Thousands of years ago, aloe vera gel was considered a popular remedy in numerous cultures around the world.
For about 6,000 years, the flesh of the aloe vera has been traded as a natural elixir for health and beauty. And even today, the aloe vera gel of the desert lily is still used again and again - pure, in homemade cosmetics or products of renowned beauty and lifestyle stores. The plant is primarily cultivated in the USA, Central and South America, Spain and Australia.
Aloe Vera Gel: The origin of the power plant
Originally, aloe vera (also known as "true aloe") probably came from the Arabian Peninsula or Africa. The rather harsh, angular appearance of the plant resembles a cactus, but in botany it belongs to the species of lilies and therefore carries the beautiful name "desert lily".
The leaves are up to 50 cm long and serrated at the edges. The flowers are yellowish-orange, and the inflorescence can grow up to one meter high. Today, it grows naturally in the wild throughout the subtropical climatic zone and is found worldwide as a potted plant. Colloquially known as "bittercap," the plant grows stemless.
At up to 98.5 percent, aloe vera gel consists largely of water. Because its leaves can store so much of it in their gel-like tissue, the desert lily can survive for months without rain and protect itself from drying out in times of drought. The plant is self-sufficient and can easily produce its own nutrients even under extreme conditions. The leaves shrink after long periods of drought, but they straighten up again after the next rain - this works with the help of the aloe vera gel inside the leaves. If the leaves are injured or damaged, the plant simply repairs this itself. Like a plaster, it seals the "wounds" and thereby supports its renewal process.
When harvesting, the ripest outermost leaves are cut off, as these contain particularly large amounts of the valuable aloe gel. The leaves and their active ingredients are most effective when the plant is at least 3 years old.
The transparent flesh from the inside of the leaf can be used externally on skin and hair, either pure or as an ingredient in homemade lotions, creams, masks and scrubs. Aloe vera is also an exotic and healthy addition to yogurt and cereals.
Aloe vera gel in cosmetics
In numerous different care products, aloe vera gel is used as an essential and efficient moisturizer.
The plant itself is a true survivor and a real talent for active ingredients: it provides skin and hair with many vitamins and nutrients. The effective aloe vera juice is often referred to as Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice on packaging.
Especially in natural cosmetics, the aloe vera gel is very popular. Even the ancient Egyptians swore by the healing properties of the "plant of immortality": some of the most beautiful women in history (Nefertiti and Cleopatra) knew even back then what makes naturally beautiful!
The Aloe Vera juice was also already used in ancient Rome for wound healing in (war) injuries and Christopher Columbus brought the plant to America during his travels. It was even revered as a sacred plant by the Mayans.
Aloe vera gel is packed with over 200 valuable nutrients. The seemingly endless list reads like a colorful potpourri of wonderful ingredients: Polysaccharides, enzymes and ferments, non-essential amino acids, essential amino acids, antioxidants, minerals, trace elements and vitamins slumber inside the leaves. The highly concentrated nutrient density makes it so popular in natural cosmetics.
In summary, aloe vera gel in cosmetics has following properties:
ideal for first aid of small open wounds
reduces inflammatory reactions
promotes skin regeneration
For daily skin care, serums, creams and lotions containing aloe vera gel or aloe vera juice are highly beneficial. The concentration of the gel/juice varies greatly.
In the anti-aging sphere, aloe vera is very popular because it can have a skin-rejuvenating effect. It is also used as an ingredient in eye creams, as the eye area can be very sensitive and aloe is a mild and effective agent.
In some cases, it is reported that acne, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis can also be alleviated with regular use of aloe vera.
Aloe vera gel in food
As an ingredient in cosmetics, aloe vera gel is already relatively well known, but the desert lily has also found its place in healthy nutrition.
More on how best to consume the plant here:
Since aloe vera gel has a slightly bitter taste, it may help to combine it with other ingredients. A smoothie is a good idea , alternatively it can be added to your cereal. Adding the gel to warm oatmeal is not recommended because this will destroy a large part of the vitamins.
In the Asian region, aloe vera is also often used as an ingredient in salads. You can either use it as a topping over your salad, similar to seaweed, or you can use larger pieces and mix them in with the rest of the ingredients.
In Mexican cooking aloe vera is used as a salsa. Mixed with tomatoes, cilantro, salt and pepper, some lemon juice, onions and garlic, it can be served as a dip with tortilla chips.
The active ingredients of Aloe Vera Gel in detail
The active substances of the plant are mainly stored in the leaf pulp. This is a moist, gel-like substance inside the leaf. As mentioned before, scientists have identified over 200 different ingredients. However, only a few reach an effective concentration. The main active ingredient in aloe milk is acemannan, also called aloverose. This is a healthy plant sugar molecule (so-called mucopolysaccharide). In addition, salicylic acid, saponins, enzymes, amino acids, vitamins and minerals are among the effective ingredients.
Apart from the aloe vera gel, the aloe juice is contained directly under the bark of the aloe vera leaf. Some refer to the sap as "resin" or "latex". It consists mainly of the active ingredient aloin. If you cut a leaf, the greenish, very bitter-tasting aloe juice immediately appears. This is also the reason for the colloquial name "bitter head".
Due to this diverse combination of the leaf content, the aloe vera has numerous positive effects.
Acemannan - immunostrengthening, activates white blood cells, anti-inflammatory, fights fungi, viruses and bacteria, supports intestinal flora
Aloin - laxative, labor-promoting (therefore should not be taken by pregnant women)
Lysine - stimulates the formation of collagen, increases skin elasticity, reduces the depth of wrinkles
Enzymes - antioxidant effect to prevent skin aging
Make your own aloe vera gel
For one person it is enough to have one plant at hand. An aloe vera forms offshoots quite quickly, so in a short time you will have several plants.
After three years, the plant is particularly rich in active substances. The plant is best kept on the windowsill, it does not tolerate frost at all.
Additional information: Aloe vera is also an ideal plant for the bedroom. It is one of the few plants that can produce oxygen at night, improving air quality and promoting restful sleep.
Aloe Vera Gel Smoothie
Aloe Vera Gel Harvest
Step 1: Cut one of the lower leaves of a plant at least three years old near the base with a sharp knife.
Step 2: Place the leaf cut-side down in a jar to drain the yellowish juice containing aloin. This juice should not be consumed and is extremely bitter.
Step 3: Cut another inch off the leaf to remove all remnants of the aloin that drips out.
Step 4: Now the outer layer of the leaf can be removed with a potato peeler or a sharp knife. Another option is to cut the leaf in half lengthwise and scrape out the gel with a spoon.
The fresh gel can be applied to mosquito bites, a sunburn or skin in need of care. In a clean, well-sealed container, the gel will keep in the refrigerator for about one to two weeks.
If you want to make a skin care lotion from the gel, it is best to puree the gel with a blender.
For immediate cooling relief for itchy insect bites or acute sunburn, you can freeze the gel in handy portions in an ice cube tray.
Aloe vera in serums
A serum is a concentrated care product with a light texture which can be liquid, or even somewhat oily. Due to the special molecular structure of the serum, the active ingredients reach the skin deeply and effectively. Often serums are preferred to creams in the morning, as they feel lighter on the skin and provide a good base for makeup.
Serums and light moisturizers are also best for men, as they do not leave a shiny film on the skin.
For a serum, one dropperful is usually enough for the face and neck.
Aloe Vera Gel
THE PERFECT ANTI-AGING DUO:
BENEVA BLACK Vitamin C Serum in the morning
Pure effectiveness: vitamin C and pure aloe vera combined in one effective serum.
With regular use, it makes the skin glow!
With its antioxidant effect, it protects the skin's collagen framework and reduces light pigmentation spots. Vitamin C also has an anti-inflammatory effect and can help redness subside and blemishes heal faster.
The serum is best applied in the morning. (Do not forget sunscreen, preferably factor 15 -20).