Walking down grocery store aisles, you are bound to come across something with aloe in it, from drinks and food to hair care and lotions. It would actually be shocking for you to not find something that is related.
At this point, you have to wonder, is it all hype? Can the plant really do what people say it can do?
Let’s take a deeper look at some of the most popular theories.
It is said to help with acne.
Because aloe vera contains antioxidants and vitamins, it is believed to help protect skin. But does this translate to a reliable acne treatment?
One study published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment suggests this is, indeed, true — at least for the gel.
Researchers created a topical ointment made up of tretinoin and the gel for mild to moderate acne. 60 subjects were studied; some were given the first treatment and others were given a different formula.
The gel formula had positive feedback, being described as “well-tolerated” and “significantly more effective” than the other treatment.
That’s pretty cool, right? But why do researchers think that it worked?
Well, the plant can help naturally support the body’s response to inflammation. This is due to to its polysaccharide content that helps reduce the promotion of prostagandin synthesis and leucocytes.
And remember, acne is a type of inflammation, the tale-telling symptom being red, inflamed skin.
More study is needed for other more aggressive forms of acne, and if the gel can be used on its own as a topical ointment.
It can help promote clear skin and anti-aging.
Okay, this one definitely sounds like a stretch, right? Anti-aging? Yeah, right.
But knowing how the gel can be beneficial for acne, it may be a little easier to understand where theories about where this idea originates.
But does this theory actually hold up?
Specific polysaccharides from this plant’s gel, called mucopolysaccharides, support skin moisture and the appearance of wrinkles. Other phytonutrients, including amino acids, also help encourage skin elasticity, which promotes softness.
So, maybe aloe can’t turn back time, but it can help the skin appear younger. One study published in the American Journal of Infection Control explored this benefit.
The study focused on assembly-line workers (30 women) who had occupation-related, dry and irritated skin. They were subjected to wearing gloves that were outfitted with aloe vera for multiple hours of the day, for 30 days.
So, was the experiment a total bust? Nope!
Researchers found that the subject’s skin had improved, with decreased appearance of fine wrinkling, dermatitis and dry skin.
Aloe vera can help hydrate.
Moving along from the benefits of topical gel, let’s look into oral consumption. Drinking its juice, or water mixed with the juice, is thought to help support hydration.
On this side of the spectrum, research becomes a little more sparse. Much of the benefits of consumption can be attributed to anecdotal evidence, which doesn’t sit right with everyone.
So if that’s not your thing, this benefit may be a “no-go.”
Healthline reports that this consumption can help promote healthy hydration, primarily due to the spiky plant’s naturally water-density. That makes sense, especially as the juice is described as “refreshing.”
The health authority also goes on to say that the juice may be a good way to rehydrate after workouts, specifically because more fluids are needed to help decrease lactic acid afterward.
But like coconut water, more research would be necessary to confirm hands-down, although it wouldn’t hurt to try.
It can help with digestion.
Oral consumption is also said to also help with digestion. This is because the green plant holds specific enzymes that aid in breaking down sugars and fats, which support smooth digestion.
Its water content has also been seen as an asset for digestion. Healthline suggests that increasing water content in the intestines can help stimulate peristalsis, which also supports smooth digestion.
So, if you’re having a little stomach distress, a swig of aloe juice/water could help do the trick. In fact, one double-blind study found that its laxative-like property helped relieve constipation.
Studies have explored how this digestive support affects disorders and diseases, like irritable bowel disease (IBD) and ulcerative colitis, but more study is needed to determine it exact efficacy. So far, it’s a mixed bag: some people have reported improved symptoms; however, others says there’s no effect.
It could help support immunity.
Aloe vera is sometimes is seen as a “superfood” or “miracle” food due to its many properties, especially due to its supposed ability to help support the body’s immune system.
So, where does this theory stem from?
This green and refreshing plant contains special antioxidants called flavonoids, tannins and carotenoids, which may help support the body’s response to oxidative damage. By doing so, this can help the immune system properly function at its best.
The plant’s enyzmes may also help support nutrtion absoprtion, which can help support immune response.
Ready for a Taste?
Sources and More Info:
Apple cider vinegar is taking the health world by storm and for good reason! Out of all the different kinds of vinegars, it is the one that can boost some of the highest amounts of vitamins and minerals. That’s why Pure Planet makes not just one but TWO refreshing, yet nutritious blends.
Vinegar might not be the first thing that comes to mind when hear the word “refreshing,” but Pure Planet has been around long enough to know that when can make something healthy taste delicious it’s a lot easier to drink it every day.
Focusing on two of its most potent properties, the family-owned company created Apple Cider Probiotic and Alkalizer. Both blends contain whole-food ingredients that target specific functions and taste buds.
Conveniently, the two dry-mix beverages have long shelf lives and don’t require refrigeration.
Probiotic ǀ Lemon Flavor
You’re probably already hip to probiotics, but if you aren’t they are beneficial microorganisms that help aid digestion, boost immune function, increase nutrient absorption and keep harmful pathogens from overgrowth. Apple cider vinegar naturally contains probiotic enzymes, because it originates from fermented apples. Fermentation breaks down nutrients and makes them more easily digestible.
Pure Planet boosts those digestion benefits by including a well-researched probiotic strain, bacillus coagulans, plus ginger and turmeric into its blend for extra gut support. Together, the Probiotic formula helps promote digestive health with a pleasant lemon for flavor.
Alkalizer ǀ Cherry Flavor
Here’s a quick lowdown on alkalinity: it’s the acidic measurement for foods, drinks and the body, referred to as the pH level. Ranging from 1 (Acidic) – 10 (Alkaline), a smaller pH number is said to be more prone to illness and disease with neutral in-between. Nutritionists believe a healthy body should be a bit more Alkaline (7sih).
While eating greens daily helps keep the balance, another pH-scale booster is apple cider vinegar.
Drinking Pure Planet’s Alkalizer can be another way to offset acidity and provide the body with pH balance. This mix is blended with powerhouse superfoods beets and cherries to support healthy blood circulation and immune function. Plus, it tastes like cherry fruit punch without the sugar and excessive calories.
Pure and True Since ‘92
Pure Planet’s Apple Cider Vinegar is non-GMO, USDA certified Organic and sustainably-farmed. Learn more about the products and the local Long Beach California company at pureplanet.com.
We are OBSESSED with sea vegetables like algae because they are so underrated. The blue-green variety (also known as spirulina) is one our faves, because it’s basically one of Mother Nature’s least-talked about multi-vitamins. It baffles us that these marine plants don’t get as much love as they deserve.
They are available in different varieties, mostly defined by color – including yellow, brown, green, blue-green, yellow green and one of our all-time favorites, red.
Funnily enough, this color strain is probably the most under-appreciated and least known of all… but not for long. We think it will be on the up and up very soon. Now’s your chance to get ahead of the curve.
Why? Well, because it can make a great addition to any wellness regimen, for those who are serious about their health and even for casual vitamin-users.
Here are 4 reasons why you should be interested in this marine plant.
It boasts amazing antioxidant benefits.
Like other algae strains, this plant contains antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help the body manage free radical damage to cells. This simple act helps encourage overall body health.
Microalgae represent an almost untapped resource of natural antioxidants, due to their enormous biodiversity, much more diverse than higher plants. However, not all groups of microalgae can be used as natural sources of antioxidants, due to their widely varied contents of target products, growth rate or yields, ease of cultivation, and/or other factors.
Shalaby, Emad A. “Algae as Promising Organisms for Environment and Health.” Plant Signaling & Behavior 6.9 (2011): 1338–1350. PMC.
These antioxidants can also help support eye and skin health with minerals such as:
It can help support the body’s response to inflammation.
Algae naturally contains not only anti-inflammatory antioxidants, but also minerals and phytonutrients. A study published in Marine Drugs explored this effect in depth.
The researchers explain that specifically high chlorophyll and omemga-3 fatty acid content support the body’s natural process of relieving pain and inflammation. This works by helping the body manage oxidative stress.
Managing this stress also helps prevent chronic disease!
Red marine algae contains a special kind of polysaccharide.
Trust us, it’s really special. All algae are rich in polysaccharides, but only the red strain contains carrageenan. This phytochemical helps support the immune system against viruses and infections.
Gigartina, a red algae species, has actually been associated with possibly treating candida and other infections. One study published in Mycopathologia suggests that extracts may be able to effectively inhibit fungal growth.
The same theory has been applied to the treatment of human papillomavirus (HPV). More study is needed to help help warrant these claims though.
Some of you may have heard of carrageenan before in a different light. We like to keep things pure + true, so here’s a little background:
This chemical is sometimes extracted from red algae and injected into store-bought milk products. This is because it can act as a thickening agent, adding much-needed consistency to these types of products.
Carrageenan is good right? So, what’s the issue?
Well, it may be good coming from a whole food seaweed source, but simply using the extract as an additive is problematic.
Alone, it holds no nutritional value – it isn’t even digestible. Due to this, the additive may damage your gut. Some nutritionists suggest steering clear of it.
But you don’t have to worry about it in seaweed, because it is naturally occurring. No studies have linked the whole food source with the same issues.
You can easily add it to your diet.
Okay, back to some light-hearted goodness. What’s the fourth reason for you two give red algae a try? What about it’s ease of use?
Lots of people get a little cautious about how they are going to consume seaweed. So let’s just answer the question you might be thinking of:
No, you do not eat it directly out the ocean! Those sources are potentially dangerous, carrying with them bacteria and disease. Don’t touch them.
Lucky for you, seaweed is growing in popularity. They are available in snack chip form and can even be integrated into salad garnishes.
See It in Action
Red algae is a little harder to find. But don’t worry, we have you covered. Want to give it a try? Check out our Red Marine Algae Plus (with spirulina), which can help support the immune system.
More Sources and Info
Unless you’re a total health-freak, you probably had no idea the amla berry existed.
But that doesn’t mean you haven’t encountered it somehow in your life. You may be more familiar with its more common name, Indian gooseberry.
Native to Southeast Asia, this Indian treasure is heralded for its nutritional value in Ayurvedic medicine and considered a rare superfood.
The oil from this plant is sometimes used in hair products, for its ability to nourish and improve hair health. The fruit itself can also promote healthy living.
While the berry looks like a large grape with its rounded, green exterior and slightly sour taste, it’s most definitely not! One of the main differences is its antioxidant properties.
So, just what can that help with?
Amla Berry Provides the Body with Helpful, Plant-Based Antioxidants
The berry contains antioxidants that can help protect and nourish the body by aiding with various body processes.
Fighting Oxidative Stress & Inflammation
Generally, antioxidants can help fight free radicals that may appear in the body. While the production of these radicals is actually normal (and necessary in some instances), excess amounts can be detrimental. This is because they can contribute to harmful diseases.
How exactly does this happen?
In essence, these radicals cause damage by causing your body to react to them, sometimes leading to a chain reaction of sorts. This damages cells in the process.
So, where does this Indian gooseberry come in?
Consumption (among other health foods, like greens) can help promote your body’s ability to protects its cells from their damage. That is because it contains flavinoid antioxidants, like quercetin. Reduction and neutralization of free radicals can also support the body’s response to inflammation.
That is in addition to the fruit’s natural ability to fight inflammation.
In one study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, gooseberry was associated with decreased levels of cytokines, an inflammatory biomarker. Though, it’s worth mentioning that this study was based on test tube analysis.
Supporting Sustained Blood Sugar Levels + Diabetes Support
This fruit’s anitoxidant power is amplified in conjunction with fiber. Together, they can help support healthy blood sugar levels by slowing sugar absorption.
But that’s only just a fraction of how it might be able to help diabetes patients.
One study published in Food & Function reports that the could help prevent consequences of uncontrolled levels, like kidney damage.
Naturopaths have also linked this berry to hyperglycemia and diabetic nephropathy prevention, and protein maintenance.
Supplying a Good Source of Vitamin C
Vitamin C provides antioxidant support, especially with its ability to help strengthen the immune system. Luckily, the the gooseberry contains high amounts of Vitamin C.
In fact, Live Strong reports that it amounts to 20 times the levels found in orange juice.
Plus, gooseberry’s natural properties make it like no other source of Vitamin C out there.
Sorry to sounds like a cars salesman, but these properties are pretty cool.
You see, this berry contains natural substances that help protect its vitamin-content, even when it’s being heated or dried. And gooseberry’s particular Vitamin C source is suggested to be better absorbed by the body when compared to synthetic sources because of its flavinoid-content.
Supports Skin and Hair with Vitamin E
Another vitamin antioxidant that amla helps provide is Vitamin E. This comes especially in handy for hair and skin health. While most evidence of this is anecdotal, some studies do show support.
For example, one field review reports that Vitamin E could help fight oxidation stress, therefore protecting skin. In particular, the vitamin is said to encourage healthy nails.
And as for hair?
Well, lots of shampoo and conditioner companies actually integrate Vitamin E into their formula. Well, that and a bunch of non-essential and potentially harmful chemicals like parabens.
Alma berry provides the vitamin, naturally.
A Tropical Life Sciences Research study found that the vitamin and antioxidant may help support hair growth for some people with alopecia.
Pure Planet’s Amla Plus
We recognize the antioxidant benefits of amla and that’s why we decided to strengthen our own dried powder blends with spirluina. Spirulina has been known to help fight against free radicals in the body and protein synthesis. We think they’re the perfect pair to help maximize absorption and support a high protein diet.
Our Organic Alma Plus may help boost immune function, while also protecting the body with oxidative stress.
As reports of parasite contamination extend to more and more of our favorite stores and fast-food franchises, you may be a little worried. These nasty buggers are something you only hear about in far, foreign places or in disturbing, yet highly entertaining National Geographic specials.
They’re scary, but nothing that we ever have to worry about, right?
In reality, they can be a lot closer than you think. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that infections don’t only lurk in marginalized and low-income countries — they also exist in the US.
So, what can you do? Well, you always want to consult with your doctor if you feel you might have encountered a pesky, unwanted visitor in your body.
But how do you know if you’re at risk?
Signs of Parasite Infection
There are a variety of these bitty critters, and with them, a variety of symptoms as well. Be careful! This list is enough to make every hypochondriac gasp in terror. But remember, just because you exhibit one of these symptoms, it doesn’t necessary mean you have a parasitic infection.
Here are just a few main signs.
Signs of infection might be visible on the skin. More obvious potential signs include:
- blisters inside of the mouth
Signs may not be as conspicuous sometimes, showing through irritation and itching in areas like the nose, eyes or more intimate places.
Sometimes infections might cause irregular digestive and/or gut activity. That will vary person to person. Generally, this might include:
- abdominal pain
- unusual gas and bloating
Some nutritionists and experts also believe parasitic infection can result in mood change. Does this mean you will turn into a parasite-controlled, zombie-human?!
Well…no. You have a great imagination, though!
More commonly, it is believed that other associated symptoms can lead to anxiety, fatigue or more general mood changes.
One example of this can be seen with toxoplasma gondii. Scientific American reports that the microscopic T. gondii was associated with its hosts being more extroverted and reckless in one study.
This study tested men and who were infected and those who weren’t, with a personality questionnaire. Results showed that the infected felt more social; however, they felt less conscientious. Researchers theorize that the parasite could potentially increase hormone levels, changing dopamine concentration.
But, don’t fret. These studies are far and few between, and even then, they are not the most conclusive. It’s still an interesting idea and we hope more research is published one day.
Fever or Flu-like Symptoms
Healthline reports that fever or flu-like symptoms may signal an infection. This may include:
- swollen lymph nodes
- muscle aches
- hot flashes
Remember, don’t freak out if you’re experiencing these symptoms. They do not always signal parasitic infection.
So, you know the symptoms and you’re more prepared.
But are you prepared to move to a foil-covered home in the isolated frozen tundra? Because you’re about to be.
Just kidding! But we are going to talk about potential risk factors now. So, pay attention.
How exactly can someone contract a parasite? Common risks include:
- undercooked foods (sushi!)
- unclean water supply
- traveling, especially in tropical regions
- working or coming into contact with feces on multiple ocassions
Our friendly pet companions can also carry parasites, picked up from infected rodents and birds outside. This has been observed more in cats than other pets.
No, you don’t need to kick out Mittens. Just make sure his immunizations are current at his yearly check-ups and always wear gloves when cleaning his litter box!
But there is one thing you should be wary about.
Having a weak or compromised immune system puts you at an elevated risk of contraction. So, make sure you’re getting your check-ups, too!
How To Rid Parasites
Okay, so let’s say that you’re interested in getting rid of potential critters overstaying their welcome in your body. What exactly can you do?
Some nutritionists recommend going on a parasite cleanse based on a few plant-based supplements. In a US News & World Report article, one naturopath explains that popular cleanse ingredients include black walnut hull, wormwood and other extracts.
This is a little controversial, because currently, research is lacking.
That’s normal — conventional medicine does not always line up with more traditional, plant-based ways. But we hope that changes one day soon.
Until then, here are just a few ingredients and their purported benefits.
Black Walnut Hull
Black walnut hull is said to be one of the best ingredients to help cleanse out unwanted bugs in the body. Part of the reasoning for this stems from the wild. Some invasive bugs can’t multiply on the black walnut tree bark, as the wood is resistant. There are tons of anecdotal evidence for its effectiveness in ridding parasites from the body, but not as many in scientific study.
Wormwood is associated with treatment for a variety of digestive ailments. When combined with black walnut and cloves, this mixture is said to be one of the best ways to cleanse out those little pests.
Psyllium is also another popular ingredient in treatments for digestive and gut issues. It is said to help encourage release, with its helpful fibers. It is often paired with other plants to help facilitate cleansing.
Pure Planet’s Parasite Cleanse
Pure Planet’s own Organic Parasite Cleanse contains black walnut hull, wormwood, psyllium husk and other plant-based support. With an organic blend of foods and fibers, Parasite Cleanse helps gently encourage peristaltic action and support parasite elimination. Plus, it has a sweet pineapple taste!
NOTE: ALWAYS remember to consult with your health professional regarding your concerns about these bugs. Its better to be safer than sorry.
Craving More Pure Planet?
Looking for more products to help you live healthily? Check out more at PurePlanet.com.