Thursday, July 19, 2012

Aloe Vera for the Medicine Cabinet

For centuries many cultures and peoples have been known to use aloe vera in  remedies for all types of ailments. If you recall, there was a big push in the 1970s to sell aloe vera as a food supplement and it was added to suntan products. 

I have grown the aloe vera plant for a number of years because it's a carefree plant and I like the way it looks. I also have used it as a soothing mask for minor burns and have found it to be quite effective.

Yesterday while at the ironing board, I steamed my wrist area with a puff of steam and it was rather unpleasant, needless to say. I went outside, cut a leaf off my aloe vera plant, squeezed the liquid onto my wrist and it started feeling better rather quickly.

Today, there's no redness whatsoever on the wrist. So there's my testimonial for the healing powers of the plant!

I decided to read up on what the so called experts say about the plant and learned:

-- Studies have shown that the aloe plant contains a certain type of sugar that acts as an agent for healing in several types of illnesses. It has been shown to decrease inflammation, to decrease bacteria and viruses, to prevent tumors , just to name a few. Many medical journals are now hot on the trail of reporting the results of these studies.


--Manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon to produce many types of aloe products. However, it is not clear that the same healing properties hold true for processed aloe products as in a fresh aloe plant. Most products are heavily processed and just ineffective.

--Ways to use aloe vera effectively: Use a fresh aloe vera plant and harvest the gel by cutting off a leaf and squeezing it. The gel can be used and applied to any type of skin condition. It is very effective for sunburns, acne, wrinkles, bee stings , rashes etc.  (WHAT? WE CAN THROW AWAY OUT ANTI-AGING FACE CREAMS? Wow, who knew?)

--The use of aloe vera on skin conditions basically repairs the damaged collagen and aids in generating new tissue. It can decrease any swelling to the affected area and can be a pain reliever.

--While many people are used to using aloe vera for burns and skin conditions few people realize that it can also be taken internally. It can be used as an antioxidant and has been shown to minimize symptoms in serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes and several autoimmune diseases.

--Some are claiming that aloe vera is the "secret healing agent of the ages." Although it's been around for centuries, many are discovering this natural remedy for common modern health problems. Especially those that are fed up with all the side effects of pharmaceuticals and other drugs.

And here's a story I heard several years ago; I do not know if it's actually true: During the Cold War, the U.S. Government stockpiled vast quantities of aloe vera juice to treat burns in the event of a nuclear attack. (Just throwing this in; would be interesting to know if it's actually true. Question it raises in my mind: what's the shelf life of the stuff?) 

Some have pointed out that more proof is needed that the plant produces the results outlined.

However, what have we got to lose by using this natural remedy that's been around for years? Especially when you weigh the fact that using aloe vera has virtually no side effects.

I'm not dispensing medical advice here, but you might want to look into getting this plant to have on hand for minor burns, insect bites and rashes.

And by the way, if you live near me, come by and I'll give you a start. I have given away many cuttings of the plant. They are very easy to grow, but they don't like to be over watered and they don't like full sun. Place it on a semi-shaded porch in summer and bring inside for the winter.

Do you grow aloe vera? Have you ever used it medicinally? Did you see positive results?


  1. My daughter's husband drinks it and gets relief from Psoriasis. His other options are very expensive and have scary side effects.

    1. Wow, so it must really work for certain ailments. Thanks for that info.

  2. Very interesting post, Sanda, I'll have to look into this. I get side effects to so many things, a natural alternative is always appealing. Have a nice weekend!

    1. I found the possibilities of aloe vera quite interesting, too! Maybe it holds hope for future cures for certain ailments.

  3. iI never knew all this. I´ve only seen it used on the body soaps, lotions, etc´s.
    Just wondering, if we have Aloe Vera as a plant in our flower shops..
    Thank you Sanda for sharing this : ).

    1. I really hope you can find it! Great plant to have.

  4. Beautiful plants. I can remember years ago drinking it (for what I do not remember) it was a cloudy liquid that I did not like the taste of and came in a large container, maybe a plastic gallon jug like a milk jug. I've never had my plants to get this big - have some that you gave me that I do use for burns and it works great.
    Your plants are beautiful and SO big.

  5. Ha. Funny how we forget these things. I've heard it doesn't taste good! Let me know when you need more aloe! I've decided to try it for wrinkles, so my plants may not last very long!!


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