10 surprising facts about Aloe vera

10 surprising facts about Aloe vera

Most of the time we're grocery shopping, we try to pick up something new to try. Yesterday, the store was stocked with Aloe vera leaves. Lilia wanted to know if 1. it was from a cactus and 2. if we could eat it.

I wasn't sure. I know aloe can be used for some healing properties like sunburn. I also know that aloe juice exists (I haven't tried it) and that's where my knowledge ended.

Aloe vera gel relieves dry, winter skin

Aloe vera gel relieves dry, winter skin

I bought a large leaf and did a little reading today.Turns out it is 1. not a cactus, but a succulent and 2. yes, you can eat it. We also found out much more while doing some research.

Here are 10 surprising facts about Aloe vera:

1. Aloe produces two substances, gel and latex. Aloe gel is the clear, jelly like substance found inside the leaves. Aloe latex is yellow and comes from under the plants skin.

2. Aloe gel can be consumed and may serve as a treatment for osteoarthritis, diabetes and treating the effects of radiation therapy. It can also be heated, along with water, and inhaled as a vapor for treatment of asthma.

3. Aloe gel is commonly used topically for psoriasis, sunburn, dry skin and frostbite.

4. Aloe latex has been used for many years in laxatives. This part of the aloe plant can be dangerous, even deadly, if consumed in large doses.

5. Aloe gel can be used as a makeup remover and can even replace your hair conditioner.

6. Cleopatra used aloe gel on her face and body as part of her beauty regimen.

7. There is some scientific evidence that aloe is able to kill bacteria as well as speed wound healing.

Aloe vera gel

Aloe vera gel

8. Aloe gel can also be used to treat minor burns.

9. Aloe gel can be used to prevent itching from bug bites.

10. Native Americans utilized aloe for a multitude of benefits and referred to it as "The Wand of Heaven."

For all of these year-round benefits, it looks like we'll have to get an Aloe vera plant of our own!

For sources and more facts about Aloe vera:

Discovery Health: 40 Amazing Uses for Aloe Vera

WebMD: Aloe: Uses, Side Effects and Interactions

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Filed under: health, plants

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