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April, 14 2017

What could Aloe Vera do for you?


Sharon @JdeV Stranraer store

Aloe vera is becoming increasingly popular in the health world, and for good reason! You might be most familiar with aloe vera gel – a cooling gel that can be used to soothe irritated, itchy or sunburnt skin. I know I've always got a tube in the cupboard! However, aloe vera has started to appear all over the health market, including in health juices and even in makeup and skincare products. So what’s all the fuss about?

It turns out that aloe vera has loads of benefits, especially for skin, hair, weight loss, IBS and even cystitis. Much of this is down to its natural healing qualities, its anti-inflammatory properties and the host of vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants that it contains – in fact, in contains over 75 biologically active constituents! So let’s have a look at some of these benefits in more detail.

Aloe vera for skin

Several of aloe vera’s properties make it a great addition to your skincare collection. It contains two hormones – Auxin and Gibberellins – which reduce inflammation and help skin to heal. It also contains the enzyme Bradykinase, which is an anti-inflammatory. This makes it great for easing irritated, inflamed skin, repairing UV damage and even treating skin conditions like acne and psoriasis. Plus, its soothing, cooling and moisturising properties provide relief from the unpleasant side effects of many of these problems.

Aloe vera also contains a great deal of vitamins and antioxidants so can be used as an anti-aging product. Drinking aloe vera juice will give you the same antioxidants and vitamins as an aloe vera gel, to nourish skin from the inside out.

Some unusual uses of aloe vera for skin that you might not have thought of include: a primer or moisturiser that can be applied before makeup, or an aftershave to soothe irritation and heal small cuts.

Aloe vera for hair

If aloe vera is great at soothing and healing skin, then this means it can also be of benefit to your hair. When applied to the scalp it can moisturise the skin, reducing dandruff and itching, and it can also promote healthy hair follicles, which means healthier growth.

Aloe vera also has a similar chemical make-up to keratin, the main protein in hair, meaning that it can replace the vital nutrients needed for healthy hair. Plus its moisturising effects leave hair soft and shiny!

Again, drinking aloe vera juice supplies the same nutrients to the body, helping to nourish hair from the inside out. This is great for supporting general hair health, rather than easing particular problems.

Aloe vera for weight loss

More good news! It turns out that aloe vera can be used alongside a healthy diet to support weight loss. It can help ease problems like acid reflux, as well as soothe inflammation, boost metabolism and regulate bowel movements, leading to healthier, happier digestion! And with more effective digestion comes more effective weight control.

Aloe vera juice is also packed with vitamins, making it a nutritious alternative to typical weight loss methods.

Aloe vera for IBS

Aloe vera can also be really useful for easing indigestion, heartburn and acid reflux beacuse of its cooling, soothing properties. Linked to this, then, are aloe vera’s beneficial effects on IBS symptoms. The soothing, cleansing, anti-inflammatory action of aloe vera can help to reduce irritation and inflammation in the gut, which is great news for people suffering from IBS symptoms. One study found that aloe vera helped to reduce abdominal pain and discomfort in people with constipation-dominant IBS, though it had no effect on bowel movements. Another study found that 42% of patients treated with aloe vera noticed a significant improvement in their symptoms, and it also revealed that the treatment was most effective in people with diarrhoea dominant or mixed IBS.

Aloe vera for cystitis

It is possible that aloe vera can provide relief from the symptoms of cystitis – in particular, interstitial cystitis. Since aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties, it can help to relieve inflammation of the bladder, and if this inflammation is caused by an infection, then aloe vera also has antiseptic, anti-bacterial and immune-supporting properties.

One study found that 7 out of 8 patients taking aloe vera experienced significant relief from their interstitial cystitis symptoms. This was a small-scale study but it provided promising results! Definitely worth a try if you frequently suffer from cystitis.

What type of aloe vera is best?

Your choice of aloe vera product really depends on what you’re using it for.

To treat skin problems like burns, irritation, acne or psoriasis, a gel is often the best choice. It’s easy to apply, comes in a handy tube and has a lovely cooling effect. In addition, swapping to skincare and makeup products that contain aloe vera will help to protect damaged, sensitive or problem skin.

To support skin and hair more generally, as well as for weight loss or IBS, I’d recommend taking aloe vera in juice form. Some juices contain aloe vera as an ingredient, along with water and other fruit juices, which is great for getting a healthy dose while out and about. However, if you’re planning on taking aloe vera more regularly, I’d recommend getting a stronger, purer version – such as the Aloe Pura juices. Their unique blend of leaf and gel contains 100% aloe vera, meaning that a little goes a long way – the general recommendation is just 25ml once or twice a day! This can be taken on its own, added to your favourite fruit juice, or blended into your daily smoothie.

For weight loss, IBS and general digestion, you may also want to consider Aloe Pura's Aloe Vera Digestion Aid Tablets, which contain additional digestion-friendly ingredients such as fennel, peppermint oil and digestive enzymes.

If you’re looking for something to ease cystitis, then you might want to consider Aloe Pura with Cranberry – combining these two bladder-friendly plants is sure to have positive effects!

And if you’re looking to get creative, plain Aloe Pura Juice or gel can easily be incorporated into your hair regime because it doesn’t contain any added sugars or fruit juices. Mix 25ml Aloe Pura with 25ml Dr. Bronner Castile Soap in a cup of water for a great homemade shampoo; or add a tablespoon of Aloe Pura to a 100ml spray bottle and top up with water for quick and easy spray-on nourishment.

So now you know! Aloe vera: skin saviour, hair hero and digestion defender.