One of the greatest advantages that natural medicine has over allopathic medicine is that it offers remedies with a wide range of simultaneous benefits and applications.
Healing plants are a great example of natural remedies. They are able to heal many problems at once simply by bringing the entire body into balance. While medical science has certainly produced its fair share of marvels, it’s important to remember that our synthetic laboratory creations are still woefully simplistic when compared to the perfected creations that Nature has evolved over billions of years.
One such creation is aloe vera, a succulent in the lily family that’s making serious waves in the medical research community. It’s a healing powerhouse with the ability to treat over fifty different conditions at last count, and with no side effects to speak of.
An ancient remedy with countless applications
Aloe vera has been prized for thousands of years as a panacea, and modern medicine has only just begun to put it to use. It’s absolutely packed with nutrients (including vitamins A, B, C, E, folic acid, beta-carotene, and over sixty others), and is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antioxidant, and more. Just take a look at this small sampling of aloe vera’s whole-body-healing capabilities…
Full-spectrum skin healing
Aloe vera made its original splash as an ingredient in a variety of skin care products, and for good reason. It’s incredibly moisturizing, and has also been shown to be incredibly beneficial for conditions like acne and psoriasis.
Conventional skin remedies are terrible at offering the full-spectrum healing that aloe vera provides. Acne solutions often just dry out the skin (a problem in its own right), which can trigger the skin inflammation that underlies psoriasis and related problems; psoriasis remedies often suppress the immune system in order to target inflammation, which inevitably creates more problems than it solves.
Aloe vera, on the other hand, is able to target many skin conditions simultaneously by cleansing toxins, minimizing inflammation, and moisturizing and rejunvenating the skin in the process. And contrary to the stigma about natural remedies, it really works: one team of researchers conducted a study in which it cured 83.3% of participants suffering from psoriasis in just four weeks.
One study also demonstrated that aloe vera can reverse skin aging and reduce wrinkles by increasing collagen production (both high doses (3,600 mg per day) and lower doses (1,200 mg per day) were shown to have a beneficial effect).
It even works epigenetically by “switching off” the gene that underlies collagen dysfunction in the skin.
Diseases of inflammation
Because aloe vera is so potently anti-inflammatory, its skin benefits are just the tip of the iceberg. As we’ve discussed before, inflammation is often called “the root of all disease,” so anything that minimizes systemic inflammation is bound to be a remarkably effective prevention and treatment for a huge variety of health problems.
The list of inflammatory conditions for which aloe vera could benefit is thus virtually endless, but researchers have honed in on a few in particular. They’ve found that it works wonders for osteoarthritis, both on its own and when used in conjunction with conventional painkillers.
This same study mentions that aloe vera circumvents the stomach irritation often associated with the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, and other studies demonstrate that it can clear ulcerative colitis and other inflammatory bowel conditions in as few as four weeks.
As mentioned above, aloe vera is also a potent antioxidant. By scavenging damaging free radicals and thereby reducing oxidative stress, it significantly reduces the body’s toxin load and supercharges its detoxifying ability.
These are the properties that set apart truly healing plants from ineffective remedies: nutrient density, anti-inflammatory action, and antioxidant activity. When these factors combine to balance and detox the whole body, your natural “self-healing” systems are activated.
And if recent aloe vera research is any indication, the results of this process are nothing less than amazing. Researchers have found that aloe vera can prevent and reverse DNA damage, fluoride toxicity, radiation poisoning, petroleum toxicity, and more.
And that’s just the toxic substances on which research has specifically focused—chances are that, by lowering oxidative stress and inflammation, aloe vera empowers the body to detoxify any toxin that stands in the way of radiant health.
Getting started with Aloe Vera
You kind of can’t go wrong when it comes to taking aloe vera—just know that the studies cited above all reported positive cumulative effects when the plant was taken every day. Aloe vera is easily purchased in topical or oral forms in most health food stores and pharmacies.
The plant is also very easy to grow (it’s a succulent, so it doesn’t even need to be watered very often), and it makes a beautiful addition to any home. If you grow your own aloe vera, you can harvest the “arms” of the plant yourself and squeeze out the fresh juice whenever you need it (they can also be juiced or added to smoothies).
If you are looking for the easiest way to use aloe vera on your face for younger looking skin you need to try this Aloe-Herb Cleanser from Annmarie Skin Care. The aloe vera in this cleanser not only soothes your skin, but also helps synergize the ingredients in the formula. The complete relationship between herbs, oils and aloe enhances the benefits of this cleanser, leaving your face clear and smooth.