Aloe Vera Gel Benefits You May Not Know About
Aloe vera, which contains several antiviral, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties, does more than just relieve sunburn. Check out its various benefits and usage
Aloe vera gel is extracted from the leaves of a thick, short-stemmed succulent called aloe vera, or aloe barbadensis. In countries like India, Greece, Mexico, Japan, Egypt, and China, aloe vera is common to every household, often used for its hydrating effect and healing properties. Most people in the West use aloe vera to relieve sunburn and moisturise their face, but it can also be used to improve digestion and boost immunity. Aloe vera gel has different uses to aloe vera juice. In this post, let’s narrow down the benefits and usage of aloe vera gel, including how to extract it from the succulent at home.
What is Aloe Vera Gel?
Aloe vera is a widely known succulent that’s made up of 96% water and contains a host of potent bioactive compounds including 18-20 amino acids, folic acid, choline, lignin, saponins, salicylic acids, vitamins A, vitamin B, vitamin C, and vitamin E. It also contains polyphenols - a powerful antioxidant which has antiviral, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties.
Benefits of Aloe Vera Gel
Research suggests that aloe vera gel can be used for treating the following skin conditions and problems.
- Quicker healing: You can speed up the healing process for first- and second-degree burns, and wounds by applying aloe gel on the affected area.
- Less acne: While aloe gel alone can’t replace the acne cream prescribed by your doctor, applying aloe gel twice a day as an added measure can help you get rid of acne faster.
- Relieves skin problems: If you have redness, itching, scaling, and inflammation due to mild to moderate psoriasis, aloe cream can help reduce the symptoms. Albeit, to see any noticeable improvements, you might need to use the aloe cream several times a day for a month or more.
- Accelerates healing: If you are suffering from herpes simplex virus, applying aloe cream can help you heal the lesions sooner.
- Reduces skin inflammation: If you have inflammation inside the mouth due to conditions like oral lichen plan, applying aloe gel topically twice daily for eight weeks can help relieve inflammatory symptoms.
While aloe vera gel may come in handy for minor skincare concerns, it should not be used on any severe cuts or burns. Also, if you are allergic to onions, garlic, or tulip, your skin may not respond well to aloe vera gel.
How to extract aloe vera gel?
Harvesting aloe vera gel from the source is fairly simple. All you need is an aloe plant that’s at least a few years old, to ensure it’s rich in active ingredients. Avoid using leaves that are damaged or have mould on them. To extract the aloe gel, follow these steps:
Step 1: Cut 3-4 outer leaves. Whenever you pick an aloe leaf, avoid the roots. Instead, choose the ones closest to the stem as that’s where most of the beneficial nutrients are stored and rinse them
Step 2: Rinse and dry the leaves
Step 3: Place one leaf on the cutting board with its rounded side up, and peel off the prickly edges with a knife
Step 4: You can then either use a knife or your fingers to extract the interior gel from the leaf
Step 5: You may notice a yellow sap coming out of the leaf. It’s called the aloe vera latex. Wait for the sap to drain completely
Step 6: Cut the aloe gel into cubes or slices, which you can then smash or puree
Voila, there you have it; freshly homemade aloe gel. If you want to use the aloe gel for later, make sure to store it in the freezer. If you plan on extracting aloe gel often, buy a couple of plants, and use each on rotation with a few weeks gap.
If you find the DIY extraction process messy and tedious, you can easily buy aloe vera gel from the market. Aloe vera gel can be applied to your face, skin, and hair. Its benefits for the skin are illustrated in detail above. To sum up, aloe gel reduces acne, relieves redness, itching, scaling, and inflammation from mild to moderate skin problems, and accelerates the healing of burns and wounds. If you are using aloe gel for your hair, it can help activate new hair growth, keep fungal infections at bay, and can be used as a hair and scalp conditioner on both dry and excessively oily skin.
Disclaimer: The above content is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified physician or doctor. The Company does not vouch for or endorse any of the above content, and disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied, relating to the same.