Aloe Vera: 8 effects, 3 risks & 3 uses of the medicinal plant

Aloe Vera is multi-talented. It can be used both internally and externally and is said to improve numerous ailments. We will inform you about the effective plant.

Aloe Vera – the all-rounder

Aloe Vera is considered a miracle cure. It is said to help with numerous diseases and ensure a young complexion and healthy hair. The plant is said to contain numerous effective nutrients, and the plant consists of 99 percent water.

The desert plant is used for various ailments. It is said to help with skin problems like burns and acne, chronic conditions like depression and migraines, and even constipation.

However, the valuable active ingredients are not found in every aloe vera plant. There are several plant genera that can sometimes even be harmful to humans. The internal use of genera such as Aloe arborescens is strongly discouraged, since the unpeeled leaves contain substances that are harmful to health.

When using aloe vera products or buying aloe vera plants, you should definitely use the Aloe Vera Barbadensis Miller genus . This has about 50 centimeters long and thick leaves that are serrated on the wheel. The rounded flowers are yellow to orange in colour. Inside the leaves is the leaf pulp, better known as aloe vera gel. This is used in numerous personal care products.

The aloe vera plant is also known as the desert lily . Aloe Vera can survive very well in dry areas. This is due to their ability to store water. Its thick leaves can absorb up to a liter of water. Moisture is stored in the leaf pulp . This is another reason why aloe vera gel is so moisturizing.

While the gel is extracted from the leaf pulp, the aloe vera juice comes from the outer parts of the leaf. In contrast to the transparent gel, this one has a yellow color. The gel is mainly used for external applications. The juice is mainly used for constipation.

Effects of Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is said to help with numerous ailments. Many people are convinced of the healing power of the desert plant. It is intended to improve both internal and external symptoms. Aloe Vera is best known for its effects on the skin. We present the individual areas of application.

For constipation

For digestive problems such as constipation, aloe vera juice can be helpful for the treatment. Aloe vera juice contains anthranoids and the substance aloin . Anthranoids can affect the permeability of the intestinal wall. As a result, the intestinal mucosa can absorb less salt and water, so that the salt water accumulates in the intestine and provides a laxative effect.

However, aloe vera juice should only be used for a limited and short period of time. In addition, the intake of aloe vera as a laxative should be discussed with a doctor beforehand, since in this case it is a drug . Substances such as anthranoids and aloin should normally not be contained in conventional aloe vera products. The laxative effect is thus eliminated.

In inflammatory skin diseases

The desert plant can be used for various skin ailments. Aloe Vera can also be used for sensitive skin types and inflammatory skin diseases. The plant contains many effective nutrients for the skin that nourish, cool and moisturize. Aloe vera contains numerous effective ingredients such as polysaccharides, salicylic acid, enzymes, amino acids and vitamins . As with any plant, the proportion of the various active ingredients depends on environmental conditions such as the nutrient density in the soil and the amount of sunlight.

Aloe vera gel is recommended for skin diseases such as acne, neurodermatitis and psoriasis, among other things . The gel has an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effect and can quickly alleviate the symptoms of skin diseases of this type. The polysaccharides it contains also provide the skin with plenty of moisture without clogging the pores. Aloe vera also contains vitamins A , C and E , which are important for cell protection . Secondary plant substances such as salicylic acid can relieve pain and have an anti-inflammatory effect and are therefore highly recommended for acne.

For sunburn

Aloe Vera is also used to treat sun-damaged skin. The gel of the plant has a cooling effect and can soothe irritated skin. A study by the University of Freiburg examined the effect of aloe vera gel on sun damage and compared it with the effect of conventional cortisone preparations. The gel was able to greatly reduce the redness after an exposure time of 48 hours. It even showed a better effect than a cortisone preparation with 1 percent hydrocortisone. Aloe vera gel is therefore an excellent alternative to conventional preparations for sunburn.

For wound healing

In addition, aloe vera gel is also suitable for treating wounds. Various studies have already confirmed the healing properties of aloe vera. Among other things, it shows better effects than Vaseline gauze, which is often used to treat wounds. Aloe vera gel regenerates tissues and promotes optimal healing without scarring .

For insect bites

Aloe vera gel can also provide relief from insect bites. The cooling gel can reduce the itching and allow the inflammation to subside. It can be applied directly to the sting and will not wash off. The gel develops a particularly good effect when it is applied chilled. Storage in the refrigerator is therefore recommended.

For allergies

Aloe vera gel can also improve allergic reactions on the skin. Skin allergies often manifest themselves in the form of itching, redness, rashes and swelling. Aloe vera gel can relieve these symptoms, relieve itching and reduce inflammation. If symptoms persist, a doctor should be consulted. Sensitive people should discuss treatment with aloe vera gel with their doctor beforehand.

To support the liver

Aloe vera can also be used internally to detoxify the body . The polysaccharides it contains can transport pollutants out of the body and thus support the function of the liver. In addition, the desert plant contains numerous effective ingredients that can optimally support the body. Aloe Vera is therefore also recommended during a detox .

For premature skin aging

In addition, the effective desert plant is said to rejuvenate the complexion. The gel cushions and smoothes the skin with its strong moisturizing effect . This can reduce the appearance of dryness lines. The gel can also be applied to the sensitive eye area. You should be careful if the gel contains alcohol or other highly irritating preservatives. In this case, the gel should only be applied selectively.

Risks of Aloe Vera

In addition to the many positive effects associated with the use of aloe vera, there are also some risks. Store-bought juices and gels are often highly processed and contain preservatives. In some cases, the use of aloe vera can even be harmful to health.

Preservation of aloe vera products

Aloe vera plants can be processed in different ways. While the gel consists mainly of the leaf pulp, the juice often comes from the whole leaves. In the case of over-the-counter products, the laxative substances should be filtered out beforehand. However, other valuable active ingredients can also be lost in this way. It is better if the leaf pith is previously separated from the green skin and treated separately. However, this is very sensitive to oxygen and must therefore be processed further within a very short time.

For this purpose, it is usually slightly heated over several days. Too high temperatures can damage the sensitive ingredients of the gel. In addition, artificially produced preservatives such as benzoic acid and potassium sorbate can be used. These preservatives can cause allergies in sensitive people.

Aloe vera from monocultures

The popularity of aloe vera also means that it is increasingly cultivated in monocultures . Such cultivation can negatively affect the quality of the plant. Since the same plant is cultivated over a large area, nutrients are unilaterally withdrawn from the soil. This means that the plants are less able to protect themselves against diseases and pests. Pesticides and herbicides as well as fertilizers must be used for the plants to grow healthily. Fertilizers also ensure that the plants store more water, which means that the valuable ingredients are less concentrated in the plant.

Beware of anthranoids and aloin

Of particular concern are the anthranoids contained in aloe vera and the substance aloin. Since these are suspected of being carcinogenic and damaging to genetic material, laxatives containing these substances are often no longer commercially available. Sensitive people should generally avoid these substances. Such preparations should not be used if there are symptoms such as abdominal pain, inflammatory bowel diseases and an intestinal obstruction. The preparations can increase these symptoms and promote cramping pain in this area.

Preparations with anthranoids and aloin should also be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Children under the age of 12 should also avoid the preparations. An application should never last longer than 14 days, otherwise the body can lose too much water and salt. This, in turn, can lead to constipation. The high water loss should be counteracted with an adequate fluid intake .

In addition, anthranoids can interact with some medications. These include cortisone preparations and cardiac glycosides, which are used in cardiac insufficiency.

Use of aloe vera products

Aloe Vera has many uses. It is suitable for both internal and external use. Above all, the plant is used externally for numerous ailments. We’ll show you how to use the desert plant.

As care for the skin

Aloe Vera is found in many skin care products. Almost every skin type can benefit from the versatility of the plant. It is suitable for both dehydrated and sensitive skin types. Aloe vera gel is also recommended for acne. That is why it is found in cleansing products, creams, serums and essences. Pure aloe vera gel is also popular for skin care.

Reines Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel is used both in combination with other active ingredients and in its pure form. It provides a good foundation for other active ingredients and can also work effectively in conjunction with oils. 100 percent pure aloe vera gel is difficult to obtain because it is made durable by adding other substances.

Naturally pure aloe vera gel is only obtained by using fresh leaves. It is advisable to purchase your own plant for this purpose. When buying, you should make sure that it is the Aloe Vera Barbadensis Miller variety. The gel is obtained by cutting off the individual leaves and carefully separating them. The leaves contain the transparent pith that can be used as a gel on the skin. It is best to carefully remove the gel from the leaves with a spoon and store it in the refrigerator. Since the gel is very sensitive, it should be used up as soon as possible.

Aloe-Vera-Creme

Aloe vera cream is usually a combination of aloe vera gel with other oils and active ingredients. The gel can either form the basis of the cream or be an active ingredient in the cream. Especially in natural cosmetics, aloe vera is often used as an ingredient and valued for its moisturizing effect.

Make aloe vera care yourself

You can also easily make skin care products yourself with aloe vera. To do this, you take the fresh gel from the plant and mix it with other care ingredients of your choice. Here are a few handy beauty tricks:

Aloe vera pads against dark circles

Many people find unsightly circles under the eyes annoying, but they are often unavoidable in everyday life. If you only have a little time in the morning, you can use aloe vera pads to counteract the dark edges. To do this, you take the pure gel from the plant, dilute it with water and soak some cotton pads in the liquid. It’s best to cut the pads in half to better fit the under-eye area.

You should freeze the pads so that they stay fresh longer. They also have a cooling and decongestant effect . After getting up, you can take the pads fresh out of the freezer every morning and place them on the corners of your eyes. Leave it on for about five to ten minutes, for example while you are having breakfast or brushing your teeth.

Aloe-Vera-Serum

You can easily make your own serum by mixing the fresh aloe vera gel with an oil of your choice. Jojoba oil is recommended for impure skin because it is non-comedogenic. That means it won’t clog pores or trigger breakouts. For dry skin, for example, the nourishing almond oil is recommended.

Aloe Vera Mask

Aloe vera gel is also suitable as a mask. To do this, mix a generous amount of the gel with other ingredients. Ingredients such as honey, chamomile, healing earth and activated charcoal are recommended for impure skin.

Aloe-Vera-Toner

For a moisturizing toner, mix aloe vera gel with water. You can put the toner in a spray bottle and spray it on your face as needed.

As hair care

Aloe Vera is also ideal for hair care. It leaves hair silky soft and prevents frizz. You can leave the gel on for a few hours before washing or apply it to your hair diluted with water after washing.

The moisturizing properties of aloe vera gel are also great for scalp care . Especially people with a dry scalp and dandruff benefit from the nourishing and soothing effect of the gel. The gel is also effective for inflamed areas. To care for the scalp, the gel should be massaged into the scalp a few hours before washing the hair.

In addition, aloe vera gel is also suitable for keeping eyelashes and eyebrows in shape. To do this, use a cleaned eyelash brush and dip it in pure aloe vera gel. The gel cares for the delicate hair and keeps it in place throughout the day.

As a dietary supplement

Aloe Vera is also available in dietary supplement form. For example, there are capsules, drops and juices made from aloe vera. Used internally, the plant is said to cleanse the body of toxins and strengthen the immune system.

Aloe Vera Juice

Commercially available aloe vera juice is often mixed with other juices. It is therefore one of the soft drinks. It may contain sweeteners such as honey, thickeners and preservatives. The healthy effects of aloe vera are partially lost as a result.

Aloe-Vera-Drink

You can also easily mix an aloe vera drink yourself. To do this, take the fresh aloe vera gel from the plant and mix it with a juice of your choice. It is also excellent in smoothies and freshly squeezed juices. However, you should avoid pureeing the entire aloe vera leaf. This is how you add harmful anthranoids and aloin to your drink.

Can you eat aloe vera?

You can consume pure aloe vera gel without hesitation. If you have an Aloe Vera Barbadensis Miller plant, you can take the gel from the fresh leaf. However, be extra careful not to contaminate the gel with the anthranoids from the shell. Although the consumption of aloe vera is associated with some positive effects, many of the vitamins and minerals it contains can also be found in other vegetables and fruits.

Buy aloe vera

You can find aloe vera products for cosmetic purposes in any drugstore. There is a larger selection online. Here you can buy highly concentrated gels containing almost 99 percent pure aloe vera gel, creams, cleaning products and other personal care products. Juices and dietary supplements are also available in stores and online. Pharmacies stock both skin care products with aloe vera and highly concentrated gels. If you want to use aloe vera as a laxative, you should seek advice from a doctor or pharmacist. Aloe vera product prices vary significantly depending on the quality of the product.

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