5 Aloe Vera Uses That Benefit Your Health

It’s ideal for soothing a sunburn after a long day at the beach, but you may not know about the long list of aloe vera uses by humans throughout history. Here are five ways you can use aloe vera to improve your health.

aloe vera uses

Egyptian queen Cleopatra used aloe vera on her skin as a part of her daily beauty regimen.

© Luchschen | Dreamstime

For thousands of years, humans have used the aloe vera plant in various ways—as a wound and burn dressing, as an embalming fluid, and as a beauty aid to help keep the skin soft. And in the U.S., the plant, which is thought to have originated in Egypt and the Middle East, was commonly used as a laxative as early as the 1800s. These days, the most popular aloe vera uses benefit the skin, but due to its natural healing properties, it can be used for so much more.

The aloe plant itself is packed with water and contains significant amounts of vitamins B, C, and E, as well as folic acid. Plus, it’s a good source of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that can inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.

So, now that we know a little bit more about aloe vera, let’s review its top uses.

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1. Aloe Vera Helps Burns, Wounds, and Rashes Heal Faster

We already know that aloe vera is effective at soothing sunburns, but it can help heal both minor and post-surgery wounds. One study found that women whose C-section wounds were dressed with 100 percent fresh aloe vera gel for 24 hours after surgery showed significant improvement in healing compared to the control group.

Daily aloe vera use also can greatly improve the symptoms of those living with mild-to-moderate plaque psoriasis. A recent study found that aloe vera may be more effective than the prescription cream triamcinolone acetonide.

Plus, aloe vera has been shown to help blisters and cold sores caused by the Herpes simplex virus to heal faster due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, according to a study conducted by the Journal of Dentistry.

2. Frequent Aloe Vera Use Can Benefit Your Heart

Studies show that consuming aloe vera (typically by tonic or supplement; see sidebar) can decrease LDL “bad” cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while increasing HDL “good” cholesterol levels by lowering the liver’s cholesterol production by as much as 30 percent. But the benefits don’t stop there. Aloe vera’s high vitamin C content can help lower blood pressure, while other nutrients present in it can dilate capillaries and boost blood oxygenation. And when combined with psyllium fiber, a recent study showed that it can decrease the frequency of angina attacks and stabilize the heart’s rhythm. For more details, check out our article 6 Health Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice for Your Heart.

HOW TO USE ALOE VERA

Aloe vera is commonly applied or consumed via a topical ointment, tonic, or supplement. But which form is best for the condition being treated? Follow these general guidelines.

Apply aloe vera gel/topical ointment directly onto skin for:

  • Burns and wounds
  • Acne
  • Blisters and cold sores
  • Rashes

Drink aloe vera juice according to your doctor’s instructions for:

Aloe vera juice should be refrigerated immediately after purchasing to ensure a long shelf life.

Aloe vera supplements often can be used in place of the juice for most of the benefits mentioned above (except for hydration). Follow the manufacturer’s instructions or consult your doctor.

3. It Helps Relieve Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms

A study conducted in 2004 showed that aloe vera had a positive effect on patients with active ulcerative colitis. Those who took 100 mL of aloe vera gel twice daily for four weeks saw significant improvement in symptoms, and 30 percent saw clinical remission after four weeks. There are, however, some important things to remember. While aloe vera uses can include constipation relief, it’s not generally recommended because it can cause abdominal cramping or diarrhea. So it’s important to check with your doctor before using aloe vera to treat your digestive issues.

4. Aloe Vera May Help Your Acne Prescription Medications Work Better

We’ve learned that aloe vera has healing properties that are beneficial to wounds and burns, but a recent study showed that it also may help heal acne. Dermatologists often prescribe topical retinoids to treat mild-to-moderate acne, but in this study, researchers combined tretinoin cream with aloe vera gel to assess its effectiveness. The combination reduced both inflammation and the number of lesions present on the skin better than a placebo or tretinoin cream alone. The combination therapy also was less irritating to the skin.

5. It Can Reduce Dental Plaque And Gingivitis

Over the last few years, aloe vera has gained popularity as an active ingredient in all-natural tooth gels to cleanse your teeth and gums and to fight cavities. In fact, researchers have found that some varieties of aloe vera tooth gel can be just as effective as commercial toothpaste at fighting germs found in your mouth. Not all aloe vera tooth gels are made equally, though. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, a stabilized form of aloe vera gel must be used in order for it to be effective. Look for a seal of quality by the International Aloe Science Council on any dental products containing aloe vera.

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Comments
  • Glad to learn about all these ways to use aloe vera. I have used aloe Vera gel and juice to help in the healing process of diverticulitis. With 2, 3, or 4 days of fasting from all but water mostly or other clear liquids and aloe Vera, I can recover from a bout without taking antibiotics which really mess up the digestive system.

  • Bonnie B.

    I drink Aloe Vera Juice for my acid reflux and heart burn. Along with DGL extract it has worked wonders!!

  • Joseph P.

    I read aloe vera can cause birth defects and miscarriages. You can find this information if you do a web search titled, Aloe Vera and Birth Defects

  • Great article! I loooove aloe vera. Anyone interested in this stuff should definitely check out the book Everyday Roots. It teaches you how to replace all the toxic chemicals in your life with healthy organic alternatives. Its completely changed my life and how I feel everyday! 🙂

    Heres a great review of everday roots: http://reggiesreview.weebly.com/everyday-roots-review.html

    Keep up the great content!

  • Jean J.

    I strongly recommend drinking aloe vera juice because I’ve heard that it strengthens the immunity system throughout the body. Once while I was frying something, hot grease popped out on my thumb. I immediately broke off an aloe vera cactus branch and applied the gel to my burned thumb. It quickly ended the pain, the burn didn’t cause any blisters, and it healed almost immediately. Jean Jones.

  • Karem P.

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    Finding out I have herpes simplex virus wasn’t easy. But as time has passed, I have slowly come to terms with it and try to tackle it with a positive attitude. In mid-2012 I became quite ill. I developed persistent flu-like symptoms, headaches, a nagging cough and sores that wouldn’t heal. My skin felt as if it was crawling, my legs ached, I felt nauseous and lost weight. Then exhaustion hit. It is an indescribable tiredness. I started using Best Health Herbal Centre HSV herbal formula this year. After 5 weeks of usage, my HSV was totally reversed, all my symptoms was terminated and am now HSV negative… To know more about Best Health Herbal Centre visit ww w besthealthherbalcentre c om Thanks..

  • This is the very rare and unique info for all peoples because its benefits is its find on google so easy and i have share this info with friends because its really so educational info and its help me in my education thanks and keep writing.

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