The Egyptians were the first to record the use of aloe vera, from medicinal practices to embalming process. They valued this plant so much that a man’s wealth was estimated by the weight of the aloes he carries. It is said that Alexander the Great conquered the island of Socotra (in the Indian Ocean) to gain control of their aloe vera plantation and secure the supply of aloes to treat the battle wounds of his soldiers.
This superfood belong to the succulent plant species. It has no stem and the leaf is protected by spear like spikes which produces two substances, latex and gel. Aloe vera is best used when fresh as it loses its efficacy when stored. They love warm climate and lots of sunlight.
The nutritional value of this plant will amaze you. It contains 75 nutrients, 18 amino acids, minerals that include magnesium, potassium, calcium, zinc, sodium, iron and chromium. It holds several vitamins like vitamin A, B1, B2, B12, C and E, niacin and folic acid. Other beneficial compound found are lectins, polysaccharides, anthraquinones and mannans.
Aloe vera aids in digestion and cleanses the digestive system because of its laxative properties that makes digested food pass through the intestine with ease and at the same time improves daily bowel movement. It is packed with antioxidant to fight free radicals that speeds up aging. A natural immune booster. This plant can treat inflammation from injuries, reduce swollen and painful joints, heals burns, cuts and scars and rebuild damaged tissues. This super healer also has the capacity to increase energy level, maintain a healthy body weight, stimulate metabolism and speed up burning of calories.
As for skin and hair care, it can treat psoriasis, eczema, itchy skin, flaky and dry skin. It can improve firmness and elasticity of the skin, which reduces wrinkles and fine lines because of the antioxidant and vitamins it possess. Aloe gel is a natural conditioner that can restore hair’s luster and keep it smooth.
Taking aloe latex should be avoided as it has been found to be unsafe and known to cause cramps and stomach pain. Can be fatal when ingested for several days. Pregnant and nursing women, including children below 12 years old should not take aloe (latex or gel) internally. It is advised that aloe should be avoided by individuals with hemorrhoids and kidney problem. Consult your doctor first and stay safe.
You may find this interesting… Christopher Columbus once said, “Four vegetables are indispensable for the well-being of man: Wheat, the grape, the olive, and aloe. The first nourishes him, the second raises his spirit, the third brings him harmony, and the fourth cures him.”
It would be a good idea to have this magical aloe vera in your garden, don’t you think?
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