Aloe vera has been a staple in many homes for years. Aside from being a decorative plant (it is a thick, short-stemmed plant that is surprisingly easy to keep alive), it also has an annual market value of about $13 billion globally. It is used in pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries, and is known as a popular treatment for burns. Yet is that all there is to the mighty aloe?
Below is a list of its (possible and proven) benefits.
1. Possible breast cancer-busting properties
A new study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggests that the aloe plant can slow the growth of breast cancer. This is attributed to a compound found in the aloe plant’s leaves, the emodin. Yet while the study was very positive, more studies are needed to solidify this claim. In fact, Cancer Research UK warns, “There is no scientific evidence to prove that aloe can treat any type of cancer.”
2. Has antibacterial and antioxidant properties
A more known benefit is that the gel from the aloe vera plant contains powerful antioxidants. These polyphenols can hinder bacterial growth, and are also believed to “alleviate symptoms associated with/or prevention of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, neurodegeneration, and diabetes.” Also, we all know what antibacterial properties means: it can help people become healthier simply because it inhibits the growth of bacteria in the body.
3. Burn-soothing properties
The aloe vera is first approved by the FDA in 1959 as an over-the-counter medication for skin burns. As of writing, the plant (and its parts) are still world-renowned as an effective topical treatment for sores, sunburns, and first- and second-degree burns. In fact, modern studies have shown that it helps burn patients recover faster than the relief proven by conventional medicines. How fast? Nine days, to be exact.
4. Can possibly help diabetics
A recent study points out that aloe vera has been used as a traditional diabetes remedy. It is believed to improve glucose management and insulin sensitivity. Even more promising human studies point out that aloe vera is able to yield positive results to type-2 diabetics.
5. Improves skin appearance
Given the many wonderful effects of aloe vera, it only makes sense that it is harnessed for cosmetic purposes. That is exactly what some have done, when this study determined that the application of aloe vera gel for 90 days can improve skin elasticity and increase collagen production. This results to an improved skin appearance – ergo making aloe vera an effective anti-aging product.
6. Helps reduce mouth ulcers
Another positive benefit of the aloe vera is that it can cure mouth ulcers. It can effectively reduce the size of mouth ulcers and reduce the pain associated with them.
With such great benefits, who’s to tell you that the aloe vera is just a decorative plant? Aside from actually harvesting the plant, you also have the option to purchase products that are based on the aloe’s parts. You can also purchase supplements and beverages (such as the aloe juice) that packs the full punch of the aloe vera’s healing properties.
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