Common Name: Aloe Vera
Latin Name: Liliaceae
A must to grow in every household, Aloe’s large triangular succulent blade-like leaves are filled with the nectar of remarkable healing properties. The name Aloe vera derives from the Arabic word “Alloeh” meaning “shining bitter substance,” while “vera” in Latin means “true.”
Native to warm, sunny and dry regions of Africa, Asia, Europe and America, aloe has been known and used for centuries for its health, beauty, medicinal and skin care properties. Greek scientists regarded it as the universal panacea, and Egyptians called it “the plant of immortality”.
Aloe is said to have been a favorite of Cleopatra as she used it as part of her regular beauty regime.
Used widely in today’s beauty industry, Aloe is a wonder. Its natural humectant (water retainer) properties not only trap moisture into your skin, it's also loaded with vitamins C and E, containing powerful anti-aging properties. No wonder this was a favoured plant in Cleopatra’s beauty tools.
Aloes remarkable properties are known mostly for cooling burns from kitchen mishaps, however some fun facts about Aloe is that it has natural sunscreen properties, blocking 20-30 percent of ultraviolet rays.
It also perfectly matches the PH of our skin making it a wonderful skin tonic.
Internally Aloe is a strong bitter and has been used as a safe laxative. Aloe made into a juice from the gel is one of my favorite remedies for the digestive system helping with irritation and inflammation of the stomach for symptoms such as digestive irritation, IBS, colitis and stomach ulcers.
Fresh or dehydrated juice (or gel) form the leaves.
Fiber, B vitamins, vitamin E, selenium, silicon, enzymes, aloin, anthraquinones, polysaccharides, tannins
Cathartic, vulnerary, emmenagogue, vermifuge. External demulcent.
Aloe’s amazing healing properties have widely been used for burns both superficial and serious. Its gelatinous nectar contains rich anthraquinones which promote rapid healing and tissue repair along with helping with pain relief. Use not only on kitchen burns, but to soothe all sorts of skin ailments such as sun burns, insect bites and stings, skin rashes, eczema, acne, skin abrasions and itchiness caused from poison oak and ivy.
Aloe is used widely used in cosmeceuticals. Well regarded for its moisturizing and anti-aging effects. Its Antioxidant properties neutralizes free radicals, and contains vitamin B complex, folic acid, vitamin C and carotene (a precursor of vitamin A). Aloe stimulates fibroblast which produces the collagen and elastin fibers making the skin more elastic and less wrinkled. Aloe vera gel has also been reported to have a protective effect against radiation damage to the skin and is found in most sunscreen formulations.
Internally aloe is a safe laxative and aids in menstrual flow. The laxative action is found in the sheath of the outer leaf of the blades. Caution is needed when using it for this purpose as it’s a powerful laxative and is considered to stimulate uterine contractions. Aloe should be avoided internally during pregnancy.
The juice (gel) however, are wonderful healing remedy for digestive irritation. Fresh aloe gel is an ally for intestinal problems, arthritic pain, and inflammation in the body.