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The aloe vera plant has been used across the globe for centuries and has been well-known for its numerous beauty, therapeutic and medicinal properties. Ancient Greece recognised the aloe plant for its restorative and healing qualities while the Egyptians called it “the plant of immortality”. Egyptian queens Cleopatra and Nefertiti were known for using the aloe plant regularly to keep their skin looking radiant and youthful.
Today the plant is still incredibly popular and is probably best known for its topical application as a soothing and calming gel to help relieve sunburn, mosquito bites, skin irritations and minor burns. Aloe also features regularly as an ingredient in many hair and skin care products and when taken as a juice it is also considered beneficial for supporting individuals with chronic digestive and skin conditions.
Nutritional composition and highlights
The aloe vera plant has a very rich nutritional composition; including important antioxidant vitamins A, C and E as well as vitamins B1, B2, B3, B12 and folic acid. Minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper and chromium are also found in abundance in the aloe plant along with amino acids, polysaccharides, enzymes, and other active phytonutrients.
9 Key Benefits of Using Aloe Vera
- A nutrient dense superfood – loaded to the brim with vitamins, minerals, polysaccharides and amino acids
- Supports healthy digestion – exhibits gastro protective properties
- Maintains healthy bowel regularity – may be beneficial for individuals who tend to suffer from constipation and Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- May enhance intestinal absorption of nutrients
- May support a healthy immune system
- Considered a pre-biotic food therefore plays a role in enhancing the presence of the beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract
- Well known for revitalising, hydrating and moisturising the skin (especially sunburn).
- Anti-inflammatory – not only soothing and calming on the digestive tract but may also help to reduce skin fare ups for those who suffer from eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.
- Beneficial for men with sensitive skin – it can be used as a aftershave as it is very hydrating and cooling for men who are prone to post shaving irritations and also to prevent razor burn.
Top Tips on how to select a good quality Aloe Vera Juice:
1. It is key to find out the following about the product:
- Where is it produced? - Is it organic, unpasteurised, cold pressed and unfiltered for maximum potency?
- Does the product contain only the inner gel of the plant rather than the outer rind as this may affect the palatability of the product as well as the fibre content?
- Has the product been diluted with water or something else? Always look at the percentage (%) of the actual aloe vera in the product. Always aim for a product that consists of at least 99.5% aloe or higher.
- Are there any other ingredients added – colours, flavours, preservatives or thickeners?
- What is the shelf life? – a good product should really only have a shelf life of around 2-4 weeks once opened otherwise mould spores will start to grow. If the product has a much longer shelf life then perhaps other preservatives have been added in order to prolong the shelf life.
2. Involve your senses when making your choice:
- What is the texture like – it should be unfiltered and therefore have juicy, clumpy bits of aloe gel throughout the liquid?
- What is the colour like – Is it lovely light and pale colour?
- What does it taste like – It should have a slightly bitter and tart taste, however if the product has also included the outer rind then it will taste unbearably bitter and quite unpleasant!
3. The type of the packaging used:
- It should be packaged in a glass bottle to ensure that there are no nasty chemicals from plastics leaching into the product. Glass is always best!
- Is the glass bottle dark in colour in order to protect the content from light, heat and oxidation?
3 Good Reasons to incorporate Aloe Vera into your daily Routine
- Considered a super food – packed with all sorts of nutritional goodies
- Supports the digestive system in many different ways
- Brilliant for the skin exhibiting excellent anti-inflammatory properties
Internal Usage and Suggestions:
- Take 3-5 Tablespoons (50-90ml) per day before food or directed by your healthcare professional. A couple of Tablespoons (around 50ml) of aloe vera juice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach always helps get the bowels moving well (clear the pipes).
- Different people are affected differently by aloe vera juice. It is best to start of using this in small amounts to see how well your body tolerates it. Some people may experience a laxative affect. It shouldn’t be used for more than 3 weeks at a time and isn’t recommended for long term use.
- If you have tasted aloe vera and are not keen on drinking aloe vera juice by itself it might be a good idea to incorporate it into a daily smoothie. Why not try the recipe below to get you started.
Smoothie Recipe with Aloe vera Juice
Mango, orange, carrot and ginger smoothie
1 x mango (peeled, deseeded and cubed)
1 x orange (peeled and quartered)
1 x med carrot (peeled and chopped)
½ a matchbox size chunk of ginger (peeled)
2 tablespoons of aloe vera juice
A couple of handfuls of ice cubes
Water – optional, depending on the consistency you like
Add all the ingredients to the blender and blitz!
External Usage and Suggestions:
- It can be applied topically and is brilliant for skin irritations, razor burn, eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.
Aloe vera juice should be refrigerated once opened and it is best to consume the product within 3 weeks of opening. Aloe vera juice that doesn’t contain any preservatives does not have a very long shelf life once it is opened and exposed to oxygen, light and heat.