We're all familiar in some way with this situation:
The first glimpse of sun streams through after months of dark and grey. You think, "oh how nice it is to feel the warmth of its rays on my pasty, light-deprived skin." And then the next thing you know, you've inadvertently fallen asleep on that park bench and your once pasty skin is now burning lobster red.
You search for that bottle of clear or green-tinted goop to slather on, soothing your scorching sun-soaked skin. But did you know that the Aloe Vera you reached for is really the best friend you never knew you had?
Aloe Vera's origin, believe it or not, is not from a plastic bottle.
That goop is actually extracted from different parts of a giant succulent plant - Aloe Barbadensis - believed to have originated in Sudan but can now be found in most warm regions of the world: Africa, Asia, India, Europe, the Americas and even my family's kitchen growing up. It was the only plant my mom could keep alive...
And this succulent's got ALL the goodness:
So that's a lot of goodness but what does this plant actually do for me?
Here are four ways your new BFF will bless you:
We all know about Aloe's benefits in helping with sunburns but did you know it helps our dermas out a lot more than that?!!! These benefits are most likely due to it's antiviral, and inflammatory reducing properties not to mention its Vitamin B & C content. But don't believe me... Here's the study that proves it.
It's useful in treating:
Aloe Vera contains natural laxative compounds called anthraquinones found in Aloe Vera Latex (just a different part of the plant) that also have antibacterial qualities. Cleansing with Aloe Juice helps not only flush out and keep your digestive tract running smoothly, but may reduce inflammation and soothe any stomach ulcers you might have (due to it's wound-healing ability).
Aloe Vera also has a ton of enzymes that aid in digestion as well. Just be mindful of how much you consume... only 100-200 milligrams is recommended for treating constipation. But always consult your physician or naturopath when beginning any sort of new health regimen or supplementation...
And be sure to check labels and buy reputable brands of aloe products. Aloe has it's own certification board created by the Aloe Science Council since all aloe products aren't created equal.
We all know inflammation and free-radicals wreak havoc on our bodies and have been linked to cell degeneration and disease.
The solution? Antioxidants!
Thankfully Aloe Vera is FULL of them! This is why it's often used in cosmetic and skin products. It's anti-inflammatory properties also aid not just in acne (really just inflammation & infection of the pores), but also in a healthy body and gut as discussed above.
Got a dry lack-luster hair, itchy scalp or even dandruff? Did you know Aloe vera can help?!!!
Aloe's antibacterial & anti-fungal properties help with dandruff, moisturizing dry itchy scalps. And its enzyme profile also helps eat up and eliminate dead cells from around the hair follicles, which in turn promotes healthy skin and regeneration of that tissue. Think of it like clearing out the weeds and junk in the soil around your beautiful plants so they can grow healthy and strong...
Thankfully we at Organic Excellence just added lots of Aloe Vera Leaf Juice to our Wild Mint Shampoo, so you don't have to strip open an aloe leaf to apply this amazing gel to your hair & scalp!
So just one last question to leave you with... Who's your new best friend? I know Aloe Vera's definitely on my friends list!
And for more in-depth information on all of Aloe's benefits check out this site. It was SUPER helpful and informative...
Here's to your Health!
~ Jessika & all of us at Organic Excellence
Summer signals not just sunnier weather but LOTS of fresh, delicious summer produce.
Take advantage of earth's bounty in this sweet season and try our favorite summer salad recipe. Not only is it healthy and delicious but all of the ingredients are (or shortly will be) in-season and ready for you to enjoy!