You probably already know the benefits of aloe vera gel if you have ever been sunburned. But many people take it a step further and drink a juice made from the plant.
The benefits of this juice include essential vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B3, B6, folic acid and minerals such as magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, potassium and selenium. Studies show you can get all this, and more, by drinking aloe vera juice as a regular part of your diet.
Studies also have indicated that aloe vera juice can rev up your metabolic rate and reduce lipid levels, which in turn can help you lose weight.
It may also detoxify your body with high amounts of amino acids and phytonutrients, meaning it can get rid of toxins from your blood and digestive tract. Best of all, animal research has shown that aloe vera juice may affect the metabolism of fat and sugar in the body while preventing the accumulation of belly fat.
If you feel a cold coming on, the antiviral and antibacterial properties in aloe vera juice may help prevent the growth of microorganisms that cause respiratory infections. Also, studies have shown that aloe vera juice can help reduce symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux.
Although many people have used aloe vera juice as a laxative, it is also used as a potential treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), due to its anti-inflammatory properties. One trial with people who had IBS who drank aloe vera juice concluded that their symptoms had improved.
The anti-inflammatory properties also have been shown to ease arthritis pain and stiffness.
You can buy aloe vera juice over the counter at most grocery stores or drug stores.
To make your own, just cut off the leaf and wash it well. Peel off the top green layer to reveal the inner transparent, gooey gel. Scoop out the gel and add it to a blender. Try adding honey to counter the bitter taste or add it to a smoothie. All you need is three to four tablespoons a day to reap the benefits.
Finally, be sure to check with your doctor to make sure there are no interactions with any of your medications.