Aloe Vera is a very ancient plant originally from Southern and East Africa, which is now grown mainly in South Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. There are over 200 varieties of aloe Vera. Its leaves are big and fleshy, and contain inside a bitter liquid very similar to gel.
Its medical use dates back to the Ancient times, when it was considered a “miracle plant”. To cite just some famous examples, Cleopatra used it as a facial rejuvenation gel and Alexander the Great used it to cure his soldiers’ sunburns during his conquest campaigns around the world. Aloe Vera’s beneficial effects are recorded in documents of Roman, Greek, and Arabic origin, among other folks living in warm climates.
The gel extracted from the central part of its leaves is a very popular home-made medicine because it contains components which are very effective against swelling, burns, pain, and also for the stimulation and regeneration of skin.
Currently, there are in the market many Aloe Vera-based products, such as body lotions, shampoos, creams, gels, and toothpaste, among others.
Here are some of its healing properties:
– It is especially effective for skin care and against wrinkles. Its use fortifies flaccid skin and wrinkles become less evident and tend to dissapear.
– In cases of acne, it helps to dry pimples, reduce swelling, and make the marks disappear. It also helps to minimize dark spots in the skin.
– Because it contributes to accelerate the cellular regeneration process, it is recommended to treat irritation, sunburns, insect bites, superficial wounds, and rashes.
– It has high moisturizing properties, which makes it ideal for dry skins, and can be used as a facial cleanser.
– It also can be used to strengthen hair and thus minimize hair loss.
It is also claimed that Aloe Vera has healing or mitigating properties on diseases such as arthritis, hemorrhoids, rheumatic pains, cancer prevention, although further studies are needed to fully support these claimed effects. Therefore, if you are undergoing a treatment for some disease and want to try the Aloe Vera’s curative properties, you should ask your physician first.
You can grow your own aloe vera plant in your garden, although it is not so easy! First of all, you have to separate the “baby plants” that grow around the mother plant when they reach a height of 4 fingers. You must not water them for 2 weeks after putting them in the flowerpots. Before placing them in the flowerpots, do not expose them to sunlight for a couple of weeks. When you want to extract the gel from inside the leaves, choose leaves that have not been in contact with water for 5 days. The best times of the day to obtain the gel are early morning or night time.
Excessive watering must be avoided, as well as exposing the Aloe Vera plant to cold below 0° degrees Celsius. This plant is very resistant to plagues and lack of water.
So, now you know it! If you have experienced Aloe Vera’s beneficial properties and want to share it with us, you can send us your comments!
Ivana WAU Argentina