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aloe vera

Updated on January 31, 2008


The earliest documented use of AloeVera comes from ancient Egypt. It was also grown by King Solomon who was said to have valued it highly. This is one of the oldest medicinal plants in history. It's mostly found in Africa and the Middle East although today, they're cultivated in other places too.

It was one of those medicines that were prescribed frequently in the 18th and 19th centuries. It still remains one of the most commonly used herbs today. Thus, it is also known as the ‘potted plant' or ‘medicinal plant'. The Egyptians even called it ‘The Plant of Immortality'.

Plant Care

Keep it in well drained soil in the sun. Water it sparingly during the winter. It cannot tolerate frost.

Medicinal Uses

As you all probably know, aloe vera is famous for its healing properties. And yes, even I can attest to this fact.

  • 1. Constipation - aloe sap is taken from the outer layer of the leaf. It has substances that have very strong laxative when taken by mouth. It does not affect the small intestine but stimulates the muscular coat of the large intestine, causing it purge in about 15 hours.

Aloe also tends to increase menstrual flow. It should be noted that aloe should not be used when you're pregnant as it's very purgative.

  • 2. Diabetes - studies suggest that aloe say may help lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Further studies need to be done though but it seems possible that it may be included in diet, exercise and medication.
  • 3. Others - studies also show that aloe leaf extracts may have immunostimulant and anti-cancer effects. Use of aloe may also improve effectiveness of medications used to treat HIV but trials are needed to confirm the findings. Aloe is also being considered for treating people with asthma.

It's always handy to have aloe vera plant in your homes. It's gel is most soothing especially for burns. You can apply the gel directly to minor burns for immediate relief as well as for sunburns.

Aloe is also good for wound healing. It helps to regenerate the wound site by stimulating tissue formation. I remember once when my son's pinky finger was trapped by the rubbish chute. A lump of his skin got nearly peeled off and it was bleeding profusely. Fortunately, my neighbor had aloe vera plant outside her house, so she gave a little to me.

After cleaning up my son's finger, I applied the gel. His finger recovered within 4-5 days. Of course it was a bit swollen and all but the skin was all back.

Aloe is safe to use. But there have been rare reports that allergic rashes have appeared after being applied. Naturopathic physician Michael Murray noticed that the gel delayed the wound healing in surgical wounds.

Thus, it should be noted that though aloe is good for burns, it's advisable not to use for deep vertical wounds.


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    • sminut13 profile image

      sminut13 6 years ago from singapore

      thanks dream on, well i don't really eat aloe vera itself, it's maybe just some extracts that is found in the juice, like little pearly balls. it's nice and chewy. they have mango and aloe vera and others as well. but truthfully, i've never really used it medicinally much as i don't have it and to buy a medicine or maybe a cream, it costs a little as i have a friend whose mom sells this and she says it's quite expensive. thanks and have a nice day

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 6 years ago

      I have an aloe plant in the refridgerator for any burns or cuts.I have also used it in the past and found it works wonders on sunburns and small cuts.I never new you could eat it.Do they sell the one you eat in health stores or in supermarkets in a pill form.Great hub.

    • sminut13 profile image

      sminut13 9 years ago from singapore

      hi sonia, thanks so much for your comments. it's really unfortunate that i've been really busy recently but i'll be sure to try and write more articles on it. i actually don't use it often, just for medicinal purposes. i have a picky mouth:P i hope that your diabetes will get under control soon and hope everything goes fine for you. thanks again.

    • profile image

      sonia  9 years ago

      I would like to hear some more about aloe vera plant and it's benefits. I use the gel on my hair already, I drink it, rub on my skin, I just love it, but I find it is very expensive here where I live in NJ, so when I ran out of it, I have to wait until I go to the grocery again. Sometime it takes a long time be fore I get it back.

    • profile image

      sonia 9 years ago

      I love your column on Aloe Vera, I always keep in tough with the site because I have diabetes and I get very concern, because right now it is very high, and I am scared to death.

    • sminut13 profile image

      sminut13 10 years ago from singapore

      gccody, thks so much for your comments. it means a lot to me from someone who's really experienced. i have really learned a lot from your comments. thanks once again.

    • gjcody profile image

      gjcody 10 years ago

      I have read your information and it is right on. Aloe Vera as the whole plant is great for drinking too but the aloin is removed.

      I have worked with Aloe Vera for over 15 years and I have people drinking it who are diabetic; and they are doing fine. It is certain that they should watch their blood sugar, but Diabetics should do that as a rule anyways. Daily monitoring is recommended as a regular DMO (Daily Method of Operation). Good info sminut13.

      The part about using for constipation is with the aloin present in the application. or the aloin from the leaf.

      And as for your page, I think you did a great job and yes and your little one is so cute. I have 7 grandchildren and I do appreciate seeing their cute faces.

      My best to the health of you and your family!

    • sminut13 profile image

      sminut13 10 years ago from singapore

      sure i'll try though it's not an area that i'm that good in. i'll give it my best shot but it'll be up maybe weeks later?? grins. hehe thanks for your comment.

    • Betty Jo Petty profile image

      Betty Jo Petty 10 years ago from Arkansas, U.S.A.

      I read if you use specific words like aloe, aloe vera, More than seven times that the search engines might think you are trying to hard to attract attention.

      I don't try to keep a word count, but it's something to keep in mind. With Diabetes, if people are on Medicines, they have to be careful not to go too low!! Do you think you could add something about making sure to watch their blood count well if they try this? Hi, S. from Betty Jo

    • sminut13 profile image

      sminut13 10 years ago from singapore

      i don't know why but manobharv's comment is saying spam. i clicked spam and it said denied. anyway thks for your comment.

      yes g-ma, it's a very good plant. thank you for your comments.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 10 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Great hub sweetie....I always have a jar of liquid aloe vera in my refrig. and a couple of plants...Usually I have simply had it here for burns and sun-burns but as you have shown it is good for much more..Thank You G-Ma :O) hugs

    • sminut13 profile image

      sminut13 10 years ago from singapore

      thanks lots. appreciate it. haha that was an impromptu pic taken. somehow it turned out really well. grins

    • profile image

      Abhinaya 10 years ago

      Aloe vera is used very often in cosmetics.But you have given a clear idea about its medicinal benefits.

      Your son looks very cute in your profile image.God bless him.

    • sminut13 profile image

      sminut13 10 years ago from singapore

      thanks for your comments. appreciate it. i have been fascinated by it ever since my son's finger was trapped. it helped lots.

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 10 years ago from London UK

      I have to say this is good info on such a powerfull plant which has so many uses including helping with Diabetes which i did not know which i will pass on to my diabetic friend..