Aloe vera supplements are widely acclaimed for their healing properties for both the skin and digestive ailments. Since the time of Ancient Egypt, dating as far back as 1500 B.C., the soothing gel that is found inside the Aloe vera plant leaf has provided treatments for burns, insect bites and simple wounds. The gel has also been used in the production of Aloe vera juice, which is proven to help calm certain digestive conditions.
What Is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is a plant in the lily family that grows leaves which produce a gel that is used for internal and topical health applications. It is a wild plant that is grown in Madagascar and Africa. The plant is also grown in the U.S., Japan and the Mediterranean, by commercial farmers.
Benefits of Using Aloe Vera Supplements
Scientists have isolated the most important ingredients that make Aloe vera products so effective. The natural gel found in the plant leaf contains magnesium, which stops itching; an emollient, which soothes; and brady-kinisase, that is used to treat swelling and pain.
It speeds healing and can even destroy or slow down the growth of fungi, bacteria and viruses in the body. Here are some specific benefits for the use of Aloe vera:
- Repair damaged skin, such as 1st degree burns, sunburn, surface wounds and even symptoms of shingles.
- Effective against psoriasis, dandruff and even genital herpes.
- Eases symptoms of radiation therapy.
- Relieves some cases of frostbite.
- Possibly effective as a treatment for ulcers and other gastrointestinal conditions. Research is ongoing.
- Possible immune booster for AIDS patients, those with Leukemia or other forms of cancer. Research is ongoing as well.
Possible Aloe Vera Side Effects
Typically, very safe when used topically. Possible mild allergic reaction in some people can occur.
When taken internally, some people may experience diarrhea or mild cramping due to the natural laxative nutrient in the plant.
- Do not take internally if you have arrhythmia, kidney disease or diabetes.
- Do not use on surgical incisions, since this may increase the time it takes to heal.
- May interact with certain drugs such as diuretics or laxatives. Discuss with your doctor if you have any concerns.
Various Aloe Vera Supplements Forms
- Natural herb plant
Suggested Dosage for Certain Conditions
A variety of Aloe vera products can be used both externally and internally. Here are some of the most common ways to use this soothing, healing supplement:
- For simple kitchen burns, break off a piece of live plant leaf and squeeze natural gel onto wound. Let dry and reapply several times.
- Use Aloe vera ointment or cream for sunburn, wounds or other burns as needed for pain relief and speedy healing.
- Pour 1 to 2 cups of Aloe vera juice into a tub of water for a healing experience after a sunburn.
- Take capsules or gel caps as directed on the dietary supplement package as indicated for the particular health condition noted.
- Use Aloe vera juice up to 3 times a day or as directed on bottle label for a variety of digestive issues.
When purchasing Aloe vera juice, be sure to look for the IASC certified seal that indicates the product is made from raw ingredients that meet required guidelines. Also, choose a juice product that contains 98% Aloe vera with no aloe emodin or aloin in the ingredient list. When choosing a topical Aloe vera supplement, look for one that contains 20% or more Aloe vera.