Over 6,000 years, the Egyptians dubbed the common houseplant Aloe Vera, the “plant of immortality,” due to its myriad of uses for everything from acne to baldness, insomnia, digestive upsets, and even cancer.
Aloe Vera plants produce a variety of substances with antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and antioxidant properties; earning it a spot in the lists of both superfoods and super herbs alongside companions such as echinacea, garlic, turmeric and ginger.
The plant provides high amounts of vitamins and minerals and regular consumption of Aloe Vera juice supplies the eight essential amino acids not made by the body plus a wide range of enzymes.
Aloe Vera is a legendary skin healer with the ability to repair problems such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, and rosacea. It can also be applied to cuts, sores, boils and other skin infections to take advantage of its antibacterial healing properties. Here are a few ways to apply it for skin care:
- Exfoliate dry skin by mixing two TBS each Aloe Vera gel and organic brown sugar with two tsp. lemon juice
- Mix equal parts of Aloe gel with lemon juice to decrease freckles, dark spots and brighten skin
- Apply straight Aloe Vera gel to skin to eliminate warts, reduce age lines, and remove scars and stretch marks
- Exfoliate feet, knees and elbows with a mixture of 1/2 cup each oatmeal and organic corn meal, four TBS Aloe Vera gel, and 1/2 cup coconut oil
- Make a kitchen mixture to treat minor burns by mixing 1/4 cup each Aloe Vera gel and non-alcoholic liquid Calendula with a few drops of vitamin E oil. Store in an airtight jar in the cupboard.
- Stimulate hair growth by applying Aloe gel to scalp after washing. Leave on for 30 minutes and rinse.
And there are several internal uses for Aloe Vera including drinking Aloe juice to relieve indigestion, heartburn, acid reflux, bloating, flatulence, peptic ulcers and constipation. Aloe reduces inflammation throughout the body, especially in the joints and muscles and restores tissue to its original state. Aloe can protect the body’s immune system, destroying bacteria and slowing down the aging process and has also been known to help activate white blood cells and promote the growth of healthy, non-cancerous cells in cancer patients. The list of benefits goes on.
Aloe plants are easy to grow indoors or outdoors and yield many years of leaves from which to extract the gel from. You can also purchase the gel or juice from your local health food store or holistic pharmacy.