We all know that aloe vera gel can soothe sunburns. (We may have even grown up with an aloe plant in our yard that we used solely for this purpose.) But now that the liquid, drinkable form of aloe is available at places like Whole Foods, it kind of makes you wonder what else this cactus can do.
Turns out that aloe is indeed pretty amazing for your body, inside and out. Here’s how you can reap its benefits, according to holistic nutritionist Sally Kravich, author of Vibrant Living.
It moisturizes and tones skin.
Kravich says she uses aloe as a toner—the gel moisturizes, helps maintain your skin’s elasticity and even contains acne-fighting hormones. Talk about a skin care trifecta, right?
It’s a burn healer.
And not just sunburns: Kravich always had an aloe plant at her house when her kids were growing up. “If anyone got a burn, I would break off a piece, cut off the outside and place the gel on the burn with pretty immediate results,” she says. “I often kept a piece in the fridge in a baggie and the soothing cold gel felt even better on a burn.”
It can aid with digestion.
Aloe helps keep you, erm, regular and can give you a bit of help in the elimination department if you’re feeling a bit backed up.
It can soothe your throat.
Adding aloe to your water bottle can soothe a ravaged throat, which is why Kravich recommends it to her singer clients to help keep their throats lubricated for belting out those notes. (For the rest of us, try drinking aloe after a long night out on the town or after screaming/singing your heart out at a concert to replenish your vocal chords.) Aloe Vera liquid is also an old remedy for acid reflux, for those with more major esophageal issues.
It’s an all-around super food.
According to Kravich, aloe has been used as a remedy for various health issus in many cultures for centuries because of its high nutritional value. Aloe is packed with vitamins—A, C E Folic Acid, Choline, B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12—and minerals—calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, selenium, sodium, iron, copper, potassium, and manganese—as well as contains a number of amino and fatty acids. “To top it off, aloe contains three plant sterols, which can lower fat in the bloodstream and help to ward off allergies and acidity,” she says.