How to Use Aloe Vera to Promote Health and Wellness
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.