Aloe Vera, also known as Aloe Barbadensis, and aloe vera gels have become all the rage over the past few years. But, did you know that keeping this decorative interior plant in your home is equally beneficial, too?
As a matter of fact, Aloe Vera has been long used for medicinal purposes and had a special place in Greek, Egyptian, and Roman culture. It was also widely used in Latin America, Caribbean, and South Africa.
According to University of Maryland Medical Center, Aloe was widely prescribed in the U.S during the 18th and the 19th century. Even today, Aloe is still one of the most popular and most commonly used plants in the country.
Aloe Vera is a plant that is known for its wide uses for amazing healing properties. It is been used for centuries. The Egyptians were calling it the plant of immortality. Aloe Vera has over 200 biologically active and natural compounds. Like including vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, polysaccharides and minerals that are stimulating nutrient absorption.
Here are some of the Aloe Vera compounds:
Vitamins and Minerals
Aloe Vera contains vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, B6, folic acid and choline. Additionally,
Aloe Vera contains vitamin B12, a vitamin that vegans can’t consume in high quantities due to their diet. When it comes to minerals, Aloe Vera contains calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, potassium, sodium and copper. When combined, this mineral can boost metabolic pathways.
Aloe Vera contains important enzymes such as amylase and lipase. They help digestion by breaking down fat and sugar molecules.
The salicylic acid in Aloe Vera helps fight inflammation. Moreover, Aloe Vera is rich in over 20 essential amino acids that are required by the human body in order to function properly.
Aloe Vera can be used topically or you can consume it. If you choose to ingest it, you can control the concentration of Aloe in your juice mixtures and smoothies.
Benefits of aloe vera
- Consuming Aloe Vera is a popular remedy for fever, asthma, ulcerative colitis, and osteoarthritis.
- Due to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, aloe treats cuts, burns, infections, wounds, and sunburns, when applied topically. As a matter of fact, it has been scientifically shown that it is far superior to medications in terms of healing burns and reducing pain.
- It contains two immunity-boosting compounds: lycoproteins and polysaccharides. The first reduces inflammation and inhibits pain while the latter moisturizes the skin and promotes repair of its tissues.
- It also treats IBS, lowers blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, lowers high cholesterol, and treats canker sores, psoriasis, constipation, dental issues, upper respiratory tract infection, and even cancer.
- Promotes detoxification
- Creates alkaline environment in the body/ alkalizes the body
- Improves digestion
- Boosts immunity
- It possesses disinfectant, antibiotic, antimicrobial, germicidal, antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-fungal & anti-viral properties
- It acts as adaptogen
- Supports weight loss
- Lowers the risk of heart disease
- It has robust nutritional profile
- Prevents digestive disorders such as bloating, constipation, IBS and colitis, and soothes the stomach
- Encourages the production of white blood cells
- Diminishes the risk for arthritis inflammation
- Treats acne and eczema
- Hydrates the skin
- Reduces rashes, boils, and other skin irregularities
- Helps burns heal
- Fills in wrinkles
- Heals wounds
- Boosts the immunity
- Regulates the blood sugar
- Strengthens the urinary tract performance
- Helps with reducing heartburn and indigestion
- Improves the heart’s work and the blood’s quality
- Keeps the gums healthy
ALOE VERA GEL (PREPARATION AND USE)
You will need:
- An aloe plant
- Fresh lemon juice
- A clean cutting board
- A sharp filleting knife
- A clean plate
- A clean cotton towel
- A sterile glass jar
- A food processor (optional)
Wash your hands. Start by washing your hands and cleaning the work surface. It is important to eliminate any unwanted bacteria.
Choose leaves that are mature, thick, fleshy and a deep green in color. Leaves should be at least 4-6 inches long. The oldest and largest outermost leaves near the bottom of the plant are ideal; they contain a thick, nutrient-rich gel layer.
Cut the leaves. Use a sharp knife to create a clean cut, without harming the plant of course. Cut close to the base of the leaf and slice away from the center of the plant.
Rinse the outer skin of the leaves and knife. Now place the cut leaves in a bowl at a 45-degree angle for 15 minutes or so. This step enables the dark yellow, very bitter Aloe juice or latex to drain out, which is found in the cells located just under the surface of the leaf. The latex is a very powerful laxative, which can irritate the intestines. The laxative effect could cause potassium levels to become low.
Remove the serrated edges and skin carefully. Place the concave side down on a cutting board. Next, slice around the perimeter. This will leave you with the top and bottom layer of skin, exposing the Aloe gel in between. Run the knife just under the top layer and peel it away. You can do the same on the opposite side.
Remove the gel from each leaf and place it in a clean jar. You can squeeze some lemon juice over it and shake the jar to coat equally.
Pour the gel into a food processor and make a smooth gel. Keep the gel in a sealed jar in the fridge. It can stay up to a week.
- For topical use, clean the leaf and rub the gel directly onto the affected area.
- For oral use, take 30 ml three times a day.
If you want to use it topically, clean and cut the leaf lengthwise and rub the gel on the wound few times a day until it is completely healed.
For medicinal use, take 30 ml of the gel, 3 times a day.