Aloe vera is a popular fleshy plant, known for its wound healing and skin care properties. Taken as a supplement, it has been shown to help reduce blood sugar levels, and aloe vera is also thought to aid good digestive health, alleviating constipation and helping with IBS.
It is a succulent plant which grows in tropical areas around the world. It is widely used as a natural remedy, and is mentioned in some texts dating back to the first century AD.
Aloe vera latex, produced just beneath the skin of the leaves, is yellow in colour and contains aloin, which is a laxative. The inner clear gel of the leaves is the part of aloe vera which is most commonly used for medicinal purposes.
Best known for its healing properties, this aloe vera gel can be applied topically to skin wounds, burns and minor skin conditions, where it has been shown to help moisturise and soothe.
There is some evidence to suggest that aloe vera taken orally may help to reduce blood sugar levels. Additionally, aloe vera juice or tablets are rich in polysaccharides, which help to soothe inflammation and boost the immune system.