Although the aloe plant belongs to the Lily family, it is similar in appearance to a cactus and is a succulent plant. It is very easy to grow at home and you can even use it for minor burns, cuts, or scrapes: just split a leaf and apply the pulp directly to the injured area.
Aloe vera is native to Africa, and there are records of Egyptian healers' use of the plant dating as far back as 1500 BC. Today the aloe plant is grown commercially in the West Indies and the American Southwest.
The Benefits of Aloe Vera
Before we delve into a discussion of the health benefits of aloe vera, it is a good idea to distinguish between the different terms that apply to two kinds of aloe products as manufacturers, confusingly, use these terms interchangeably.
Aloe vera gel is the part obtained from the center of the inner leaf and is the one used for healing attributes.
Aloe vera juice, the drug aloe, is a bitter substance found just beneath the skin of the leaf and is commonly used in laxative preparations.
As stated, aloe vera gel is the part known for healing effects and we will refer to this part when talking about the benefits of aloe vera.
* A Skin Healer
Humankind has used the aloe plant for treating burns and healing wounds since ancient times. It is effective in relieving pain and inflammation and can be used to treat many skin disorders such as skin ulcers, eczema, and psoriasis.
* Healing Infections
The aloe plant contains anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial agents that help the body to protect itself against infections.
It also holds promise for treating AIDS since an immune-stimulating ingredient, acemannan, contained in aloe vera, has been shown in various studies to be active against HIV in test tubes.
* Other Uses of Aloe Vera
When taken internally, aloe vera supports the digestive system. It can be beneficial in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and aids in the treatment of stomach ulcers, hemorrhoids, constipation, and all colon disorders.
How to Choose an Aloe Vera Supplement
To maximize the health benefits of aloe vera, one must ensure the quality of the aloe product since it is not easy to select the one that has right kind and right amount of aloe vera gel in the product formula. Unfortunately, many products even have the risk of not containing the ingredients claimed on the label.
Following are the some tips and precautions for finding high quality Aloe vera supplement.
* Selecting Potent Aloe Vera Supplement
"Aloe vera gel" and "aloe vera juice", as mentioned earlier, are not the same product and have different healing properties. Many herbalists do not recommend the use of aloe juice (aloe latex) as it is highly laxative. It is easy to confuse the two products as the juice is sometimes simply referred to as "aloe", and sometimes the gel is mixed with water and marketed as "aloe juice".