Aloe Vera is a medicinal plant that contains 75% water, 70 different kinds of minerals, enzymes, proteins, amino acids, and vitamins. It has antiseptic, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It is rich in zinc, calcium, magnesium, and selenium and consists of Vitamins A, C and E.
When you cut open an Aloe Vera stem, you can retrieve a thick and smooth transparent gel from the inside. This gel is very resourceful and contains most of the essential nutrients.
Aloe Vera has several benefits on skin, health, and hair and is popular for its help in speedy recovery of wounds ( 1 ).
You can consume Aloe Vera by drinking its juice, which is available in markets, or you can mix 1 or 2 teaspoons of Aloe Vera gel in smoothies or juices. You can also drink 2 teaspoons of Aloe Vera juice mixed in a glass of water on an empty stomach.
Here are some uses and benefits of Aloe Vera on your health, skin, and hair. The article also includes certain home remedies involving the use of Aloe Vera which will be of great use.
1. Stomach, Digestion, and Kidney
Consuming Aloe Vera regularly will help with heartburns and stomach pains. It can also cure stomach ulcers. It also regulates bowel movement and helps in breaking down foods. It helps in converting proteins into amino acids.
Aloe Vera helps in relieving constipation and stomach pain and improves digestion. Mix Aloe Vera juice with any fruit juice of your choice. Drink this juice before meals to see results.
Aloe Vera prevents kidney diseases based on fluid imbalances and excess sodium consumption. It also improves the efficiency of the urinary tracts.
After exercising, it is important to get rid of the lactic acids produced in the body due to the workout. To do this, drink a glass of Aloe Vera juice, instead of coconut water or regular water.
2. Liver and Heart
Aloe Vera is rich in phytonutrients and water. This helps the liver and improves its efficiency in cleansing the body of bacteria. Consuming Aloe Vera may improve the condition of the heart and blood quality. It helps in stabilizing the blood sugar levels and helps with diabetes. It can help in preventing pre-diabetes.
Aloe Vera will balance out the acid present in the body with its alkaline properties. This will prevent the body from diseases since acids stimulate fast growth of diseases ( 2 ).
4. Oral Health
Aloe Vera’s potent anti-bacterial properties help in improving bad breath, removing plaque and treat gingivitis. Mix 1 cup of Aloe Vera gel, a ½ cup of water, 10 to 20 drops of peppermint essential oil and 2 teaspoons of baking soda and form a paste. Take some in your mouth and swish it inside, without swallowing it. After about two minutes, spit it out and wash your mouth with water. Use this mouthwash regularly after brushing your teeth.
Aloe Vera increases the effect of the main treatment to get rid of mouth ulcers and canker sores. Mix 2 tablespoons of Aloe Vera juice, 1 teaspoon of baking powder and ½ a cup of warm water. Swish this mixture in your mouth for 10 seconds and spit it out. Follow this remedy daily until the problem is solved.
Aloe Vera can stop the growth of cancer tumors. People suffering from psoriasis and cancer can consume Aloe Vera juice for three months to improve their condition. It can be found in anti-cancer substances that inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
When drugs do not work in treatment, Aloe V1era can be used as a substitute since it is known to be present in the drafts of cancerous cells which prevent chemotherapy ( 3 ).
Applying Aloe Vera gel on sunburns will help in reducing the pain and will heal the skin faster. You can directly rub a slice of fresh Aloe Vera on the burnt skin. You can also mix Aloe Vera gel and water in equal parts and pour this mixture into an ice cube tray. Freeze this mixture and apply on the sunburn.
2. Shaving Gel
If you ever run out of shaving cream and happen to have an Aloe Vera plant in your home or have store bought Aloe Vera gel, you can use it as an alternate. Rub the Aloe Vera gel on your skin and use a razor to shave. Your skin will be soft after you finish shaving and the new hair that will appear will be softer, thinner and less in number, as compared to a shaving cream.
3. Burns and Irritated Skin
Aloe Vera has the ability to reduce irritation caused due to insect bites, treat itchy skin and heal wounds, cuts, and burns. Just apply fresh or store bought Aloe Vera gel on the parts of concern and you’re good to go.
To treat burns more efficiently, mix a little bit of turmeric with Aloe Vera gel and apply it on the burn. Aloe Vera possesses certain anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties which help in healing wounds and burns.
4. Stretch marks
Aloe Vera is a great skin softener and has the ability to reduce and eventually remove the appearance of stretch marks.
Apply fresh Aloe Vera gel over your stretch marks immediately after showering. Let it dry for about 2 to 3 minutes and then rinse it off with lukewarm water.
If you repeat it for two to three weeks daily, you will be able to get rid of stretch marks permanently.
5. Hand Sanitizer
Aloe Vera has anti-bacterial properties which help in battling germs and microbes.
To make your own hand sanitizer, mix together a ½ cup of Aloe Vera gel, a ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol and 5 drops of essential oil of your choice. Pour this into a bottle and use it whenever needed. Alcohol contains anti-bacterial elements which help in fighting germs ( 6 ).
6. Underarm Whitening Pack
If you have darkened underarms, prepare this home remedy to lighten them permanently.
Mix 1 teaspoon or rice flour and 1 teaspoon of Aloe Vera gel together. Massage this paste on your underarm and leave it on for about 5 minutes.
Wipe it off with a wet towel. Repeat this two to three times a week till you see visible results. This pack will lighten the skin and make it soft.
7. Dry Hands/Skin
Crush small pieces of Aloe Vera and add 1 teaspoon of honey to it. Rub this mixture on your dry skin in generous amounts and wait for it to dry.
1. Face Mask
Aloe Vera moisturizes and hydrates the skin. Apply fresh or store bought Aloe Vera gel on your face daily before sleeping and whenever your skin feels dull and dry. You can also directly rub a fresh piece of Aloe Vera stem, sliced in half, all over your face. Aloe Vera also prevents the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
2. Dark Spots and Acne Scars
Aloe Vera helps in reducing the appearance of dark spots and acne scars. Regular application will result in reduced hyperpigmentation and matured scars ( 7 ).
3. Toner and Mist
Scrape some Aloe Vera gel and mix it with 2 teaspoons of rose water and 2 teaspoons of water. Pour it into a spray bottle and use it as a toner and mist. It will leave your skin with a glowing and fresh look.
4. Skin Whitening
Coat small pieces of the Aloe Vera stem in rice flour and rub it on your face. The rice flour contains skin whitening properties and Aloe Vera will hydrate your face.
5. Makeup Remover
Aloe Vera can be used as a makeup remover when combined with glycerol and honey. Mix the three in equal proportions using a hand blender and dip a cotton pad in this mixture. Use this to remove your makeup at the end of the day.
6. Makeup Fixer/ Setting Spray
If you’re worried that your makeup might melt in the heat or due to water, mix together water, Aloe Vera gel and witch hazel in equal proportions. To this, add 10 drops of essential oil of your choice and pour this into a spray bottle. This mixture will keep your makeup in place throughout the day when sprayed on until you use a makeup remover to remove it.
7. Close Open Pores
Open pores make your skin look dull and lifeless and collect unwanted dirt and oil in them. To close your open pores using home remedies, mix 1 teaspoon sugar, the juice of ½ a lemon, 1 teaspoon of rose water and teaspoon Aloe Vera gel. Dip a cotton pad in this and apply it on the area around your nose and wherever you have open pores. Wait for 15 minutes and then wash your face.
8. Acne and Pimples
Mix some Aloe Vera gel and white toothpaste together. Dip a q tip in this mixture and apply it on your zits before you go off to sleep. In the morning, wash off the mixture using cold water.
9. Under Eye Bags
Aloe Vera helps in bringing low levels of collagen up to an optimal level. It makes the skin soft and elastic. To get rid of under eye bags and darkness, prepare a solution using ½ an ounce of pure Aloe Vera gel, ½ an ounce of rosehip seed oil, 10 drops of lavender essential oil and 5 drops of lemon essential oil.
Apply this solution on the under eye area and massage it using two fingers for roughly five minutes. Apply it on clean skin every night just before you go off to sleep. This will also help in fading wrinkles and fine lines.
10. Facial cleanser
Aloe Vera acts as a natural facial cleanser. Massage the gel on your face for about five minutes.
This will remove the excess dirt, treat sunburns and make your skin soft and smooth. Wipe off the remnants using a cotton pad. You can also mix some Aloe Vera gel in your face wash. Use this daily.
You can use Aloe Vera as a primer. It minimizes open pores and makes the makeup longlasting. It works especially well in the summer and keeps your skin hydrated.
Apply Aloe Vera gel on your face evenly and wait for five minutes after application to let the skin absorb it completely. Apply your makeup as usual and you’re good to go.
1. Hair spray
Aloe Vera will help in removing dandruff and will reduce itching. Squeeze out the juice of ½ a lemon and pour it in ½ a cup of water.
To this, add 1 teaspoon of Aloe Vera gel and pour this mixture into a spray bottle. Spray it on your scalp on wet or dry hair and then massage it so that it is evenly distributed and absorbed by the scalp.
2. Hair Mask
To improve the health of your hair, mix together 1 teaspoon of fresh Aloe Vera gel, 1 teaspoon of conditioner, 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Apply this mixture on your scalp and leave it on for about five minutes.
Wash your hair afterward and try and air dry them. Your hair will be free from dandruff on a weekly application.
3. Hair Treatment
To treat your split ends and damaged hair, run Aloe Vera gel through the ends of your hair. Repeat this daily to see results.
4. Heat Protectant
Rub Aloe Vera gel through the lengths of your hair before using any heat styling tools. Aloe Vera prevents your hair from burning and damage.
Try to switch from chemical infused medicines to natural medicines which contain Aloe Vera. Even though Aloe Vera has multiple benefits, it also comes with a few side effects. Sensitive individuals may develop allergies and generalized dermatitis which may cause redness, burning or a stinging sensation upon topical application.
Oral consumption may result in cramps, diarrhea, hepatitis and may also lead to an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Its ability to balance out lactic acid present in the body may lead to low potassium levels in the body due to electrolyte imbalance.
It is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women due to uterine contractions and may cause gastrointestinal diseases.
Consult a dietician or nutritionist before you make any major amends in your diet.