3 Reasons to Love Aloe Vera

Donna Gates | May 25, 2016

Aloe vera is a succulent plant. It grows all over the globe and has enjoyed centuries of fame. One of the most common ways to use aloe is straight from the plant. Slice open a leaf, and you’ll find a slimy, clear gel that soothes burned skin. You can also use it in your smoothies for added health benefits.


Here are our top 3 favorite reasons to love aloe:

1. Aloe Manages Blood Sugar.

Type 2 diabetes is marked by inflammation, obesity, and insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that allows sugar molecules to enter the cell. When cells are insulin resistant, they no longer respond to insulin, causing cells to starve, and even die.

Animal research has found that aloe may help manage insulin sensitivity. It may also help manage blood sugar (high blood sugar is a byproduct of insulin resistance).

According to Akira Yagi, emeritus professor at Fukuyama University, extracts of aloe may improve signs of Alzheimer’s disease and some forms of dementia when the brain has become insulin resistant.

2. Aloe Assists in Regulating a Leaky Gut.

In animal studies, scientists have found that aloe can reduce markers of inflammation in the colon or large intestine. These markers include signals from the immune system that regulate inflammation and kick-start inflammatory pain or hypersensitivity.

Inflammation makes gut tissue permeable—or leaky. Research tells us that aloe may help reduce inflammation in the gut and mend a leaky gut.

3. Aloe Relieves Constipation.

Aloe has a long history as a medicinal plant—including use in traditional Chinese herbal medicine, which is over 2,000 years old! In Chinese herbal medicine, aloe is an herb used to address constipation and parasitic infection.

Scientists at Beijing University of Chinese Medicine note that the purging nature of aloe—which relieves constipation—comes from gut bacteria that metabolize plant chemicals found specifically in aloe vera.

According to Chinese herbal medicine, aloe has a cold and bitter nature, allowing it to drain fire and unblock stool. Because of its cold nature, aloe addresses constipation associated with heat.

Signs of heat include:

  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Red eyes
  • Headache or dizziness

Luckily, aloe blends perfectly in your daily smoothie and can be harvested from the plant itself. Slice an aloe leaf in half vertically down the side and slice out the gel carefully using a sharp knife. Start with just about an inch’s worth of gel, since it can upset the stomach if too much is used. And remember, edible aloe vera is different than the bottled gel you buy to soothe a sunburn. If you can’t find a whole aloe leaf, look for natural, no sugar added aloe vera juice.

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Donna Gates

Donna Gates, M.Ed., ABAAHP, is the international bestselling author of The Body Ecology Diet and The Baby Boomer Diet: Anti-Aging Wisdom For Every Generation. An Advanced Fellow with the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, she is on a mission to change the way the world eats. Over the past 25 years, she has become one of the most loved and respected authorities in the field of digestive health, diet, and nutrition, enjoying a worldwide reputation as an expert in candida, adrenal fatigue, autism, autoimmune diseases, weight loss and anti-aging.

Her groundbreaking work has been instrumental in transforming the natural foods industry. Donna first introduced the natural sweetener stevia to the U.S. in 1994. Her very successful grassroots movement blossomed to tens of thousands enjoying the new sweetener and after three years it was approved as a “dietary supplement,” becoming a common item in every health food store in America. Donna’s cookbook, Stevia: Cooking with Nature’s Calorie-Free Sweetener (Avery) was the first of its kind. The next five years were dedicated to educating on the value of coconut oil, which was demonized as a dangerous fat. Her dedication spurred new research and now coconut oil is promoted by holistic doctors and sold nationwide. Donna also focused on fermented foods and probiotic beverages and reintroduced milk Kefir to the U.S. marketplace. Her innovation continued with “young coconut water kefir,” a fermented drink touted by medical doctors for healing the digestive tract and treating acid reflux.

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