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Aloe Vera
 
 
 
 
Aloe Vera
 

Aloe Vera is a member of the aloe family. Originating from Africa, it is now grown in many countries. It can even be cultivated in temperate areas if protected from frost. It is an easy-to-grow house plant which would come in very handy for burns and minor skin irritations.

There are over 300 different types of aloe, but the main aloe used traditionally as a herbal medicine is aloe vera. Aloe vera means "true aloe" in Latin.

The aloe vera plant has long, thick, dark-green leaves with small yellow-green streaks. The juice or gel from the leaves is the part that is most used. It can be used fresh or preserved.

This gel is used in many of todays products, including cosmetics, skin lotions, moisturizers, burn gels, even in drinks. In Japan it is also a common ingredient in yogurt.

History
Aloe has been used since the time of Cleopatra, over 2000 years ago. This is one of the first documented accounts of using aloe vera. Cleopatra used it as a topical application on her skin as protection from the sun and to keep her skin looking youthful.

Nutrients in Aloe Vera
Vitamins: Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin E
MInerals: Calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc
Amino acids

Benefits
The aloe vera gel is cooling, promotes healing, and has antiseptic, anti-inflamatory, and anti-fungal properties.


Indications
The gel can be applied topically for:
Burns, scalds, sun burn, radiation burns.
Insect bites.
Dermatitis.
Eczema.
Diaper rash. Nappy rash.
Shingles.
Dry and itchy scalp.
Ringworms.
Athlete's foot.
Mouth ulcers.

Taken internally, it can be helpful for:
Constipation.
Bowel disorders.
Candidiasis (yeast infection or thrush).
Stomach ulcers.
Gum disease.

Tea or tincture of the whole leaf is used internally for constipation, intestinal worms, and liver congestion. (Liver congestion is caused by toxic overload. The liver is unable to detoxify the blood effectively.)

Caution
Do not consume during pregnancy. May cause purging.
Taking high doses of the leaves may also cause vomiting.

Method and dose
For topical applications, the best method is using fresh aloe vera gel. Simpy use a knife and slice off the top of a leaf and squeeze the gel directly onto the skin. The leaf that is cut will seal over and you can reuse that leaf over again.

If you do not grow the plant, you can buy the aloe vera leaves. These leaves will keep for several months if stored n a cool place (or in the refrigerator).

The clear gel can also be taken internally. Dosage: 1 - 2 tablespoons.

 
     
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Last update: 23 Aug 2008

 
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