Interesting Anecdotes Related to Aloe Vera and Plants:
- Aloe vera is considered the “Wand of Heaven” by Native Americans. (chicago.now.com/news)
- It was deemed the “Plant of Immortality” by the Egyptians. (health.howstuffworks.com)
- Sixty- percent of Big Pharma’s drugs have origins in plants. (your-health-and-wellness-guide.com/Aloe-Verahtml)
- It was considered a universal panacea by the Greeks; plus, it is mentioned in the Bible. (fitnessspell.com)
For years I used aloe vera as a soothing balm for my skin and a moisturizer for my face and neck. I would honestly look for places to buy aloe vera each month. It was not all that easy to find. I would excitedly take my plant home. I would split open the leaves and rub the gel on my face and neck. I discovered with use that it also relieved and softened dry skin, soothed irritated skin and even minimized wrinkles.
At the time, I would have to buy a plant each month, especially if I purchased only one. The plant would last for one month! After a time, my plants began to last longer; I honestly do not know why they stop dying after the first month. I soon had a balcony full of aloe vera plants!
I had heard of the medicinal aspects of the plant. Sure enough, my family, my friends and I began to use the gel to heal burns and scratches. It worked! In addition, I noticed there was an aloe juice in the health sections of stores. After discerning that it could be drunk, I began to buy the juice. It was not the most pleasant taste, but my experience with aloe vera is that it works, so it was worth it to tolerate the somewhat bitter taste. Drinking aloe vera helped whenever I had digestive problems; it helps prevents constipation and it keeps sugar levels low.
I seriously thought, “What have I stumbled upon? What other mysteries lie in this plant that reminded me of a cactus?” I had done no research on aloe vera at that time, but my curiosity got the best of me and I began to dig into this wonder plant. First of all, aloe vera is not a cactus; although it is, like the cactus, a succulent. Succulents can withstand various climates. Aloe vera is an evergreen perennial that produces yellow or orange flower heads when grown outside and needs little water. The name aloe comes from the Arabic, alloeh which means a shining bitter substance; vera is from Latin and means true. The foliage of aloe vera stores water and appears to be swollen. The scientific name for aloe vera is aloe barbademsis. It is one of several hundred plants in the aloe family. Aloe plants are related to the tulip, asparagus and lily.
Here is an interesting fact: the leaves of the aloe vera plant is 99.5% water and .5% solid material. Seriously, it is 99.5% water! It is within this .5% of solid material that we get all of the nutrients and benefits of this miraculous plants! Aloe vera contains small amounts of calcium, copper, chromium, sodium, selenium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, vitamins A, C, B—B-1, B-2, B-12, folic acid, phytonutrients and eight different enzymes.
There are so many benefits of aloe vera that they are too numerous to include here, so I will include a few here in this blog:
Health Benefits of Aloe Vera:
- Contains antioxidants and other micronutrients that are effective in anti-aging which aids in collagen production, skin elasticity and wrinkle reduction.
- Is good for cardiovascular health and the adverse effects of diabetes by supporting normal blood sugar levels; supports normal LDL cholesterol levels.
- Boosts immune system.
- Repairs wounds and stimulates cellular regeneration; soothes scratches, rashes and sunburns.
- Fosters dental health.
- Enhances digestive and gut health.
- Guards against oxidative damage.
- Has prebiotic and probiotic properties that defend against damaging organisms.
Beauty and Skin Benefits:
- Moisturizes dry skin.
- Aids with acne problems.
- Relieves sunburn.
- Reduces the appearance of stretch marks.
- Helps with anti-aging.
- Promotes hair growth.
Aloe vera can be utilized in several ways:
- Aloe vera can be used topically by rubbing the inner gel on the affected area.
- The raw aloe gel can be eaten.
- Aloe vera can be drunk as a juice.
- It can be used as a supplement.
Whatever way you choose to use aloe vera, the results are miraculous!