Aloe vera is a succulent plant with thick green leaves that store water. While aloe vera may be thought of as primarily a decorative plant, the leaves contain a thick jelly-like substance that can be extracted and used in many different ways. It is a versatile home staple that is inexpensive and extremely handy to have around. Aloe vera is packed with fantastic properties such as antioxidants, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and soothing properties. This makes it a super plant that you simply must own!
1. Soothes Skin
Picture this: you’re sitting on a bright sunny beach in Europe enjoying the sound of the ocean and the heat of the sun caressing you. But at the end of the day, you realise your skin has become red, inflamed and painful. Your instinct is to reach for after sun lotion to soothe the skin. However, aloe vera has brilliant anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, which makes it perfect for applying to your skin when it is itchy, sore, inflamed or burnt. This could include anything from sunburn to insect bites or a rash. Aloe vera’s anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties also help to keep the skin from becoming infected, and not treat any existing infection.
2. Helps Hair Growth
If you’re having a nightmare with hair fall or trying to grow your hair with no luck, then aloe vera may work to help. Aside from its moisturising properties and anti-bacterial properties that can keep your hair and scalp healthy, aloe vera contains other important compounds that can aid in hair growth. The plant contains amino acids and proteolytic enzymes which can help you keep your hair and scalp healthy, thereby promoting hair growth. Who knew!
3. Helps Treat Acne
If you’ve ever suffered from acne, you’ll be familiar with the awful pain, inflammation, heat and redness that comes along with the skin condition. It’s not a pleasant feeling! This is where aloe vera can help you. Aloe vera’s antioxidant properties can help keep the skin firm and smooth while helping to prevent long term damage from acne products that can be harsh on the skin. It also has anti-bacterial properties that are perfect for helping to treat the acne itself, and its anti-inflammatory properties help to calm and soothe the skin, any reduce any redness that is present. Because aloe vera is so gentle and doesn’t cause irritation in most people, it is a great alternative to harsh products such as tea tree oil and witch hazel, which can dry out the skin and cause further irritation.
If your hair is feeling a little dry and drab, and you think it needs a pick me up to add a little shine and smoothness, then aloe vera is your best friend. Its polysaccharide and sterol content means it’s a fabulous moisturiser for your skin and hair. You can apply it to the ends of a hair and wash it out as you would a conditioner, or you can mix it with heated base oils and use it as part of hot oil treatment for your hair. You can also add a bit to your regular shampoo and condition to give them an extra pump. All of these methods are effective; try all of them to work out which works best for you!
5. Reduces Dental Plaque
These days, people are beginning to reject conventional personal care products such as mouthwash and toothpaste, in favour of naturally based products, due to their proportional lack of chemical content. One of the primary ingredients in natural personal care brand Jason all natural toothpaste is none other than aloe vera juice! This is no coincidence; aloe vera is an extremely efficient substance for cleaning the mouth and removing dental plaque. This may be due to its saponin content, along with other cleansing compounds. It is a safe, efficient alternative to conventional products, so it’s a fantastic option if you prefer toxic free personal care products.
6. Burn Healing
Aloe vera has been used as a treatment for minor burns for thousands of years. It contains regenerative properties that can help the skin to heal, and coupled with its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, it’s a winner to use in conjunction with conventional medicine to help heal and take the edge off minor burns. All you need to do to reap the benefits of this wonder plant is apply the gel or juice directly to the area of concern, and leave it to sit on the skin to work its magic!
While aloe vera is great for multiple exterior uses, let’s not overlook its internal benefits! According to natural healthcare powerhouse Holland and Barrett, aloe vera supports gastrointestinal health. This makes it a great substance to take in juice form or in capsule form, as an overall health tonic.