Did you know that your skin is the largest organ in your body?
Yet you’ve got a second skin that needs your tender loving care too. And that second skin is the tube that runs from your mouth to your anus—it’s your inside skin, your digestive system!
You’re likely familiar with the idea of putting aloe on your outer skin to soothe either a sunburn or an inopportune encounter with some fire—from the stovetop, the fireplace, or your campground dinner.
But can aloe actually provide some benefits for that internal skin as well?
You bet it can!
It was over 3,500 years ago that the health benefits of aloe were first documented. But the research didn’t stop there.
There’s a body of contemporary research that contributes to the reasons why I’m a fan of the healing benefits of aloe vera juice. I include it in many of my cleanses and I also like to incorporate aloe vera juice into particular clients’ daily protocols and smoothies to help address specific digestive disturbances from heartburn to ulcers to intestinal or bowel inflammation to diarrhea.
In my retreat, A Truly Food Autumn Cleanse, we delve into the health of the colon (and that means we get to really talk about the quality, quantity, and consistency of our poop), and I invite you to take a look at what you leave behind in the porcelain bowl. Classical doctor’s did not put that information to waste. Instead they used it to determine a patient’s health status. And you can too.
And this is where the use of aloe vera juice may come into play for you. By taking a peak, you may realize that you could indeed use a little soothing support.
Aloe and Digestion
To get you started, let’s take a quick look at the top digestive benefits of consuming aloe and just how you’d go about doing so.
I want to be clear here that when I’m talking about consuming aloe internally, I’m referring to the juice, not the gel. I prefer the Lily of the Dessert brand—either the whole leaf or inner fillet. You can find it organic and in glass bottles at most health food stores.
Just as I noted above, aloe vera juice soothes the lining of the intestines just as it soothes burns and wounds on your skin. By doing so, aloe can have the following positive benefits on your digestive processes:
• Balance acid and alkaline levels in the stomach, helping to ease gastric irritation
• Promote proliferation of good bacteria in the gut
• Improve bowel regularity without causing diarrhea
• Slow transit time to allow for optimal protein digestion and nutrient absorption
• Help to ameliorate yeast in the alimentary canal (that’s your digestive system)
• Quell internal systemic inflammation due to specific anti-inflammatory enzymes included right in your aloe juice
If you’re going it alone, I recommend starting slowly, with just 1 ounce in your morning water or smoothie.
If you’re working with a nutritionist or integrative health care practitioner, move toward finding the right dose for you.
So take a good peak behind you before you flush this week, and do allow the aloe to help heal the flow, from one end to the other.
With a career born of a personal family health crisis, functional nutritionist Andrea Nakayama takes the idea of food as personalized medicine beyond a clinical practice. Her online programs at ReplenishPDX.com and HolisticNutritionLab.com guide her clients in taking ownership over their health. Info@replenishpdx.com.