12 Sep Aloe Vera, the medicinal gut healer internally and externally.
Aloe Vera is (as you know) a plant, it’s resilient, great for sunburns but also amazing for gut health and skin care!! Since I struggled with acne and skin scarring aloe has always been a medicinal staple for me both internally and externally… but you may not know how good it is for your gut and digestion so let me divulge.
If you follow me on instagram (@welcomingwellness) you will know I recently moved and have been posting some of my gardening antics. I Have not only been freaking out (in a good way) over the added space but also freaking out about the fact that I have a small patch of lawn to ground myself on daily… eeeek so exciting because I have been a city slicker for close to a decade.
Since moving from the city I realised I had seriously neglected my aloe vera plant and it was looking a bit sad and trying to escape from the pot… literally. So it was time to get my hands dirty and do some gardening, find a bigger pot for my aloe babies.
There are 2 things you should know with aloe vera… it’s hard to kill and it should be planted in pots because it is a creep and sprouts all over the place and can take over your garden, which personally is not such a bad thing. For someone that has a history of murdering and over nurturing plants, this is the plant for you… it is pretty hard to kill this bad boy!
So let’s get down and dirty (or slimy) with the nitty gritty.
I started playing around with Aloe Vera for my skin care routine but the more research I did the more obsessed I became, because it has so many medicinal qualities. So let’s lake a look…
As I mentioned Aloe Vera is awesome for healing your gut!
Aloe is especially beneficial for a leaky gut for a few reasons.
- Aloe vera soothes a leaky gut, topically it promotes collagen cross linking and increases collagen in a wound which basically speeds up the healing process and it is said to promote intestinal healing.
- Aloe vera contains 20 out of the 22 amino acids humans require… not only that but 7 out of the 8 essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building block for proteins and a large portion of our tissues, organs, muscles are made from amino acids… so you could say they are kind of important. Amino acids can be damaged when cooked however you do not consume cooked aloe vera so it’s safe to say that 9-10 times you will be getting a good source of amino acids from aloe.
- Enzymes are important for a number of reasons and the most well known would be digestive enzymes. When you are struggling with gut related issues including a digestive enzyme is important to ensure you are properly breaking down your food. Aloe vera contains 8 enzymes: aliiase, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, bradykinase, carboxypeptidase, catalase, cellulase, lipase, and peroxidase. However not all are for digestions. Bradykinase is an important enzyme for reducing inflammation and helps to prevent infection by stimulating the immune system because of the reduction in inflammation. (1)
- It also acts as a mild laxative due to some of the compounds in the gel of the plant so can help people struggling with constipation while relieving and soothing the gut lining.
- Aloe vera has a huge list of vitamins and minerals that work synergistically to reduce inflammation and support the body to fight infection, reduce yeast overgrowth, high in antioxidants and also helps to alkalise the body.
There is very little evidence I could find against Aloe Vera probably due to the fact that it has been used for centuries and throughout different ancient nations including Egypt, China, Mexico, India, Greece and Japan. It has stood the test of time for good reason.
So now you are the full bottle, how the hell do you include it into your life and diet?
Personally I blend it up and freeze it into ice cubes to add to my smoothie. When you cultivate the leaves you must “fillet” them because you don’t eat the skin you just use the inner gel. You can also buy store bought aloe vera juice but you MUST read the label carefully and make sure it has no additives, sugar or flavour. You can also buy it in capsule form but I have personally not tried any aloe vera specific supplements so I can’t comment on their effectiveness.
While the list is long of the many benefits of this amazing plant… the list goes on.
Aloe vera is most commonly known for its ability to sooth the skin from sunburns and promote wound healing. Personally I have used aloe vera for years for my post pill acne, reducing redness and reducing scarring. I have been applying to my skin topically for about 4 years and have seen amazing results with the elasticity of my skin and overtime my wrinkles remain laughter lines and do not seems to be getting any worse. Aloe vera is super high in antioxidants which include vitamin C that is essential for healthy skin and also promotes improved collagen production which is important for keeping wrinkles at bay for all my more mature ladies out there and for the young ones, keeping a youthful glow.
My skincare routine changes a bit depending on the season but always includes the foundations… jojoba oil, essential oils and aloe vera. It is not because I am stingy and cheap, its because I have seen better results with natural products rather than buying products, creams and pretty packaged potions. I do still occasionally use a store bought moisturiser if I am traveling (for convenience) so I always have a jojoba oil based moisturiser on hand but not really for everyday use. You can use aloe for skin 3 ways.
- Ice cubes: blend with equal amount of water and freeze, rub ice cube over skin after washing and apply moisturiser directly after skin in dry from the ice cube. The cold ice penetrates the goodness of the aloe into the skin because it increases circulation to the face. Once the blood rushes back to your face you get this dewy and glowing complexion… it also improves skin healing, reduces acne inflammation and reduces large pores (the latter in which I have seen great results).
- Aloe gel with / without essential oils. Adding essential oils specific for skin can boost its effectiveness and give you a more targeted therapeutic effect depending on what oil you use. For example for someone struggling with acne using melaleuca or tea tree oil is amazing for drying out those zits. Frankincense is amazing for (too much to mentions) aging, skin health and appearance and lavender is healing for a mature complexion. I use these oils.
- Mix aloe gel with msm powder. Msm powder has amazing healing effects on the skin both internally and externally and its enhanced when mixed with vitamin c (ie aloe vera gel). I used this as an acne scar treatment with amazing results, coupled with frankincense and tea tree.
Adding aloe vera to your beauty routine will not break the bank. It is the plant that keeps on giving and I am obsessed with it with good reason. It has not failed me yet.
Hopefully you will add it to your beauty regime and ditch any toxic skincare products. Also investing (very little) in an aloe vera plant could be a good move for better digestive health.
If you have tried aloe vera comment below, I am keen to hear your experience.
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