The Aloe Vera plant, also referred to as “Aloe” is known as the burn plant or the first aid plant and has been talked and written about for over 3000 years. These days, it is a basic component in many products from skin care, sun care and hair care products to drinks and juices.
Aloe originated from tropical Africa and is also native to Mediterranean coastal areas but now grows in various countries throughout the world.
There are many species of the Aloe plant, but the Aloe Barbadensis Miller (Aloe Vera) is the one most commonly used and is said to have the greatest medicinal value and nutritional properties. Some of its properties include, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and wound-healing effects.
The Aloe Vera plant takes about four years to fully mature. This all depends on the seasons and the climate. By this time the plant will have most of its medicinal and nutritional properties.
There are basically three layers in the leaf of an Aloe Vera plant. The protective outer layer (epidermis), the inner layer that contains a bitter liquid and then the high quality Aloe gel. The gel is where the medicinal and nutritional properties are located. The gel has a high moisture content and an array of nutrients and other properties.
It’s interesting to know that the Aloe Vera plant has an amazing ability to heal itself. This may explain some of its skin soothing abilities. If you slash a leaf with a sharp knife, this dense gel oozes out. A few minutes later, the wound films over, and in the next few minutes a rubberlike, protective coating effectively seals off the wound. Eventually, the slash heals completely.
Aloe Vera Uses
The gel from the plant is believed to stimulate the skin and assist in new cell growth. You’ll be amazed at how fast Aloe Vera can relieve sunburn, rashes and many other skin irritations. Some say that Aloe heals anything it touches. A lot of people have aloe potted in their garden or kitchens, somewhere near by so that the leaves are readily available. Freshly cut Aloe leaves are the ultimate home grown first aid where the gel is applied to sunburns, burns, cuts, abrasions, rashes, skin irritations, skin allergies, acne, insect bites (relieve itching), etc.
Aloe Vera juice is known for its cleansing. Drinking the juice on a daily basis can be beneficial to your health in many ways. Some of its internal uses are,
- Helps to detoxify the body by cleansing the liver and the intestinal tract.
- Helps to aid digestion.
- Can help to promote healthy kidney function.
- It can help with weight loss because of its cleansing properties. By helping to remove the build up of toxins in the intestinal tract, this can help the metabolism function more efficiently and also make the food absorption process more efficient.
We have been using Aloe Vera based products for over 20 years. Some of the products that we use on a daily basis that contain Aloe are skin care and hair care products, soothing gel and Aloe drink.
One of my favorite products is called Herbal Aloe Soothing Gel. To me, it’s like having a first aid kit in a bottle. It comprises of Whole Leaf Aloe and herbs like Chamomile and Calendula extracts. It’s like a moisturizing gel that helps to soothe the skin. We have used it for sunburn, burns, minor cuts, abrasions, rashes (shaving rash or razor burns), as a moisturizer, with tooth paste, hair gel, insect bites, acne, as a therapeutic massage gel, skin allergies (eczema), mouth ulcers and bruises. We simply apply the gel and spread it over the entire affected area without rubbing it in and in minutes it gets absorbed into the skin.
My favorite application would be as a hand moisturizer, especially, when your hands feel a bit like sand paper after doing some form of manual work like gardening. I just apply the Herbal Aloe Soothing Gel all over my hands without rubbing it in. It might feel wet at first, but after a few minutes it’s totally absorbed into the skin. After that my hands literally feel smooth again.
We also drink Aloe Vera juice in the morning on an empty stomach or after a meal for cleansing, to help aid digestion and for better nutrient absorption. We use a product called Herbal Aloe Drink or Herbal Aloe Concentrate which is diluted with water. It tastes like lemon water.
Vitamins A, B, C and E. Amino acids (including many of the 9 essential amino acids), calcium, enzymes, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
“The Miracle of Aloe Vera”, by Richard D. Marconi, Ph.D. Copyright 1984.