Aloe vera is a plant with many health benefits, and not just for your skin! Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in tropical climates, and has been used in plant medicine for centuries.

You may have heard of skin treatments and creams made with aloe vera, but did you know that drinking the juice could be good for you in other ways? Pure aloe vera juice has a mild taste, and is ideal for mixing into smoothies and milkshakes.

How can aloe vera help your body? Read on to find out!

1. Hydration

Aloe vera juice is a good way to help prevent dehydration, and is full of nutrients. People often drink coconut water after a heavy workout, but aloe vera juice is a good alternative. It helps to keep your kidneys and liver in good working order, and it helps flush out the lactic acid that builds up in the body during exercise.

2. Soothes Burns

Aloe vera is often used as a skin treatment, and has long been used for burns, including sunburn.

Studies have shown that aloe vera is an effective skin treatment for first and second-degree burns. Four studies found that aloe vera can reduce the healing time of burns by around nine days when compared with conventional medicine.

3. Fights Dental Plaque

Oral diseases and tooth decay are very common, and one of the best ways to prevent them is to reduce the buildup of plaque on the teeth.

In one study of 300 healthy people, 100% aloe vera juice was tested against chlorhexidine mouthwash. After four days, the aloe vera mouth rinse was found to be just as effective as chlorhexidine at reducing plaque. Aloe vera kills the plaque-producing bacterium Streptococcus mutans, as well as the yeast Candida albicans.

4. Treats Mouth Ulcers

Many people suffer from painful mouth ulcers (canker sores), which form inside the mouth and lip, and last for around 7 to 10 days.

Studies have shown that aloe vera can help speed up the healing of mouth ulcers. In a 7-day study of 180 people who suffered from recurring mouth ulcers, an aloe vera patch applied to the ulcers was effective in reducing their size.

Although aloe vera is a good, natural remedy, it didn’t outperform the standard ulcer treatment, which are corticosteroids.

5. Reduces Constipation

Aloe vera is an effective remedy for constipation, and it’s the latex the plant contains, not the gel that does it. The latex is a sticky yellow residue that is found just under the skin of the leaf, and the compound it contains is called aloin, or barbaloin – well known for its laxative properties.

There have been some concerns about the safety issues with frequent use, which is why aloe latex hasn’t been available in the US as an over-the-counter medication since 2002.

There is a popular belief that aloe vera is effective against other digestive disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease, but this does not seem to be the case.

6. Helps Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Aloe vera can be effective as a diabetes treatment, as several animal and human studies have shown positive results in type 2 diabetics who consumed aloe vera extract. The extract is said to enhance insulin sensitivity and help stabilize blood sugar.

More research needs to be done, however, as there have been some cases of liver damage reported with long-term consumption of aloe vera supplements.

7. Helps Prevent Illness

Drinks made with aloe vera juice can help to detoxify and cleanse the digestive and circulatory system. As the absorption level of nutrients increases, it creates better blood circulation and improves health. The oxygen-rich blood automatically provides nutrients within the cells, which help to boost your immune system and help your body ward off infections.

8. It’s Full of Antioxidants and Antibacterials

Antioxidants are good for our bodies, as they help protect against harmful free radicals. The gel in aloe vera contains a variety of antioxidant polyphenols, and these compounds work with others to limit the growth of harmful bacteria in the body.

9. May Help Fight Breast Cancer

This field of research is fairly new, but early studies suggest that aloe vera may be able to help slow the progression of breast cancer. This may be due to a substance called emodin, which is found in the leaves of the plant. More research needs to be done, but the first results are encouraging

10. Could Improve Cardiovascular Health

This is another area where research is limited, but existing research seems to suggest that aloe vera may improve overall cardiovascular health.

A study published in the British Medical Journal showed that orally administered aloe vera was helpful in lowering blood lipid levels, which in turn can regulate cholesterol levels. More research needs to be done, but results are encouraging.