Aloe Vera is a popular medicinal plant that has been used for thousands of years.
Here are some health benefits of Aloe Vera that are supported by science.
It is best known for treating skin injuries, such as burns and sores, but may also have several other therapeutic properties.
1. Aloe Vera Contains Bio-active Compounds That Can Improve Health
Aloe Vera is a thick, short-stemmed plant that stores water in its leaves.
It is widely used in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industries, and has an estimated annual market value of $13 billion globally.
Aloe Vera is well recognized by its thick, pointed and fleshy green leaves, which can grow to about 12-19 inches (30-50 cm) in length.
This is what the Aloe Vera plant looks like:
Each leaf is full of a slimy tissue that stores water, which makes the leaves thick. This slimy, water-filled tissue is the “gel” we associate with Aloe Vera products.
The gel contains most of the bio active compounds in the plant, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants.
2. Aloe Vera Has Potent Antioxidant and Antibacterial Properties
Antioxidants are important for health.
Aloe Vera gel contains powerful antioxidants, which belong to a large family of substances known as Polyphemus.
These Polyphemus, along with several other compounds in Aloe Vera, can help inhibit the growth of certain bacteria that can cause infections in humans.
3. Aloe Vera Accelerates The Healing of Burns
Aloe Vera is most commonly used as a topical medication, rubbed onto the skin rather than eaten.
It has long been known as a treatment for sores, particularly burns, including sunburns.
In fact, the FDA first approved Aloe Vera ointment as an over-the-counter medication for skin burns back in 1959.
Studies suggest that it is an effective topical treatment for first- and second-degree burns.
A review of 4 experimental studies found that Aloe Vera could reduce the healing time of burns by around 9 days compared to conventional medication.
The evidence for Aloe vera helping to heal other types of wounds is inconclusive.
4. Pure Aloe Vera Juice Reduces Dental Plaque as Effectively as Mouthwash
Tooth decay and diseases of the gum are very common health problems.
One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is to reduce the buildup of plaque (bacterial bio-films) on the teeth.
In a mouth rinse study of 300 healthy people, 100% pure Aloe Vera juice was compared to the standard mouthwash ingredient chlorine.
After 4 days of use, the Aloe Vera mouth rinse was found to be just as effective as chlorine in reducing dental plaque.
Another study found similar benefits of Aloe Vera mouth rinse when used over a 15- to 30-day period.
Aloe Vera does this by killing the plaque-producing bacterium Streptococcus mutansin the mouth, as well as the yeast Candida Albanians.
5. Aloe Vera May Improve Skin Elasticity and Help Prevent Wrinkles
There is some preliminary evidence that topical Aloe Vera gel can slow aging of the skin.
In one study of 30 women over the age of 45, topical application of the gel was shown to increase collagen production and improve skin elasticity over a 90-day period.
Another study found that Aloe Vera reduced erythema (redness of the skin), but was also found to dehydrate skin cells.
There is very little evidence that Aloe vera can treat skin conditions like psoriasis and radiation dermatitis.