Aloe vera is the most popular herb used in the world of natural health. It is used in thousands of different supplements and is a major highlight in the fields of organic and conventional cosmetology and dermatology. However, Aloe vera is by no means a fad product, its uses trace back to Biblical and Egyptian times, when it was known as “The Plant of Immortality”.
It was considered the secret to Cleopatra’s astonishing beauty and in addition to promoting beauty, was used to heal infections, promote digestion and detoxification. Today, many of the marvelous healing and beauty benefits of aloe are confirmed by science. In fact, one of the most fascinating features of this highly intelligent plant, is its immunomodulation abilities – it can identify mutated cells, viruses, and infections in the body, which it then aids the immune system in terminating.
The Health Benefits of Aloe Vera
Aloe is actually an herb and one of the most fascinating plants on Earth. It is quite a miracle substance, you might even consider it a panacea, a true cure-all substance. This plant demonstrates highly impressive properties as well as an extraordinary nutritional profile.
Aloe vera contains 75 known active constituents including, vitamins A, C, and E, enzymes, minerals, complex sugars, lignin, salicylic acids, amino acids and more. Most importantly, aloe vera contains an abundance of medicinal constituents such as polysaccharides, saponins, and even hormones.
Here is a breakdown of what aloe vera offers:
1 Antioxidants: Aloe contains a variety of antioxidants, specifically vitamins A, C and E, all which fight free radical damage and prevent aging of the skin and degeneration of tissues and cell mutation.
2 Vitamins: Aloe is also rich in a variety of vitamins, specifically, folic acid, and choline, which also fall into the category of antioxidants but possess other qualities. Choline for example is necessary for fat metabolism.
3 Enzymes: Aloe contains 8 beneficial enzymes: aliiase, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, bradykinase, carboxypeptidase, catalase, cellulase, lipase, and peroxidase. These are a variety of broad spectrum and digestive enzymes. One enzyme, Bradykinase, is the enzyme responsible for greatly healing inflammation of the skin and what gives it that “cooling” sensation when applied topically.
4 Amino Acids: Aloe provides 20 of the 22 amino acids and 7 of the 8 essential amino acids.
5 Minerals: Another feature of Aloe is its rich amount of minerals. It is specifically high in calcium, chromium, copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc. Minerals are necessary for enzyme functions – our metabolism couldn’t work without them.
6 Benefical Sugars: Aloe provides an excellent source of healthy sugars, such as monosaccharides (glucose), which is pure energy and polysaccharides (glucomannans & polymannose), which are immunomodulatory. These are derived from the mucilage or gel layer of the aloe leave, also known as mucopolysaccharides. The most abundant monosaccharide in aloe is mannose-6-phosphate, giving it many of its abilities. Additionally, the most common polysaccharides are glucomannans [beta-(1,4)-acetylated mannan] and acemannan.
7 Anthraquinones: Aloe contains special consistuents known as anthraquiones. It possesses at least 12 known anthraquinones, which are phenolic compounds giving it subtle laxative and detoxification effects. Aloin (the yellow liquid in the leaf of aloe when cut) and emodin both act as analgesics, antibacterials and antivirals.
8 Fatty acids: Aloe contains 4 natural plant steroids; cholesterol, campesterol, β-sisosterol and lupeol. Each of these have anti-inflammatory actions – lupeol specifically possesses antiseptic and analgesic assets.
9 Hormones: One of the most unique things about Aloe is that it contains hormones. Specifically, it contains two hormones; auxins and gibberellins both which give aloe its profound and well-known ability to heal wounds.
10 Saponins & Lignans: Aloe contains lignins, an inert substance, which aids in the penetration of the medicinal properties of aloe into the skin. Saponins give Aloe vera gel a soapy texture, which give it adaptogenic, cleansing and antiseptic properties.
The Beauty Benefits of Aloe Vera
If there is one thing Aloe vera can do, its promote healthy skin – there is perhaps no substance on Earth that compares to Aloe in this domain. Here are just a few of the impressive ways Aloe vera protects, heals and beautifies our skin:
Moisturizing and anti-aging:
One of nature’s best moisturizers is Aloe vera, which greatly improves skin integrity while decreasing fine lines and erythema. Aloe contains mucopolysaccharides, which are mucilage complex sugars that help the skin hold onto moisture. If you’ve ever applied fresh aloe gel to your hair or skin, you’ll notice this effect immediately, it feels like an instant face lift, tightening and deeply hydrating your skin. That’s not all, Aloe also stimulates fibroblast, which is responsible for the production of collagen and elastin fibers in the skin – this means less wrinkles and smoother, more youthful skin. It also promotes skin softness with its cohesive effects on the superficial flaking epidermal cells by assisting them in better binding together. Aloe also possesses the necessary amino acids for softening hardened skin cells along with enzymes that breakdown fibrosis (fibroid skin is the cause of scar tissue and pattern baldness). The zinc in Aloe acts as an astringent to tighten pores and protect the skin from sun damage. Lastly, Aloe vera contains impressive immunomodulatory abilities which give it anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, which can be very helpful for acne.
Repairing skin damage:
Aloe possesses the basic building blocks for healthy skin. It contains a high amount of organic silicon, which helps build strong skin cell walls, healthy mucous membranes, and can even help heal varicose veins. It also contains hyaluronic acid, MSM and amino acid precursors to collagen production. Consumed or applied topically, Aloe vera can help rebuild the skin, prevent wrinkles and promote healthier and more beautiful skin.
Acne, eczema, psoriasis, and any form of redness or irritation can be attributed to inflammation. Aloe possesses many anti-inflammatory constituents that help heal this immune imbalance. As briefly mentioned earlier, it contains a specific enzyme known as Bradykinase, which fights external inflammation on the skin. This makes it excellent for sun burn, acne and any form of redness on the skin when applied topically. It also contains naturally occurring ‘aspirin-like’ salicylic acid, making it great for treating inflammation-induced pain from sun burn or any other form of inflammation. Aloe vera also works to fight inflammation by inhibiting the main constituent known to cause inflammatory responses, known as cyclooxygenase. Additionally, it possesses a novel anti-inflammatory compound called C-glucosyl chromone.
Protecting the skin from UV and Radiation:
The gel of the Aloe vera leave contains a variety of medicinal agents that can protect the skin from the damages of UV and radiation. The specific antioxidant protein in aloe vera gel; metallothionein, scavenges the skin for hydroxyl radicals and prevents the suppression of SOD (superoxide dismutase) and glutathione peroxidase, which neutralize free radicals in the skin. It reduces the production and secretion of skin keratinocyte-derived immunosuppressive cytokines like interleukin-10 (IL-10), preventing UV-induced suppression of delayed type hypersensitivity. In other words, it protects the skin from UV induced skin damage.
Aloe vera and The Alitura Moisturizer
One of the many amazing ingredients in The Alitura Moisturizer is Organic Aloe Vera Juice. It plays a big part in the therapeutic, healing, and anti-aging effects of the moisturizer!