Aloe vera is one of the oldest mentioned plants used for medicinal purposes, dating all the way back to the ancient Chinese and Egyptians. This resilient, deep green, cactus-looking plant is a hearty succulent known as the “Lily of the Desert” for its healing and moisturizing properties. As you may remember from science class, succulents are able to retain water in poor climates or soil conditions which makes them perfectly self-hydrating. Just imagine what it could do for your skin and the lining of your intestines.
Because aloe vera contains a wealth of health promoting constituents including polysaccharides, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, and minerals, it can be used in combination with a healthy diet and lifestyle to promote overall wellness as well as treat more specific ailments like sunburns, ulcers, gingivitis, and more. Here’s a short list of the vitamins and minerals found in the aloe plant:
- Vitamins A, C, E
- Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6 & B12
If you need more convincing, here are the top four reasons you should add aloe vera to your daily routine:
- Reduces irritation and supports a healthy digestive and immune system by naturally balancing stomach acidity. Aloe also acts as a mild laxative to rid you of any constipation.
- Cleans your mouth! Aloe can kill bad bacteria in your mouth while healing any bleeding or ulcers. It also hydrates your gums for a much healthier smile.
- Moisturizes and hydrates your skin as well as provides relief for occasional muscle and joint pain with the help of beneficial vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that can repair and rebuild your cells.
- Increases the absorption of nutrients by healing the lining of your intestinal tract, leading to a more effective metabolism and weight loss.
I keep a small aloe plant in the house for the occasional skin irritation or burn. I also drink the prepared cold pressed juice of the aloe plant to support a healthy immune and digestive system. The juice of the aloe plant is watery and has a slightly bitter taste which can be remedied with a little lemon. I also like to add it to other juices and teas. I recommend between 4–8 ounces of aloe juice daily.
In my opinion, drinking aloe juice just might be one of the best healthy habits you can create. While there is little scientific research to support the positive effect of aloe on the human body, trying it for yourself is the best way to really reap the benefits. However, make sure you keep it away from your animals as the saponins within aloe vera are a known toxin to cats and dogs when ingested.
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