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The Health Benefits of Aloe Vera

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The Health Benefits of Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a well known medicinal plant that has been used for thousands of years. Most of us are familiar with using it as an aftersun lotion when we have over done it in the sun.  It has a very cooling, soothing effect and is beneficial not just for sunburn, but for a variety of other health conditions.  Its leaves are filled with a slimy tissue which stores water and forms a gel. This gel contains most of the bioactive compounds in the plant, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants.

Heals burns

Aloe vera is most commonly used as a topical treatment for burns. Scientific studies have shown that it is beneficial for both first and second degree burns. Four different experiemental reviews found that Aloe vera reduced and healed burns by around 9 days compared to other treatments.

Reduces dental plaque

It kills  plaque-producing bacterium Streptococcus mutans in the mouth, as well as the yeast condition, Candida albicans.  In a mouth rinse study of 300 healthy people, they were asked to swap their usual mouth wash containing chlorhexidine, for an Aloe vera mouthwash. After 4 days of using the Aloe vera mouth rinse they had the same dental plaque reduction as they would have if they used their regular mouth wash, and aloe vera is much gentler on the mouth.

Relieves mouth ulcers

A 7-day study of 180 people who suffered from mouth ulcers, were asked to apply Aloe vera to the affected area.  It not only reduced the pain of the sore, but also the size of it.

Aids digestion and hearburn

Researches have discovered that aloe vera helps to detoxify the colon, reduce dicomfort, ease bloating and abdominal pain.  The large variety of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes help to heal the intestinal tract. Another study found that consuming 2 to 3 ounces of aloe vera at mealtimes could help to relieve heart burn.

 

Helps with diabetes

A Diabetes Prevention and Treatment study published in the Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin in 2006, tested the effects of aloe vera on mice with Type 2 diabetes. The mice were given phytosterols (the compound in aloe vera) for a period of 4 weeks.  After the 4 weeks was up, they were found to have a reduction in blood sugar levels.  The scientists said that the study indicated that aloe vera had a long term effect on blood glucose levels which may be helpful in treating Type 2 diabetes

Relieves arthritis

Scientists researched the effects of aloe vera on arthritic rats and found that the rats had an increase in it’s analgesic effect, after been administered it.  The scientists said this was probably due to the polysaccharides found in the plant, which has anti-inflammatory properties.

Prevents bacteria from growing on fruit and vegetables

A recent study has found that putting some aloe vera gel on tomato plants helped to prevent  harmful bacteria from growing on them.  This could be a more natural way of maintaing fresh fruit and vegetables rather than using pesticides.

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