The Benefits of Aloe Vera

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023


Aloe vera is a well-known medicinal plant. It is quite popular, and it is not uncommon to see products like aloe vera juice or aloe vera-based cosmetics all over healthy grocery stores. But what is this plant, and what does it really do on (or in) your body? In this article, I'll discuss the top aloe vera benefits you may want to know about.

I will cover:


What is aloe vera?

Aloe vera plants growing outside in garden planter box.

Aloe vera is a medicinal plant. You may have seen an aloe plant in a friend's house or garden, as it is a common, easy-to-care-for plant. But more than just being a green decorative plant, it actually has many medicinal uses.

The leaves of this plant contain a gel-like substance. Sometimes, aloe vera gel is used in its pure form, straight from the leaves and unprocessed. It can be applied directly to the skin or else ingested as aloe vera juice. In other cases, the gel is added as an ingredient to other products.

Aloe vera gel can be used to make many different products, whether those are alternative medicine herbal remedies, juices, skin care products, or supplements. These aloe-based items are either ingested or used topically on the skin or hair.

But what makes aloe vera products healthy? What is in this plant that is so good for you?


Why is aloe vera good for you?

Aloe vera is a very nutrient-rich plant. Aloe vera extracts are loaded with minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients.

A smiling woman holds a piece of aloe cut in half with aloe vera gel, medicinal plant.

These nutrients are the kinds your body needs to heal, prevent problems, and stay healthy. For example, it is loaded with 20 minerals and 12 vitamins, not to mention a whole list of other compounds that have various health benefits.

Aloe has numerous positive effects in the body, and it is antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and more. All of these qualities allow aloe vera gel to have far-reaching benefits in the body, whether those are related to your skin, hair, digestive system, or blood sugar.


Top aloe vera benefits

There are two primary benefits of aloe vera use. Those are related to your skin and your digestion.

1. Skin

A blond woman lifts bra strap to show bad sunburn on back and shoulders, burn line red skin.

One of the top health benefits of aloe vera is how good it is for the skin. Here are some of the skin conditions that aloe vera can help with:

  • Burns. When you get burns, including sunburns, it can be a great remedy to help soothe and heal your skin. And it turns out that aloe vera is also a great ingredient to add to DIY sunscreen to prevent sunburns in the first place. Check out my sunscreen recipe here.

  • Acne. A common and irritating skin condition, acne can also be helped with aloe vera. If you have acne, it is worth considering this remedy to support better skin health.

  • Psoriasis. This skin condition involves itchy, irritating skin patches, and it is quite common. Aloe vera can help to relieve psoriasis and can be a useful tool to have on hand if your symptoms start to flare up.

Ultimately, aloe is a great choice for supporting healthy skin and for adding into your home remedy toolbox for a variety of skin problems.

2. Digestion

Chalkboard drawing of human torso with digestive system organs, intestines in white.

The second biggest benefit of aloe is in helping out with digestion. The lining of your digestive tract is very similar to the skin that covers your body, only it covers your inner surfaces. So just as external use of this plant is great for the skin, oral use of aloe is great for your digestive tract.

Drinking aloe vera juice or taking aloe as a supplement allows this healing plant to work from the inside, helping out with a variety of digestive system problems.

Some of the conditions that can see positive benefit with aloe vera include:

  • Acid reflux and GERD. Some people find the soothing effects of aloe vera and aloe vera juice to help calm things like heartburn and acid reflux symptoms.

  • Ulcers. Due to its healing properties, aloe may be able to help out with ulcers, which are essentially wounds in your internal lining.

  • Inflammation. Inflammatory disorders such as Crohn's, ulcerative colitis, IBS, celiac, and others may benefit from aloe vera. This is because it has anti-inflammatory effects.

  • Constipation. Aloe can have a laxative effect, helping to relieve constipation.

Additional aloe vera benefits

Some of the other health benefits of aloe vera include:

  • Having antibacterial effects. It can fight off harmful bacteria, making it great for helping to prevent infection.

  • Helping control blood sugars. Aloe vera has been found to help fasting blood glucose levels, and it may be useful for diabetes.

  • Supporting healthy hair. Want strong, beautiful hair? This plant might be able to help with that. For some of the same reasons it is good for your skin, it can be good for your hair. Also, try to avoid shampoo with potentially harmful ingredients like the ingredients found in brands like Pantene.

  • Boosting the immune system. Aloe may be able to modulate your immune system responses. This means it may be useful in strengthening your immune system and keeping you healthy.

  • Having anti-fungal properties. It can be useful in preventing or improving fungal infections, because it is anti-fungal in nature.

As you can see, aloe has a long list of health benefits. And there are many reasons that it is good for your body both inside and out.

But before you go out and start relying on aloe to fix all of your problems, it is important to understand that you should always look to the root cause of your health issues first, rather than using remedies like a band aid.


The importance of addressing the root cause first

When using any remedy, whether it is aloe vera or some other, you are only treating the symptom. You are not addressing the root cause of the problem.

So when you use aloe vera, you won't be actually getting rid of the actual, underlying issue that is causing your symptoms.

That is why when you look at the research on aloe, the results are mixed and all over the place. This is largely because lifestyle habits like diet are such variable factors.

If you have a really bad diet, then your results with using aloe for digestive symptoms won't really work. However, if you fix your diet first and then also use aloe as a complementary tool, then you might have a more positive outcome.

People often don't connect all of the symptoms they are having with lifestyle factors like their diet. And they continue to try to use remedies like aloe to fix things...

But in truth, you have to address your diet first.

If you don't fix the root cause (like a poor diet), then there isn't really any point to using these remedies.


How to use aloe vera

Freshly cut aloe leaves stacked on top of each other, aloe vera juice aloe vera gel in glass jar.

The aloe plant has many potential health benefits. But as I mentioned in the previous section, this remedy should only be used if you are already addressing the root of the problem. Otherwise, it is only serving as a band-aid that is covering the surface of the issue.

If you do want to add aloe to your toolkit (along with your efforts to fix the root of the problem), then there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Aloe can be found in many different preparations and forms. For the skin, you can use straight aloe vera gel or other topical aloe products. These can be applied to the affected areas like the skin or scalp. Alternatively, your symptoms may be better suited to ingesting aloe. Aloe vera juice is a great option (get as pure of a product as possible), or there are other aloe extract supplements that you might want to try.

  2. Try keeping an aloe plant yourself. Growing aloe is easy, as it requires little care and watering. When you grow it yourself, you can just snip off a leaf, slice it open, and use the aloe vera gel inside. It can be applied directly to your skin, or made into fresh aloe juice.

  3. Look for clean, pure aloe products. If you choose to buy aloe, be aware that there are many aloe vera gel products and aloe vera juices out there. And many are loaded with preservatives, chemicals, and nasty fillers. You want to look for a version that is natural and free of any of those garbage ingredients. So when choosing aloe, make sure to get a version that is as natural and pure as possible.

  4. Address your diet, first. If you are unhealthy in other arenas, such as your diet, aloe is unlikely to help heal your symptoms. So make sure to look at getting healthy and cleaning up your eating as a first line of defense. I recommend learning more about keto and intermittent fasting. This way of eating can help out many common health problems and help you feel better from the inside out.

Woman’s hands applying aloe hand cream to skin, with aloe vera leaves on white background.

The bottom line

The aloe vera plant is a nutrient-dense plant full of vitamins, minerals, and healthy nutrients.

From wound healing to blood sugar levels to digestive disorders, aloe can have some really positive effects.

Here's a review of some of the top benefits of this medicinal plant:

  • Helping to heal and soothe skin conditions like sunburns, psoriasis, and acne.

  • Supporting healthy digestion and helping out with digestive issues like constipation, inflammation, ulcers, and more.

  • Fighting infections with its anti-fungal and antimicrobial qualities.

  • Controlling blood sugars which can be great for diabetes or Fat Storing Hormone resistance.

  • Being great for your hair, if you are looking to up your hair health.

  • Boosting your immune system to keep you healthy.

Woman holds a plate of healthy vegetables over an unhealthy plate of burger and fries.

But remember: remedies like aloe don't actually address the root cause. They can be useful in helping to soothe symptoms and support your healing, but they don't fix the real problem.

So make sure to address the real cause of your issues, which are more often than not related to a poor diet. Only by fixing your diet and becoming healthy from the inside out will you find real success in getting rid of nagging symptoms and health problems.

If you are interested in getting started on your healthy eating journey, read my Keto Diet for Beginner's Guide. There, I'll introduce you to a way of eating that can help support you in having the best health of your life.

Do you use aloe for any skin or digestive issues? How does it work for you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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