The Aloe Vera plant is known by many different names, by the multitude of cultures that have used it for their own benefit throughout the ages. This “lily of the desert“, is a succulent member of the lily family, that can be traced to the warm dry climates of Northern Africa. The 4000 year old writing of Ancient Sumerians, mention this “wonder plant” citing its numerous qualities and uses. The Ancient Egyptians also mention this “medicine plant“, and its use was also mentioned in the medical canons of the Greeks and the Romans. Caricatures of the aloe plant were drawn on the walls of tombs, and thought to signify immortality and Medieval Monks used it as balm for wounds and bruises.
The Aloe Vera plant has been used to treat an extensive list of medical ailments, as well as numerous cosmetic and beautifying purposes. The inner gel soothes flesh wounds such as burns, cuts, scrapes and stings. It is also used to assist headaches, gum sores, hemorrhoids, skin disorders, acne, dandruff and even baldness.
Ingesting aloe aids indigestion, constipation, dysentery and kidney disorders. The plant has spread throughout the world, and has been used by cultures on every continent with the exception of Antarctica, and is regarded as a valuable, medicinal plant.
Mounting Support From Western Medicine
Researchers, clinicians and medical investigators have been finding an increasing number of valuable uses for the Aloe Vera plant. It has been studied for its effectiveness on:
* Bacterial infections such as staph, strep, conjunctivitis and yeast infection.
* Viral infections such as Herpes simplex and shingles.
* Fungal infections
* Inflammations caused by arthritis, allergies, surgery, infections, burns, ulcerations, insect bites, and more.
* Liver spots
Among aloe’s many scientifically documented healing properties, is its ability to penetrate target areas, and stimulate cell regeneration. Aloe is a known healer, restorer and protector. It reveals to the world, that it’s healing powers are both natural and completely safe to use, without any side effects. Aloe Vera is now very commonly used in the treatment of radiation burns, even amongst the most conservative of Western medical institutions.
Cosmetic and Beauty Uses
* Aloe promotes removal of dead skin, and stimulates growth in living cells.
* Aloe rapidly penetrates into the skin, delivering vital nutrients.
* Aloe fights off wrinkles and aging skin, by helping the skin produce more human fibroblasts (at a rate of 6-8 times faster). When used regularly, aloe can easily take 5-10 years off how you look!
* Aloe penetrates into skin at a rate of 4 times faster than water.
* Aloe is a skin-tightening astringent, complexion rejuvenator and hair strengthener.
* Aloe’s benefits in deodorants neutralizes odor-causing bacteria, reduces perspiration and keeps the skin dry.
Hot vs. Cold Processing
What scientific research has discovered recently, is that the plants outer leaf and rind actually contain 200% more of the active therapeutic ingredients, than the inner gel itself! The vast majority (95%) of aloe products on the market today, only utilize the inner gel, throwing away the nutrient valuable leaf and rind. To make things worse, many companies use a high heat process to stabilize the gel, degrading much of the valuable enzymes, polysaccharides and mucopolysaccarides. These high heat pasteurization autoclave methods end up breaking down many of the most valuable healing components with the gel, and killing off the live enzymes that are necessary for digestion. Only a few aloe products utilize the whole leaf and use cold processing to preserve the vital nutrients. A whole leaf – cold processed aloe product is what you want to look for.
The Mis-Truths In Labeling
The FDA doesn’t control any of the labeling practices, and many of the aloe products out there (especially if you find it in a discount store, dollar store, most grocery stores) can get away with making some very diluted claims. For instance, a company can have a product that contains only 10% Aloe and 90% water, and still be able to label it as 100% aloe! These lack of regulations and guidelines, allows these unscrupulous aloe products (that are devoid of any real nutrients and healing value) to be sold on the market.
More Health Benefits Of Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera & Cancer
Scientific research has shown that the polysaccharides within aloe have strong immune boosting and cancerous tumor fighting capabilities.
Aloe Vera & Colon Polyps
Ingesting aloe soothes the intestinal tract, and helps heal pre-cancerous growths. A raw juice diet of fruits and vegetables, along with aloe gel, is considered to be a miracle cure for early-stage colon cancer.
Aloe Vera & Arthritis
Aloe is well documented to ease the pain and inflammation in arthritis sufferers. For arthritis sufferers, it is best to use aloe both externally as well as internally.
Aloe Vera & Diabetes
Since aloe contains at least 2 anti-diabetic active compounds, it helps to stabilize fasting blood glucose levels.
Aloe Vera & Heart Disease – Strokes
Using Aloe Vera daily as a supplement, helps re-balance one’s blood chemistry, and lowers levels of cholesterol, total triglyceride counts and blood pressure. Aloe’s ability to keep blood from clumping, and keep it flowing as it should, also helps prevent strokes.
Aloe Vera & Antioxidants
Taking aloe actually makes antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, work better. Research indicates that aloe increases the effectiveness of these free radical fighting vitamins, because of aloe’s blood enhancing abilities.
Aloe Vera & Digestive Disorders
The polysaccarides and live enzymes in aloe, help with a large amount of various digestive disorders, including Crohn’s disease, IBS, ulcers, diarrhea, diverticulitis, heartburn, acid reflux and more.
Aloe Vera & Hemorrhoids
Apply aloe frequently to the area, as well as take 1 tsp of aloe immediately after meals.
The virtues of the Aloe Vera plant are both timeless and priceless. Try keeping some Aloe plants in your home, for quick and easy access to the “real thing”. And when purchasing aloe products, make sure to look for “whole-leaf, cold-processing”, to ensure that you are getting a quality product.
Bon Veggie Appetit!
Gina ‘The Veggie Goddess’ Matthews