How to Use Aloe Vera for Psoriasis

Aloe vera needs no introduction. In fact, it probably hasn’t needed an introduction since the 1st century when it first made its debut on De Materia Medica. And twenty centuries later, it’s still the first thing you look for when your skin has been left out in the sun too long.

But this goopy gel is not just a slimy remedy for sunburn – it’s a slimy remedy for psoriasis as well.

How, you ask? What exactly is it about aloe vera that makes it so helpful for psoriasis? Well, it all comes down to what this slippy goo is made of.

A Quick Peek Inside Aloe Vera

Inside every plump aloe vera leaf, there’s a thick, opaque gel that’s home to whole lotta goodness. What kind of goodness? Oh, over 75 bioactive components including…

  • Vitamins: Aloe vera is full of skin-friendly vitamins, like Vitamins A (beta-carotene), C and E, all of which are antioxidants. It also contains vitamin B12, folic acid, and choline.
  • Minerals: Calcium, chromium, copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc – pretty impressive lineup, eh?
  • Enzymes: Aloe vera gel contains 8 active enzymes: aliiase, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, bradykinase, carboxypeptidase, catalase, cellulase, lipase, and peroxidase. Bradykinase helps to reduce excessive inflammation when applied to the skin topically, while others help in the breakdown of sugars and fats. Hello, better digestion 🙂
  • Sugars: Sugars don’t sound like very good news but these mucopolysaccharides are very good news. Both glucomannan and gibberellin work to increase collagen synthesis (works both topically and orally!) while others like C-glucosyl chromone works to control inflammation.
  • Anthraquinones: These hard-to-pronunce babies are simply the compounds that give aloe vera its laxative properties. Some of them go the extra mile, though, and also have analgesic, antibacterial and antiviral properties.
  • Hormones: Strange to think plants have hormones, but these don’t make aloe vera horny or cranky – instead, they come with benefits like wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Fatty Acids: All the 4 fatty acids found in aloe vera gel have antiseptic and analgesic properties that you can thank for the pain relief you feel when you slather on this goopy gel.

You have to admit that’s quite a resume – but we haven’t told you everything yet. Aloe vera also contains salicylic acid, which has both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties as well as a little polymer called lignin which actually helps enhance the penetrative effect of aloe vera’s other beneficial ingredients into your skin.

Strangely, around 3% of aloe vera gel is made up of saponins (yes, the soapy stuff with cleansing and antiseptic properties). And for more nutritional good news – did you know aloe vera gel provides 20 of the 22 human required amino acids and 7 of the 8 essential amino acids?

Ready to get drinking this gooey stuff? Read on to find out how to use aloe vera for psoriasis!

What’s the Best Aloe Vera Dosage for Psoriasis?

Good question, especially since aloe vera should be treated as a plant medicine rather than food. As such, it’s really not recommended that you consume it on a daily basis. Remember that the difference between medicine and poison is often dosage so don’t overdo the aloe! It’s a very potent plant so use sparingly while observing your body’s reaction to it.

We recommend you start off small by adding a 1-inch long piece of fresh aloe or around 1 to 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel to your smoothies or juices. Ingesting too much aloe vera can actually irritate your gut so again, don’t overdo it!

Also, aloe vera gel is not something you want to drink daily forever – regular, long-term use can actually be more detrimental than helpful so stick to taking aloe vera for no longer than a week at a time when your body really needs it, i.e. you’re having a psoriasis flare-up. Aloe vera is medicinal and you don’t take medicine unless you need it, right?

After your week of aloe vera “treatment” is up, wait at least a month’s time before going back on another week of aloe vera consumption.

Which Aloe Vera is Best for Psoriasis?

The best aloe vera gel you’ll ever put in or on your body is the raw, fresh stuff you grow and harvest yourself (and there’s not much to “harvest” – you simply cut off a ripe leaf and slice it open). All store-bought aloe vera gel without exception contains preservatives (makes sense since fresh aloe vera gel would go bad very fast without preservatives) so fresh is best, especially if you’re ingesting this stuff.

That being said, if you don’t have access to fresh aloe, the next best alternative is Lily of the Desert’s Organic Whole Leaf Aloe Vera Juice. It says “no preservatives” (which isn’t possible), but actually contains citric acid, a naturally occurring and common preservative. Despite this one preservative, it’s the purest out of all the aloe vera gel/juice products commercially available – most of them are laden with preservatives, stabilizers and thickeners.

Because of this, Lily of the Desert’s Aloe Vera Juice has a pretty short shelf life so buy smaller bottles that you can finish within a week.

Sources:
Aloe Vera: A Short Review

Leave a Comment: