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