3 Health Benefits of Aloe Vera Leaf [Infographic]
Aloe vera is probably best known as a medicinal plant for treating and protecting the skin. But modern researchers indicate that it may also help relieve various digestive disorders, strengthen immune and liver function, and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. The leaf is less bitter in taste compared to the latex and gel and adds a refreshing, minty fragrance to tea blends.
What is aloe vera?
The use of aloe vera can be traced back 6,000 years in Egypt where the plant was found depicted on ancient stone carvings. It was highly valued in ancient times - King Alexander the Great is said to have sent his army from Greece to an island off the coast of Somalia just to obtain its crop of aloe.
Aloe vera was used widely in traditional herbal medicine and was one of the most frequently prescribed medicines during the 18th and 19th centuries. It remains one of the most popular herbs today - dried and fresh aloe leaves are used to treat various health conditions while the clear gel from the plant is used topically for skin wounds and burns. Unlike aloe vera latex, which has laxative properties, aloe vera leaf is considered safe and well tolerated.
The health benefits of aloe vera leaf according to research
1. Digestive Health
Aloe vera may promote overall digestive health - according to the World Health Organization, clinical data has so far shown the herb to be effective in the short-term treatment of constipation. One particular research study suggested aloe vera could be helpful in treating irritable bowel syndrome symptoms such as diarrhea.
2. Heart and Circulatory Health
Preliminary evidence suggests that aloe vera extract may help reduce total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and triglycerides (a constituent in body fat) in people with high concentration of fats in the blood. A clinical study in 2016 found aloe vera to be effective in reducing blood sugar levels, which may be useful for countering heart disease and diabetes.
3. Immunity and Overall Health
Aloe vera helps strengthen the immune system and protect the liver as it appears to have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic (anti-cancer) effects. One study conducted in 2015 found aloe vera extract to be effective in inhibiting breast and cervical cancer cell growth and increasing the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs. According to the study’s researchers, aloe vera plant extracts may prove useful in the development of non-toxic and affordable anti-cancer drugs.
* These are some of the pharmacological actions that have been observed or are under study in various evidence-based research studies. Herb may have other properties not listed here.
The statements on this page are for educational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your healthcare practitioner prior to the use of any herbal products, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have allergies or medical conditions.
The information has been sourced and extracted from scientific papers, academic journals, research abstracts, and other sources. While Purify Tea makes every effort to present accurate and reliable information on this website, Purify Tea does not endorse, approve, or certify such information, nor does it guarantee the accuracy, completeness, efficiency, timeliness, or correct sequencing of such information. Use of such information is voluntary, and reliance on it should only be undertaken after an independent review of its accuracy, completeness, efficiency, and timeliness. While many traditional or folkloric remedies have a long history of use, modern research has only begun to investigate and substantiate their effectiveness. Research is still ongoing in many areas therefore conclusions are subject to change.
“Aloe.” University of Maryland Medical System. University of Maryland School of Medicine, March 24, 2015. Web. July 23, 2016.
“Aloe Vera.” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, April 20, 2016. Web. June 7, 2016.
Arif Hussain, Chhavi Sharma, Saniyah Khan, Kruti Shah, Shafiul Haque. “Aloe vera Inhibits Proliferation of Human Breast and Cervical Cancer Cells and Acts Synergistically with Cisplatin.” Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2015;16(7):293946.
Duke J. A. Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. Natural Agricultural Library. United States Department of Agriculture. Web. June 26, 2016.
H A El-Shemy, M A M Aboul-Soud, A A Nassr-Allah, K M Aboul-Enein, A Kabash, A Yagi. “Antitumor properties and modulation of antioxidant enzymes' activity by Aloe vera leaf active principles isolated via supercritical carbon dioxide extraction.” Curr Med Chem. November, 24 2009. Epub November, 24 2009.
K Davis, S Philpott, D Kumar, M Mendall. “Randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial of aloe vera for irritable bowel syndrome. Int J Clin Pract.” September 2006;60(9):1080-6. Epub June 2, 2006.
Kane, Charles W. Herbal Medicine: Trends and Traditions. New York, NY: Lincoln Town Press, 2009. Print.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Therapeutic Research Center. Web. June 22, 2016.
United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Area Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). November 28, 2015, Web. June 26, 2016.
World Health Organization. WHO Monographs on Selected Medicinal Plants – Volume 1. Geneva, 1999. Print.
Zhang, Yifang, and Yingzhi Yao. Your Guide to Health with Foods & Herbs: Using the Wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine. New York, NY: Better Link, 2012. Print.