We all know the Aloe Vera plant as a magical relief for sunburn and a gorgeous succulent to use as house décor, but did you know that the potted plant carries way more benefits than just these in its juicy stems?
Yes, the aloe plant’s gel has a ton of health and wellness benefits that you can reap just by planting and tending to it routinely, or you could just get a stem from a friend who has it in their home! Popular since ancient Egypt, the plant is native to North Africa, Southern Europe, and the Canary Islands and today is grown in tropical climates worldwide. And what’s more, researchers are only just beginning to learn of the myriad uses of it.
Here are 5 benefits of the aloe vera plant that you may not have been aware of.
5. Potentially fight breast cancer
Research published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine looked at the therapeutic properties of a special compound in aloe leaves. The authors suggested that it shows the potential of slowing the growth of breast cancer. However, more studies are needed for a conclusive statement on this.
4. Keep produce fresh
Aloe gel may be helpful in keeping fruits and vegetables fresh, thereby eliminating the need for dangerous chemicals to extend the shelf life of produce. A study published online in 2014 by the Cambridge University Press focused on tomato plants coated with aloe gel. The report showed evidence that the coating successfully blocked the growth of many types of harmful bacteria on the vegetables.
3. Can lower blood sugar
A study in Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacy says that taking two tablespoons of aloe vera juice per day can help to lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Caution: The juice along with diabetes medications could possibly lower your glucose count to dangerous levels, so make sure to consult a doctor first.
2. Great as mouthwash
A 2014 study for the Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences found aloe vera extract to be a safe and effective alternative to chemical-based mouthwashes. The plant’s natural ingredients include a healthy dose of vitamin C, which helps to block plaque. It is also a great relief if you have bleeding or swollen gums.
1. Relief from heartburn
A 2010 review suggested that consuming 1 to 3 ounces of aloe gel at mealtime could reduce the severity of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a digestive disorder that can lead to heartburn. It has also been shown to relieve other digestive issues. The plant’s low toxicity makes it a safe and gentle remedy for heartburn.