You likely know aloe vera as a gooey green gel used to cool sunburn. But did you know that aloe vera is actually a plant that has been used for nearly 6,000 years to treat a variety of ailments? According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, aloe vera was once known as the "plant of immortality" and in addition to sunburn, is used to treat everything from asthma to arthritis.
When using aloe vera in the following home remedies, be sure to look in your local natural foods store for 100% pure aloe vera gel (it should be not be green!). Keep reading for the 8 health benefits of aloe vera:
1. Razor burn. We know aloe vera can provide life-saving relief against sunburn, but did you know it can also treat razor burn? According to Prevention, aloe vera is an excellent shaving cream and moisturizer.
2. Acne. One tablespoon aloe vera mixed with 1 teaspoon almond milk and 1 teaspoon lemon is a wonderfully restorative face wash that effectively fights acne and treats rosacea, says Prevention. You can also add a touch of brown sugar or baking soda to 1/2 cup aloe vera to make an invigorating exfoliator.
3. Bad breath. If you suffer from bad breath, try drinking a solution made from 1/4 cup pure aloe vera gel dissolved in 1/2 cup water or apple juice. Prevention explains this home remedy works because aloe vera has powerful anti-inflammatory compounds that soothe bad breath-causing indigestion.
4. Asthma. During an asthma attack, the air passages become inflamed in such a way that breathing becomes restricted. Because aloe vera has enzymes that not only regulate the immune system, but also fight inflammation, the Express Tribune Blogs says inhaling the vapors from aloe vera gel mixed with boiling water can bring relief almost immediately.
5. Arthritis. Healthline says simply massaging aloe vera gel into your achy joints can soothe arthritic pain.
6. Irritable bowel syndrome. If IBS sufferers do not already know about aloe vera, they will be relieved to know the plant has been long-used as a remedy for the pain and discomfort of IBS. Patients with colitis and Crohn's disease have also found relief from aloe vera, reports Desert Harvest. Although you should consult your doctor for the correct dosage, you can start by following the recommendation of Mayo Clinic and drinking 100 milliliters (approximately 3.4 ounces) twice daily.
7. Leg cramps. Remedies and Herbs says aloe vera gel supports muscle health and should be consumed regularly in order to prevent leg cramps.
8. Cancer. Aloe vera is so full of antioxidants and immune-supporting compounds, it is no wonder the "plant of immortality" is effective in both preventing and fighting cancer. According to Lifehack, studies suggest aloe vera may actually prevent pulmonary, stomach, and colon cancer.
Don't miss out on the "plant of immortality." Try these home remedies today! Tell us your aloe vera stories and SHARE this article on social media!