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Aloe Vera – The Secret of the Ancients

Did you know that Aloe Vera is Superfood?

Aloe Vera Plant in ThailandHonestly I didn’t even know that Aloe Vera is eadable! But then there is this: Dating all the way back to ancient Egypt, Aloe Vera has long been regarded as a plant with deeply healing properties. Now, thousands of years later, this cactus-like member of the lily family is receiving the medicinal validation from the scientific community that natural healers and laypersons have known and relied upon for centuries. Although over 300 species of Aloe exist, it is Aloe Barbadensis that is touted as being the most nutritionally and medicinally potent variety.

Superfood

While most people are aware of Aloe’s cosmetic benefits, it’s highly nutritive qualities might come as a surprise to many. Aloe Vera contains 20 of the 22 essential (the building blocks of protein), 8 of the 13 known vitamins (including C and E), is high in antioxidants, enzymes and minerals. It is especially high in calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium.

Digestive Aid

Aloe Vera has a mild laxative effect on the bowels. It is known to relieve heartburn, indigestion, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, peptic ulcers and stomach inflammations. It has a cooling and soothing effect on the digestive system.

Blood Regulator

Aloe has been shown to decrease cholesterol, triglyceride, phospholipids and nonesterifed fatty acid levels in the blood. This is significant for prevention of and recovery from heart disease. It also has a positive effect on blood coagulation, which ties into its history in wound healing.

Wound Repair and Immunity Booster

Aloe is a cell regenerator that reduces the healing time of both external and internal wounds, inhibits scarring, and has analgesic and antiseptic effects. It is well known for its ability to heal burns, but it has also been shown recently to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis, not only when applied externally, but also when ingested on a regular basis. Its antimicrobial and antiviral properties also make it an effective immune system enhancer of both the skin and the internal system.

Skin and Hair

The cosmetic benefits of Aloe Vera are familiar to most consumers. The reason that Aloe is such a superior moisturizer is because of its ability to penetrate the skin. This also makes it a superb agent for assisting other bioactive ingredients in any cosmetic with which it is mixed to reach deeper tissues. It also reduces the effects of aging on the skin by promoting collagen and elastin synthesis, thus diminishing and preventing fine lines and wrinkles. These beautifying effects are experienced even when taken internally.

How to Use Aloe in Your Daily Life

The best source of Aloe is the fresh raw leaf. The plant is easy to grow and readily available at most nurseries and in the home gardening section of numerous local stores. Just slice open a mature leaf, remove the translucent pulp inside it, and blend it with water (1 part leaf to 3 parts water for gel, and use 5-6 parts water for juice).

Refrigerate the remainder and be sure to consume it within 3 days of having blended the mixture. It is usually a good idea to just slice off a few inches of the harvested leaf at a time and to refrigerate the rest for use as needed. This will prevent waste and spoiling of your Aloe juice or gel.

Add the Aloe juice to your favorite summer cool drinks, like lemonade or fresh squeezed citrus juices to counterbalance the somewhat bitter taste of the fresh leaf, if you are unable to drink it straight.

For those of us without access to a garden, you can buy the aloe juice or gel from your health food store. Look for a minimum of 98% Aloe, and natural preservatives like citric acid. Although it is not as nutritionally potent as the homemade potion concocted from the fresh leaf, this bottled variety tends to be more palatable and still has many of the nutritional and cosmetic benefits of the plant.

Try adding aloe to your favorite shampoo or shower gel. You might even let go of your conditioner once you’ve tried this a few times. Aloe is also a great leave in conditioner for both straight and curly styles that gives both hold and body to hair without stiffening it the way synthetic gels and mousses do. Make sure to mix just enough, in a separate bottle, for one or two uses, if using the fresh leaf gel, because it does require a preservative once mixed with oil and left to stand for a few days.

Aloe is also great to use on your face and body under your daily moisturizer, or to mix with both face and body masks.

Aloe is readily available and easy to use. Its medicinal, nutritional and cosmetic power has stood the test of time. Its cornucopia of uses makes it easy to understand why Aloe Vera was the elixir of the Ancients.

By: Fadzo Chanakira

Fadzo Chanakira is a freelance writer that divides her time between Arizona and California, where she both lives and works. In addition to having written holistic articles for print and the Internet on a variety of topics, she has a holistic business specializing in nutritional supplementation and truly natural beauty products called Alchemy of Beauty. Her undergraduate studies were in Kinesiology at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. Fadzo also authors a free bi-monthly e-newsletter called . She is currently working towards her Masters in Spiritual and Live Food Nutrition with the College of Living Arts in Patagonia, AZ.

She can be reached through her website, http://www.alchemyofbeauty.com .

One Response to “Aloe Vera – The Secret of the Ancients”

  • A great article about Aloevera – not the first one that I have read on your website and have been impressed with. I hope you continue to write more about other superfoods. The information you provide on your site is very helpful to me and my partner.

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