Aloe Vera is a plant that resembles a cactus, but is really a member of the lily family. It grows in Africa, Asia and the warmer parts of America and Europe. The particular sort of Aloe Vera utilized for natural remedies has the Latin name Aloe barbadensis and its leaves have a gel that’s full of therapeutic properties.
Aloe has been used medicinally for over 6,000 years. The ancient Egyptians used it to heal battle wounds and heal infections. The ancient Greeks used it for relieving blisters, burns and leg ulcers in addition to healing gut and gut disorders. Today it’s found in health products in the form of gels, juices and lotions, and also as a component in certain cosmetic products.
- All the vitamins (except Vitamin D).
- Enzymes that help digestion and reduce inflammation.
- The minerals required for the enzymes to function.
- Long-chain sugars which help re-balance the digestive tract.
- Saponins, that have an anti-microbial effect against bacteria, viruses, yeast and fungi.
- Twenty of the 22 amino acids (including seven from the eight essential amino acids which can’t be made by the body).
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It’s believed that the synergistic effect of the ingredients is what gives Aloe Vera its own power. It’s only recently that the scientific establishment has begun to carry out appropriate studies of Aloe Vera but the results so far are encouraging. It seems to have anti inflammatory, antioxidant and curative properties. In one study it was found to have a beneficial effect in lowering the risk factors among patients with heart disease.
Another study, began in 2005 in the University of Strathclyde, is exploring the effects of Aloe Vera from super-bugs like MRSA, after discovering that it has the power to destroy bacteria like E.coli. Healing small cuts, insect bites, grazes and wounds. Healing and fixing skin tissue following burns, including sunburn. Healing skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, acne, general itching. Cosmetic uses like moisturising and improving the elasticity of the skin. Immune-related conditions like asthma, hayfever and even ME.
Overall protection (as an antioxidant) against free radicals. You can grow your own Aloe Vera plant inside and use it as a fast remedy for minor burns and grazes. Just break off a leaf and apply the gel directly. If you’re purchasing an Aloe Vera product, always buy those produced from 100% pure Aloe Vera. Be Aware of the International Aloe Science Council Seal of Approval as a guide. Natural fruit flavourings can be inserted to Aloe Vera drinks to make them more palatable, but avoid the ones that contain artificial flavours and colourings.
Clear juices should be avoided as it means the pulp (containing much of the benefit) was strained. Also avoid those products using the entire plant, as the outer leaf comprises a latex which has a strong laxative effect. If you encounter side-effects, such as diarrhoea, you should lower your dose and think about switching solutions. The words’gel’ and’juice’ are often used interchangeably, so some beverages can be described as dyes. If taking Aloe Vera internally you would usually choose between 2 fl oz (60ml) and 6 fl oz (180ml) daily depending on the acuteness of your affliction. If you begin on a high dose you’d expect to decrease to the lower doses by about six weeks.