Aloe Vera mostly grows in areas with a mild climate, where temperatures below freezing point are rare. It is easily recognizable due to its luscious, spear-shaped leaves, and their saw-like edges, that sprout directly from the soil. Both the sap and the gel of the plant alike are used for therapeutic purposes, as long as one simple condition is met: the leaves must be picked only after the plant is 2 to 3 years old. Aloe Vera sap is obtained by cutting the leaf and draining out the liquid, while the gel can be extracted from the cells inside the body of the aloe leaf.
Aloe Vera contains a complex mixture of beneficial substances, such as aloin and aloe gel. Aloin is a milky-yellow liquid that can be found immediately beneath the skin of the leaf. This substance has been used for thousands of years as a laxative, being administered under powder or liquid form. Aloe gel has anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties, and it helps stimulate the production of collagen. This is why aloe gel is a key ingredient in both cosmetic treatments, and a variety of skin creams.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, aloe gel can be a very effective natural ingredient in the treatment of arthritis.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is an umbrella term used to refer to a variety of affections that target the joints of the human body. There are currently over one hundred types of arthritis known to man. Out of these, the most frequent and well-known are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, fibromyalgia, juvenile arthritis, septic arthritis and reactive arthritis. The main palette of symptoms of all these types of arthritis is mainly comprised of pain, swelling, stiffness, redness and warmth to the touch.
The benefits of Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera gel has been proven to be especially effective in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Due to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, it can work wonders in the field of pain relief and restoring mobility in the affected joints. Aloe gel can be either extracted directly from the plant, or bought under the form of various natural medicinal products. In order to enjoy its full benefits, the gel needs to be applied locally at the level of the affected joint (or joints) and rubbed into the skin meticulously and vigorously, in order to assure full absorption.
Although Aloe Vera is a natural ingredient that is generally safe for both internal consumption and external application, there are some precautions that you need to take if you begin considering including it in your treatment plan. First and foremost, you should never administer Aloe Vera and aloe derivates to small children. What is more, pregnant women or women that are in the process of breastfeeding should steer clear from it, because it can cause malformations in the child or even spontaneous abortions.
Moreover, if you suffer from any illness that is related to the kidneys or liver, aloe might not be the right ingredient for you. Its prolonged internal use can also lead to some discomfort at the level of the digestive tract, and even colitis in extreme cases. This is not generally a risk that it can present in the treatment of arthritis though, because when treating arthritis locally with aloe gel, the substance is administered locally. Still, it is best to take into consideration all the possible risk and side effects of a product before including it in your treatment plan.