Aloe Vera can be applied externally as a cream, lotion or gel or taken internally in the form of a freeze-dried extract, liquid extract or a bottled juice. The translucent inner gel of the Aloe plant is used externally to relieve skin discomforts and internally as a laxativeand to help heal injured skin.
It is a succulent plant with fleshy thick leaves that grow in a rosette from the base of the plantit found everywhere in the world but it is native to Africa and is common in South Africa’s Cape Province
Sources of Aloe Vera
Aloes are grown all over the world and many people simply squeeze the gel from the plant that is in a pot on their windowsill directly on their wound, insect bite or burn.
There are several kinds of aloes that are used to make the commercial drinks, gels and solutions: Barbadoes, Socotrine, Hepatic, Indian, and Cape aloes. Barbadoes and Socotrine are the varieties most commonly used for curative purposes. The aloe that you find in creams and drinks is the expressed juice of the leaves of the plant. Some experts have speculated that Aloe Vera is native to the Canary Islands as it grows better on the islands than anywhere else.
Aloe is used externally to treat a number of skin irritations. It has antiseptic and antibiotic properties, which make it highly valuable in treating cuts and abrasions. It has also been commonly used to treat first and second degree burns, as well as sunburns and poison oak, ivy, and sumac infections, and eczema.
Aloe contains a number of medicinal substances that allow it to be used as a purgative. You do not have to drink much more than an ounce to cause the bowels to release their contents. Drinking too much aloe in one go can also cause nausea and vomiting.
Aloe Vera is said to have many benefits including the treatment of –
- Ulcers – Aloes are said to have a compound that help heal irritated internal tissues on the stomach walls
- Constipation – Aloe Vera has a reputation as an effective laxative, so effective that the FDA has banned Aloe Vera for use in conjunction with cascara sagrada as it causes a genotoxic risk to humans
- Headaches – As aloe vera is a laxative, it may cure headaches caused by constipation as a toxic colon could be one of many causes of a headache
- Immunes system deficiencies – Aloe vera may improve the condition of the colon which may help the immune system as the purgative effect of taking it internally may remove parasites and mucus that might be having an indirect impact on immunity
- Burns – When the gel is applied directly to the skin it is an effective and quick remedy for soothing the pain burns
Wounds – The gel can be applied to reduce the appearance of scars left by wounds and it can also be used as a first aid cream to accelerate healing
- Insect Bites – The gel from the fresh leaves can ease the sting of an insect bite
- Hemorrhoids – The fresh gel from the plant leaves does shrink these tissues.
Of course always consult your doctor before using aloe vera internally. Unless you are allergic to it then you should have no problem using it externally.
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