Pure aloe vera gel has a huge variety of uses, both for the exterior of the body and the interior. It can be applied to your skin or used internally to treat conditions as wide-ranging as fever to ulcers to gingivitis. My favorite personal use for this plant is for the skin.
Vitamins and antioxidants found in aloe vera are beneficial in protecting your skin from harsh weather conditions. Several substances found in aloe vera have also been shown to reduce the effects of ultraviolet light. In addition, it's known for also repairing past damage that has already been done to your skin. Oh, can't forget aloe also helps prevent wrinkles as well as fine lines. The list goes on for this plant. It is truly a must-have for anyone looking to take care of their body.
Here is everything you need to know about organic aloe vera gel, how it is used, how to find it in its purest form, its benefits, and side effects:
Exactly What is Aloe Vera Gel?
Aloe vera gel is made in a variety of different ways, but no matter how it is produced, it is generally the same thing. The aloe vera gel is contained inside the fleshy, waxy leaves, and is harvested by cutting or breaking the leaf off of the plant and draining it into a container. Sometimes, the leaves are then also cut open and further gel is scraped off of the inside of the leaf. Though this is sometimes called aloe vera latex, it is usually packaged and sold along with the gel.
Aloe vera gel is also sometimes made by crushing the entire leaf into a pulp. While this usually produces a different consistency than gel that is drained out of the leaf, it has many of the same health benefits and uses.
Essentially, two types of gel are made from aloe vera. The first is made from the leaf's interior. This type is often more bitter-tasting and yellow than the other type of gel found encased within the leaf. Both types of gels may be present in a specific product, depending on how it was made. When the entire leaf is crushed, the end product is likely to be a mixture of both the gel made inside the leaf and the physical gel.
Aloe vera gel contains several nutrients that make it very beneficial for topical and internal applications. These include vitamin C, which helps to strengthen blood vessels, is great for circulation, and supports the health of the immune system. Amino acids are also present in aloe vera gel, which are the building blocks of everything in our cells and are therefore extremely necessary when it comes to keeping the body healthy and functioning.
Enzymes are another substance found in aloe vera, which is used to produce our cells, metabolize food, improve the appearance of the skin, and much, much more. Germanium also occurs naturally in aloe vera, which is widely recognized as an anti-inflammatory, as being great for cardiac disorders, and for improving circulation in the body. On top of these substances, aloe vera is also rich in proteins, calcium, zinc, vitamins A, E, and most of the B varieties, as well as magnesium.
What Is Aloe Vera Gel Used For?
Aloe vera gel has a huge number of uses, beginning with topical application and ending with soothing constipation. The gel, in all of its forms, has a span of uses that cannot be rivaled by just about any other natural substance. Here are some of the most common uses for aloe vera gel:
Soothing burns and irritations
When you have sunburn, you probably already reach for a bottle of aloe vera gel. It is rife with natural anti-inflammatories that can wick away the pain and the redness that comes along with these types of burns.
It has an incredible cooling effect that nothing else can replicate, and because it soothes while it cools, while also promoting healing, it is much safer to put on a burn than a cold compress, which can tear up the damaged skin and create a large problem.
For laxative purposes
Aloe vera can be very effective not just as a salve for burns, but also as a laxative. The gel made by scraping the inside the leaf, especially, can be very effective at relieving constipation.
It is also completely natural, which makes it much, much better than the pills that you can find in the drugstore that offer the same function. Even before most people started hearing about the health benefits of aloe vera gel, they were probably already aware that it could be used as a laxative.
Applied as a moisturizer
In addition to being great at soothing irritation on the surface of the skin, aloe vera gel is a great moisturizer, and it is also completely natural and absorbs into the skin very quickly. This is something that researchers in labs have tried to replicate with chemical moisturizers for years, but none have even come close to being as effective at moisturizing or as quickly absorbing as aloe vera gel is.
While this might not be one of the most common uses for aloe vera gel, it is often used to prevent acne from happening and for treating it when it does occur. Because it is an anti-inflammatory, it will ease redness around a blemish and because it is antibacterial, it can help to kill off the bacteria that causes acne.
Getting rid of rashes
The antibacterial properties of aloe vera gel are very commonly used to help an individual get rid of any rashes they might have, especially those that are caused by an allergic reaction. Aloe vera absorbs into the skin quickly and helps to get rid of toxins and allergens in the skin, restoring it to its natural state and helping it to become more resilient to irritations that cause rashes in the future.
Heals ulcers and soothes IBS
Ulcers can irritable bowel syndrome are both related to inflammation in the body. While eating an anti-inflammatory diet can help to ease both of these conditions, aloe vera can be very effective at getting rid of the inflammation that causes these and other conditions.
These are only a few of aloe vera’s many, many uses. This gel has been used for over four thousand years for the treatment of digestive issues to the signs of aging, and recent scientific studies have begun to prove that aloe vera does have a real effect on the body and does have all of the benefits it is purported to have.
Aloe Vera Gel Purity: How to Measure It?
Recently, there have been some concerns raised about whether or not all aloe vera gel being sold on the market is pure aloe vera gel. There seem to be some products marketing themselves as organic aloe vera gel that are not pure at all. Some unscrupulous companies will do this to cut the costs of their production, therefore making more profits. What should you look out for when buying aloe vera gel?
First, look for the presence of excess water in your aloe vera gel. All aloe vera gel will be slightly diluted, but if it is diluted too much, it will be rendered ineffective. Most commercial brands offer products that contain only a very small amount of aloe vera gel, requiring you to use a large amount of it before it is effective, and therefore requiring you to buy more and more of their product.
Another common tactic is to mix manmade chemicals into the aloe. They will often take a diluted solution of aloe vera gel and throw other chemicals into it, so that it may act more like aloe vera, without actually having to be pure aloe vera gel. The best way to combat this tactic is to look at the ingredients in your aloe vera gel product. If it contains high levels of glycerin or glucose, it probably is not pure aloe vera and therefore not something that you want to use.
Aloe vera gel is also not considered pure if it is made from aloe vera that has been dried, powdered, and then reconstituted into a gel. While this is not the worst thing that can be done to this gel, this process can cause aloe vera to lose many of its most important benefits. When buying aloe vera gel, make sure you are not buying a product that has been produced using any of these three methods.
Health Benefits of Aloe Vera
It is commonly and widely known that aloe vera is great for skin conditions of all kinds. Those with eczema and burns will use it regularly to reduce redness in that area and to promote healing and soothe the irritation that can range from annoying to painful. When applied to the skin, it has an instant cooling effect, which is beneficial not just for burns, but for any kind of irritation on the skin. This is what makes it so great for both topical creams and shampoos and conditioners.
One of the biggest benefits of aloe vera is that it is extremely moisturizing. It carries a wide variety of nutrients deep into the skin, where they can then be absorbed into your cells and utilized to make your skin stronger and more resilient to damage. Aloe vera gel is about 99% water. The 1% of the gel that is not water are nutrients that are very beneficial to the skin and the body.
When taken internally, aloe vera has several other health benefits. Its moisturizing properties are still extremely important. This is partially what makes it great as a laxative and as a way to relieve diarrhea. It imbibes the digestive tract with moisture and with its healing vitamins and minerals, which help to curb any inflammation in the body and to soften stool, and move it along through the digestive tract.
Those who have a weakened immune system, either because of conditions or simply because the body is battling an infection of some kind, can also benefit from aloe vera. The gel can stimulate the immune system, which may be beneficial for fighting off that infection or for preventing one from taking hold. Some also find that this boost in their immune system helps to combat hay fever and other allergic responses.
Aloe Vera Gel Side Effects
Aside from the benefits that pure aloe vera gel provides to the body, there are some side effects. Most of these are good side effects, like losing weight or regulating blood sugar, but some negative side effects come along with taking aloe vera gel, especially if you take too much aloe vera gel. Most notably, the side effects include gastric discomfort, diarrhea, and stomach aches.
The side effects of pure aloe vera gel should not be understated—there are real negatives to taking too much aloe vera. Although it is unlikely to be possible to use too much aloe vera directly on the skin, you can almost certainly take too much of it orally, which will lead to these negative effects.
In the early part of this century, there were many studies done about the efficacy and safety of aloe vera, which found that while this natural substance is safe to use, too much of it can cause a reaction that most people would not find favorable. Regulating your intake of aloe vera gel is the best way to avoid these side effects. To do this, it is a good idea to read the dosing instructions on whatever product you buy, to see what that product specifically says about how often it can be used and how it should be used.