Aloe Vera

al1Aloe Vera is a succulent plant species which has been frequently cited as being used in herbal medicine since the beginning of the first century AD.

Aloe vera is quite an incredible medicinal plant full of nutritional benefits.

It is a succulent plant and part of the lily family (Liliaceae), the same family that garlic and onions belong to. Different parts of the plant are used for different purposes and aloe vera has both internal and external applications.

Aloe Vera contains many vitamins including A, C, E, folic acid, choline, B1, B2, B3 (niacin), B6. Aloe Vera is also one of the few plants that contains vitamin B12. Some of the 20 minerals found in Aloe vera include: calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, selenium, sodium, iron, potassium, copper, manganese.

Aloe Vera is an antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, wound and burn healer, natural laxative, soothes stomach, helps skin disorders.

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People have used the gel from aloe vera leaves for healing and softening the skin. In fact, aloe has also long been a folk treatment for many maladies.

Aloe Vera is a gelatinous plant food, just like seaweeds and chia seeds. The main benefit to consuming gelatinous plant foods in your diet is that these gels move through the intestinal tract absorbing toxins along the way and get eliminated through the colon. This will help the proper elimination of waste from your body and help the detoxification of your body.

 

Research backs up the ancient use of topical aloe vera as a skin treatment; it might be effective in treating psoriasis, seborrhea, dandruff, and minor burns and skin abrasions, as well as radiation-induced skin injuries.

Aloe Vera has been used as a home remedy for burns, using the gel inside to ease the pain. Clear gel from the aloe leaves has been applied to the skin to treat wounds, skin infections, burns, and for many other skin conditions.

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Aloe Vera is one of the primary compounds used in the cosmetic industry. It is a known vulnerary, (meaning it helps heal wounds) and is great for applying topically to burns, abrasions, psoriasis and even to bug bites.

Aloe acts as an analgesic, acting to help relieve pain of wounds. It’s feels especially good to cut a stem of aloe, place it in the fridge and rub it on sun burnt skin – the immediate soothing effect feels like an absolute lifesaver.

Aloe is also an antipruritic: A substance that relieves or prevents itching. Aloe vera is an astringent: which causes the contraction of body tissues, typically used to reduce bleeding from minor abrasions. Due to aloe’s high water content, over 99% water, it is a great way to hydrate, moisturize and rejuvenate the skin.

Aloe increases the elasticity of the skin making it more flexible through collagen and elastin repair. Aloe is an emollient, helping to soften and soothe the skin. It helps supply oxygen to the skin cells, increasing the strength and synthesis of skin tissue and induces improved blood flow to the skin through capillary dilation.

Researchers warn against the chronic use of aloe vera. Do not use every day on end. As with all medicinal plants, use caution and wisdom in application, especially internally. Overuse can impact the liver.

Growing

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Aloe Vera grown in pots requires well-drained, sandy potting soil and bright, sunny conditions; however, Aloe plants can burn under too much sun or shrivel when the pot does not drain water.

 

The use of a good-quality commercial propagation mix or packaged “cacti and succulent mix” is recommended, as they allow good drainage.

Terra cotta pots are preferable as they are porous. Aloe Vera does not tolerate standing water. Water less in winter and let dry out in between watering.

Aloe plants produce offsets, that can be removed to produce an entirely new plant.

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Knock your Aloe out of its pot and find where the offsets are attached. Sever them from the mother plant with a knife.

Allow the cuts on the offsets and the mother plant to callis over for a day or two. Pot them in a standard potting mix. Put in a sunny location. Wait a week to water and keep the soil on the dry side.

Grown in the garden in a partial sunny spot that drains well and it will grow without much care.  Aloe Vera is one of the essential plants to have in your medicinal herbal garden.

For more research:

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