The benefits of aloe vera are not new information. In fact, aloe vera has been used for centuries by cultures around the world as both a medicinal and beauty agent. Aloe vera is a panacea of sorts that has thoroughly earned its reputation.
Today, aloe is gaining more clout in health food circles. And now, with DIY natural beauty on the rise, consumers are stripping their skincare and hair products down to their very foundations, only to realize aloe vera is perhaps the most effective and straightforward natural ingredients out there to tend to all their beauty needs. After you learn about the benefits of aloe vera, your beauty routine will change forever.
The word “Aloe” comes from the Arabic word “alloeh”, which means “shining bitter substance”. The word “vera” means “true” in Latin. Two centuries ago, Greek scientists considered aloe vera a panacea. Today, it continues to be used as both a health supplement and topical treatment.
Grown in the dry regions of Africa, Asia, Europe, India and America, the aloe vera plant contains long, thick, triangular leaves with serrated edges. Inside the leaves is a fleshy inner gel that is composed of water, glucomannas, amino acids, lipids, sterols and vitamins. The inner gel is where the beauty lies!
Aloe vera gel has long been used as an ingredient in cosmetology, and for good reason. It holds 75 potentially active compounds that reap incredible benefits to your body and skin. It contains vitamins A, C, E and B12 as well as folic acid and choline. These are antioxidants that reverse free-radical damage to the skin and thus may have anti-aging properties. The gel also contains the enzymes aliiase, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, bradykinase, carboxypeptidase, catalase, cellulase, lipase and peroxidase as well as calcium, chromium, copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc. All of these attributes make aloe vera an indubitably well-rounded topical treatment, offering the skin and body unmatched nutrition.
Aloe vera also offers a host of phenolic compounds called anthraquinones, which are traditionally regarded as laxatives. However, they also bear analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral effects. The hormones in aloe vera – Auxins and gibberellins – are able to heal wounds and boast anti-inflammatory benefits. Meanwhile, aloe vera provides 20 of the 22 human required amino acids and 7 of the 8 essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of human skin, connective tissues and muscle tissues. They effectively boost the strength and vitality of the skin.
Salicylic acid occurs naturally in the aloe vera plant. Salicylic acid is used to treat many skin disorders, such as acne, dandruff, psoriasis and dermatitis, among others. It has natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Considering all that is in aloe vera, it is no wonder scientific studies have supported its ability to treat skin disorders, cool burn injuries and heal wounds. It is an all-around incredible way to support your beauty, from head to toe. Look for an aloe vera leaf at your local grocer, cut it open to reveal the gel and rub the gel straight onto your freshly cleansed body as a moisturizer. You can apply it to the hair as well to nourish each strand.
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Photo Credit: rae allen