A Super Easy Way to Reap the Benefits of the Healing Aloe Plant
Most everyone knows the healing benefits of aloe for sunburn. When you go somewhere tropical on vacation, you can be sure to find a tube of aloe gel at the beach hut or in the gift shop. It’s a hot weather staple.
But ancient healing traditions like Ayurveda recognized aloe vera as a powerful plant for many common ailments.
In addition to soothing and healing burns, aloe is a friend to all skin conditions – eczema, bruises, cuts and stings, and rashes, just to name a few. Its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties can help stave off infection.
In the same way that aloe vera helps to heal our outer skin, it also helps heal our inner skin. The lining of our gut, as well as the genital tract and bronchial tubes, are soothed by aloe’s anti-inflammatory properties. It’s often recommended as a digestive aid.
You can easily grow these spiky succulents on a sunny windowsill in your home. Aloe Barbadensis is the species which is known to have the most potent medicinal properties.
If possible, try to find a plant that’s been grown organically,
Cut off a piece and carefully slice it open. It’s the clear gel inside that you want to use either externally or internally. You can use a spoon to scrape the clear gel out or carefully peel it with a knife.
Avoid the yellowish substance closest to the green leaf. This is known as aloe latex. It’s a juice which seeps from the leaf when cut. It’s very bitter and has laxative properties that can be very problematic.
*When taken internally, aloe vera gel aids the digestion and absorption of nutrients, helps control blood sugar, increases energy production, promotes cardiovascular health, improves liver function, and boosts the immune system.
The bitter property of the aloe plant helps the body discharge bile from the liver and gall bladder. It is an excellent addition to any cleansing or detox regimen.
The cooling properties make it an excellent choice for Pitta-types anytime, because they are hot, by nature. Aloe helps to cool and soothe Pitta’s hot blood, heartburn, hot bowel movements, and other heat-related ailments.
The cleansing properties of aloe vera can greatly benefit Kapha-types. The bitter property of the plant helps keep Kapha balanced.
Vata, Pitta, Kapha? Want to know your Ayurvedic constitution? Click here.
Aloe vera taken internally can help in the expulsion of parasites.
Many of the prepared aloe products available in stores or online contain the laxative-causing juice of the plant, as well as added ingredients. I gave up finding a pure source of the gel and finally settled on buying the large aloe leaf that I find in my local grocery store.
To prepare, simply slice off a two-four inch piece and remove the clear gel. Cover the exposed end of the remaining leaf and refrigerate. However, if you don’t use it up quickly enough, it will begin to discolor and lose its freshness.
I came up with a nifty way to get around this. I buy the leaf, skin the whole thing, and cut the aloe gel into small cubes which I put in an ice cube tray and freeze.
Now it’s ready to pop into a blender or just eat, as it. The weird slimy texture of aloe vera takes a little getting used to (not as noticable when frozen), but the health benefits are worth it!
You can add a touch of raw honey if needed, to sweeten it a bit.
Aloe is great as a quick cool off for Pitta-types or someone with a heat-related Pitta imbalance.
It’s also good for soothing mouth sores (cold sores, canker sores/mouth ulcers). And having the aloe already frozen makes it even better!
Wherever you are in the world, aloe is your ally, especially during the hot months of the year or anytime you need cooling off – inside or out!
Note: Pregnant women and children under five should not take aloe vera internally.
About the Author
Barbara Sinclair is a weekly Writer for CLN. She is an artist and holistic health practitioner with a passion for Ayurveda, the ancient mind/body system of health and longevity. Barbara was able to heal herself from years of fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition, by adopting an Ayurvedic lifestyle. You can learn more about her by visiting her website barbarasinclair.com. Barbara posts a new article every Wednesday morning on CLN. To read her former articles, click here.
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