Aloe Vera/’Ello Vera – Found in homes far and wide, this well-known succulent has so much more to offer than just looking fabulous as part of your home décor.
Originally, found growing in wild and tropical climates, this sturdy drought-resistant plant has been used traditionally as medicine from the 16th century BC, and more currently, is used in Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and homoeopathy practices.
With 4.1 million posts on Instagram relating to Aloe Vera, this plant certainly knowns how to stay current, as more people search for natural foods and products.
What makes them so good?
These spiky plants are full of goodness that included carbohydrates, proteins, glycoproteins, amino acids, polysaccharides, organic acids, lipids, sugars, vitamins and minerals, which might explain their known health and wellness properties. Aloe Vera gel contains a large range of vitamins even vitamin B12, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and folic acid.
You can consume the leaf and the inner gel directly, by chopping the leaves of your plant, and trying them in a salad or smoothie, there are many recipes available. If you aren’t naturally green fingered Aloe Vera can be found, much more conveniently, in many consumer products like cosmetics, health drinks and beverages, food, supplements and even hand sanitizers.
As this dessert loving plant clings onto water, it is a great way to treat or prevent dehydration. As it also contains sugars and carbs, it could be a great post-workout drink.
The Aloe Vera gel has a cooling sensation but this is more than just a feeling and does have anti-inflammatory properties, and can be used for minor burns and cuts. The gel can encourage healthy skin condition, helping to keep it moisturised which might be important when the skin is compromised this means it would be a wonderful addition to add to your natural health cabinet, but like any new product its prudent to do a skin patch test first.
Pure Aloe Vera juice can has been shown to be a useful choice for those with IBS and juice which contains Aloe Vera latex (a part of the plant found within the leaf) can act as a mucilage to help make it easier for gut contents to move along the digestive tract.
If you have IBD, Crohn’s or are pregnant, make sure you speak with a nutritional or herbal practitioner before you take it.