Aloe vera is more than just an attractive succulent houseplant. Of course, most of us have used it for burns and even keep a plant in the kitchen for just that purpose. What about other aloe uses and benefits though?
Unusual Uses for Aloe Vera Plant
Many new and varied ways to use aloe have surfaced in recent years. You may know about some of them and some may be news. We’ll look at some of the most unusual uses of this intriguing plant. Keep in mind, not all options are yet thoroughly proven by testing.
Medicinal Aloe Plant Uses
- Relieves Heartburn: Among the uses for aloe vera plant is relieving GERD-associated heartburn. Studies have shown that taking a few ounces (100 ml.) of aloe juice at mealtime tends to soothe the gastrointestinal tract from which acid reflux is generated. Supplements for this purpose containing aloe vera are available in gel form, soft gels, and powder as well as juice. Speak with your doctor before using these products internally.
- Lowers Blood Sugar: Aloe vera may also help lower blood sugar, especially for pre-diabetics and those with type two. It is believed to enhance insulin sensitivity. Testing continues, but aloe is thought to reduce the needed medication for this condition.
- Helps Eliminate Growth of Harmful Bacteria: We all know that antioxidant compounds benefit the body by chasing away free radicals. Aloe vera contains many of these and can help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria as well. Numerous supplements designed for this purpose are available.
- Aids Digestion: As you might gather from above, forms of aloe vera work as an aid to your digestive health. Some remove the gel right from the plant for this use, first peeling and draining the bitter juice. Supplements are also available. Ask your doctor before using it internally.
Cosmetic Aloe Uses and Benefits
Aloe vera has long been used for skin, hair, and even weight loss. It is included in many beauty products. A million-dollar industry exists on the goodness of this plant. Testing continues, but some claims include:
- Slows Wrinkles: Actually called an anti-aging product by many that package and sell it, aloe contains vitamin C, E, and beta carotene. These vitamins nourish the skin without being greasy. Some claim that drinking aloe vera juice gives an outer glow and used in any way reverses the aging process. It reportedly clears up dry skin, acne, and sensitive skin when used as a moisturizer, scrub, or part of a mask.
- Mouthwash: With numerous vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, aloe vera has long been used for lots of things, but mouthwash? The juice of the plant is found to reduce plaque and the bacteria it produces. Studies are limited but have found it to be effective as a mouthwash.
- Weight Loss: Another way to take advantage of aloe vera’s beneficial benefits is to include it in your weight loss program.
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Becca Badgett was a regular contributor to Gardening Know How for ten years. Co-author of the book How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden, Becca specializes in succulent and cactus gardening.
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