Who is this resilient plant that springs forth in wild tropical climates? And why do we drink her juice first thing in the morning?
Known to some as the plant of Eternity, Aloe Vera is a succulent plant and possibly the most well-known species of the genus Aloe, traced throughout history for her role in beautification and healing applications. Famously favored by Egyptian Queens Nefertiti and Cleopatra for her skin~nourishing benefits, Aloe Vera is today one of the most studied herbs for medicinal purposes.
In addition to her vitamin rich profile, which includes pro vitamin A ( beta-carotene ), E, and B12, she is also rich in trace minerals copper, selenium, manganese, and zinc, and abundant in amino acids, the building blocks of protein.
“It’s easy to see how the belief in this plants ability to extend physical and spiritual life in ancient times originated.”
Even without modern science to prove it, her vitality must have been visible and her healing power easy to intuit.
Topically applied, Aloe vera can help to beautify and invigorate the appearance of the skin.
She contains Saponins, a glycoside that can work as a cleansing agent. As a vascular plant, she contains Lignins, which are complex organic polymers that form structural materials in vascular plant support tissues, giving shape and stability ( and giving them the rank of a ‘higher’ plant ). When applied to the skin, these two elements working together can potentially enhance skin penetration and deliver Aloe Vera’s beneficial compounds to the deeper layers of the epidermis, which can help to soothe and moisturize, leaving the skin feeling more resilient and supple. When used in combination in a formula, Aloe Vera can act as a gentle penetration enhancer, helping other beneficial ingredients to nourish the skin.
Native to the Arabian Peninsula, her cultivation has spread far and wide and she is commonly found living across Africa, the Middle East, and Islands in the Indian ocean, favoring temperate and tropical regions as far as South America and Mexico.
As a dietary supplement, Aloe Vera juice can support the digestive and immune systems. The juice can come from the inner leaf fillet or the whole leaf, and the presence of Aloin should be minimal to none to avoid overstimulation of a laxative effect. Generally, the inner leaf fillet is less bitter tasting than the whole leaf.
Aloe Vera juice, gel, and powder also contain Aloe Sterols, a phytochemical which helps to support the production of Collagen and Hyaluronic acid, both of which contribute to skin moisture and elasticity. Plant sterols are also reported to provide heart health benefits.
We love to invigorate our day with a 30ml shot of Aloe Vera juice before breakfast, 2 – 3 times a week. Sometimes we add it to smoothies too, and our favorite skincare formulas contain it in some form. Contrary to marketing, it’s naturally a clear to mild yellow color and not actually green, so won’t impart color to a recipe.
Dosage and leaf source is a personal choice, and we highly recommend checking with retailers and medical professionals before making the choice to use Aloe Vera juice as an internal supplement.
Effects of plant sterols derived from Aloe vera gel on human dermal Fibroblasts in vitro and on skin condition in Japanese women https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273469470_Effects_of_plant_sterols_derived_from_Aloe_vera_gel_on_human_dermal_fibroblasts_in_vitro_and_on_skin_condition_in_Japanese_women