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Ingredient Truths: Healing Power of Aloe

by kelly / October, 31 2016 18:04

photo of an aloe vera plant

I have a distinct memory from childhood of getting a bad sunburn and my dad rushing out to get an aloe plant. The burn hurt but I remember feeling much better when he broke open the plant and applied this gel like substance to my skin. Since then I’ve always been fond of this super plant which is part of why it’s a key ingredient in our products. Here’s the full scoop on this wonderful plant…

About Aloe

Aloe is a flowering succulent plant and it turns out there are actually over 500 species of it. The most widely known species happens to be aloe vera – the one most of us are familiar with.

Its scientific name or INCI name (here’s a refresher course on INCI names) is aloe barbadensis. This is the name that is used on all product labels – like ours - as required by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

Interestingly, the whole aloe leaf can be used or just the gel extracted from inside the leaf.

Fit for a Queen

Aloe was discovered by the ancient Egyptians and used by their famous queens including Cleopatra. There is even record of aloe use engraved on Egyptian tablets from 2,100 B.C. Fortunately for the rest of us, by the 17th century aloe had become a common medicinal plant across the world.

Chock Full of Vitamins & Minerals

A plant used by queens must be good, right? Yup, it is. Aloe is packed with vitamins and minerals.

Its powerful vitamins consist of antioxidants vitamins A, C and E, plus B12, folic acid, thiamine and riboflavin. That’s a lot of stuff!

A variety of minerals including iron, chromium, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, sodium, potassium and calcium are also found in aloe.

Aloe’s Benefits

It’s really a great plant. The amazing amount of vitamins and minerals in it allow it to reduce inflammation and fight free radical damage.

On the anti-inflammatory side it can cool down sunburns, soothe skin rashes and reduce skin irritations due to dryness, acne, eczema and rosacea.

As for anti-aging benefits, its antioxidant vitamins C and E are the stars. Vitamin C can protect the skin from wrinkling while vitamin E can reduce free radical damage and naturally slow the aging of cells.

If you want to get technical I think this quote from Truth in Aging about research done in Japan and the Netherlands says a lot:

“Researchers at Tokyo Women's Medical College in Japan have shown that certain lectins (a type of protein) in aloe gel may stimulate the immune system to increase production of killer cells, or naturally occurring lymphocytes that kill bacteria and tumor cells. Studies in Japan and the Netherlands suggest that constituents in aloe gel can enhance the workings of the immune system by containing the killer cells' lethal chemicals, preventing them from damaging healthy, functional cells.”

Block Island Organics & Aloe

So what about us? With all of aloe’s benefits, it should be no surprise that it’s a featured ingredient in our Natural Face Moisturizer SPF 30, Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 and Organic Revitalizing Night Cream. It’s a plant we think a lot of and like to include in our products.

Block Island Organics Ingredients

Of course we use more than just aloe in our products. We have a whole list and series on them for you too. Just check out our Our Ingredients page and our Ingredient Truths blog series.

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