In the world, there are about 420 different species of aloe. The most popular is the Aloe barbadensis miller strand. It is commonly known as Aloe vera and is the most prevalent Aloe species. Aloe Vera is a cactus-like plant typically cultivated in warm climates in the Middle East, South America, Europe, and Africa. The gel from the plant is frequently used in medicine, cosmetics, herbal remedies, and food. It is also a good source of essential nutrients and trace minerals like Vitamin A, C, and E, beta-carotene, folic acid, calcium & magnesium. This species (miller) happens to be the most nutrient-dense! Although there are a lot of benefits to taking Aloe Vera (or applying it topically to your skin), there are some risks to look out for as well. Below, I detail all you need to know about Aloe barbadensis miller.
Aloe Vera Gel:
The gel form has been used throughout history in ancient herbal and traditional medicine all around the globe. It treats many types of burns with its soothing properties, ranging from helping burns and skin irritation caused by poison ivy to reducing the appearance and duration of cold sores. This topical application aids in burns, sunburns, and dry skin for those suffering from eczema.
Aloe Vera Juice:
Although the most common version of Aloe Vera is in its gel form (for topical applications), the liquid juice version can also benefit your digestive health. The juice is a laxative as it relieves heartburn and digestive upset and can aid with constipation. It is naturally rich in vitamins and trace minerals. It has been studied for the potential to help assist in heartburn relief, inflammatory bowel syndrome, constipation, ulcers, and canker sores. However, consuming pure aloe vera juice in moderation is crucial as there can be some unfavourable aftereffects if you consume too much. As always, those who are pregnant should consult a healthcare practitioner, nutritionist, or naturopath before consuming.
Growing Aloe Vera:
First, you would need a location with direct natural or artificial sunlight. It doesn’t require much sunlight to grow, so bear this in mind, as it might render the leaves burnt and discoloured if exposed to extreme heat or light. The optimal spot is by a kitchen or bedroom window.
Aloe Vera in Cosmetics:
You can also find many products for skincare purposes that are primarily (95-99%) aloe, without additives. Naturally moisturizing, skin-soothing, cooling, and healing.
Inner Leaf vs Whole Leaf Juice and Gel:
Whole leaf juice is raw and comprised of the whole plant containing aloin. The inner leaf, where the gel naturally derives from, is where the most nutritional and topical benefits lie.