The Many Benefits of Aloe Vera
For centuries, the Aloe Vera plant has been celebrated for its numerous health, beauty, medicinal, and skincare benefits. It belongs to the Aloe genus, which comprises over 500 species and grows naturally in arid regions across Africa, Asia, Europe, India, and America.
The Components of Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is composed of 75 potentially active components, including vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugars, lignin, saponins, salicylic acids, and amino acids, as well as anthraquinones like aloin that have laxative properties.
The Layers of an Aloe Vera Leaf
Aloe Vera leaves have three layers: the inner gel, middle latex, and outer rind. The inner gel, which contains 99% water and essential nutrients such as amino acids, lipids, and vitamins, is highly beneficial. The middle layer, or latex, has a bitter taste and contains anthraquinones and glycosides, while the outer layer, or rind, produces carbohydrates and proteins and has a protective function.
The Benefits of Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera has remarkable properties that distinguish it from other plants. It accelerates wound healing, protects the skin from radiation damage, moisturizes the skin, and has anti-aging effects. Aloe Vera stimulates fibroblast, which produces collagen and elastin fibers, making the skin more elastic. It also softens the skin and has an anti-acne effect. Aloe latex, found between the skin and gel of the leaf, contains anthraquinones that heal and reduce pain through natural anti-inflammatory effects.
Choosing Aloe Vera Products
When selecting Aloe Vera products, it is critical to examine the ingredients. Some items contain Aloe Vera contents ranging from 2% to over 90%. Aloe Vera gel has a high concentration of polysaccharides, organic acids, amino acids, and vitamins, which are beneficial to the body but also contain aloin, which can cause laxative action. Aloe Vera juice derived from the inner leaf does not include aloin but still retains other active ingredients. Aloe Vera powders used in some products make them less potent than the juice or gel.
In conclusion, Aloe Vera is a versatile plant with numerous benefits. During a trip to Israel, I created a beautiful facial mask using Aloe Vera gel. Watch the video here.
- Mukherjee, Pulok & Nema, Neelesh & Maity, Niladri & Mukherjee, Kakali & Harwansh, Ranjit. (2014). Phytochemical and therapeutic profile of Aloe vera. Journal of Natural Remedies. 14. 1-26. 10.18311/jnr/2014/84.
- Surjushe, A., Vasani, R., & Saple, D. G. (2008). Aloe vera: a short review. Indian journal of dermatology, 53(4), 163–166. https://doi.org/10.4103/0019-5154.44785.