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How to Use Aloe Vera to Promote Health and Wellness

Updated on January 24, 2013

Healing Plants

Where ever you look you will see plants that are available for more than decorative or aesthetic purposes. Throughout history there are documented recordings of the medicinal properties of plants found in woodlands, meadows and deserts.

Africa is the home of the aloe plant. Although there are over two hundred species of the plant the aloe vera is the one that most people in the United States associate with. This tropical succulent plant is a perennial with spiky leaves growing in a spear like shape.

Aloe Vera Plant


How aloe vera heals

Aloe vera plants can be grown indoors in potted plants and are known primarily for their soothing gel. This gel is found in the inside of the leaves. To ease minor burns, including sunburns, remove a leaf and break it open. Once the area of the burn has been cleaned apply the gel directly to the damaged skin.

Aloe cream is also found in stores or online and it is used in the same manner. Apply the cream to the affected area and reapply as needed. The glycoprotein’s, found in the plant, act as an anti-inflammatory and promote healing. The aloe plant also contains polysaccharides, an element that enhances skin repair.

Aloe juice has been used for an antidote in constipation. Acting as a laxative, it can be harsh on the gastro-intestinal system and may cause diarrhea. Aloe ingested as a juice will decrease the potassium levels in the body, so it may need to be used in small doses and not in conjunction with other medications, such as digoxin or diuretics that decrease potassium levels as well.

Some studies have associated a decrease in symptoms of genital herpes when using an aloe cream. Due to its anti-inflammatory and soothing quality, the cream eases the discomfort caused by the herpes. It has also been shown to relieve skin disorders such as eczema, ringworm, and psoriasis.

Alternative Medicine Physicians

Andrew Weil, MD and alternative medicine guru, reports a case in which a man suffering from scleroderma was healed by drinking aloe juice.  Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease that creates a hardening and mask like condition of the skin.  When he found out that his prognosis was grim the man began to drink the juice daily.  His symptoms abated and he improved.  His physician confirmed his progress and encouraged him to continue with his self healing alternatives.

Besides creams, lotions, and juice, aloe can be found in health food stores, sold in capsule and tablet form.  James S. Gordon, MD lists aloe vera as one of several highly recommended plants to stimulate the immune system.  It is ingested by many people who suffer from autoimmune disorders.  People in both cancer and Aids treatment programs have been known to use aloe as part of their treatment regime, and have benefited from the natural healing of this plant.



Gordon, J.  (1996). Manifesto for a new medicine.   Reading, MA: Perseus Books.

Weil, A.  (1995). Spontaneous Healing. New York: Ballantine Books.


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    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi LongTimeMother-great feedback on this hub. It appears you have some first hand experience. I'm not growing aloe vera at this time, but I agree that it makes a difference getting it directly from the plant vs. a tube of medicine. :) Thanks for commenting.

    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      Hi, Denise. Are you growing your own aloe vera yet? If I was forced to get rid of all my medicinal herbs and keep three only, aloe vera would be one of them. There are so many things you can do with leaves from the actual plant. Store bought products don't have the same versatility.

      Oh, and in case you are wondering, it is the yellow sap that treats constipation, not the white gel part. The white gel is very soothing and easy on the stomach. :)

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for reading. I'm glad the information was new for you.

    • loveofnight profile image

      loveofnight 4 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      Useful and interesting, I have never used this plant for anything other than burns,bites or in skin cream. You have taught me a lot with this hub, a good read indeed.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Om P-Thanks for your comments. I had a girl friend who did the same thing. She had tons of plants in her house. thanks for the vote up. :)

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

      My grandma had several aloe vera plants at her house. As a monkeylike child, I got little cuts and scratches pretty often, and Grandma would grab an oloe vera leaf from her garden and apply its gel on my skin. I remember it felt good on my skin but smelled kind of funky. Anyway, this is a very interesting hub. Rated up and useful :)

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      It sounds fairly easy, Izzy, to grow. I may give try my hand at it, although I don't have much of a green thumb.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • IzzyM profile image

      IzzyM 6 years ago from UK

      I've also got loads of aloe vera growing in my garden and in pots to try and contain it - it throws out babies at every opportunity. Great for quick relief from sunburn!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Diana-thanks for the encouragement. I just left a message for you on one of your hubs. :)

      Hi Ann, thanks for the pat on the back. Needing get up an go has up and gone, LOL

      Katrinasui-thanks for reading and commenting. It is amazing...I didn't know these extra uses either.

      Hi Marky, so glad to see you stopped by. Thanks for the comment. Aloe Vera--since I wrote this I am going out myself to get some. It is amazing stuff. Good luck to you in the challenge. Feeling punkish and not too energetic. :(

    • the clean life profile image

      Mark Bruno 6 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      Excellent hub Denise!! I never knew Aloe had all those helpful fixes. I just might go buy some for my home and now being at the Shore I might get sunburn so I may need it to heal my skin. Thanks for sharing and good luck on the 30/30.


    • katrinasui profile image

      katrinasui 6 years ago

      Very interesting. I didn't know that Aloe Vera has so many benefits.

    • annmackiemiller profile image

      annmackiemiller 6 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

      I'm a great fan of aloe vera.

      great start Denise - you are an inspiration

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 6 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      Good hub. Good luck with the 30 day challenge.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for the read. V-you are doing so well, though. You have nothing to be nervous about. Kudos to you. :)

    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 6 years ago

      I've been aware of the efficacy of aloe vera for quite a while now, but had no idea that it can be used as a laxative. I'm glad i learnt that here Denise. Thanks for sharing.

      I am in love with the aloe blossom tea i just discovered recently, and i find it relaxing and calming. And what with the hubchallenge, Panda and the contest, it has come in quite beneficial too. It calms these nerves of mine LOL!!


    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Cara-I agree. I also have forgotten about this. Cathy D from the U.P. used to keep plants around all the time. It helps with burns, sunburns and stings, mosquito bites, etc. I'm planning on getting some for the house.

      Audrey-thank you. What a nice thing to say about my think machine, LOL I'll meet you in the forum threads!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Congratulations, Denise on #1 of 30. Great and very useful hub. I keep a bottle of aloe vera in my frig. It's such great stuff. You have a wealth of knowledge. Very generous of you to share your "gold-mine" with all of us. Keep up the great work - I am ready to read #2! :) vocalcoach

    • cardelean profile image

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      Very information packed hub! I had forgotten how great it was. I should probably have some on hand with my little munchkins!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Karanda-thanks for reading and commenting. How are you?

      That's funny about the mosquitos growing in your garden! LOL But, lucky you that the aloe plant grows along with it. I'm glad you mentioned the stings--I forgot to add that in, but had it in my notes. :( Oh, well...

      Ashantina-Hello beautiful lady. Thanks for dropping by. Oh, yes, the anti-aging affects of the A.V. lotion. Hey, if it can sooth those puckered hemmoroids, it can sure smooth the wrinkles on the face, LOL

      Rudra, nice to meet you. Thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate it.

      Danette-good morning sister, I appreciate your comment. I obviously didn't see that article-I'm so bad at keeping up with my reading there. Thanks for pointing it out. :)

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 6 years ago from Illinois

      Good information here. I'd heard of Andrew Weil before. In fact, he was featured in Sun magazine a couple months ago.

    • Rudra profile image

      Rudra 6 years ago

      Very good, Aloe Vera is the plant to use for health. Thank you.

    • Ashantina profile image

      Ashantina 6 years ago

      Thumbs up hub Denise. Just yesterday I was browsing the health store for topical aloe creams.. my ex-boss had the most amazing youthful skin at 50 and she swore by aloe..

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 6 years ago from Australia

      We have Aloe Vera growing wild in our garden. It is fantastic for treating mosquito bites. We also have mosquitoes growing wild in our garden, so that's a good thing. Most informative Hub Denise.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks acaetnna. How are you? Are you doing the 30 day hubchallenge? You know, it's not too late to join up. :)

      I had forgotten about the benefits of this plant. I'm planning on getting a couple for the house. They make nice house plants.

    • acaetnna profile image

      acaetnna 6 years ago from Guildford

      Aloe Vera is such a wonderful plant and here you have reminded me of the amazing benefits. I must try to have a go at growing the plant myself. Great information here Denise, thank you.