ALOE VERA HERB (Aloe barbadensis syn. A vera Aloeaceae/Lilianceae)
Other names: Barbado aloe
Aloe Vera is an ancient plant widely used in a range of applications. Greek scientists regarded it as ‘the Universal Panacea’, the Native Americans named it ‘the Wand of Heaven’, and ancient Egyptians called it ‘the Plant of Immortality’. The name Aloe Vera comes from the Arabic word ‘alloeh’, meaning ‘a shining bitter substance’.
Aloe Vera has widespread medicinal and cosmetic uses and has been found to contain more than 70 essential ingredients within the plant, including minerals, vitamins, proteins, enzymes and amino acids.
Aloe Vera is a most versatile herb for your body and soul and is a great skin treatment as it is invaluable for immediate, soothing effects on bites, stings and burns. Fresh Aloe Vera leaves can be split open and the jelly-like juice can be used as an instant remedy for minor cuts, insect bites and sunburn, burns in general, scalds, stings, sprains, bruises, cold sores and many skin conditions.
Aloe Vera is a soothing and healing gel, disinfectant and astringent when used externally. It helps to keep the skin healthy by stimulating the circulation and promoting the growth of new tissue. Its gel can also be used for conditions such as acne, fungal diseases (eg. athlete’s foot), arthritis, scalp problems, hemorrhoids and Aloe Vera juice is reputed to prevent and draw out infections in wounds.
One of the most valuable cosmetic properties of Aloe Vera is its ability to stimulate the circulation of the skin and remove the dead skin cells, so giving a fresher and younger appearance to the skin. It also clears away blemishes, protects the skin against infections and reduces wrinkles. Aloe Vera shampoos help to combat dry brittle hair. Aloe Vera is often combined with Lanolin and Vitamins A and E to intensify its soothing qualities.
A stabilized dose of Aloe Vera juice can be taken internally to ease such conditions as indigestion, heartburn and constipation. Many beauty, skin care and cosmetic products include Aloe Vera as a major ingredient, and research has shown that the gel contains a mixture of anti-inflammatory, astringent and antibiotic properties. Aloe Vera is also known to be a pain inhibitor, cell-growth stimulator, coagulating agent and scar inhibitor.
Aloe Vera is available in gel, cream or juice form. Extracts of Aloe Vera are used in many shampoos, soaps, beauty and skin care products. Aloe Vera is exceptionally easy to grow and can be used unadulterated.
Excessive internal use of Aloe Vera can induce hemorrhoids. Aloe Vera is a purgative and is generally used in combination with carminatives to prevent cramps and griping. Aloe Vera can have a strong purgative action and so should be used with care.