Aloe vera is a succulent plant that naturally grows in subtropical climates like South Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Aloe vera is a common household plant that is kept due to its many medicinal purposes. Aloe vera has been used for thousands of years for its health benefits to treat several conditions. Aloe vera health benefits are most common for skin burns, rashes and sunburns 1.
Aloe Vera Health Uses and Health Benefits
Aloe vera health benefits make it an important natural remedy for common conditions. Aloe vera benefits for skin, hair, and disease prevention include 1 , 2 :
- Analgesic pain relief
- Astringent for skin repair
- Helps wounds heal
- Reduce liver damage
- Lower blood sugar levels
- Inhibit bacterial growth that causes gum disease and cavities
Aloe vera today comes in a variety of forms, including gels, sprays, lotions, creams and ointments. Aloe vera can also be purchased in capsules or tablets or as aloe vera juice to be taken orally 1.
Aloe vera uses include being a natural remedy most commonly for:
- Baldness - Use aloe vera for hair loss can be applied directly to scalp to stimulate hair regrowth. Leave on for one hour and apply four times weekly.
- Sunburn- Aloe vera skin health benefits include soothing sunburns, relieving pain and helping skin to heal faster. Apply aloe vera directly to sunburnt skin as soon as possible to help reduce pain and redness.
- Burns- Like with sunburns, aloe vera for skin burns can help soothe pain and repair the wound. Apply directly to burnt skin but never apply directly onto an open wound. Continue to apply aloe vera on burn scab until healed.
- Skin Rash- Skin rashes that cause irritation and itchiness can be treated using aloe vera for skin home remedies. Apply aloe vera gel to affected skin daily until healed.
- Sore Throat - Mumps is a viral infection that causes swollen salivary glands and a sore throat. Aloe vera health benefits make it a great home remedy to apply directly to the throat area. Applying to skin will help reduce pain and inflammation in salivary glands.
- Scabies - Skin irritation caused by scabies can be treated using aloe vera. Apply aloe vera directly to itchy areas of skin daily until irritation subsides.
Aloe Vera Side Effects and Precautions
Aloe vera side effects with topical treatments are not serious. More serious aloe vera side effects are caused through internal use. Be aware of the following side effects and precautions 3, 4:
- Don’t apply aloe vera directly to open wounds
- Possible diarrhea and abdominal cramps by taking orally such as aloe vera juice
- Internal use can cause harm during pregnancy and lactation
- Lower blood glucose levels causing harm to diabetic patients
- May interfere with heart or stomach acid medications
If you plan to take aloe vera uses orally, discuss your health concerns with your doctor to prevent aloe vera side effects. Be sure to also mention all medications, vitamins and supplements you currently take.