Aloe vera: The uses and benefits of this miraculous plant!

Bienvenue Ar’home readers,

Recognized for its healing action, appreciated by people with difficult digestion, and praised by the cosmetic industry, the innumerable benefits of aloe vera almost make this plant a miracle. Is aloe vera actually this amazing? In this blog post, I will unravel the true from the false and help you take advantage of its many virtues!

The Benefits of Using Aloe Vera Throughout History

A legendary plant! Recognized and used since antiquity, aloe vera punctuates our history with astonishing anecdotes on its medicinal and dermatological properties.

Like a god for many ancient peoples, Aloe vera symbolized “immortality, beauty, health and regeneration”. It is said that the famous queen of Egypt, Cleopatra used to take baths made from aloe juice. Ancient Egyptians were convinced that aloe possessed the power to facilitate the passage of the deceased in the other world, and included aloe leaves in the tombs of their deceased pharaohs. In Upper Egypt, aloe vera is cited in many papyri as having been incorporated into healing methods and remedies. In societies around the world, aloe’s properties were held in high regard. In Rome, the therapist and naturalist Dioscorides describes it as one of his favorite remedies for treating various ailments and injuries.

In Mexico and South America, Aloe vera has always been considered a sacred plant that brings happiness to whoever possessed it. In the Middle East, with some people, it is still customary to hang an aloe above the main entrance to the dwellings. Widely used in Ayurvedic medicine for its properties which would restore or maintain a balance of all the functions of the organism between them, the plant is often mentioned in the sacred texts of Hinduism and in the famous erotic work originating in India, the Kama sutra. In China, aloe plants were already part of the pharmacopoeia in 4000 BC and was called “the plant of harmony”, by virtue of its rebalancing action acting on the whole body. There are even references to aloe in religious texts, like the bible, where the plant is mentioned several times, especially in the Gospel according to St Jean.

In recent history, Aloe vera was officially approved for marketing in the 1960s, thanks to a pharmacist by the name of Bill C. Coats. Coats developed a process that guaranteed sustaining viability of all the properties of the plant, and stabilized the fresh pulp during long months after its extraction.

A natural, timeless and globally appreciated remedy, this plant now makes up many moisturizing, healing, or digestive formulas.

Therapeutic Index & Usage Tips

In application; has an effective action on aches. The application, the pain disappears as soon as the application is done.

In massage: Aloe vera relieves pain and reduces inflammation considerably, apply aloe vera gel in light massage

Like a compress: if the blister is punctured, disinfect it then cover with a thick layer of aloe vera gel and protect it with a compress or not.

In application for small burns, apply Aloe vera gel on the burn to soothe the fire and regenerate the skin. In application for more serious burns, aloe can be an excellent emergency treatment that calms the burn almost instantly and prevents infection, while promoting good healing.

Canker sore:
Apply some aloe vera gel directly on the canker sore or make a mouthwash with one or two soft spoons of pure pulp. Its action is very effective against canker sores and all mouth irritations.

Apply aloe gel directly on the cut.

Apply on the painful area, aloe gel has a pain-relieving effect.

Apply local gel at the time of the crisis. Anti-inflammatory and cooling effect relieves pain and activates healing.

Insect bite:
In application: apply to the bite site to prevent / reduce swelling and relieve pain. In prevention: apply a little gel on the skin to avoid being prickly.

Healing agent:
The healing capacity is probably one of its best known properties, especially in the event of irritation or sunburn. Regenerating and protective, aloe vera is the star of healing! Anti-inflammatory, aloe vera gel will immediately refresh the skin, from the first contact. It will then release soothing active ingredients for a prolonged period. It is for this reason that aloe vera is so popular when applied to sunburn. Antibacterial, aloe vera will also optimize the healing of small wounds and skin irritations. Used pure on the skin, in the form of a gel, it will also form a transparent dressing which will isolate the wound from external aggressions, while maintaining a moist environment promoting rapid healing. Moisturizing and rich in its vitamins and trace elements, locally applied aloe vera will release its richness directly on the healing skin cells. Enough to provide your skin cells with all the nutrients it needs to repair harmoniously.

Sprain or strain:
Apply ice to the wound, then make renewed applications of gel.

In application or in compress; the effect is seen from the first application. The skin regenerates and the antibacterial action of the aloe vera prevents infection.

To know!
Aloe vera has a powerful antibacterial, antiseptic and antiviral applications, and as such, the four important targets of aloe vera are: • inflammation • the digestive system • the immune system • tissues

Beauty & Hygiene Index & Usage Tips

In application; antiseptic and astringent, it fights acne without leaving a mark. Applied on the face, it stimulates cell renewal and rebalances the pH of the skin. Anti-acne, aloe vera contains in particular salycilic acid, a powerful active commonly used in anti-acne products to fight against blemishes. Keratolytic, salycilic acid helps reduce the thickening of the skin, common in skin prone to acne. Stimulating cell regeneration, it helps renew the skin while reducing the appearance of pimples and blackheads. Combined with the antibacterial and regenerating properties of aloe vera gel, it is a great ally for oily skin prone to acne!

Age spots:
In application: regenerates the skin and reduces spots, apply until disappearance or attenuation

In application: make local applications of aloe vera gel or fresh pulp, the skin becomes softer and especially the orange peel effect fades.It has anti-edema properties. The aloe vera treatment regularizes the lymphatic system, eliminates excess toxin and promotes blood circulation.

Stretch marks:
In application: proceed if possible with regular applications. Makes the skin more supple and fades stretch marks.

In application: after exposure, to avoid blushing

In application: Aloe vera against wrinkles Refreshing, softening and purifying, aloe vera is a popular anti-aging plant. The vegetable sugars it contains (these famous polysaccharides) boost skin hydration by reactivating skin cells. Full of water, the skin is intensely hydrated and regains its volume. Polysaccharides have a tightening effect, particularly useful for restoring the face to its oval shape and firmness!

The Different Varieties of Aloe Vera
There are 350 to 400 different species of aloes in the world; however, they do not have all of the same medicinal properties, and some do not have any. Aloe vera is not only the best known and most used, but also the one that has been the subject of the most advanced scientific research with the greatest number of medicinal properties. These four aloe species all have about the same properties as Aloe vera: • Aloe vera barbadensis • Aloe sinensis, used mainly in Asia and it is always the aloe used in Chinese medicine; • Aloe arborescens, used mainly in Russia and in Eastern European countries • Aloe ferox, which owes its name to its very sharp spines, is used in Asia and especially in Japan These Aloes do not all come from the same regions; but are all tropical plants that fear the cold, the weather and the north in general.

Precautions & Warnings
Always use a fresh, stabilized pulp juice from Aloe vera . This guarantees that a suitable preservation process has been used in order to keep all the properties of the plant. There are professional and highly effective products on the market containing a high percentage of Aloe vera that also packaged in such a way as to allow an impeccable conservation of the properties of the product. These are the products you should look for.

To avoid:
Any products made from Aloe vera concentrate.

To check:
The lid or the cap of the bottle of the juice bottle must be hermetically sealed when purchased. The percentage of Aloe vera contained in the product, especially if it is a “base” product of Aloe vera. The “control label” or “certification” must be mentioned on the product and if possible “organic”.

There are certain ingredients, products or certain plants with which Aloe vera should not be associated: alkaloids, such as thyme or fruit juice called “noni”.

To know!
• Aloe vera has no toxicity 
• Aloe vera does not have any contraindications to other medications 
• Aloe vera is an adaptogenic product

Aloe Vera & Health

Aloe barbadensis is a concentrate of minerals and vitamins. Under the cuticle flows the sap, then in the heart is a thick pulp, a bit like a kind of translucent green gel. It is in this clear pulp, in the heart of the leaf, that all the fabulous therapeutic properties of the plant are contained. Composed of 99% water, it is highly refreshing and hydrating. The last percentage of its composition is not to be overlooked, however! It is in this tiny part that all his wealth is concentrated: 

  • 12 vitamins including vitamin A, vitamins B, C & E. 
  • Many essential minerals such as chlorine, sodium, calcium, copper, potassium, iron, zinc & magnesium.
  • 18 amino acids, including valine, lysine, & methionine.
  • Aloe vera also contains a polysaccharide – acemannan – which has antiparasitic, antibacterial and antiviral effects.

A little extra kick? Aloe vera also contains lignin, a molecule that gives the active ingredients of the plant greater penetrating power. The presence of lignin is why aloe vera is quickly and deeply absorbed by the epidermis.

To know!
Only the pulp of an adult aloe, about 5 years old, can be used as a remedy.

Pulp, Gel or Juice: How to find it and which one to use?

What is pulp?
It is really the heart of the leaf, where all the most interesting properties of the plant are contained. When searching for a product, require the mention “cold stabilized pulp of Aloe vera” or, juice of fresh stabilized pulp of Aloe vera.”

What is juice?
Name generally given to the fresh pulp sold in the trade.

What is gel?
A jelly extracted from whole leaves, therefore containing aloin.

To be placed once opened, in the storage bin or in the door of your fridge. the bottle should always be dark or opaque to protect the pulp from light and direct sunlight.

Do you have an aloe vera plant? Serve yourself!
An easy-to-care-for ornamental plant, aloe vera is perfectly grown in pots, indoors or outdoors. To get the benefits of aloe vera, simply cut the leaves using a clean knife or scissors. Tearing the leaves off can damage the plant, and using a dirty pair of scissors or knife can contaminate and infect your lovely aloe. This little precaution will leave you with a healthy aloe plant to harvest from for years to come. After you have cut the leaves, you need to put them in a jar or glass, cut side down to drain. Aloe contains a yellow-ish latex substance called aloin, which can cause severe gastric distress if ingestedLet the aloe drain for about 10-15 minutes and then rinse the leaves off with cold water and pat dry. To use the aloe on the skin, squeeze it out of the leaf and apply it directly. To get at the aloe vera gel, you need to first cut the skin away – a filet knife works well to remove the skin from the leaves. One side of the leaf is more rounded, and the other side is flatter. Put the flat side down and use the knife to trim away the spines, keeping as close to the edge as possible. Flip the leaf over and trim the flat outer skin from the stalk, again keeping the cut as close to the skin as possible, a bit like filleting a piece of chicken or fish. Now you are ready to trim the skin away from the other side. Be careful as it gets a little trickier to do at this point as the aloe vera gel is very slippery. Once finished trimming, you will find that you have a pretty substantial chunk of aloe gel. Rinse it once more before using in order to remove any remaining aloin. Your aloe vera gel can be used immediately or stored in a covered container in the fridge for a week (aloe vera gel, when exposed to air, oxidizes very quickly, losing most of its properties).

Be careful with the leaves as they contain aloe vera latex, recognizable by its yellow color. It is a powerful laxative and a skin irritant, if used pure on sensitive skin, aloe vera gel can cause redness or even irritation if it contains traces of latex.

Aloe vera, a bonus plant with many virtues for your health!
As you can see, I am a fan of aloe vera and its many properties. Of course, like all very active natural remedies, this plant should be handled with care if you want to make your own aloe vera recipe. However, if you use it wisely, you will benefit from all the virtues of this plant fairy without risk!

Merci, à bientôt,



To read Aloe Vera the New Millennium: The Future of Wellness in the 21st Century by Bill C. Coats

To watch