Aloe vera is packed with nutrients and minerals, and due to its alkaline nature, it positively effects helps to maintain the body's pH level. Apart from that, following are some of the most important benefits people can get from regularly incorporating aloe vera in their diet, skin or hair regimes.
Anatomy of an Aloe Leaf
Each aloe leaf is made up of three parts:
The innermost portion of the leaf is made of clear gel. This gel mainly contains water, along with glucomannans, amino acids, lipids, sterols and vitamins.
The middle layer of the aloe leaf is made of a bitter yellow sap, also known as latex, and it contains anthraquinones and glycosides.
The outermost layer of the leaf is made up of 15-20 cells called rind. Due to its thickness, this layer provides protection, along with its other duties of synthesising carbohydrates and proteins.
Health Benefits of Aloe Vera
Since the time of ancient Egypt, Aloe Vera has been used to treat many health issues. From canker sores, to inflammation, their use has seeped through numerous industries. Following are some of the many benefits of incorporating Aloe Vera:
Packed with vitamins and minerals: Aloe vera contains numerous bioactive compounds like micro vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants. High saturation of these compounds make aloe vera a compelling choice for many pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetic products.
Fights free radicals and diseases: Aloe vera contains powerful antioxidants, which can help a person fight harmful bacteria. Polyphenols and several other compounds in Aloe vera can also stop infections by inhibiting bacterial growth.
Effective against burns: As a popular ointment, aloe vera gel can be rubbed onto the skin to treat first and second degree burns. It has shown excellent results when it comes to reducing the healing times of burns by around 8-9 days. Furthermore, Aloe vera can also be used on other forms of minor wounds or cuts for efficient healing.
Keeps teeth healthy: Aloe vera stops the buildup of plaque on the teeth. According to a popular study, Aloe vera juice faired on equal terms compared to chemical mouthwash ingredient chlorhexidine. Apart from inhibiting bacterial plaque in the mouth, aloe vera also stops the kills off yeast such as candida albicans.
Maintain gastral fauna: Aloe vera latex is a stick yellow residue, which is found just under the skin of the leaf. Despite some concerns, this latex contains a compound called aloin. Aloin has been proved to provide effective relief against constipation.
Improves skin quality, and prevents its early ageing: Aloe vera gel has shown impressive results when it comes to improving the elasticity of the skin, by increasing the production of collagen. Another study found that aloe vera reduces inflammation and redness of the skin. Some research had also shown positive anti-ageing effects of aloe vera.
Regulates blood sugar: Aloe vera is said to elevate/ enhance insulin sensitivity, and it also helps improve the management of blood sugar. However, due to limited research these effects are prematurely laid out.
Can aloe vera make your hair grow back?
Aloe vera can help you get the hair you want. Some of the most fascinating advantages of regularly using it on your hair are:
Alleviates itchy scalp: Aloe vera helps to reduce and fight against seborrheic dermatitis, which is commonly known as dandruff. Aloe also helps in reducing flaky skin under the hair, and also reduces scalp inflammation.
Cleanses and repairs hairs: Helping your hair stay shiny and healthy, aloe vera can efficiently remove excess build of sebum (hair’s natural lubricant). Aloe also helps to strengthen hair by providing them with essential nutrients like vitamin A, C and E, all of which help to keep hair follicles alive and well.
Promotes hair growth: Aloe vera increases blood circulation to the epidermal and dermis layers of the scalp, facilitating efficient flow of nutrients. It also helps in reducing hair breakage, and slows down hair loss.
How can I use aloe vera gel on my hair?
Aloe vera can be used on hair in a variety of ways. Here are the five ways to use aloe vera to get your dream hair are:
As a Pre-shampoo: Aloe Vera can be used as a pre-shampoo, and can help in reducing the buildup of Seborrheic dermatitis - Dandruff.
Add it to your Shampoo: Aloe vera gel can help in maintaining moisture in your hair, leaving them long and strong.
As a Conditioner: With around 20 amino acids, aloe vera helps in promoting proper moisturisation. You can go all natural and use aloe vera gel as a stand alone conditioner.
As a Hair Gel: Aloe vera gel is a hit amongst many hair enthusiasts, who use it for its ability to effortlessly untangle, and define curls.
As a hair growth serum: As mentioned earlier, aloe is good for hair regrowth, and using it alongside other natural oils can enhance the overall effect.
Can you leave aloe vera gel on your hair overnight?
Apart from the many benefits of using aloe for your hair, there are some things that you’ll need to keep in mind to make sure that you are not being adversely affected by it.
Following are some of the side effects, risks and interactions people need to be aware of before using aloe on a daily basis.
Topical use of aloe vera can cause skin irritation. Whereas, oral ingesting aloe vera juice can lead to laxative effects, and can cause diarrhea or constipation. Ingesting aloe may also lead to electrolyte imbalances in the blood.
Furthermore, it may also lead to colon staining, which can make it difficult to visualize the colon during a colonoscopy. Therefore, one should avoid ingesting aloe vera for at least a month before having a colonoscopy.
Also, Aloe Vera gel ointment made for topical or oral use, should be aloin free, as it can lead to irritation in the gastrointestinal tract.
Application of aloe vera gel ointment on deep cuts or severe burns should be avoided. Aloe Vera can lead to allergic reactions, and people who are already allergic to garlic, onions, and tulips are more likely to be allergic to it.
Oral use of Aloe should be kept to a minimum, as high doses can be dangerous. People who are already suffering from intestinal problems, heart disease, haemorrhoids, kidney problems, diabetes, or electrolyte imbalances should avoid ingesting aloe together.
Before taking any supplements, it is important to check for allergies or any reactions that you may have from them. Same goes with Aloe, as it can also interact with other medications, drugs and supplements like laxatives, or steroids.
Thus, consulting a doctor should always be given preference before trying out new drugs. Oral use of aloe vera can also hamper the absorption of medicines, if taken at the same time.
If you are planning to remedy preexisting hair loss with aloe vera, then, unfortunately, you might be better off with something else. Aloe Vera, just like other alleged natural remedies for hair loss, cannot reverse baldness. Furthermore, benefits of natural remedies as far as keeping your hair healthy, are also inconclusive.
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