One of the most popular plants to be included in a variety of beauty and cosmetic products is aloe vera.
Think about all these face creams, tonics, and shampoos. This is because aloe vera plant has a lot of health benefits. Those are mostly related to the wellbeing of the skin and hair.
Hhowever, recent experiments and studies suggest that there are some medicinal benefits that you can take from aloe vera if you ingest it.
Now, aloe vera is easily grown in your home, so why would you spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on expensive cosmetics when you can grow your own aloe vera plant and use its juices?
You will be sure that there are no harmful additives, and you will get the most out of it at only a price of a little effort and care on your side.
Aloe Vera Indoor Plant Benefits
1. Healthy skin
Regardless of your skin type, you can benefit from applying aloe vera gel. If your skin is dry, it will moisturize it as it contains mucopolysaccharides which help bind water molecules to the skin.
It also stimulates the production of collagen which not only binds water but fills in smaller wrinkles and pores so your skin looks younger.
Another skin condition it helps with is acne due to its antiseptic properties.
Aloe contains salicylic acid, phenols, and urea nitrogen (among others) which help with acne by fighting bacteria that cause them.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it helps soothe sensitive skin. It has proven beneficial for treating sunburns and even lowering the chances of getting sunburnt if you apply it before sun exposure.
You can apply it as a moisturizing agent, or make a DIY face mask/scrub by adding other ingredients (e.g. honey, sugar, lemon, turmeric) according to your skin type.
For sunburns, freeze cubes of fresh aloe vera gel and gently treat your burnt skin for a calming and cooling effect.
2. Healthy hair
Healthy hair starts at the scalp. Itchiness, redness, dandruff and even alopecia are all among the conditions that can be improved by applying aloe gel topically.
It promotes hair growth and prevents hair loss due to proteolytic enzymes it contains. You can apply it to the entire scalp.
It can also be used to condition your hair in a natural, chemical-free way. It will leave your hair smooth and shiny.
This happens because aloe vera contains a substance that is similar to keratin (often advertized and included in many expensive shampoos and conditioners) which nourishes your hair and gives it elasticity.
So, instead of buying expensive products, make your own hair conditioner out of aloe gel and organic coconut oil. Apply it to your scalp and hear, leave it for 30 minutes to an hour and then wash it.
You can even try to use pure ale gel instead of hair gels just to style your hair all the while feeding it valuable nutrients.
For more in-depth explanation, here’s how to use aloe vera gel on your hair!
Due to its laxative properties, contained especially in the yellow sap, and high amount of fibers, aloe vera makes for a great natural colon cleanser.
Many doctors think that having a healthy gut gives you a healthy organism. And they are right.
The colon helps get rid of toxins which badly influence your overall appearance, and aloe helps flush them out naturally.
With its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, it helps restores the natural balance in your colon which then improves your wellbeing, and the condition of your skin (e.g. Candida induced acne).
It also helps with Chron’s disease, ulcers, and prevents colon cancers.
However, if you have any of these conditions consult your doctor before taking aloe vera.
4. Fights inflammation
Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties do to an anti-inflammatory compound called C-glucosyl chromone which was found in it.
I already talked about the skin benefits especially with acne (which is essentially an inflamed hair follicle), skin irritation, and even sunburn, but besides that, aloe gel is proven to help radiation side effects and promote wound/burn healing.
Applying the gel topically soothes the skin and promotes its regeneration which immensely helps with burns and wounds.
In addition to that, it helps fight off infections due to its antiseptic properties.
Aside from helping the skin with radiation therapy, it also relieves nausea caused by chemotherapy.
You can use it as a mouthwash, or make your own aloe vera toothpaste to help relieve and even cure gum disease and inflammation.
It also helps when muscles and joints are inflamed (over-strenuous workout, or even inflammation caused by arthritis). In this case, just use it as a cream to relieve discomfort.
If you want, you can also drink aloe juice to calm the inflammation from the inside, other than calming your muscle or joint pain it will internally fight any inflammation going on in your body whether you know it or not.
5. Boosts immunity
Drinking aloe vera juices boosts your immunity.
Aside from removing toxins from your body which is in itself great, that clean colon can more efficiently absorb healthy nutrients coming from food. The more healthy nutrients you get the healthier you are.
Also, aloe vera is rich with antioxidants which help ward off infections.
Aloe vera promotes blood circulation and in this way, oxygen and nutrients reach the cells in larger number and more efficiently.
This also promotes the overall health of the cardiovascular system.
Aloe’s anti-tumor properties have not yet been thoroughly examined, but studies show that nitric oxide helps in prevention of colon cancers.
How Difficult Is It to Grow Aloe Vera?
Taking care of the aloe vera plant is straightforward and simple. You should put the pots in a well-lit, sunny area.
It likes the temperatures between 13 and 27 degrees Celsius (55-80F).
During the warmer months (May through September) you can freely keep it outside, just be sure to put it in a shade for a few days so it would not get sunburn.
It is great for keeping indoors as well since it has air purifying properties – it clears out the toxic by-products of chemicals we use in our homes, paints and so on.
In nature, it likes a sunny and dry climate, so you should not water it more frequently than every 3 weeks.
Also, make sure that the soil is not wet because the plant’s roots tend to rot if exposed to a lot of moisture.
How to Use Aloe Vera at Home?
To use aloe vera’s gel you only need to take a leaf (they can vary in size significantly) from a healthy, living plant.
Choose an outer leaf and cut it as closest to the root as possible. In the aloe vera leaf, there are two separate substances that you can use – the yellow sap, and the gel.
The yellow sap is found right next to the inside of a leaf, it is bitter and has laxative properties.
If you choose to use it, wait for it to drop out of the leaf when you cut it. IF you do not want to use it, you can discard it to avoid bitterness.
The gel makes up the middle part of the leaf. It is watery and you can cut it.
To remove it from the leaf act as if you were filleting a fish – first of all, remove the pointy edges and then fillet the skin off of the gel a few millimeters away from the skin to avoid the sap.
You can strain the gel through a sieve or tights, you can put it in a blender, or you can cut it and use it in the shape of cubes.
This is how you can separate the healthy gel and sap from the leaf, but what should you use it for?
Note: If you are allergic to onions and garlic, you may be allergic to aloe vera as well.
There are possible skin reactions on applying it topically, and if you are ingesting it, you can have, nausea, diarrhea and other. If you notice any of the symptoms, or if you have any known health problems, consult a doctor.
Also, drinking aloe juice during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not recommended because it can cause premature labor and digestive problems in an infant who is breastfeeding.
Aloe vera has over 200 healthy and beneficial compounds. It works as an antioxidant (Vitamins A, C, E, and B12), antiseptic and a laxative.
It has anti-inflammatory properties both topically and when ingested, anti-tumor and antiviral activity, and moisturizing and anti-aging effect, along with UV and gamma-ray protection.
Also, it is rich in minerals. A powerful plant, right?
I wholeheartedly recommend having pots of aloe vera indoor and in your garden, as I benefited a lot from its healing properties.
Why would you pass on having a natural mini pharmacy in your home? If you have experience of your own in using aloe gel or juice, please leave a comment, I am happy to share it!