Succulent plants are well known for their fleshy leaves and interesting shapes. Often kept in homes as potted plants, the amazing nature of the species is often overlooked. Just like other succulents, aloe vera is extremely drought resistant. With little to no water and sustenance, these rugged plants can survive and store liquids in their roots, stem or leaves.
Your first encounter with the plant is most likely to happen during the summer holidays. In summer resorts, pharmacists will generally insist on using aloe vera on your sunburnt skin, and it almost instantly helps to relieve pain. A top hint is putting the cream in the refrigerator for maximum relief.
Traditional medicine across the globe recognizes aloe vera and uses it extensively for the treatment of various problems, this goes beyond the topical usage. From India, Greece, and Egypt to Mexico and China, different cultures found that aloe vera is extremely useful. Today, the plant is harvested, processed, and consumed on a larger scale and treated as beneficial for an array of medical problems. So we all wonder – Is eating aloe vera plant safe?
In the following chapters, we will analyze the plant and all of the effects it has on our bodies.
Is Aloe Vera Edible?
Aloe vera plant is edible if it’s consumed properly. This means that you should avoid eating the whole leaf raw, without preparation. The substance that you should avoid is aloin: found in the inner skin latex coating, belonging to phenolic compounds commonly known as laxatives. Even if the intention is constipation relief, too much of aloin can lead to dehydration, low potassium, stomach cramps, and exhaustion.
There are plenty of options on how you can consume the plant while eliminating aloin.
Aloe Vera Deep Dive – Useful Nutrients
What plant manages to process and keep within the thickened leaves makes aloe vera a very rich repository of nutrients. Aloe vera consists of 75 active components, here are just some of them:
- Amino acids: 20 of the 22 amino acids required by humans are found in aloe vera plant
- Vitamins: A (beta-carotene), C, E (both antioxidants), B1, B2, B12
- Minerals: Calcium, copper, magnesium, chromium, manganese, potassium, zinc and sodium
- Enzymes: 8 vital enzymes of various functions, helping with inflammation and decomposition of fats and sugars
- Hormones: Gibberellin and auxin are both plant-based hormones that can help with inflammations and faster wound healing
There is also salicylic acid with both the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects and lignin – one of the passive substances within aloe vera. Lignin, which is used in topic solutions, helps other useful substances penetrate the skin more efficiently.
Based on the nutrients alone, aloe vera can be listed as a superfood. To understand if eating aloe vera is safe we have to breakdown the benefits and methods of consumption.
How to Consume Raw Aloe Vera?
The gel stored in aloe vera leaves is refreshing and does not have an aggressive plant-like kick that you may expect, but a rather mild and pure taste. It can be used in various foods, mixed with sodas, fruits, and vegetables. Relative taste neutrality allows numerous consuming options and gel texture can improve the sensation of other ingredients.
How to prepare aloe vera:
- Cut the leaf from the plant at its base and wash it in cold water
- Cut the spiky edges from the leaf from all sides
- Gently slice the thick skin on the flat side of the plant
- Extract the clear gel by scraping, scooping or dicing it (It’s vital to avoid squeezing because of aloin)
- Remove any residue from the gel as it impairs taste
Finally, you can enjoy your aloe vera gel. Consumed raw, in smoothies or various other recipes, it’s an excellent ingredient for all sorts of culinary delicacies.
We mentioned the aloin which you have to avoid. This component of the plant is found in the latex – mid-layer between the leaf and the gel, yellow. Unlike this layer, the leaves themselves are perfectly safe for consumption. Leaves are crunchy, refreshing and much like the gel have no intense kick that would affect other ingredients.
Do not consume any of the ointments containing aloe vera meant for topical use due to additives and other chemical components found in them.
Potential Benefits of Eating Aloe Vera
Aloe vera’s beneficial impact on our body goes beyond healing the effects of UV rays and topical use. Though this moisturizing and anti-aging effects on the skin are important, consuming aloe vera can help improve the overall performance of the organism.
Given the rich combination of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes it can easily be classified as a superfood. Here are just some of the reported effects of eating aloe vera:
- Dental plaque reduction
- Rich source of supplementation supporting the immune system
- Anti-inflammatory effect
- Enhances our digestive system functioning
- Increases level of antioxidants in the blood
- Reducing blood sugar levels
Hormones and enzymes are responsible for anti-inflammatory properties, they attack the inflamed hotspots and help our immune system recovering from them. Besides the antioxidants that help the body battling harmful free radicals, aloe vera consumption may also improve your memory. As a rich source of vitamins and minerals, aloe vera is a powerful immune system booster.
Eating Aloe Vera on Empty Stomach
Food, supplements, and overall eating habits are important for our health. If you want to maximize the effects of the ingredients you take – timing is vital. While it can be consumed in many forms and times during the day, there are numerous benefits of eating aloe vera on an empty stomach. In the morning, our digestive system is empty and any intake of useful substances at this time improves absorption and utilization.
Drinking aloe vera juice in the morning helps our body absorb vitamins and minerals, optimizing the work of the digestive system. By starting your day off this way, you allow the maximal usage of all substances and give time for them to act. Dissolving gel in water, mixing it with fruit and other ingredients – whichever you prefer.
Aloe vera gel can be used in many foods and you can also consume it as your first meal. Keep in mind that any scenario where your stomach is already full can impact the utilization of healthy substances. Additionally, there are other plants with which you can mix your aloe vera to get the full entourage effect.
Aloe Vera Supplements
There are many forms of aloe vera supplements in the market today. Capsules, powder, sodas, and solutions are all excellent sources of healthy ingredients found in the plant. Extraction allows the greatest purity and elimination of aloin and other residual materials.
Aloe mucilaginous polysaccharide (AMP) is one of the vital active components found in aloe vera, powering the miraculous plant. AMP is the essential ingredient of all of our products, aiming to help to restore balance to your body, normalizing the digestive tract and boosting the immune system.
Visit us for more details and order your all-natural aloe vera products today.