Rebecca loves sharing what she knows about alternative medicine, health, frugal living, fun, animals, and how to live a better life!
What is aloe vera?
Aloe vera is another of natures miracles. It has been kindly described as a "wonder plant", "miracle plant" and even "burn plant". The gel within the plant is responsible for curing many human ailments and maladies.
Aloe vera produces at least six natural known antiseptics, those of which kill fungi, viruses, mold, and various bacteria. Aloe Vera contains over 200 active components, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, polysaccharide, and fatty acids. The bulk of the Aloe Vera leaf is filled with a clear gel, which is approximately 99% water! This plant is so amazing that researchers continue to investigate and research its potential to become a natural fighter against cancer and even AIDS. Aloe vera is a succulent plant and part of the lily family (Liliaceae), the same family that garlic and onions come from. There are estimated to be about 400 species of Aloe, but it is the Aloe Barbadensis Miller ("true aloe") plant which has been used most by mankind throughout history for its wonderful medicinal properties. Garlic is another naturally provided miracle cure for many ailments. Our mother earth truly holds all we need to assist our bodies with maintaining health and vitality.
Aloe vera has a long history. It was said that Cleopatra used it as a moisturizer to fight aging, age spots, improve skin elasticity and provide much-needed moisture for dry damaged skin. The earliest recording of its use was found on a Sumerian tablet dated all the way back to 2100 BC, which is pretty impressive! Many different cultures have used it, including Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Indians and the Chinese. In the Philippines it is used with milk for kidney infections!
Where is it used today?
Aloe vera is mainly used today in the following ways and items;
- food - mostly as a flavoring
- Herbal remedies
Growing and storage
Using fresh grown Aloe is always best, as it doesn't always store or preserve well, but you can buy it preserved. You can find established Aloe vera plants at most local nurseries or garden supply centers.
Keep your Aloe plants indoors near a nice sunny window (which is why you probably recall your mother always had an Aloe plant in the kitchen window), they don't tolerate frost and cold well, as they are a succulent plant. Watering your plant should be kept to a minimum during winter months, however, during the summer they will require a lot of water.
Endless benefits of Aloe vera
So what should you use this powerful plant for?
***If you decide to take aloe vera orally, only use commercial, certified organic juice.
- Toothpaste! Yes, you read that right. Aloe vera gel can be used as an effective toothpaste. It does not contain harmful abrasive substances and is great for sensitive teeth.
- Skin protector! Aloe vera is not just beneficial for minor skin irritations and burns but has also been shown to repair skin from radiation therapy, and it keeps skin looking vital and youthful.
- Wounds and second-degree burns! Apply to burned skin. It will repair burns that are as strong as a second degree.
- Irritable bowel syndrome! When ingested Aloe vera alleviates the irritation from IBS. When made into a beverage and taken internally, it has been used to help many conditions. A few worth mentioning are constipation, diabetes, headaches, ulcers, arthritis, and coughs. Unlike OTC medication, Aloe does not have side effects!
- Depression, memory, and cognitive function! When used in liquid form as a supplement.
- Diabetic induced foot ulcers! When applied to foot ulcers, healing time has been rapidly improved and reduced!
- Vaginal skin irritation! The gel from Aloe vera will soothe and eliminate dry irritated skin on this delicate part of the female body, just apply as you would a lotion. It also forms a protective moisture barrier on the skin.
- Asthma and respiratory irritation! For asthma, boil some Aloe Vera leaves in a pot of water and breathe in the vapor.
- Psoriasis and Eczema! Aloe Vera can help treat Eczema and Psoriasis, not just burns, bug bites, rashes, and other skin problems. A product called Aloe Propolis Creme will greatly reduce issues with these skin conditions.
- Ulcers, canker sores, herpes, and shingles! These issues can also be healed by using Aloe vera gel on the affected areas.
© 2013 Rebecca
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 25, 2013:
Powerful Aloe Vera health benefits sounds a most helpful plant many issues glad you wrote this well informed hub. Such plants interest me and I ejoy lerning about green plants Voted up, interesting, useful
mathira from chennai on October 24, 2013:
I always use aloe Vera for my face as nothing else works better. It is good for dark circles as well. Great and useful tips.
Denise W Anderson from Bismarck, North Dakota on October 23, 2013:
We keep a ready supply of aloe vera gel in our home for sunburns, lubrication, and skin irritations. It is a regular staple in our first aid supply.
MysticMoonlight on October 23, 2013:
I've been hearing so much about aloe vera lately and after reading this wonderful information, I can see why! I've always used it for burns and skin irritations but it's wonderful that something so natural has been found to have so many uses beyond the norm. This information is greatly appreciated.
passionate77 on October 22, 2013:
very informative post, aloevera is greatly used since ages due to its great medicinal benefits and its so nice to learn more about it, thanks for the insightful hub bishop55, stay blessed!