Q: What is aloe vera?
A: Aloe vera is a short-stemmed succulent plant with thick, fleshy leaves and small white teeth. It’s part of the lily family, or Liliaceae, which is the same family as onions and garlic. Aloe vera has become a staple for healthy living in the 21st century. You may have applied an aloe vera gel on sunburned skin or consumed a refreshing aloe beverage. While aloe vera is becoming increasingly popular, its use all around the world dates back thousands of years.
Ancient Egyptian carvings contain images of the aloe plant, which they referred to as the “plant of immortality.” However, the first recorded signs of the Egyptians using aloe was back in the 16th century BC. Roman use of aloe dates back to 512 AD as documented in the early encyclopedia, Naturalis Historia. In Indian ayurvedic (traditional) medicine, aloe vera is referred to as kathalai, and is used as a multipurpose skin treatment. With a plethora of health benefits it’s no surprise aloe has been used all around the world and is continuing to grow in popularity.
Q: What are the benefits of using aloe vera?
A: Whether aloe is applied externally or consumed, it can provide a great support for our health. Aloe is most well known for its hydrating, moisturizing and rejuvenating properties when applied to the skin. For these reasons, it’s one of the most commonly used ingredients in cosmetics. You probably know the relief aloe provides to sunburns, but it can also be used as a daily moisturizer to create softer, smoother skin all over.
Internally, aloe vera can be taken in the form of a juice, gel or softgel to help promote healthy digestion. Drinking pure aloe juice has been recognized to soothe the digestive tract and supports the production of glycosaminoglycans, which are important for cellular health and lubrication. You may also drink aloe for immune system support, gum and oral health benefits and for supporting the growth and regeneration of tissue.*
On top of it all, aloe has an excellent vitamin and mineral profile, providing various B vitamins (including B12), vitamins A, C and E plus calcium, magnesium, zinc and chromium. Aloe is practically a miniature multivitamin!
Q: How do I take aloe vera?
A: Aloe vera gel can be applied topically to help ease irritated or sunburned skin, rashes or cuts. If you want to explore more of the internal benefits, aloe vera juice might be the best option for you. Aloe vera juice has a neutral taste and is usually very easy to consume. For those of you who dislike liquid supplements, softgels or capsules are an excellent option and offer the pure inner leaf in a concentrated, tasteless pill form. The possibilities are endless with aloe vera. Whether you take it internally or apply it externally, aloe vera can aid the journey to a healthier you.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.