I have been having this rather strange spur to go natural or herbal for quite a while now that I have actually gone on to substitute most of my cosmetics of daily use like shampoo or toothpaste or soap with products which have anything natural or herbal as the key ingredient. While I was evaluating my new substituted products, it dawned on me that I haven’t yet found a good natural moisturizer. That moment the hunt for it began and it ended with me stumbling on this product – Nourishing Aloe Vera Gel (with Green Tea Extracts & Vitamin E beads) from Aloe Veda. Well this post isn’t a review of this product but instead of its key ingredient – Aloe Vera.
It’s the Ancient Egyptians who nicknamed as the “Plant of Immortality.” Native Americans referred to it as “the wand of heaven”. Am not quite sure for the reasons behind these nomenclatures but my intuitive mind say it might be due to the anti-aging or healing properties of aloe. No doubt the glamorous Cleopatra regarded aloe Vera as her beauty secret. Legend states that the Pharaoh kept the Aloe as a palace plant, assigning it a very high status. Drawings of the aloe plant have been found inscribed in the tombs of the pharaohs. Supposedly, Alexander the Great in 333 B.C. was persuaded by his mentor, Aristotle, to capture the Island of Socotra in the Indian Ocean for its famed Aloe supplies, needed to treat his wounded soldiers.
Aloe Vera is a stemless or very short-stemmed succulent plant and stores water in its prickly and bitter leaves, which are thick and fleshy. It looks somewhat similar to a cactus plant. The leaves produce two substances – a) the translucent gel, which is more or less water with seVeral other nutrients mixed in and b) the sap – a yellow-coloured liquid stuck to the skin of the plant from the inside, which is also known as aloe latex. Although Aloe is about 99% water, the remaining 1% is extremely powerful and it is this 1% which makes it an ingredient in cosmetics, skin creams, ointments and other cool stuffs.
There are numerous benefits of using aloe Vera for skin, hair and health in general. Read on to know more.
Benefits For Skin
Prevents Signs Of Aging
Aloe Vera contains collagen, which prevents aging, repairs skin and helps remove dead cells. It is rich in Vitamin C, E and beta carotene which gives it its nourishing and anti-ageing qualities.
Aloe moisturizes the skin by improving the elasticity of skin and making it smoother and more supple. It increases the water content in your skin, and leaves it hydrated without making it greasy.
Reduces Acne And Helps Lighten Blemishes
Aloe Vera is an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent that helps reduce your acne. It also contains polysaccharides that stimulate the growth of new cells. This speeds up the healing process for acne and prevents scarring.
Helps With Sunburns And Reduces Tan
Aloe Vera, owing to its anti-inflammatory properties, reduces the redness brought on by exposure to UV rays and soothes the skin. It treats the cells on the epithelial level of the skin to remove tan, sunburn and stretch marks.
Heals External Wounds And Insect Bites
The anti-inflammatory property makes it effective against wounds and insect bites. One particular enzyme, Bradykinase, helps to reduce excessive inflammation. Aloe Vera also contains Salicylic acid which fights inflammations. Some chemicals in aloe called Aloe mucilaginous polysaccharides (AMP) increases circulation in the tiny blood vessels in the skin, as well as kill bacteria, promotes tissue growth and improves cellular metabolism thereby speeding wound healing. Because of this antibacterial property and being a moisturizer, it can be used as a shaving cream too. It also contains vitamin B12 which is required for the production of red blood cells.
Benefits For Hair
Promotes Hair Growth and Conditions Hair
It acts as a great conditioner and leaves your hair all smooth and shiny. It promotes hair growth and conditions your hair. Aloe Vera has a chemical make-up similar to that of keratin thereby rejuvenating the hair with its own nutrients, giving it more elasticity and preventing breakage. It helps in cell regeneration, which helps repair your hair. It also infuses your hair with moisture, leaving it smooth and glossy.
Reduces Dandruff and Maintains pH Balance Of The Scalp
Aloe Vera contains something called proteolytic enzymes which repairs/ removes dead skin cells on/ from the scalp that can clog your hair. It also has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which fight against infections and soothe the scalp hence preventing itching on the scalp. It helps restore your scalp’s pH balance, which promotes healthier and better hair.
Benefits For Health
Aloe Vera is rich in antioxidants that bond with the free radicals and help manage inflammations. Aloe Vera contains vitamins including A, C, E, folic acid, choline, B1, B2, B3 (niacin) and B6 which provides it this antioxidant properties. Nearly 20 minerals are found in Aloe Vera including calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, selenium, sodium, iron, potassium, copper and manganese which act together to boost enzyme metabolic pathways, ensures detoxification of metabolic wastes and getting rid of it. A complex carbohydrate known as acemannan allows nutrients to reach the cells, nourish them and at the same time relieve them of toxins. Aloe Vera is also one of the best body cleansers. It cleanses toxic matter from the stomach, kidneys, spleen, bladder, liver, and is the most effective colon cleanser. It relieves the body off tissue inflammation which often causes joint pain and even arthritis. It strengthens the digestive tract, improves digestion, cures any kind of stomach trouble and has a great effect on overall health.
Eases Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Aloe Vera has anti-inflammatory properties which soothe the stomach lining and the esophagus. It soothes digestive tract irritations such as colitis, ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome. Its ability to encourage the release of pepsin (a gastric juice enzyme necessary for digestion) when the stomach is full is a reason for its ulcer-healing effects. It also helps fight against pathogens that cause gastrointestinal problems. Aloe Vera introduces necessary bacteria in the gut that ensure healthy bowel movement giving you good digestive strength.
Reduces Cholesterol And Regulates Blood Sugar
Aloe Vera can reduce the concentration of cholesterol in your vital organs. Aloe Vera contains enzymes such as amylase and lipase, which when taken orally aid digestion by breaking down fat and sugars. It can also reduce blood glucose levels.
Maintains Oral Health
Aloe Vera gel has antibacterial properties which help fight cavity causing bacteria. It also helps with diseases that cause gum inflammation, particularly periodontitis.
Boosts weight loss and Builds Immunity
Aloe Vera propels cells to produce nitric oxide and cytokines, which help with your immune system. Since it takes time to digest, it uses up energy and helps aid weight loss. With ample amounts of vitamins and minerals that contribute to weight-loss, as well as amino acids, enzymes and sterols, Aloe Vera ensures your diet is not only supportive of weight-loss, but also improves the body’s absorption and utilization, improving overall health as well as weight-loss success. It’s rich in anti-oxidants which means it helps cut out free radicals in the body and boost your immunity. It’s also a good source of protein so it helps muscle development and gives you copious amounts of energy. Aloe Vera boosts your immune system, which indirectly helps your body fight against tumors. It can shrink the size of tumors and increase the survival rate of those with cancer.
With all these benefits of Aloe Vera listed above, I am really impressed and I plan to stick with natural and herbal for a long time. What about you?