Aloe vera, the serrated succulent, is considered a panacea for beauty and health.
Traditional herbalists say aloe is "cold" in nature. It is believed to improve circulation and is useful in treating constipation and providing relief on hot days.
The plant is chock-full of vitamins (A, C, E, B1) and minerals (calcium, potassium and zinc). As a result, it provides broad relief for a whole host of problems.
It is helpful in treating skin problems, burns, stomach disorders, blood lipids, digestion problems, arthritis, and high cholesterol.
Aloe helps rid the body of viruses and toxic substances. It also stimulates the pancreas. For this reason, it is a helpful supplement for diabetics.
The plant also has certain antiseptic properties. Recent research has shown aloe vera gel can help clean and provide mild pain relief on minor burns and insect stings. .
Thanks to its many beneficial attributes, aloe vera has been synthesized into soft drinks and is readily available in most super markets.
Aloe vera gel can be squeezed out of each triangular leaf and dried.
Laxative: 20-50 mg of dried aloe vera sap (low dose) may taste bitter going down but aids the spleen, stomach and liver. 100 mg (latex derived from 3-5 leaves) can help decontaminate the bowels. 200-500 mg (10-20 leaves) is considered a heavy dose.
Pregnant women or nursing mothers should avoid aloe vera some research has linked aloe vera to miscarriages and birth defects.
Children under 12 may suffer stomach ache and diarrhea after ingesting the plant.
Because aloe vera can lessen glucose in blood, patients who are about to undergo surgery should stop using aloe vera at least two weeks before their procedure.
Stomach ulcer: Drink fresh aloe vera gel on an empty stomach. After several hours, take a spoonful of the gel at a time. Drink in small quantities many times a day but do not exceed 400 mg per day.
Minor cuts and burns: apply the sap directly to the affected area in order to prevent swelling or blistering.
Cirrhosis: Remove the serrated edges and the peel of one aloe vera leaf and blend with a 1/2 liter of pure honey. Eat 20 ml of the mixture, a spoonful at a time, three times a day. Take the mix 15 minutes before meals. Regular consumption of the aloe-honey mix should improve liver function.
Diabetes and high blood pressure: Aloe vera can be used to treat these conditions in three ways.
Firstly, peel the leaves, boil and allow them to cool. Blend into a liquid and drink three times a day (15 minutes before meals), a spoonful at a time.
You can also drink the aloe vera broth and eat boiled leaves three times a day (15 minutes before meals).
To improve skin texture and elasticity, eat two raw leaves three times a day. Those suffering from high blood pressure alone can eat aloe vera with sugar. Those suffering from diabetes can raw aloe vera with salt.
To improve facial skin: Cut aloe vera flesh into thin slices and spread them on face. You can also grind them finely and use a cloth, extract the sap and dilute it with water. Apply the solution to the face. This will help make the skin smooth and treat blemishes. Avoid applying too frequently or for too long. Only use the solution two to three times a week for 15-20 minutes a day.