The Many Benefits of Aloe Vera- I have several different types of house plants throughout my home but I have at least 3 Aloe Vera plants on the go at all times. I have one in the kitchen, one in the bathroom and one in the basement. I guess I’m a bit of a klutz but I use all three fairly regularly.
Aloe Vera is a medicinal herb that has been used by mankind for thousands of years. It is believed to have originated in Africa, but is now found in many different, warm countries in the world and is easy to grow as a house plant. The gel extracted from aloe vera has been used since earliest times by Egyptians and other civilizations. It has been called ‘nature’s gift’ ‘the miracle plant’, ‘the potted physician’, ‘the medicine plant’ and many more.
I use it help heal skin problems, from rashes to cuts and burns. I have had some nasty burns (accidentaly touched the back of my hand to a very hot broiler element) and applied aloe vera right away and had no blister or scarring. The cool gel feels really good on a sun burn and helps the healing process.
Although you can buy aloe gel, it has perservative in it and is not as good as the fresh gel right from the plant. The gel is really slippery so the case of burns or scrapes and scratches, I just cut off a leaf, cut a piece the right length to cover the wound, slpit the leaf width-wise and place it gel side down over the wound. I then use a dressing of some sort to hold it in place. You will have to refresh the leaf every 4-8 hours depending on the size of the leaf and the amount of gel it contains.
Aloe Vera is versatile. In addition to helping skin conditions, it can also be taken internally. Aloe Vera is a nutritional storehouse, containing vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, niacinamide, choline and 18 amino acids, in addition to many other nutritional substances. It nutritionally benefits the intestinal system and has been used to calm an irritated stomach, relieve constipation and rid the gut of worms.
I have to say though, it tastes awful! This is one use where I buy preparations that are lightly flavoured with fruit extracts. It still does not taste good but is palatable. You can get aloe vera preparations that are really gel-y or some that are more liquid. I’ve taken both and prefer the more liquid version.
There is currently research being done in the use of aloe extracts in the treatment of cancer and certain blood disorders. Clinical trials have proved its usefulness as a topical treatment of leg ulcers. These patients had suffered from recurring leg ulcers for 5 to 15 years. With repeated application of aloe vera the ulcers either were completely healed or showed signifigant improvement.
So, if you do not have an aloe vera plant, go out and get yourself one. They are succulents, easy to grow and will withstand being neglected as attested to by the aloe vera plant at the cottage that goes for months in the winter without being watered.