Widely exploited in cosmetics, this succulent is now also an ally of choice in our natural health routines. We’re telling you why.
Recognizable for its long, fleshy leaves lined with quills, aloe vera has more than just a decorative function. Water-soaked (99%) is stored to survive in desert climates; this oily plant contains a wealth of nutrients. It concentrates no less than 150 elements, including at least nine vitamins (A, C, B, and E), twenty minerals (copper, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium…), enzymes, and seven of the eight amino acids said to be essential to our body.
Not to mention acemannan, a complex sugar that retains water. Multiple resources have earned it known and used in natural medicine since ancient Egypt. Today, barbadensis Miller aloe vera is the most prized of the 300 species of aloe existing.
You can (almost) ask him anything.
Given the list of its various therapeutic virtues, aloe vera deserves its nickname of “do-it-yourself plant.” “Its main asset is its anti-inflammatory effect, which is sought as much to relieve small mouth ailments, such as sores or inflammation of the gums, as well as digestive disorders such as heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux,” Lang says. With healing power, partly related to its content of acemannan, B vitamins, and antioxidants, the plant accelerates the healing of burns, especially sunburns and small wounds (cuts).
Its analgesic action makes it appreciable in case of muscle pain, and its emollient properties ensure good skin hydration, effective in combating dry skin in case of eczema. “Its glucomannan content promotes the production of collagen, essential for the proper elasticity of the skin, and reduces scarring,” adds the naturopath. Research has shown that this polysaccharide could prove valuable in regulating blood sugar, stimulating insulin production. Following an aloe vera treatment may be of interest in type 2 diabetes, provided you tell your doctor beforehand.
Juice, pulp, juice… It doesn’t matter what the bottle is?
Two parts of the plant are used: sap (or juice), a yellowish liquid under the green bark, and fresh pulp, a transparent, viscous gel contained inside the leaves. That is the most exploited part. Whichever formula you choose, it’s best to opt for products with aloe vera being the first ingredient on the list for greater efficiency.
In juice. It contains anthracoid, powerful laxatives. The sap is used in pharmaceutical specialties to combat constipation. Strictly follow the dosage indicated by the manufacturer.
In frost. ” This formula adheres easily to the skin as well as to the walls of the mucous membranes. It is, therefore, suitable for digestive ailments and, in external use, dermatological conditions, mild burns, and small lesions,” explains Lang. Focus on the pure gel, which should contain at least 97% aloe vera, preferably organic.
Juice. The pulp is frequently found in specialty stores in the form of a ready-to-use bottle. “It is best to strengthen the intestinal flora and revitalize the body, in a 21-day cure, renewable for three months with a week of downtime between each, at a rate of one to two tablespoons per day,” recommends the specialist. Mixing it with a cold liquid, such as fruit juice, will cover its bland and bitter taste. Like gel, aloe vera juice can be stored in the refrigerator.
In the house of preparation. Only the pulp at the heart of the leaf is consumed. You must have an expert hand and wear gloves when handling the fresh leaf. All yellowish sap under the green bark, which contains aloe, an irritating and potentially toxic substance, should be removed. Our expert, therefore, advises home-made home-to-home use. Trim the leaf lengthwise after cutting the quills, collect the pulp and rinse it thoroughly. This gel oxidizes very quickly, so it should be used in the following days. Also, avoid cutting the aloe vera from the salon: its leaves, known to be clean, may contain the heavy metals they have absorbed. I prefer whole leaves available in organic specialty stores.
Who rubs too many bites into it!
Aloe vera belongs to the lilac family, as do garlic, shallot, leek, and chives. Avoid allergy to any of these foods and aspirin, as this succulent contains salicylic acid, the active ingredient in the painkiller. Its use is also contra a indicated if there is kidney failure or liver problems. Finally, consumed in high doses, aloe vera juice can cause intense diarrhea and potassium loss, a mineral essential to our body. Before any treatment of several weeks, it is necessary to take medical advice.
Aloe vera: use it without crashing
– A mouthwash against dental plaque. According to clinical trials in more than 1,300 people, the plant is as effective as chlorhexidine-based mouthwashes at 0.2% due to its anti-inflammatory and bactericidal properties. You can therefore try rinsing with aloe vera juice after a good brushing of the teeth.
– An SOS balm for bruises and bumps. Its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties quickly relieve pain, reduce the lump volume, and promote blood circulation. Apply a hazelnut of aloe vera gel directly to the overdue area and massage gently. Repeat several times a day.
– An anti-heartburn bandage. Its gelatinous texture lines the digestive walls and acts as a protective film against gastric acidity. Take two tablespoons of gel two hours after each meal. To continue if necessary for twenty-one days.