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Aloe vera is a succulent plant that is part of the Lily family. The aloe vera leaf is filled with a gel substance, which is approximately 99% water and over 200 vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, sugars and fatty acids. This gel can be used externally or internally for a variety of purposes. Aloe vera has been used medicinally for thousands of years and nowadays this super plant is used frequently in households across the world.

Here are 7 uses for Aloe vera:

1. Creates glowing skin
Aloe is a popular ingredient in many skin and body care products because of its powerful skin-healing and soothing properties. Since Aloe has an extremely high water content is hydrates and moisturises the skin. This improves the skins elasticity and smooths out any wrinkles or lines you may have. It boosts the supply of oxygen to the skin which encourages skin regeneration and better blood circulation. Aloe vera provides your skin with minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and amino acids so that it can easily repair itself and appear softer, younger and smoother. You can use it internally and externally to develop glowing healthy skin.

2. Improves digestion
Aloe vera soothes and cleanses the digestive tract which makes it better able to digest and absorb the nutrients you need for proper health. It can assist with both constipation and diarrhea and will help you to maintain healthy bowel habits. It is a natural de-wormer and also boosts the population of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract.

3. Reduces stretch marks and scars
Aloe vera gel can be applied to stretch marks, scars and acne scars to reduce their appearance. It contains powerful sugars which helps the skin to regenerate and boosts skin elasticity so stretch marks do not reoccur.

4. Soothes skin rashes and bites
Aloe vera contains substances that can help to relieve and prevent itching. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties which can help to reduce swelling from bites, rashes or cuts. Its vitamin E content helps to speed up healing and sooth the skin.

5. Reduces sunburn
Aloe vera is a very popular sunburn remedy because it is a natural analgesic that helps to reduce pain and swelling. It also has anti-bacterial properties which help to prevent infections.
Apply cold aloe vera gel to the affected area leave it for 10-15 minutes and repeat this twice daily.

6. Supports immunity
Aloe vera contains special sugars called polysaccharides which stimulate immune cells called macrophages, which fight against infection. Aloe also has antipyretic properties which means it reduces fevers.

7. Provides vitamins and minerals
Aloe vera is a concentrated source of active minerals and vitamins such as calcium, sodium, iron, potassium, magnesium, chromium, selenium, vitamins A, B, C, E, folic acid and many more. This makes it an excellent addition to your diet as these nutrients need to be consumed daily for optimal health.

Aloe can be used straight from the leaf if you have access to an Aloe plant. It can also be purchased from a health food shop in the form of capsules, juice, gels, cream and added to various body care products.

Aloe vera is a potent medical plant and should be used with caution. It is generally safe but those who are pregnant should avoid it.