndrome.[11]
  • Oddly enough, aloe vera may provide relief to persons experiencing symptoms of burning mouth syndrome. [12]
  • May have expanded pharmaceutical applications as a drug absorption enhancing agents in certain drug delivery systems. [13]
  • Iran’s Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences discovered that because of aloe vera’s ability to help with wounds, provide mucous membrane protection, and its antioxidant characteristics, it was an effective agent for balancing oral candidiasis in patients undergoing head and neck radiotherapy. [14]

Health Benefits of Aloe Vera

There are extensive benefits that stem from regularly using and even eating aloe. These effects extend from the skin inward to your circulatory system. From here they can travel through the body promoting good health.

Part of a Healthy, Anti-aging Diet

As you saw earlier, aloe vera is brimming with micronutrients like antioxidants, which help slow the aging process at the cellular level. But that’s just the tip of the aloe iceberg. One study on women aged 45 years or older found that eating aloe itself improves skin elasticity, boosts collagen production, and significantly reduces wrinkles. Though the study was small, it found that sun-damaged skin and sun-protected skin both improved in appearance.[25]

Balances Blood Composition for Cardiovascular Health

Some studies have shown that aloe vera supports normal blood sugar.[26] Researchers reported that 5 active compounds in aloe vera reduced fasting blood sugar levels in mice up to 64% when consumed for four weeks. The same mice showed a 15% decrease in the A1C blood sugar levels.[20] This is significant because high blood sugar increases the presence of free radicals in the blood. It also increases damage to LDL cholesterol, which can lead to arterial plaques and the development of heart disease.[27]

Even better, consuming aloe may support healthy levels of fat in the blood. Some research has shown aloe vera encourages normal LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.[2829]

Stimulates the Immune System

Acemannan, one of the active compounds in aloe vera, provokes the production of proteins that boost your body’s defense against foreign or old, malfunctioning cells. It also encourages greater specialization in your dendritic cells, which are the immune cells that call the police — other immune cells — when they see suspicious activity in their neighborhood.[2]

In an animal study, researchers discovered that eating aloe vera helps the body naturally boost red and white blood cell counts after aggressive medical treatments that suppress them.[30]

Encourages Wound Repair

Aloe vera powder and gel is a common addition to natural skin products and cosmetics because it nourishes, moisturizes, and protects skin. Knowledge of these skin benefits has been widely applied for centuries, dating as a far back as ancient Indian, Roman, Greek, Iberian, and Arab folk medicine. Today, aloe is still used for relatively minor skin complaints, like an uncomfortable sunburn, but it can also soothe scratches, scrapes, burns, rashes, and other skin wounds.[19]

Multiple studies have confirmed that it supports the healing of skin wounds and stimulates cellular rejuvenation. The gel of the aloe plant contains a few different plant compounds that help promote normal skin health. Aloe enzymes support the production of collagen and help your body break down damaged tissue in wounds, while glycoproteins in the gel set the stage for new skin cells to proliferate.[1931]Additional research has found that it decreases healing time and for first- and second-degree burns. In human studies, aloe vera gel was found to improve skin integrity in dry, cracked skin and reduce irritation, wrinkling, and irritation from injuries.[32]

Supports Oral Health

Aloe gel also promotes gum and dental health. It soothes swollen gums and protects them from irritating germs. One study found that swishing aloe gel in your mouth is just as effective at cleaning your mouth — if not more so — than commercial mouthwashes.[233]

Promotes Digestive Comfort and Gut Health

Another study indicates that aloe vera can help your stomach naturally cleanse itself of harmful organisms to promote greater comfort.[34] It also helps the cells in your stomach lining increase mucosal production to insulate them from gastric acid. Because of this protective effect, aloe is included in some ulcer medications.[35]

But aloe isn’t just for stomach health, it also promotes gut health. The acemannan in aloe is a complex sugar that you can’t digest, much like fiber, but your microbiota thrives on it. Nurturing the friendly bacteria in your gut with prebiotics like acemannan not only helps preserve your gastrointestinal health, it lays the groundwork for your overall health and well-being.[3036]

Protects You From Oxidative Stress

Aloe gel itself contains several antioxidants, like vitamins C and E, selenium, and a few phytonutrients that actively scavenge the free radicals that cause oxidative damage and accelerate the aging process.[1937]

Remarkably, the gel also helps your body produce antioxidants. One of your most powerful antioxidant scavengers is produced by the body, like superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione, which neutralizes superoxides. Consuming aloe gel helps your body increase production of these cunning chemical allies that protect you from oxidative damage.[19]

Inhibits Growth of Harmful Organisms

Your hygiene and the foods you eat are strong determinants of how your body interacts with your microbiota — and how it affects your health in turn. The prebiotic potential of acemannan reinforces your natural defenses against harmful, opportunistic organisms that can compromise your health when your immune system is depressed, otherwise occupied, or when it’s busy repairing other injuries.

Fortunately, aloe not only encourages the growth and health of beneficial probiotic colonies, but it also suppresses the same in colonies of harmful organisms in the skin, injuries, stomach, and the lining of the gut.[193438]

Choosing the Best Aloe Vera Products

Purchasing an aloe vera product should be done with the same scrutiny you’d use when purchasing any supplement. Quality and purity should be your top priorities. If you’re buying aloe vera juice, organic is an absolute must. Unpasteurized is also mandatory to ensure enzymatic integrity. Many people enjoy concentrated aloe vera juice products, but when it comes to the integrity of the supplement, capsules may be more potent. My personal recommendation is Aloe Fuzion™. The key thing is to remember to read and understand the labels to ensure you’re purchasing a quality product that’s both effective and pure.
One other idea is to grow your own aloe vera plant (or plants!). Aloe vera is a hearty succulent that is easy to grow as well as attractive. Nurturing your own plant is a great way to save money, have the freshest possible aloe vera gel on demand, and guarantee it’s additive free!

How have tried eating aloe vera before? Share your experience in the comments!

References (38)
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Aloe Fuzion™ is a powerful aloe vera supplement made from 100% organic inner leaf aloe vera gel. Supports the immune system, skin, and even gut health.

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