Aloe vera is famous for its various health benefits. The succulent plant has previously been called as the ‘plant of immortality’ by the ancient Egyptians. Aloe belongs in the Liliaceae family, and it contains a clear gel that, when taken from the plant, can be applied topically to heal wounds or soothe burns.
It’s very important to note that there are two parts of the aloe vera leaf that can be used. The first one is the gel and the second one is the leaf juice, which shouldn’t be confused with the aloe vera juice in stores. People more often use the aloe vera gel, more specifically the clear liquid in the inner part of the leaf. Aloe vera juice, or aloe latex, on the other hand, leaks when the leaf is cut. It has a bitter taste and it’s yellow. One should keep in mind that the safest part of the plant is the gel. Aloe latex has laxative properties and when used too often, it can cause serious health complications.
Aloe vera has plenty of benefits when it comes to skin health and even hair health. Some of them include treating burns, acne, helping with blemishes and more. When it comes to hair health, aloe vera helps in reducing dandruff, it stimulates hair growth, as well as keeps the hair hydrated. Below, we’re going to elaborate on the different benefits aloe vera provides when it comes to skin and hair. However, we’ll also be putting emphasis on the side effects aloe vera might have. Scroll to read.
Benefits of aloe vera for hair
According to research, aloe vera has plenty of benefits when it comes to hair health. Such benefits include:
– Gives strength & sheen to the hair
– Its proteolytic enzymes naturally stimulate hair growth
– It keeps the hair hydrated
– Reduces dandruff due to its anti-fungal properties
– Relieves scalp itchiness and irritation
– It can reduce the redness caused by shaving or waxing
– Helps in restoring the pH balance of your hair
How to use aloe vera on hair
– Pre-Shampoo: What you need to do is massage the gel into your scalp and leave it for ten minutes. Afterward, rinse before shampooing. Its natural enzymes destroy the excessive dead skin cells and the fungus that leads to dandruff.
– Shampoo: You can mix the aloe gel with your favorite shampoo and this way your hair won’t feel dry nor stiff.
– Conditioner: Aloe vera can give moisture to the hair as well as condition it since it contains 20 amino-acids. So, you can purchase products that already have aloe vera in the ingredients list, or you can mix aloe vera gel with your favorite conditioner.
– Post Hairstyling Serum: People tend to take a pea-sized amount of aloe vera and apply it to their hairstyle in order to get shiny and glamorous hair.
For more on the ways you can use aloe vera for hair health benefits, head over to our article on The Different Benefits Of Aloe Vera For Hair Health.
Benefits of aloe vera for skin
According to research, aloe vera has a variety of properties that make the plant effective in treating different skin conditions, like flaky or dry skin, hair and scalp issues, and more. Taking into consideration that the plant contains 99.5% water, it means that it’s very hydrating, cooling, and soothing. Below you will find some of the benefits aloe vera has on our skin.
– Treats Sunburns: The skin heals due to the antioxidant properties and the nutritional qualities the plant contains. It helps with sunburn through the healing activity at the epithelial level of the skin.
– Functions as Moisturizer: The gel can be taken directly from the plant and applied to the skin. However, there are also many aloe gels you can purchase ready to use.
– Helps in Treating Acne: Aloe vera has two hormones, auxin, and gibberellins. These hormones lower skin inflammation and this way provide wound healing through the anti-inflammatory properties they contain. Gibberellins in aloe vera also function as growth hormones, stimulating the growth of new cells and allowing the skin to heal faster.
– Helps in Healing Wounds and Insect Bites: Aloe vera can be used topically to treat cuts, bruises, as well as insect bites. It’s beneficial due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
For more on the various benefits aloe vera has on skin, head over to our article on The Benefits Of Aloe Vera For Skin: Why Is Aloe Vera Good For Our Skin?
Aloe vera side effects
According to research, aloe gel, meaning the part of the plant that’s usually found in creams and moisturizers, is known to be safe to use. When applied topically, it’s said to help in healing and treating sunburns, blemishes, and different skin issues, as previously mentioned.
Aloe latex, however, is reportedly dangerous. Meaning, if you take aloe latex orally it can cause cramps, diarrhea, and and it can lower the effectiveness of the other medications you might be taking.
It’s important to know that aloe latex can cause even more serious problems. More specifically, taking just 1 gram orally per day for several days could cause kidney problems and there may even be fatal results. As Everyday Health puts it, aloe latex can lower blood glucose levels, meaning people with type 2 diabetes must consult their doctor before taking anything related to aloe latex.
Some of the side effects you should keep in mind before using aloe vera are:
– It may cause allergies to people who are allergic to latex.
– It might cause stomach irritation, cramps, low potassium levels.
– Aloe vera can make the blood sugar levels drop so people with diabetes should consult their doctor beforehand.
– Pregnant and lactating mothers should avoid drinking aloe juice because of the irritant properties it has. It might stimulate uterine contractions in pregnant women.
– Aloe vera juice is not recommended for the elderly or people who are ill since it might lower the levels of potassium and cause irregular heartbeat or fatigue.
– Due to the bio-active compounds contained in aloe vera, it may prevent the liver’s detoxification process and cause health problems. According to WebMD, there have been reports of liver problems from people who have consumed aloe leaf extract. But, this is uncommon and thought to occur in people who are hypersensitive to aloe.
– People who have kidney problems should avoid consuming aloe vera since it may cause serious kidney injury that might even lead to death.
– Remember that taking aloe latex 1 gram daily for several days can be fatal.
According to WebMD, aloe gel is likely safe when applied to the skin appropriately as cosmetic or medicine. And it’s possibly safe when taken by mouth appropriately and short-term.
For a more thorough explanation of the side effects of aloe vera, head over to our article on Aloe Vera Side Effects: The Things You Must Know Before Including Aloe Vera In Your Regimen.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article: text, graphics, images, and other materials contained are strictly for informational purposes only. The Content is NOT intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice, or treatment. Please ALWAYS seek the advice of a qualified health provider with all the questions that you have related to, or about, a medical condition.