Every now and then, new health and beauty trends come to the forefront of the industry, and the latest seems to be aloe vera. Aloe vera is said to have been used for thousands of years as medicine and for beauty thanks to its soothing anti-inflammatory qualities, and now this ingredient can be found on the shelves of high street health food and supplement retailers.
I first came across aloe vera gel and juice drinks in late 2014 after being introduced to various aloe products – creams, drinks and even cosmetics – and became incredibly intrigued by the benefits listed, which included improved skin quality, a healthier digestive system, increase in vitamin intake, hair growth and more. I had a little trial and then returned home to do some more research.
If you do a quick internet search for aloe vera, there are many websites shouting the benefits, including this one from MarieClaire.co.uk (Aloe Vera Juice Benefits: They Seem To Be Endless…), but there are also those sharing the risks of some manufactured aloe products, such as this article from Shape.com (Ask the Diet Doctor: The Truth About Aloe Vera Juice). After a lot of consideration, I decided to give an aloe vera juice drink a try, but stuck to a brand that is sold in well-known retailer Holland & Barrett; Aloe Pura Bio-Active Aloe Vera Juice (cranberry flavour).
By no means am I an expert in any part of this field, and this is not an accurately measured test. This is simply how I have found taking aloe vera juice for the past four months.
It seems that not many people enjoy the taste of aloe vera, but in my opinion, it really is not that bad! Of course this will vary from brand to brand – my particular choice in product does have an added cranberry flavour – but the taste could be a lot worse. Plus, it can be mixed into other juices, smoothies or water if wanted, although I take 20ml of the juice straight twice a day.
This was my main reasoning for trying aloe vera juice. I have eczema and used prescribed steroid cream every day, which I knew wasn’t the answer to my problems; what I really wanted was to improve my skin from within.
I’d say that after around one month of using aloe vera juice, the quality of my skin had improved; I was generally less itchy and reduced the amount of steroid cream I was using from roughly once a day to once every two to three days. Now, four months later, I do not feel a need to use my steroid cream – at all! I do still have irritated patches once every now and again but on the whole my skin looks and feels…wait for it… normal. I am able to use high street brand face and body moisturisers with out using medicated creams first, which is what I used to do everyday.
It may be worth noting that I first started drinking aloe vera in January when my skin tends to be slightly more sensitive than usual thanks to the cold weather and warmth of central heating, but on the whole, I do feel this juice has had a positive impact on my skin.
Digestion wasn’t particularly a worry for me, in fact it is something I had not thought too much about, but since taking this juice, I personally feel that my digestive system has improved. I won’t got into too much detail but, on the whole, I do not feel as bloated as I did before drinking the juice – and that is with keeping my usual diet.
Of course, every body reacts to products differently, and advice should be sought from an expert. And it goes without saying to always read the label of the product. As I mentioned before, this is a very brief account of how aloe vera juice has helped me, and I will certainly be keeping an eye on any more affects in the future.