- Aloe vera has many healing uses besides moisturizing and burn soothing properties.aloe vera image by Magdalena Mirowicz from Fotolia.com
Most people are familiar with aloe vera gel as a soothing, healing substance for burns and dry skin, and it is also a favorite houseplant. Cut a fresh leaf from a healthy aloe vera plant and rub it on your burned or dry skin and you’ll feel why it’s used as a natural skin treatment. The plant's gels and juices contain acemannan, a complex carbohydrate found to have antiviral, gastrointestinal and immune stimulating properties. The simple aloe vera plant has valuable medicinal properties exceeding far beyond its moisturizing gel.
- According to the Mayo Clinic, latex from the aloe vera plant has laxative properties. Aloin is aloe's main laxative substance and is found in the skin of the leaves. In 2002 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration prohibited the use of aloin in over-the-counter products. However, a homemade preparation from blended or juiced and strained aloe leaves provides a laxative tonic. A mild preparation is recommended, since aloin taken in strong concentrations can cause painful cramps and intestinal irritation.
- Aloe’s anti-inflammatory properties aid arthritis relief. Drinking aloe vera juice and applying aloe vera gel or cream to painful arthritic joints helps relieve and eliminate pain, stiffness and limited mobility. This is from the sterols such as lupeol and campesterol found in aloe vera gel. A topical paste made from aloe vera gel mixed with crushed aspirin and rubbed into painful joints or applied as a poultice with a warm, moist wash cloth or gauze pad provides instant relief and reduces swelling.
- Drinking aloe vera gel has a soothing and healing effects on ulcers. The gel contains polysaccharides with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial to ulcers. Polysaccharides are responsible for the gel substance in aloe’s leaves, and are made up of a complicated compound of carbohydrates and many other substances with anti-peptic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is thought that drinking aloe vera gel has the same effects internally as the soothing effects of aloe gel on the external skin cells.
Treat Sports Injuries
- Aloe vera has many valuable applications for treating and healing sports injuries. Blisters heal quickly when aloe vera gel is applied, either in gel form or as a chilled or frozen poultice made from ground up aloe vera leaves. Muscle sprains and cramps respond quickly to a warm aloe vera wrap made from heating a wet wash cloth or towel soaked with aloe vera juice or gel. Crushing aspirin and mixing it with aloe vera gel and rubbing it on sore muscles and joints quickly brings relief from pain and inflammation. Aloe vera juice provides a slow-acting mild stimulant and is used as an energy boost for participation in active sports.