Aloes have been used worldwide for more than 3,500 years. They are desert lilies and there are more than 200 varieties. Aloe vera is an aloe plant. Aloe vera, which means “true aloe” in Latin, is generally the most widely used and most effective species of aloe.
The aloe vera plant has long, spiked leaves, which are thick-skinned and contain a clear gel-like substance. It is used today in many products, including cosmetics, skin lotions and moisturizers, burn gels and even sun screen creams.
Juice is also taken from the aloe vera leaves. The bitter juice is often prepared as a flavored drink and is used to help with digestive problems. One popular aloe drink is Body Balance produced by Life Force International. Body Balance contains aloe from the High Plains of Mexico (very high quality) and nine different sea vegetables (don’t worry, it tastes like black cherry). The product contains 120 trace minerals and is a very powerful whole food used in helping with all kinds of ailments including; Fibromyalgia, Chrones Disease, Digestive Issues, Weight Management, Diabetes, Sleep, Inflammation, and many, many more.
Aloe vera contains numerous vitamins and minerals, enzymes, amino acids, natural sugars and agents which may be anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial. The combination and balance of the plant’s ingredients are what purportedly gives it its healing properties.
Many ancient works, including the Bible, refer to the use of aloe. One of the first documented users of aloe vera was Cleopatra, who lived from 68 to 30 B.C. She is said to have used the gel on her skin as protection from the sun, and to have thought the gel helped to keep her skin young-looking. In fact, the Egyptians may have used aloe vera in their embalming of bodies, among other uses.
About the year Six B.C., Dioscorides, a Greek physician, discovered aloe vera was effective in treating a wide range of ailments, from kidney problems and constipation, to severe burns of the skin.
The possible benefits from the use of aloe vera gel and juice include:
1. May help soothe skin injured by burns, irritations, cuts and insect bites.
2. May help moisturize and soften the skin.
3. May help speed the healing of skin wounds, burns and other injuries.
4. May help (when taken internally) with constipation, diarrhea and other intestinal problems.
5. May speed and improve general healing when taken internally.
6. May relieve itching and swelling of irritated skin.
7. May help kill fungus and bacteria.
8. May improve the effectiveness of sun screen products.
Although not conclusive, studies have been done which indicate aloe vera may have some value in the treatment or prevention of some cancers and arthritis. Other trials have been conducted and preliminary evidence shows aloe vera may be useful in treating diabetes, immune system problems and psoriasis. Aloe vera plants are readily available and some people keep a potted plant in the kitchen. A leaf spike may be cut open and the gel applied directly to a cut or burn. For other uses, particularly for internal use, commercial gels and juices, which are processed under strict controls, can be found at most health food stores as well as many supermarkets.
Aloe vera is one of Nature’s gifts!