Humans have relied on the healing properties of the aloe vera plant for over 5,000 years, and mentions of its usage date back to ancient Chinese and Sumerian writings from around 3,000 B.C. Almost every civilization has made use of this reliable plant, whether for health, beauty, skin care, or its medicinal qualities.
Although our Hospitality Health ER team has touched on the benefits of aloe vera in several of our previous blogs, 5 Health Benefits of Houseplants and 4 Plants for Healthy Skin, we haven’t gone into detail about what exactly makes this plant so remarkable, all that it can be used for, and why our team has decided to grow aloe vera plants and use them to treat generic sunburns in our HHER locations.
Fun fact: the aloe vera plant has an estimated annual market value of $13 billion globally.
To understand just how beneficial aloe vera is, let’s dive into the 5 most common benefits to this powerful plant.
1. Aloe Gel Contains Healthful Plant Compounds
Within each thick, pointed green leaf on an aloe vera plant, there is a slimy tissue that stores water—it consists of 99% water to be exact. This gel contains beneficial bioactive compounds that include amino acids, glucomannans, sterols, lipids, and vitamins.
Fun fact: aloe is an adaptogen that helps naturally balance the body.
2. Aloe Gel’s Soothing Benefits Are Unmatchable for Burns
If you’ve ever had a sunburn—and those chances are pretty high since more than 1 out of every 3 Americans reports getting sunburned each year—then you’ve likely already heard of aloe vera. Because aloe vera is a mild anesthetic, it can relieve itching, swelling, and pain from sunburns, burns, cuts, and scrapes. The gel soothes burns by increasing the blood glow to the wounded areas, as well as stimulating fibroblasts, the skin cells responsible for healing wounds.
Fun fact: a study found that aloe vera can reduce the healing time of burns by around 9 days, compared with conventional medication.
3. Aloe Gel’s Anti-Inflammatory Properties Help Reduce Intestinal Pain
Individuals who suffer painful symptoms from IBS and/or other intestinal problems can use aloe vera juice to help alleviate the pain. The anti-inflammatory properties in aloe vera can help reduce gastrointestinal inflammation. Aloin, which is present in unprocessed aloe gel and juice, will help increase the water content in intestines, further aiding in stool movement.
Fun fact: aloe vera plants can heal themselves, not just you! Aloe plants have the ability to easily regenerate in dry, sunny areas.
4. Aloe Gel Can Slow Aging Skin
In a 2009 study, 30 females over the age of 45 took oral aloe vera gel and found that it increased collagen production and improved skin elasticity over a 90-day period. Additionally, the compounds in aloe vera can help skin retain moisture and improve skin’s overall integrity.
Fun fact: there are over 500 varieties of aloe plants.
5. Aloe Gel Can Be Used in Natural Hair Regimens
According to WebMD, aloe vera gel can be a great source of hydration when used in hair. An aloe vera gel hair mask can strengthen hair strands, soothe the scalp, and act as a natural conditioner to leave your hair smooth and healthy. You can add aloe vera gel directly to your hair conditioner to get all the benefits!
Fun fact: aloe vera plants can survive for over 100 years.
HHER Wants What’s Best for Our Patients
There have been 700+ studies on the benefits of aloe vera, and each one has further proven the many healing properties of aloe vera. That is exactly why Hospitality Health ER has chosen to grow aloe vera plants at each of our three locations in Galveston, Tyler, and Longview and use the fresh aloe vera gel to treat generic sun burns as needed.
‘Keep the wound or burned area moist by applying aloe or post-burn lotion early and often.’ says Dr Jeffrey Beers MD HHER Chief Medical Officer.
Disclaimer: Keep in mind that although topical use is typically safe, there have been occasional reports of burning, itching, and eczema accompanying use of aloe gel. Always discuss treatment options with your health care providers so you can continue to make well-informed decisions when it comes to your health.
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