Aloe Vera is often called the burn plant and has been grown as a houseplant for years.
The gel this plant produces is an amazing healer being used to heal burns, scalds, scrapes, sunburn, acne, eczema, wrinkles, dry and itchy skin and wounds.
It has been used medicinally for centuries.
It’s first known use was by the Egyptians. It was rumored to have given Cleopartra her yourthful skin and beauty.
The Essenes, a Jewish sect, also used aloe vera after being introduced to it by the Egyptians.
Roman historians reported that it bestowed long life to the Essenes who often lived to the ripe old age of 125 during a time when the average life span was only 39.
Health Benefits of Aloe Vera
Aloe vera Gel is well known for its healing effects on the skin. It is commonly used in the treatment of burns, especially sunburns.
In fact, it could be nicknamed the burn plant.
Aloe has a cooling effect that is very soothing to skin that has been burned or sun damaged. This is because of its high content of vitamin e and vitamin c, both of which are antioxidants. The Vitamin e and c will also protect the skin from drying out.
Aloe Vera is also loaded with antioxidants, these antioxidants help to remove free radicals, or cellular waste. A buildup of free radicals causes inflammation, the result of which is felt as pain. This is why sunburn, or any other burn, is painful. Inflammation also lengthens the time it takes for a burn to heal.
Used as a moisturizer o the face, the aloe vera gel can help reduce wrinkles and dark circles under the eyes. With the use of Aloe Vera the skin will become softer, moisturized and have a healthy glow.
When applied to injuries, aloe vera has been know to help reduce pain and infections as well as lower the chance of scarring while aiding in the regrowth of healthy skin tissue.
How to use the Plant for burns and wounds
To use this incredible gel cut a inch of so from the top of the leaf, scrape or squeeze the gel fro the leaf and use this gel to treat your burn or other skin condition.
The leaf of the plant will develop a scar but continue to grow.
Just remember store bought stabilized aloe does not have the abilities that fresh aloe has.
To use for wounds, clean the wound and apply the gel.
To make your own medicinal oil slice up leaves from the plant into ¼ inch pieces, cover these leaves with vegetable oil.
Any oil will work, but I would use skin friendly oil such as olive, jojoba rosehip or apricot kernel.
Let this mixture blend for 60 days, then strain, and keep in a dark glass jar.
This oil will last indefinitely.
You can also place the gel in zip lock bags, put in the freezer and use when a cold gel is needed quickly.
But aloe’s medicinal effects are not just limited to the skin.
The raw gel has a number of different health benefits because it contains a several different minerals as well as
Polysaccharides are complex carbohydrates that take time for the body to break down, also known as “long-burning” carbohydrates.
This helps to provide the body with a constant stream of energy.
Polysaccharides also have a lubricating effect on the joints and brain as well as the nervous system as a whole.
Digestive Health Benefits
The polysaccharides have also been shown to calm the digestive tract in people who suffer from ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome or other inflammatory bowel disease.
They can also dissolve excess mucous in the intestines, which helps increase the absorption of nutrients by the intestinal tissue.
The mannose polysaccharide found in aloe has been found to be effective in killing yeast, specifically candida. It reduces the amount of yeast in the digestive tract and normalizes the pH levels, thus improving food digestion and absorption. It also has the added benefit of being a prebiotic.
This means that aloe potentiates the effectiveness of probiotics such as acidophilus bidfidus. In other words, it makes them work better.
The polysaccharides in aloe vera also indirectly protect the mucosal lining of the digestive tract. When they are broken down by the body, they are turned into oligosaccharides, which have been found to be effective in the fight against several intestinal organisms including:
Bordetella pertussis(the organism that causes whooping cough)
Strains of E. coli
Heliobacter pylori(has been linked to the development of duodenal ulcers and stomach cancer)
Interestingly, people with Crohn’s disease have been shown to have a deficiency of oligosaccharides in their digestive tract.
Other Health Benefits
Aloe can be very beneficial in treating, and preventing, a number of different health problems. Because of its anti-inflammatory effects, aloe vera can be very beneficial in the treatment of arthritis, edema (swelling), autoimmune disease and allergic reactions.
One of the most promising health benefits of aloe vera is its effects on people suffering with diabetes. The raw gel of fresh aloe vera can help normalize blood sugar levels. It also helps to reduce total serum cholesterol, serum triglycerides, and lipid levels as well as increasing HDL levels in people with and without diabetes.
The immune system can also benefit from aloe vera. The vitamin c in aloe gives the immune system a boost, but so do the polysaccharides. The mannose polysaccharide acts as an:
Because of these actions, mannose polysaccharides assist the immune system in fighting off various infiltrating organisms.
Aloe vera is also a tonic adaptogen – adaptogens protect vital organs like the heart and kidneys, balance blood sugar levels, and enhance the actions of the liver and digestive system.
Interestingly, aloe vera has been found to help reduce radiation sickness in animals. This was especially true when applied to lesions on the skin caused by radiation poisoning. However, this has not been studied in humans.