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How Drinking Aloe Vera Can Improve Your Health

Spoon University logo Spoon University 22-06-2018 Laura Rodriguez

Aloe vera has been regarded as a natural healing remedy for centuries. While its topical application in after-sun lotions or for soothing rashes is well known, it also has incredible benefits if taken internally. Recently, I started including this miraculous plant in my daily regime, and have reaped its digestion-soothing and detoxifying benefits. 

a green plant: Aloe Vera © Laura Rodriguez Aloe Vera

This prickly plant is part of the succulent family and grows in tropical climates. It has been around for more than 6,000 years, and is believed to have originated in Sudan. It is easy to grow both indoors and outdoors. I stumbled across these spiky plants on an afternoon walk in my local park and decided to cut off some fresh leaves to take home. Rebellious, I know. I became so obsessed I even got my own aloe plant. 

Helps Improve Gut Health

Digestive System Anatomical Embroidery Hoop Art. Hand Painted Blue Watercolor. © Hey Paul Studios on Flickr Digestive System Anatomical Embroidery Hoop Art. Hand Painted Blue Watercolor.

Aloe vera contains more than 75 active components, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carbohydrates, salicylic acid, and powerful phytochemicals such as saponin. It also has adaptogenic properties that benefit digestion, and help with conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, colitis, and even ulcers. 

It is highly anti-inflammatory and helps heal the lining of the intestinal tract, reducing irritation. Its alkalizing properties keep your gut pH in check. Additionally, it acts in a similar way to probiotics in the sense that it increases the amount of good bacteria in the gut, further helping ease digestive issues. More good bacteria = a happier you. 

Super Immunity

a person posing for the camera: Laura © Dita Margarita on Flickr Laura

Aloe vera is also an amazing immune-booster. High in vitamins such as C, B, and E, and minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, and zinc, it can set you up for a flu season sans flu, and mitigate those nasty seasonal allergy symptoms. It is a natural antibiotic and also has anti-viral and anti-fungal properties, strengthening our immune systems by riding us of toxins and pathogens. 

Heart Health

a necklace on a table: Heart made with cherries © wuestenigel on Flickr Heart made with cherries

This miracle plant purifies our blood, boosts circulation, and prevents blood clots.  It also reduces the quantity of fatty deposits and lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels, minimizing the risk for a heart attack. A daily intake of aloe–along with a healthy lifestyle–can actually score you fewer trips to the cardiologist. 

Additionally,  it lowers blood pressure and accelerates the supply of blood, which speeds up the delivery of oxygen to the body's organs. Blood rich in oxygen is better able to provide nutrients into our cells. So those leafy greens you're eating every day can get on the fast-track to have you feeling your best.

Reduces Inflammation

a close up of a persons face: Best Work Boots for Plantar Fasciitis for Men © gm.esthermax on Flickr Best Work Boots for Plantar Fasciitis for Men

Aloe vera works efficiently to reduce muscle and joint inflammation and pain. This can bring relief to those suffering from arthritis, lowering swelling in the joints. It's also an athlete's best friend, as it can significantly relieve muscle aches and soreness. No more being sore from leg day for the entire week. 

Detoxifies the Body and Speeds the Healing Process

a person standing in front of a fruit: 11. detox-diet © TipsTimesAdmin on Flickr 11. detox-diet

Make sure to add aloe into your detox program as it is a powerful detoxifying agent. It cleanses the digestive and circulatory systems, and its powerful antioxidant content destroys free radicals and toxins that cause chronic conditions. Also, its high water content stimulates urination,  flushing out all the bad stuff from our bodies. 

Aloe vera is a powerful analgesic, and can make the recovery process following an illness, injury, or surgery faster. Its soothing effects accelerate healing and can get you feeling better in no time. 

This healing plant can give your skin a healthy glow and slow down the aging process from consuming it too. You know what they say, beauty comes from the inside out. 

How to Get Aloe Into Your Life

Aloe Vera © Laura Rodriguez Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is available in the produce section of most supermarkets, or you can always grow your own aloe plant. It tends to grow in the wild too so look out for it on your parks, mountains, and desert areas. 

Okay now that you have fresh aloe leaves, how do you use them? First, you cut off the spiky edges with a sharp knife. Then, "fillet" the leaves like a fish and get all the slimy gel out. It should look something like this:

a close up of food: Aloe Vera © Laura Rodriguez Aloe Vera

You should use anywhere from 1-4 inches of gel (depending on how large the aloe plant is). You can add it along with water to a blender to make aloe water and have as is. It has a pretty mild taste, but I'm not a big fan of plain aloe water. Adding a few chunks of pineapple and ginger, a squeeze of lime, or your fruit of choice, livens up the flavor. 

I was experimenting with aloe water recipes when I discovered what is now my staple aloe drink. I literally have this every day and I LOVE it. I basically juice 1 grapefruit, cut up anywhere from 1/2-1 cup of watermelon, and add 2 inches of aloe gel. Not only is it perfectly refreshing, but in conjunction, the grapefruit and watermelon maximize aloe's benefits and optimize the detox process with their liver-flushing and mineralizing properties. 

Aloe Vera © Laura Rodriguez Aloe Vera

If you don't have access to fresh aloe vera, you can always buy packaged aloe vera juice, powder, or gel. It has the same benefits, but there's something about the fresh plant and making the health tonic myself that is just so awesome. 

Aloe is an incredible addition to your daily routine. Add it to juices, smoothies, meals, use it as a face mask–the healing possibilities are endless. 

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