I've been inspired by the aloe vera plant sitting in the corner of the hotel lobby. I decided to do my next ingredient feature on Aloe Vera. This plant is so versatile and so awesome for your skin, so it only makes sense!
I've decided to break this up into 4 parts... the first being on what you can use it for and why its so good for you. Basically a summary of the next three. The second will be on planting and harvesting. The third will be on skin care recipes. And then the fourth will be on edible recipes. Are you as excited as I am? Good. :)
Onto its background...
Okay, so there are a lot of different species of aloe, but the one that is most commonly used in the western world is Aloe Vera. Its a succulent plant, which means its similar to cacti, because it's leaves retain moisture. (Have you ever drank cactus water? Its yummy!) This also means that it thrives in arid conditions. However, it is actually in the lily family...
Aloe Vera is most commonly used to treat burns, because its liquid is very soothing. The first thing that you probably think of when hearing 'Aloe Vera' is the gel that you buy from the drugstore for sunburns. Its an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral agent (the last two means that it can help prevent infection, therefore speeding recovery time). Its the only known non-animal source of the vitamin B12, but is also abundant in amino acids, vitamins A, C, and E, calcium, magnesium, fatty acids, zinc, and germanium. That is a nice, long list, of nutrients that are good inside and outside the body.
The nutrients are only in the gel and the juice. The outside leaves have no nutritional value.
Now, The Gel & The Juice
Like I said, aloe vera is most known for treating burns. Because it is soothing, this also means that its effective in treating skin conditions, such as psoriasis, and can soothe bug bites. (A new remedy to those awful mosquito bites I've been getting? Especially since the toothpaste was a bust!) And then, above all, its extremely moisturizing.
Internally, aloe vera can relieve arthritis and joint pain, treat gastrointestinal problems, and overall, improve your immune system, because it is anti-bacterial.
Aloe Vera can help everyone with something... whether its a sunburn on a young child, arthritis in an elderly person... everyone. And in my opinion, its something that every household should possess...
Keep an eye out for Aloe Vera, Planting & Growing!
Much Love!! xoxoxo
HerbWisdom.com, Aloe Vera
eSsortment, The Medicinal Uses of Aloe Vera
Chet Day's Health & Beyond, Aloe Vera for External Use
The Health Benefits of Aloe Vera