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.
It 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
Its 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.
Benefits of Aloe Vera
It has remarkable properties that distinguish it from other plants, like accelerating wound healing, protecting the skin from radiation damage, moisturising the skin, and also it has anti-aging effects. It 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 the right products
When selecting shelf products, it is critical to examine the ingredients. Some items contain Aloe Vera contents ranging from 2% to over 90%. As a gel, it 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. The juice derived from the inner leaf does not include aloin but still retains other active ingredients. The 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.