Throughout the centuries many cultures have used Aloe Vera for its natural healing powers in its raw form, tinctures, potions, elixirs and creams. Aloe might have originated in the warm climates of Africa, but it is actually an extremely hearty plant that can survive in freezing air temperatures, as long as the roots are kept alive and intact.
The earliest record of this magic plant dates back to the Egyptians, who believed aloe was the “plant of immortality”. Pharaohs had mountains of aloe plants buried within their tombs and Cleopatra was said to have used aloe gel not only as a sunscreen, but to keep her skin looking young and beautiful. She is said to have bathed in aloe gel and drink the juice daily.
For thousands of years the power of aloe healed burns, various skin conditions, helped arthritis, tuberculosis, infections, clotted blood and was one of the world’s first anti-perspirants. There seems there was nothing that aloe could not heal.
Somewhere along the way though, aloe lost its popularity as doctors moved towards prescribing drugs instead of home remedies. Now, aloe has made a comeback as an ingredient in sports drinks, face creams, sunburn gel and pills claiming longer life expectancy to those that buy into it.
There is some controversy as to the potency of processed aloe compared to the fresh version, so here are the top reasons that fresh aloe is a true plant miracle.
Top 5 Benefits of Aloe
- Heals Burns
Aloe is a miracle worker when it comes to healing burns thoroughly and completely. This is because it contains glycoproteins, which hasten the healing and polysaccharides, which stimulate new skin growth by promoting cell regeneration as it repairs the old.
Polysaccharides are also an anti-inflammatory and works with the immune system to remove toxic waste from the body.
Keeping an aloe plant in your home is a great idea, especially for minor mishaps. If a minor burn occurs, cut off one of the spiky leaves and slice it down the middle. Scoop the middle gel out directly onto your hand and wrap. Oxidation makes the burn worse, so make sure to cover it completely to cut off the airflow.
Aloe is known to have at least 6 antiseptic compounds: salicylic acid, cinnamic acid, sulfur, urea nitrogen, phenol and lupeol. This tight knit group works together to kill bacteria and viruses, relieve pain and fight infections and parasites. Aloe’s elevated antioxidant level helps to fight damaging free radicals living in the body.
- Cleanses Digestive Tract
Aloe is an alkaline forming food, which means that it helps to regulate the blood keeping it healthy using its purifying properties and out of dangerous acidic states. Disease cannot live in alkaline states, aloe helps to cleanse digestive tract and remove harmful bacteria. This helps to ease constipation to bring on a more regular cycle.
As aloe moves through the body it picks up harmful toxins and eliminates it as waste when moving out of the colon; this creates the remarkable detoxifying effect aloe has on the body.
The detoxifying effect and removal of toxins has been shown to reduce chronic inflammation and the pain associated with it.
- Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation is painful, irritating and can lead to infection or disease. Aloe contains bradykinan, which is important to reducing and preventing inflammation by breaking down what is causing it.
Salicylic acid and lupeol, which are a part of the antibacterial group, are also strong anti-inflammatories that promote the regeneration of skin tissues.
- Lowers Cholesterol
Aloe contains campesterol and is similar in structure to cholesterol. After cholesterol is processed in the liver it is returned back into the blood. If campesterol is present, it will instead be transported into the blood, naturally lowering cholesterol levels.
Not only does aloe contain a high concentration of antioxidants, it also contains essential amino acids, calcium, zinc, chromium, magnesium, fiber and vitamins A, C and E, enzymes, lignins and steroyls.
There are many reasons people use aloe and have for thousands of years, check out this long list of ailments aloe has been used to treat:
- Athlete’s Foot
- Eliminate scars and stretch marks
- Eye & ear infections
- Gum disease
- Boost immune system
- Treat respiratory disease
- Painful menstrual cycle
- Hair loss
- Hair conditioner
I am a true believer in aloe and have myself healed a second-degree burn on my hand with no scars using only raw aloe from my garden. I have seen first hand – no pun intended – of the miracle of aloe.