Aloe Vera, or more popularly known in the Philippines as Sabila, has more than 200 species worldwide. The existence of this herb has been dated for more than 6,000 years ago as inscribed in Sumerian Tablets. Even well- known beautiful Egyptian royalties like Queens Cleopatra and Nefitiri indulged in this herb as their beauty secret. Since the virtues of this plant covered beauty, wellness and longevity, ancient Greek physicians called it a miracle plant. There’s no wonder it’s an attraction when added to any product!
Aloe Vera contains:
1. Minerals such as Calcium, Sodium, Iron, Potassium, Chromium, Magnesium, Manganese,
2. Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, E, Folic Acid and Niacin;
3. 19 amino acids;
4. Mucopolysaccharides which is the matrix for the repairing connective tissues;
5. Keratin which comes from sulfur-containing protein that make up the hair and horny tissues, and Panthenol which is derived from Vitamin B5 called chiral molecule which helps retain moisture of the skin and hair;
6. Antiseptic that has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties.
This plant also contains natural immune enhancers which aids the body in controlling asthma, allergies and respiratory infections (except for patients taking corticosteroid). Its detoxifying properties also helps clean the digestive system so that nutrients are better absorbed. It also cleanses the circulatory system so blood can circulate the body more efficiently. Its alkaline property is able to neutralize acidity from heartburn. It also encourages the release of pepsin, a gastric juice enzyme necessary for digestion when the stomach is full which aids in healing of ulcers according to Journal of the American Osteopathic Society.
Aloe Vera contains some ingredients of mucopolysaccharides which is important for tissue repair. Mucopolysaccharides are defined as an amorphous matrix, a ground substance of the connective tissues which is made of highly hydrated gel. This gel matrix is like a web where substances going to and coming from the cells have to pass. The quality of repair is influenced by this gel ground substance which is the reason for aloe vera’s popularity in aiding in healing minor burns and wounds with no scarring! Aloe vera contributes its ability to repair ligaments, muscles, tissues, and organs to its gel. It also works as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory that gives relief to arthritis and rheumatism, and to the external skin infections like blisters, sores, rashes, eczema, Athlete’s Foot, fungal and feminine infection.
Aloe vera is also good for dental health because it has the raw materials of a good toothpaste. It can fight tooth decay, reduce plaque, and help bleeding gums and sored gums sans the artificial chemicals. You can pick a young aloe vera leaf, squeeze its juice, and use it as toothpaste. I also use the juice for gargling and aloe vera pulling. I also apply the juice on my face, arms and legs before I apply sunblock to prepare for brisk walking which oxygenates my 30 trillion cells. (Did you know that your body is dehydrated after sleeping overnight? Rehydrate your body by drinking 3 glasses of water sip by sip as soon as you wake up. Visit ‘Do you drink Water Sip by Sip?’ for more of its benefits.)
In the past months, I experienced cough with asthma because of weather change, and pollution from burning of cut trees and garbage in the neighborhood. I ended up with a hoarse voice because of my sore throat. What I did was I gargled freshly squeezed Aloe Vera juice for about 5 minutes, and repeated it every time I felt my throat itch. I kept a leaf stored properly in a container so I can use it as needed. I’ve also tried squeezing the juice into a glass bottle, making sure it is properly sealed. I also made Aloe Vera syrup by adding together fresh Aloe Vera juice and honey with a 1:1 ratio, taking a tablespoon every other day or sometimes mixed the syrup with fresh juice. With Aloe Vera and herbs in my garden like Lagundi, oregano, Ashitaba, Dokudami, and Serpentina, I got better without taking medication and antibiotics although it took a longer time.
You can also add Aloe Vera gel to ethyl alcohol to lessen the strength when applied to hands and skin since it is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal. It helped in the healing of my cracks and scratches because of gardening. I also make my own Aloe Vera sanitizer. (Visit Herbal and Herbs in Personal Care for more information.)
GET YOUR ALOE VERA at www.herbalandherbs.wordpress.com.
Although this is a good herb, there are some cautions that we should be aware of.
1. Its matured leaf has latex, a yellow substance located closest to the peeling called aloin which may cause allergic reaction to sensitive skin and cause rashes, itching, and abdominal pains. This can also cause a laxative effect to those suffering with diabetes and kidney disease.
2. Those allergic to onions should avoid this herb because they both belong to the same lily family.
3. Pregnant women should not take this herb to prevent uterine contractions and that may trigger miscarriage. This should also be avoided by those who have inflamed intestinal disorder, irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids and women having their periods.
4. Taking Aloe Vera syrup for asthma should not be for more than 6 months. One tablespoon of Aloe Vera and honey mixture with a ratio of 1:1 can be taken every other day or can be mixed with fresh juice.
5. This should not be taken by those undergoing medication, oral steroids, digoxin and diuretics for arrhythmia.
6. It should not be used for major wounds because it can delay the healing process.
7. Taking too much of it can cause electrolyte imbalance.
PROPER PLANT CARE
When caring for Aloe Vera, take note that it gets brown under strong sun even if it is a cactus. It is a low maintenance plant that needs watering two times a week, or when soil is partly dry. It has no pest problems, but the soil should still be maintained with organic fertilizer or compost, garden soil, and with sand to keep soil aerated with oxygen and well-drained. (Read more at: Herbal and Herbs: Plant Care)
Take good care of your wonderful Aloe Vera plant and help your natural body heal itself.
EM-EM TINASAS, MBA
Kumar, Vijaya,2012, The Secret Benefits of Aloe Vera , pp.12, 30,33, 41, 49, 50, 52, 87, New Delhi, India, Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd
Encyclopedia Brittanica Macropedia 28, 15th Edition, Connective Tissues, pp. 299-301, Chicago, USA
Panthenol. Retrieved from: https: www.realhealthmag.com/article/Truth-About-Panthenol-22645-4629
Keratin : Webster’s new Dictionary of the Englsh Language, Keratin p. 287, copyright by Merriam Webster, Inc., Popular Publishing, LLC, New York, USA
Journal of the American Osteophatic Society, 1963, vol. 62.