The aloe plant produces two substances within its spiked leaves that are used for a variety of products. Yellow latex forms just beneath each leave's outer skin. In the innermost region of the leaves, the plant produces a clear, sticky gel. Aloe vera gel contains potent antioxidants, amino acids, minerals, vitamins and compounds known as polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Aloe vera products are manufactured using the gel alone or a combination of the gel and the latex. The multiple chemical characteristics of the gel and latex have been used for centuries for their healing properties and health benefits.
Aloe gel moisturizes the skin naturally, which helps reduce visible signs of aging. The gel extracted from one or two aloe leaves can be applied to directly to the face. Once applied, the gel creates a cool soothing sensation. After 30 minutes, simply rinse your face with warm water. The gel can also be mixed with coconut or a similar oil and then applied topically. One recent study evaluated the skin benefits of Aloe Vera gel on a group of women over the age of 45. After 90 days, the women's facial skin revealed increased collagen production and enhanced elasticity.
Minor Burn and Wound Remedy
The antimicrobial properties combined with the abundance of nutrients contained within Aloe gel have been shown to heal minor skin problems in half the time compared to typical OTC products. Whether suffering a mishap in the kitchen or having been in the sun a little too long, the gel provides cooling comfort while reducing redness, swelling and protection from infection. The remedy merely involves cutting an Aloe Vera leaf and applying the gel directly to the affected area. Some suggest freezing the gel in an ice tray, removing the cubes and storing them in a freezer safe container for use as needed.
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, tooth decay remains the leading chronic disease in adults and children of the United States. Maintaining oral health requires adequate daily brushing, flossing and rinsing the mouth to prevent plaque buildup. A number of consumer available mouth rinses and washes contain the active ingredient known as chlorhexidine.
A study involving 300 volunteers participated in a research project that determined to evaluate the oral health benefits of using pure Aloe Vera juice over a standard mouthwash. After four days, the researchers found that the Aloe juice was as effective in inhibiting dental plaque as the commercially available product. Other studies extending 15 to 30 days demonstrated similar results. The gel can also be applied to oral canker sores to reduce discomfort and aid in the healing process.