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Aloe vera has wonderful properties that can heal wounds and hydrate the skin. But can we also eat this plant and take advantage of its properties?
Many beauty products incorporate aloe vera among their ingredients and it is widely known as a wound healer and a skin hydration solution after sunbathing. In recent years, it has been proven that this plant can also have internal benefits for the body.
The water that is stored in the plant´s leaves is widespread in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and food industries. This viscous, water-filled tissue is the "gel" we associate with aloe vera products. Most of the plant's bioactive compounds are found in aloe vera gel.
But that´s for the cosmetic purposes we already know. What happens with food? Some famous brands are already beginning to incorporate it into their products as aloe vera is a very nutritious plant, rich in minerals (magnesium, potassium, sodium, calcium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, iron), so which means it is good for preventing iron deficiency anemia. It also contains vitamins B, C, and E, and folic acid. It has a protective effect on the intestine and prevents constipation thanks to its contribution to fiber.
Aloe vera is also good for the treatment of oral infections, as a natural laxative or to treat gastrointestinal diseases such as ulcers or gastritis. On the other side, this substance is toxic and that is why you have to be careful in the amount you consume at home. In addition, this plant can cause allergic reactions in some people. Some preliminary studies also suggest that aloe vera could prevent colon cancer, while others focus on investigating its possible effects on obesity and diabetes.
Renowned chefs have incorporated aloe vera into their dishes and recipes, and some famous mixologists have also combined gins, vodkas, and tonic with this plant. Aloe vera gel can be used in juices, shakes, or smoothies or in tacos for salads, creams, or soups. It is however recommend to buy it in specialized stores such as herbalists or supermarkets, as this will avoid problems.