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7 Benefits of Aloe Vera ...

If you have ever gotten a sunburn, you know at least one of the benefits of aloe vera. Soothing burnt skin is one of the most common uses for aloe, but its abilities go far beyond the skin alone. Aloe is packed with vitamins, enzymes, minerals, amino acids, and can be ingested. With this type of powerhouse, it is no wonder aloe is in the super-food category along with the likes of pomegranates and blueberries. There are many benefits to aloe vera, here are just a few.

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1. Ulcers

People with ulcers find one of the greatest benefits of aloe vera to be the soothing and repairing qualities it has. Aloe works the same on our internal tissue as it does externally. When digested, it aids in healing any burnt tissue, this is especially true for the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. Aloe has the same cooling effect internally as well, perfect for people who have stomach pain due to ulcers and acidity.

2. Heartburn

Aloe works on our esophagus the same way it works on our stomach. The soothing nature brings instant relief to heartburn pain, while it's healing properties aid in the long-term recovery of burnt tissue. The minerals found in aloe also help increase the pH level of our stomach, making them less acidic. So, next time you are feeling the effects of that pepperoni pizza, shake it off with a nice cold glass of aloe!

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3. Burns

When I was little, I remember my mom using fresh aloe on my sunburnt skin. For me, there has never been anything better at reducing a burn and cooling the skin as aloe vera. I have found fresh aloe to work better than any creme or gel for burns. All you do is cut open a leaf and smear the gel on. The best part is, aloe leaves can last weeks in the fridge. Just be sure to wrap the leaf well so it does not dry up!

4. Energy

Aloe has an extremely high amount of vitamin B12. B12 is a natural energy booster that gives you that boost without the crash. There are some great energy drinks on the market that use only B12 as there energy source because of how great it works, especially when compared to caffeine. Vitamin B12 has also been found to increase brain function. A better brain and higher energy: yes please!

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5. Psoriasis

Recent studies have found that aloe can help with psoriasis outbreaks as well. It is pretty amazing, but aloe helps more with psoriasis than topical steroid cremes. Studies have shown aloe to reduce PASI scores by 7.7 points. This is much higher than the 6.6 points found with tradition steroid cremes. You can either buy 70% aloe cremes in health food stores, or use the gel straight from the plant's leaves.

6. Digestion

Aloe has over 200 different enzymes and 18 amino acids. These enzymes along with the amino acids, vitamins, and minerals help our intestines by killing the bad bacteria. Aloe also helps digestion by clearing the intestinal tract of any clogs or undigested food. By killing the bad bacteria and clearing the way for new food, our bodies are able to absorb more nutrients and move the unused along faster. Nuff said!

7. Colitis

Colitis is a disease that effects the large intestines and can cause inflammation and bleeding. Most cases of colitis result in discomfort alone, but some cases lead to nutritional deficiencies that can cause anemia, kidney stones, skin and eye problems, liver disease and arthritis. In recent studies at the University of Michigan, participants who drank aloe gel twice per day found improvements in the symptoms of colitis. Most people found a reduction in inflammation and became more regular after a four week trial.

It is no wonder the Egyptians have been using aloe for it's medicinal purposes for over 5,000 years! Aloe vera has over 75 nutrients, 12 vitamins, 200 enzymes, 20 minerals, and 18 amino acids- phew! Raw aloe, straight from the leaf, is the best way to get all the benefits out of the super plant, but there are some great foods that use aloe as well. What are some of your favorite ways to use aloe?

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