Aloe Vera - Benefits, Side effects and Uses
Medikoe Fitness Expert
Indira nagar, Bengaluru Jul 24, 2019
The Aloe vera plant has been known and used for centuries for its health, beauty, medicinal and skin care properties. Aloe vera is a popular medicinal plant that has been used for thousands of years. Aloe-vera leaves are comprised of three parts: the skin, the gel, and the latex. They’re best known for their gel, which is responsible for most of its health benefits. It is cultivated worldwide, primarily as a crop for "Aloe gel," which comes from the leaf. Aloe is a cactus-like plant that grows in hot, dry climates. In India, it is found in Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu. Aloe vera gel is widely known to relieve sunburn and help heal wounds. Aloe vera is widely used today in Food, Cosmetics, Food supplements, and herbal remedies. It is found in many consumer products including beverages, skin lotion, cosmetics, or ointments for minor burns and sunburns. The plant is known for keeping skin hydrated and clear. It’s rich in antioxidants such as and vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, and it contains seven of the eight essential amino acids. From relieving heartburn to potentially slowing the spread of breast cancer, its benefit is numerous.
Some more benefits are-
Fights against Dental plaque: Tooth decay and diseases of the gum are very common health problems. Aloe vera in tooth gels is as effective as toothpaste in fighting cavities, as told by a detailed report. Aloe latex contains anthraquinones, compounds that actively heal and reduce pain through natural anti-inflammatory effects. Aloe vera does this by killing the plaque-producing bacterium Streptococcus mutans in the mouth, as well as the yeast Candida albicans. When used as a mouth rinse, pure Aloe vera juice is just as effective at reducing dental plaque buildup as regular mouthwash.
Reduces constipation: Aloe vera has often be used to treat constipation. This time it is not the gel, but the latex, that provides the benefits. The latex is a sticky yellow residue found just under the skin of the leaf. Aloe vera latex has strong laxative effects, making it useful to treat constipation. It does not appear to be beneficial for other diseases of the digestive tract. Aloe latex contains aloin, which is an anthraquinone that gives aloe vera its laxative properties and may help treat constipation.
Lowers blood sugar level: A study found drinking two tablespoons of aloe vera juice every day for two weeks helped lower the blood sugar levels among people with type 2 diabetes. Aloe vera has sometimes been used as a traditional diabetes remedy. It is said to enhance insulin sensitivity and help improve blood sugar management. Early evidence suggests that Aloe vera may help with blood sugar management, but more research is needed. Ingesting Aloe vera supplements in the long term could also be hazardous.
Some of the side-effects are-
Most people can be allergic to the aloe vera gel, causing skin allergies, redness in the eyes, skin rashes, irritation and burning sensation.
Aloe vera leaves contain latex, which comes from underneath the plant's skin. Many people are allergic to latex, which can cause stomach issues like irritation, stomach cramps and low potassium levels. Externally, latex could be safe, if applied appropriately. However, more research is required.
Consuming aloe vera juice might cause your blood sugar levels to drop. It has laxative effects, which may up the chances of electrolyte imbalance in diabetics. If you are a diabetic, it is better to consult a doctor before consuming aloe vera juice.
It is said that pregnant women and lactating mothers should avoid drinking aloe vera juice due to its irritant qualities. It may stimulate uterine contractions in pregnant women, which may lead to birth complications.
The laxative effects of aloe vera can lead to dehydration. Laxatives are generally used to alleviate constipation; however, if taken in more quantity than recommended, they may cause dehydration.
Aloe vera juice may lower the levels of potassium in the body, further causing irregular heartbeat, weakness and fatigue. Elderly and sick people are generally advised to not consume it.
Stomach discomfort is one of the most common side effects of drinking aloe vera juice. The latex can cause excessive cramps and pain in the tummy. Do not consume aloe vera juice, especially if you are dealing with stomach problems.
The bio-active compounds in aloe vera might interfere with the liver's detoxification process, further causing health complications.
Some of the uses of Aloe vera are-
- Contains Antioxidants needed for our body and antibacterial properties: Aloe vera gel contains powerful antioxidants, which belong to a large family of substances known as polyphenols. Aloe vera contains various powerful antioxidant compounds. Some of these compounds can help inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.
- Accelerate the healing of wounds and burns: Aloe vera is most commonly used as a topical medication, rubbed onto the skin rather than eaten. Applying Aloe vera to burn wounds appears to accelerate the healing process. The evidence is inconclusive for other wound types. It has long been known as a treatment for sores, particularly burns, including sunburns.
Improves skin texture and prevent wrinkles: Early evidence suggests that Aloe vera may have anti-aging effects on the skin.
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