Aloe Vera is a truly amazing plant that has been used for medicinal purposes for more than 3500 years. Ancient Egyptian healers are known to have used pure aloe vera gel from the fleshy leaves of the plant as a topical treatment for skin care problems.
Aloe Vera is a semi tropical plant which looks more like a cactus, although it is a succulent of lily family, which grows wild in Africa and Madagascar.
It is a stem less plant with rosettes of very thick fleshy leaves. If the lower leaf is sliced open, the cool soothing gel obtained can be applied directly onto the affected area of the skin. Pure aloe vera has been used externally to treat various skin conditions such as burns, cuts, exzema, psoriasis and sunburn.
Known for it's healing potential, aloe vera is commonly found in a variety of body lotions, deodorants and other skin related products. It is available as a gel, spray, lotion, liquid, cream and capsule form.
Pure Aloe Vera Healing Gel
Although the scientific world are unsure as to why aloe vera works, they have nevertheless identified many of its active ingredients. Pure aloe vera gel is rich in Vitamins A, C, E and even contains a trace of Vitamin B12.
Other active ingredients include acemannan which acts as an emollient and the compound bradykininase which reduces pain and swelling.
Other components of the plant sooth itching skin as well as dilating the tiny blood vessels, called capillaries. This effect allows more blood to reach the site of an injury which in turn speeds up the healing process.
Pure aloe vera gel is also known to help slow down the appearance of wrinkles due to it's ability to repair the damaged skin cells that cause the visible signs of aging.
Pure Aloe Vera Juice Health Benefits
As well as being used to treat skin infections and burns, pure aloe vera gel, taken in it's juice form, is said to improve the immune system and to lower cholesterol.
When taken internally as a juice, it is said to be able to combat inflammatory digestive problems such as indigestion and ulcers. It should be pointed out however, that clinical research into the effectiveness of pure aloe vera juice is somewhat limited.
Ongoing trials include the use of purified aloe vera juice in the treatment of peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis and other types of inflammatory bowel disease. Other studies are exploring the effectiveness of pure aloe vera as a possible antiviral and immune system boosting agent.
Aloe Vera Side Effects
Pure aloe vera applied topically is very safe although if you find that you get a mild itching or irritation after applying to your skin, simply stop using it.
When buying aloe vera products, make sure that you read and understand the product labels. You should always go for 100% natural and pure aloe vera juice or gel if at all possible. Most health food stores carry the genuine article, but even then, it pays to read the labels. Creams and ointments for topical use should contain at least 20% aloe vera.
The International Aloe Science Council, operates a voluntary approval scheme for aloe vera products that contain certified raw ingredients processed according to laid down guidelines. Look for the IASC Certified seal when you are buying pure aloe vera products, especially when it comes to juice.