11 Uses of Aloe Vera (& Caution for Kitty) That May Surprise You.
11 Uses of Aloe Vera: Aloe dare! We all know about the miracle herb, aloe vera, right? It’s been touted for sunburns and practically e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g since its mass production began in the 1960s.
Chances are, it’s in your refrigerator or a skin product.
Listed on cosmetic labels as aloe barbadensis, products employ aloe vera because of its powerful ability to help soothe and heal the skin.
Aloe Dolly. Aloe vera has an illustrious history. A 6000-year old stone etching shows it as part of an Egyptian pharaoh’s treasure, and Sumerian cuneiform tablets point to favorable laxative use in Mesopotamian constipation cases. Both Cleopatra and Nefertiti enjoyed aloe’s contribution to their world-famed beauty regimens. Important then, vital now.
It wasn’t long after that Ayurvedic Medicine (India) embraced the aloe and (shhhhhh), gave it the epithet, “silent healer.” Called Ghritkumari, great Ayurvedic physicians cite aloe vera’s positive impact on boosting food nutrition, blood sugar control, and lowering elevated blood-lipids (cholesterol).
But aloe vera’s fame does not stop there. The Bible mentions it five times as both King Solomon and Jesus received their ministrations. Alexander The Great, Plini The Elder, and the Dioscorides The Surgeon not only had the same middle name, but they were all aglow about aloe’s healing attributes for wounds.
Herbal Medicine. Herbalists know there are three different parts of the plant, each with their own medicinal properties – the skin, the inner-leaf latex (yellowish goo right under the skin), and the inner leaf gel.
- Aloe’s Outer Skin can be toxic, especially to cats. The skin’s job in Nature is to hold water inside the leaf and repel predators (bugs and animals). It has medicinal properties best employed by herbalists.
- Aloe’s Latex is strong medicine. As with any “strong medicine,” there’s increased benefits, but also increased risks of side-effects such as rashes and other concerns (diarrhea) in sensitive people if used in large doses. Not suitable for kitty, either. Best to have an herbalist oversee the use of aloe latex.
- Aloe’s Inner-Leaf Gel. Here’s the good goo for everyday use, chockablock full of valuable nutrients and healing polysaccharides (acemannan). The inner leaf gel is considered a mainstay of plant medicine for daily living, both for internal and external uses.
Now, if that’s not enough to perk your interest in using some aloe vera today, here’s the shortlist of primary, topical and internal benefits that go far beyond saving aloe vera for the sun- or kitchen burns.
11 Uses of Aloe Vera:
- Digestive Adaptogenic– more than for occasional tummy upset use, consistent use of aloe vera inner gel (liquid) can help the body correct many issues including inflammation, weak digestion, pH optimization, slow motility, flatulence, and balanced gastric acid production.
WellnessWiz Tip: Heartburn & Acid Reflux. Aloe is terrific for heartburn and acid reflux. With all the terrible side effects and G.I derangements caused by prescription proton pump inhibitors (reduced nutrition uptake, increased risk of stomach cancer per Harvard Health), aloe works without dangerous side-effects and often superior results. 1 oz. of 3x aloe concentrate liquid before each meal for 2 weeks is a good test if aloe is efficacious for you.
- General Immune Support– Aloe’s plethora of micro-nutrients, trace minerals, nascent amino acids, and enzymes bathe the cells in immune-supportive molecules for improved cellular function and a vigilant, balanced immune system.
WellnessWiz Tip: Add an ounce of aloe to your morning lemon water for an enhanced start to a healthy day.
- Intestinal Motility– Low doses (1 oz.,bid) of aloe vera serves overall nutrition, but should a person struggle with constipation, larger doses (2 oz., tid) support improved bowel function and can help resolve tendencies toward reduced motility. Unlike laxatives that flush out your nutrition and have to be repeated, aloe vera supports both motility and overall nutrient uptake with the ability to help effect correction of the cause as it supports the gut microbiome.
WellnessWiz Tip: Constipation. Bowel motility is dependent on several processes:
- No dysbiosis, e.g., lipopolysaccharides produced by gram-negative bacteria in the gut
- Effective stomach digestion
- Productive pancreatic enzyme response to the stomach’s hydrochloric and pepsin signals
- Efficient gallbladder movement of bile into the small intestines
- Proper brain-gut/gut-brain communication
- Adequate plant fibers.
Include 1-oz, of 3x concentrate inner leaf aloe liquid in 3 oz. water before each meal to help the entire digestive system.
- Skin Health– Of course, people are interested in their skin’s cosmetic look, but the best skin is healthy skin with an inner radiant glow, not a cosmetic cover-up. Aloe is designed by Nature to hydrate. It nourishes the skin with nascent nutrients and specific healing/rejuvenating polysaccharides when applied topically and used internally. It’s a terrific moisturizer – in fact, aloe’s purpose in living is to conserve desert moisture inside its leaves. But even more than cosmetic effects, aloe can help with psoriasis—one of the more difficult autoimmune skin diseases and eczema.
WellnessWiz Tip: Apply aloe vera gel from a fresh leaf directly to your skin’s itchy or dry patches for a soothing, refreshing balm that is free of cosmetic chemicals and processed vegetable oils. Do this for fine lines and wrinkles to support and rejuvenate troublesome skin areas. Grow your own aloe and save a bundle on cosmetic expenses (and save your liver from all the cosmetic toxins). More than a cover-up, aloe vera helps maintain and restore skin health and supports healthy skin microbiome.
- Fever Blister Rapid Healing– If your lips go crazy with herpes virus when exposed to the sun or when you enjoy a bite of chocolate or nuts, aloe vera has significant anti-virus properties that help minimize the pain and severity of cold sores. It also promotes more rapid healing.
WellnessWiz Tip: At the first prodromal symptom of a fever blister (tingling, itching), snip a small piece of aloe vera leaf from your garden or flower pot plant, slice the inner leaf gel in half, so you have two pieces of gel exposed, leave the aloe’s skin on, and place the gel on your lip’s affected area for 20-minutes. Repeat with the other half. Do this several times to help prevent a big honker from appearing on your lip.
- Oral Health– Aloe is terrific for periodontal health, especially gum inflammation. Not only an anti-inflammatory agent, aloe is anti-microbial regarding harmful bacteria but does not disturb the natural oral microbiome.
WellnessWiz Tip: Bad Breath. For bad breath due to throat bacteria that exude noxious gasses, just gargle an ounce of aloe inner leaf liquid once or twice a day.
WellnessWiz Tip: Mouthwash. Avoid commercial mouthwash. It kills the beneficial oral microbiome and deranges the start of your intestinal microbiome. Use a clear, liquid, 3x aloe vera concentrate instead and swish it round in your mouth. Swallow it for additional benefits.
- Aloe-L-A Lola. Home-Made Make-Up Remover. Replace a store-bought make up remover and its toxins with skin-supportive, soothing aloe.
WellnessWiz Tip. Mix aloe vera inner leaf liquid gel with an equal part of organic, extra-virgin olive oil. It does a fine job removing make-up, and you should soon notice smoother, healthier skin.
- Joint Health.
Want to be rewarded by aloe’s excellent soothing, anti-inflammatory properties? Not only does aloe vera have mild analgesic properties (it contains a superior form of aspirin), it helps the immune system back off from unwanted joint pains according to scientific studies per the British Journal of Community Nursing. What? May a person not need deadly opioids and gut-harming NSAIDs?
WellnessWiz Tip. Mix aloe vera liquid with DMSO, Dimethyl Sulfoxide — used as a printshop solvent now FDA approved for painful bladder syndrome — to increase topical absorption of aloe’s salicylic acid (natural aspirin). Apply directly over painful joints for blessed relief and gentle improvement.
- Blood Pressure.
Studies cite aloe vera to help with blood pressure concerns, such as elevated LDL and triglycerides. Its inherent nitrates produce nitric oxide to support blood vessel elasticity and help lower inflammation.
WellnessWiz Tip: Blood Pressure Balance. Aloe vera favorably impacts arterial integrity two ways, supporting 1) collagen via nascent vitamin C and amino acids that comprise the blood vessels, and 2) nitric oxide cell processes that facilitate arterial flexibility and helping to open capillaries. Thus it helps arteries to dilate properly while strengthening the tissue. Start with 2 oz. of liquid aloe daily. Gradually increase keeping an eye on results. Note: if using an Rx blood-pressure drug, watch your blood pressure as you’ll now be employing two agents that impact the body’s systems.
- Glucose Balance.
Throughout the documented history of aloe vera, there’s evidence of it helping glucose metabolic issues. Science is still speculating about the reasons for its positive influence on diabetes, chronic fatigue, and blood-sugar-driven inflammation, but has found that 100mg of the fresh inner gel (1 Tbsp, tid) safely delivers improvements. No mean feat for a product that’s 99.1% nascent water. Antidiabetic activity of Aloe vera L. juice. I. Clinical trial in new cases of diabetes mellitus PMID: 23195077 DOI: 10.1016/S0944-7113(96)80060-2.
WellnessWiz Tip: Blood & Intracellular Glucose Management. You can harness aloe vera’s 75+ nutritionally active molecules to effectively lower your fasting glucose, and in 3-months, see positive results in Hemoglobin A1C levels. Note: If you are taking an Rx drug to force glucose into the cells, start slowly with aloe vera and avoid diarrhea from too much aloe because loose stools may reduce your medication uptake. Start with small amounts (1 Tbsp of 3x concentrate, and gradually increase over time and give your system time to acclimatize. Keep an eye on your blood glucose levels to avoid hypoglycemia (blood sugar drops too low.)
- Nature’s Disinfectant. In an era of mass hysteria regarding microbes, people often poison their bodies with chemical disinfectants which can: 1) damage the skin’s natural microbiome, 2) create superbugs such as MRSA, and 3) leave the skin more susceptible to infections. Instead, consider the powerful disinfectant attributes of aloe’s anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties.
WellnessWiz Tip. Mix 1 oz. liquid, clear, aloe vera in 4 oz pure water. You can spray this on your hands, nose, eyes for airborne exposures. And also, spray on surfaces (desks, sinks), and for even more powerful surface disinfectant, add 1 oz of white, distilled vinegar. Nature provides safe and effective methods without the dangers of chemical disinfectants.
Aloe vera is also cited for helping resolve fever blisters, styes on the eyelid, cataracts, wounds, abrasions, scars, cellular hydration, boosting cognition and brainpower, and disinfecting the air and countertops.
Aloe—Your Ally. More than sunburn and other burn relief, the miracle herb—Aloe Vera—belongs growing near your kitchen as immediate first aid for hundreds of applications. Also, keep supplemental aloe vera juice in the refrigerator. It provides daily benefits that help your body perform its numerous health-supportive functions. As an herbalist, I say to my aloe vera plants, “Thank you. You had me at aloe.”
Just so you didn’t think that I made this stuff up!) I have 132 scientific citations for this article, so if you’d like to see them, please let me know, and I’ll send it to your email.