The benefits of the stuff seem endless. After all, the Sanskrit name for aloe vera is kumari, which means ‘princess’, attesting to its ability to help you maintain youthful beauty and a healthy glow. Sounds good, right?
Sebastian Pole, co-founder of Pukka Herbs and an expert in herbalism, says: ‘Aloe Vera is renowned as a ’heal-all’ that is good for many conditions, both internal and external.
‘It is a great rejuvenator and can help in some of life’s big transitions, from cleansing teenage skin to cooling menopausal hot flushes and soothing dryness.’
Here, Sebastian breaks down the benefits of aloe vera juice:
Aloe vera juice is crammed full of amino acids, vitamins and minerals making it one of nature’s most effective cleansers. ‘It can help strengthen digestion and rid the body of any nasty waste, thus detoxifying the body naturally,’ says Sebastian. ‘Its main property is to be soothing, cooling and moistening which helps to clear inflammatory and irritating heat, such as in menopause, plus inflammatory skin and digestive problems, such as acne, rosacea and IBS.’
2. Supports the immune system
Aloe vera is packed full of immune-boosting polysaccharides which help the immune system to behave properly. ‘Too much inflammation in the body can cause problems within the immune system and can cause conditions like asthma, eczema and Crohn’s disease. Soothing herbs like aloe vera juice can slow the inflammatory cascade and help reorder the immune response to prevent these conditions.’
3. Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar
There is some evidence to suggest aloe vera lowers cholesterol and has a positive effect on blood sugar levels, meaning it can be useful for treating diabetes and obesity.
4. Excellent for digestion
It’s worth trying for anyone who suffers with digestion problems like IBS. Its healing and soothing properties can help with the painful symptoms.
5. An easy way to boost your vitamin and mineral intake
Aloe vera juice is packed with vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 and folic acid. It’s also rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, selenium and potassium. Sounds pretty good, right?
6. Hair growth
Full of natural vitamins and enzymes that can directly promote healthy hair.
7. Good for burns, acne and hydrating skin
When used topically aloe vera can soothe inflamed skin and enhance collagen and hyaluronic acid to help rejuvenate skin.
It sounds amazing, but are there any side effects you should know about?
‘There are no negative side effects if you use a pure aloe vera inner leaf juice,’ Sebastian. ‘If you use an aloe vera leaf product it may have high aloin levels and aloin is a laxative which can cause diarrhoea if too much is used.’ Of course, you should always consult your doctor before undergoing any complementary or alternative treatments for health problems.
How much aloe vera juice should should we take?
It depends on the potency of the aloe vera. Sebastian recommends taking 3 – 6 tablespoons of Aloe Vera once or twice a day. Mix it in fruit juice or smoothies, or drink on its own