While there are many claims as to Aloe Vera benefits and its uses, I would like to present some of the facts and information. I have been fortunate to be able to enjoy Aloe and its benefits.
Aloe is a genus of plants belonging to the Asphodelaceae family, and is related to onions and asparagus. The Aloe genus appears naturally in Africa, although many members of the genus are popular houseplants and can be found around the world. The most famous member of the genus is Aloe Vera, known for its medicinal uses and applications.
Though there are several common medical uses for Aloe Vera, the most frequent use of the plant is in the form of a topical gel. Gels made from Aloe are used to treat burns and minor scrapes. Aloe Vera benefits range from soothing inflammation, pain relief, and a reduction in the likelihood of infection. Studies have also shown that regular use of an Aloe Vera based gel will actually speed the healing process in minor wounds, and even severe burns. It has been used in this capacity for hundreds of years. The thick leaves can be snapped open, and the moist open ends of the leave can be rubbed onto a burn or scrape directly.
In industrialized areas, the moisture form the Aloe leaves are extracted and made into the popular gel most people are familiar with. In more recent years, it has become more popular than ever and has found its way into skin lotions, cosmetic products, shampoos, lip balms, soaps and sunscreens. Some Aloe Vera benefits include a strong moisturizing capacity, and its extract contains a number of vitamins and minerals that are believed to promote healthy skin. It is a very gentle substance in itself, so one of the benefits of Aloe Vera is that it can be used in sensitive areas, such as around the eyes.
Aloe plants, have also found medicinal uses internally. Used in this way primarily as a laxative, the juice from aloe can be dried into a dark powder composed of yellowish granules that are quite bitter to taste. Internal use of Aloe is marketed as a treatment for coughs, ulcers, muscle pain, headaches, and even cancer and HIV. The only proven Aloe Vera benefit in internal use is the relief of constipation. Additionally, even in this use, internal use of the plant has a number of side effects, can cause nausea, and should not be taken by women who may be pregnant.
There is a lot of hype and mystery surrounding the Aloe genus, especially its most popular member Aloe Vera. Clearly, many Aloe Vera benefits are proven, especially the ones involved in external use and in skin care. Its benefits for internal use are somewhat dubious, however.
To enjoy Aloe Vera, you could chill it and mix with honey water. However, it taste good that you could even enjoy it on its own. That is one benefit to your taste bud!