Aloe vera, originating from the Mediterranean region, is a succulent plant species. Extracts from this plant have been used widely by the cosmetics and alternative medicine industries for their rejuvenating, healing and soothing properties. Most notably, aloe vera has been used as a multipurpose skin treatment for those suffering from burns. Earliest records of medicinal aloe vera use date back to the 16th century BC. More recently, however, aloe vera juice has come onto the market with a list of potential health benefits associated with it. The juice, a liquid found in the leaves of the aloe vera plant, may be just the right cure to a range of common ailments.
Aloe vera juice contains an important compound called B-sitosterol, which has been shown to reduce inflammation all over the body. This has many implications for health, but it is particularly important when considering oral health. By reducing inflammation within the gums, aloe vera juice can minimize painful irritation and reduce bleeding often associated with it. Additionally, aloe vera juice aids in killing off bad bacteria in the mouth that contribute to poor oral health and exacerbate irritation. A great way to maximize the beneficial properties of aloe vera juice is to gargle the juice and move it around the mouth. The benefits will still be found by simply drinking the juice as well. Maintaining good oral hygiene is an essential part of overall health, and not doing so can result in serious infections that spread throughout the body. Drinking aloe vera juice is a great way to keep teeth and gums in good condition.
Aloe vera juice is also loaded with an assortment of powerful antioxidant compounds. One cup of aloe vera juice provides an incredible 41% of the Daily Value for Vitamin C. This particular nutrient plays an important role in producing collagen, the structural component of hair, skin, and nails. Therefore, drinking aloe vera juice can be an extremely effective way of improving the health of these bodily components. Additionally, aloe vera juice has Vitamin A and Vitamin E. Each of these vitamins, along with Vitamin C, are powerful antioxidants. Therefore, they play important roles in protecting the body against free radical damage. This damage can do a lot of harm to the body and it can even result in early onset signs of aging. Drinking aloe vera juice is a great way to minimize these harmful effects.
This healthy juice also has the ability to create regularity in digestion through its adaptogenic properties. Just a small serving of aloe vera juice every day, about 4 to 6 ounces, can improve digestion greatly. Proper digestion improves overall health because it leads to great nutrient absorption. Aloe vera juice can reduce symptoms of feeling bloated and irritable commonly associated with constipation. Individuals should be careful to only consume small doses each day to avoid a laxative effect. In the proper dose, aloe vera juice can play a key role in promoting a healthy gut.
Chronic Disease Prevention
Aloe vera has also been shown to have a role in reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. One study found that participants who drank aloe vera juice had improved blood glucose levels and were able to taper off of their diabetes medications. Controlling blood glucose levels is at the core of properly managing diabetes. The ability of aloe vera juice to do just that is an important characteristic of the product and suggests its role in treating diabetes. Additionally, that same study found that participants who drank aloe vera juice had reduced levels of triglycerides, lipids and total cholesterol levels in their blood. Even more, those participants showed increased levels of the “good” cholesterol, HDL, which promotes a healthy heart. This has extraordinary implications for the treatment and prevention of heart disease with aloe vera juice.
Vitamin B12 Source
Interestingly, aloe vera contains Vitamin B12 which is primarily found in animal protein sources. Specifically, eggs, red meat, poultry are all great sources of this vitamin. For this reason, many strict vegetarian and vegans end up with a very serious and critical deficiency in Vitamin12. Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient which is one of the water soluble vitamins. This also means that it must be replenished very often as it cannot be stored in the body.
Good sources of Vitamin B12 should be consumed every single day to maintain proper health. This key vitamin has a string of very important roles in the human body. For one, Vitamin B12 keeps nerves and red blood cells healthy by promoting proper cell division. Without adequate intake, individuals can develop anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, and a host of other unpleasant conditions. Interestingly, Vitamin B12 also has been shown to play a role in improving digestion, improving lipid profiles, and is involved in maintaining the structures of skin and nails. This important vitamin may be responsible for many of the amazing properties that aloe vera juice has to offer.
Aloe vera juice, although a relatively new commodity, derives from a plant which has long been used for medicinal purposes. Just a small serving of 4 to 6 ounces of the juice per day can yield enormous health benefits ranging from improved oral health to reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Although research regarding aloe vera is in its early stages, there are high hopes for all that can be found out about this extreme health-promoting plant.
- Fatsecret.com. Calories in 1 cup of Aloe Vera Juice and Nutrition Facts. 2016. Available at: https://www.fatsecret.com/calories-nutrition/generic/aloe-vera-juice?portionid=23840&portionamount=1.000. Accessed February 11, 2016.
- Whitman S. What Are the Health Benefits of Drinking Aloe Vera Juice? | LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONGCOM. 2015. Available at: http://www.livestrong.com/article/166129-what-are-the-health-benefits-of-drinking-aloe-vera-juice/. Accessed February 11, 2016.
- Top 5 Benefits of Vitamin B12. 2014. Available at: http://www.newsmax.com/FastFeatures/health-benefits-of-vitamin/2015/04/07/id/387945/. Accessed February 11, 2016.