Aloe vera, a succulent plant, is renowned for its medicinal properties. Added to numerous cosmetic products in the modern world, and used by itself in less-industrialized parts of the world, organic aloe vera contains many elements that may make it a versatile way to hydrate one’s skin.
A Brief History
Believed to have originated in Northern Africa, aloe vera can be traced back to many civilizations worldwide for thousands of years. This is because of the adaptable nature of the plant, making it easy to cultivate. Egypt, Greece, India, China, and Mexico are the most prominent civilizations to have used aloe vera. It has been said that Nefertiti and Cleopatra, two Egyptian queens, used the plant in their cosmetic routines. Even Christopher Columbus and Alexander the Great were said to have used aloe vera to heal the wounds of their soldiers (Surjushe et al. 163). While aloe vera has been traditionally used for countless ailments, the plant has most commonly been used in many cultures as a laxative, a perspiration reducer, an anti-inflammatory, and an antibacterial medicine.
About the Plant
While the aloe vera’s botanical name is Aloe barbadensis miller, the common name of aloe vera derives from a combination of the Arabic word “Alloeh,” which means “shining butter substance,” and the Latin word “vera,” which means “true” (Surjushe et al. 163). It is no surprise, then, that aloe vera may have true shining properties that resemble its translated name.
In fact, this plant is composed of triangular, meaty leaves that contain 3 layers of health-packed benefits. The innermost layer gives the plant its name, for it is a clear, gel-like substance that is 99% water. The 1% that remains includes “glucomannans, amino acids, lipids, sterols and vitamins” (Surjushe et al. 163). The second layer is a bitter latex sap that is yellow due to its naturally-occurring anthraquinones. The third, outermost layer, called the rind, contains 15-20 protective, synthesizing cells. In all three layers, there are at least 75 components that may contribute to one’s health.
According to the Indian Journal of Dermatology, these components range from “vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugars, lignin, saponins, salicylic acids and amino acids” (164). From antioxidant vitamins to enzymes that might reduce topic inflammation to containing 20 out of the 22 human amino acids as well as 7 out of the 8 essential amino acids, it is obvious why this plant is considered by some to be a shining substance of buttery miracles!
In the modern world, the amount of ways in which organic aloe vera is medicinally used is astounding. The potential internal healing mechanisms of the plant may be able to treat conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. Aloe vera has also been clinically tested for possibly inhibiting the production of free radicals (cancer-causing cells), with evidence supporting this possible inhibition (Peng et al. Abstract). The most common medicinal uses, however, are external. Organic Aloe vera quite possibly is able to reduce inflammation, heal burn wounds more quickly, and aid in the reduction of blemishes, blisters, dermatitis, and psoriasis (Grundmann).
At Home Skin Care
In the modern world, aloe vera is by far a popular ingredient for many cosmetic products on the market, from makeup to moisturizers. If you have your own aloe vera plant, you can easily make use of this amazing plant’s potential properties by creating aloe vera moisturizers, aloe vera face masks, and aloe vera lotions for your personal use. If you do not have aloe vera on hand, fear not! Many stores sell aloe vera face creams and aloe vera gel moisturizers that can leave your skin radiant and healthy.
Dry Skin Remedies
For those with dry skin, you can especially make use of aloe vera by using aloe vera cream to try to keep hydrated. Aloe cream is usually blended with other ingredients to retain moisture, which may aid in getting rid of cracked, dry skin. A common ingredient that might add body and additional moisture to aloe vera gel for dry skin is beeswax, so keep a lookout for this ingredient if your skin is particularly in need of hydration.
If you are seeking facial hydration, then the best aloe vera gel for the face is one that is organic. Organic aloe vera gel for face may ensure that sensitive skin is not exposed to unwanted pesticides that could have been sprayed onto conventionally farmed plants. Pure aloe vera gel for faces might result in a purified and perfectly hydrated face that is glowing and rejuvenated by the plant’s healing properties.
Aloe vera face moisturizer isn’t the only option for a perfect glow. Why stop at the face when your entire body might receive the benefits of aloe vera skin cream? Aloe vera ointment can be used for virtually any part of the body. Use aloe vera oil for the skin to pamper yourself with a lotion that may leave you feeling like you’ve just been to a 5-star spa. Apply aloe vera to your hair and see how consistent use of the plant might revitalize both damaged skin and hair!
*Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Grundmann, Oliver. “Aloe Vera Gel Research Review: An overview of its clinical uses and proposed mechanisms of action.” Natural Medicine Journal, vol. 4 iss. 9, IMPACT Health Media Inc., Sept. 2012, www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/2012-09/aloe-vera- gel-research-review. Accessed 28 Dec. 2017.
Peng SY, Norman J., Curtin G., Corrier D., McDaniel H.R., Busbee D. “Decreased mortality of Norman murine sarcoma in mice treated with the immunomodulator, Acemannan.” Molecular Biotherapy, vol. 3 no. 2, June 1991, pp. 79-87, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1910624. Accessed 28 Dec. 2017.
Surjushe Amar, Resham Vasani, and D. G. Saple. “ALOE VERA: A SHORT REVIEW.” Indian Journal of Dermatology, vol. 53, no. 4, PMC, 2008, pp. 163–166, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763764. Accessed 28 Dec. 2017.