Aloe vera — everybody knows it as that gel-like substance that you rub on burnt skin. But it’s also an edible succulent plant that contains a plethora of beneficial properties. It has been consumed as a juice for millennia in India and the South Americas.
Aloe vera comes from a family of succulent plants from the genus Aloe. The thick, gooey juice is inside the “leaves” of the aloe plant, from which it can be squeezed or scooped. It grows most abundantly in tropical climates, which is why its traditional uses usually hail from equatorial regions of the world.
In this blog post, I’m going to share with you a few of the primary benefits of aloe vera juice.
1. It’s packed with nutrition
Yes — the aloe vera plant is a nutritional powerhouse. Aloe vera juice could theoretically be consumed as a multivitamin to avoid vitamin deficiencies. Primarily, aloe vera contains vitamins B, C, E and folic acid. It is one of the only plant sources of vitamin B-12. It also contains small amounts of:
2. Aloe is extremely hydrating
Hydration is obviously an important aspect of human health, and vital organs can’t operate without proper hydration. The aloe plant is very dense with water, which becomes obvious when you break it open and see its gel-like internal consistency.
An aloe vera juice is particularly useful after extreme exercise, when the body is especially in need of hydration. It can even help to rid the body of lactic acid, the substance responsible for muscle pain after exercise.
3. Liver and kidney function
This follows on from the hydrating properties of aloe vera juice. They kidneys and the liver are the primary detoxifying organs of the body, and adequate hydration helps to support the functions of these organs.
The better hydrated you are, the more you can help your liver and kidneys to function at their best.
4. Aloe is alkaline!
A body with a low (acidic) pH is more susceptible to disease than an alkaline body. And unfortunately, the majority of foods that make up the US diet are extremely acidic. Adding alkaline foods such as aloe to your diet can increase the pH of the body, and therefore make it less susceptible to disease.
If you’re wondering what some other alkaline foods are, here are a few:
- Root vegetables
- Leafy greens
- Nuts and seeds
5. Digestive benefits
Aloe vera contains a number of different enzymes which can assist the body to digest sugars and carbohydrates. This is important because when a body has issues digesting food, it also does not get the full nutritional benefit of food. So keeping a healthy digestive system makes the body better able to absorb nutrients, and also less likely to get constipation, diarrhoea or other gut issues.
Drinking aloe can also help maintain moisture levels in the intestines. It can help to normalize gut bacteria levels, keeping the gut and intestinal flora balanced. This is also important for maintaining good digestive health.
Finally, aloe is a great home remedy for constipation and even IBS. There is preliminary research that indicates that aloe vera can reduce the symptoms of IBS, probably because it protects the lining of the stomach and lubricates the intestines.
Well – this is only 5 of the benefits of aloe vera juice. But there are plenty more! In fact, aloe vera juice isn’t just for ingesting. It can also be used on the skin to reduce sunburn or even as a beauty product for clearer skin. Aloe should be a staple plant in everybody’s garden!