The aloe vera plant is one of few plants to hold many health benefits. It has long been used as a topical ointment for treating wounds and soothing sunburns. Aloe vera has a long history of use for skin care, as well as for medicinal use. The aloe plant was commonly used in folk medicine as a laxative for treating constipation. As well, aloe vera may have some benefits for blood pressure.
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The ancient Egyptians valued the aloe vera plant so highly that they considered it to be the “plant of immortality” and buried their pharaohs with it among funeral gifts, according to the Maharishi Ayurveda website. Ancient Greeks, Romans, Indians and Chinese also recognized its potent properties and used it for healing. For centuries, the aloe plant was used in folk medicine to aid in digestion, as well as for ridding the body of toxins.
The aloe vera plant has green, thick, triangular leaves full of a transparent gel, which is the heart of the plant. Aloe vera juice is made from the gel which is 96 percent water but also contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes. The plant has anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antiseptic properties. It also carries analgesics. The aloe vera plant is the most potent plant of the aloe species, according to the Maharishi Ayurveda website. It contains lupeol, salicylic acid, urea nitrogen, phenol, sulfur and cinnamic acid.
The American Heart Association defines blood pressure as the pressure of the blood against the walls of the arteries. This pressure results from two forces. One force is made by the heart as it pumps blood into the arteries and through the circulatory system, indicated by the higher number of your blood pressure numbers, referred to as systolic. The other force is of the arteries when they resist the blood flow and the heart relaxes between beats, indicated by the lower number of your blood pressure numbers, referred to as diastolic.
Aloe vera juice helps with blood pressure because it dilates capillaries and enhances circulation. Aloe vera has vitamin C which has been shown to help lower blood pressure, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Vitamin C is needed to make collagen, an important factor of blood vessels. Aloe vera is believed to strengthen veins and arteries, having the ability to regulate blood pressure, according to the Aloe Vera Plant website.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate the use of herbs and supplements. The aloe vera plant is part of the lily family and some people may have an allergic reaction. Side effects from aloe ingestion may include abdominal cramping and diarrhea.