Aloe Vera is a succulent plant found widely in India, the cosmetic benefits of aloe vera is widely recognized. However; the health benefits of this potent medicinal plant are yet to be popularized. Aloe Vera popularly known as “GrihtKumari” in Hindi contains approximately 95% water and 5% solid components. Aloe Vera contains several essential amino acids. It also contains polysaccharides Acemannan and Aloeverose. Acemannan stimulates the production of macrophages thereby improving T-lymphocytes activity by 50%. It is also rich in soluble fiber pectin as well as B-complex vitamins.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF ALOE VERA
1.) Aloe Vera is a natural laxative and helps in relieving constipation. However; people with Crohn’s disease, colitis, or hemorrhoids shouldn’t consume aloe vera as it might lead to abdominal cramps and diarrhea.
2.) Aloe Vera is beneficial for diabetics: Studies have shown that 2 tablespoons of aloe vera juice per day can cause a lowering of blood glucose levels in people with Type 2 diabetes.
3.) Aloe Vera relieves digestive disorders like GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflex Disorder).
4.) Aloe Vera boosts immunity.
5.) Aloe Vera suppresses inflammation.
6.) Aloe Vera can also be used as a face moisturizer as well as burn ointment.
7.) Aloe Vera reduces dental plaque and can be used as a mouth wash.

PARTS OF ALOE VERA
The succulent leaf of Aloe Vera consists of the outer skin, the inner gel/leaf juice, and the yellow-colored latex. The gel constitutes the edible part of aloe vera, the outer rind is also considered safe to be eaten. However; the latex (thin layer of yellow liquid) known for its laxative properties might have potentially fatal side effects on health.

HOW TO EXTRACT ALOE VERA GEL
To take out the gel from the aloe vera, cut off the spiky edges on the top and alongside the aloe vera leaf. Slice off the skin on the flat side, remove the clear gel and dice it into small cubes. Wash the gel cubes thoroughly to remove all the traces of dirt, debris, and latex residue.

DOSAGE
It is generally safe to consume up to 2 tablespoons of aloe extract in a day. In order to get relief from constipation, one can have up to 200 ml of aloe juice which is to be prepared by diluting aloe vera gel in water. One can even consume smoothies to get the much needed extra fiber.

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