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Aloe Vera, an African member of the lily family, has found a home in many households worldwide. The world has learned that this succulent plant provides soothing first aid for burns, scrapes, rashes, cuts and skin infections. Just as regular people have found the natural benefits of aloe, so have the cosmetic companies, each one producing their own Aloe enriched products.
So what parts of the Aloe Vera plant do you use in order to treat your bumps and bruises? Do you just break off a leaf and start munching or do you break out your old chemistry set and start brewing up your own Aloe enriched product line? The simple answer is no! To get the most out of aloe, you need to know which parts of the plants yield its mysterious healing powers. Aloe's healing properties are found in the juice and the gel produced by the plant.
Aloe vera juice is derived from the outer part of the leaves. Like its brother, aloe juice is mostly water but contains at least 75 nutrients including 20 minerals, 8 amino acids and 12 vitamins iIncluding vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, and E which are essential for healthy hair skin and nails). Unlike Aloe gel, Aloe Vera juice can be ingested as well as used topically.
Topically, Aloe juice functions as a natural moisturizer, as well it contains anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties which heal skin burns, minor cuts, scrapes and reduces inflammation. The juice inhibits growth of and absorbs bacteria which restores intestinal flora when ingested. Also Aloe juice is a natural immune booster, pain reliever and a powerful laxative.
1. If you're going to drink Aloe juice, just break off a leaf and squeeze the juice into a cup, mixing it with other fruit juices in order to tame Aloe's tart flavor.
2. Using Aloe as a laxative can cause severe cramping. So consult a physician before using it as a laxative and never exceed the recommended dose. Stop as soon as cramps begin. If you are sick or pregnant don't drink Aloe juice at all.
Aloe Vera gel is found in the central part of the leaves. It can be used as a topical ointment to soothe sunburns, minor cuts scrapes and burns as well. Recent studies have found that the anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera gel can even be used in treating psoriasis and genital herpes. Aloe gel is an excellent skin moisturizer which oxygenates the skin hydrating it, increasing the strength of your skin while making it more flexible.
Beauty companies are touting so many of their products as "aloe-enriched." Why not just go directly to the source and grow your own aloe vera plants at home?
Written By: Cafe Belle Beauty Barista