ALOE VERA (Aloe Vera)
Aloe Vera is a thick leafed succulent plant that is native to dry regions of Eastern and Southern Africa and the Mediterranean. The thick spiky and fleshy leaves contain soothing gel that is used to treat skin problems from burns, itchy bites and abrasions. AloeVera has been used since ancient times and is perhaps one of the most recognized herbal remedy. The gel was believed to be used by Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt as a beauty aid.
Key Medicinal Uses
Internally Aloe Vera is not generally used internally. It has long standing traditional use as an immune stimulant and for the treatment of stomach ulcers. There are commercial preparations available, particularly for the immune stimulation and treatment of ailments related to immune deficiency, such as Asthma and HIV. It has strong laxative properties, it is not recommended that the herb be taken internally unless under the guidance of a qualified herbal practitioner.
Externally Aloe Vera has healing and anti inflammatory as well as antiseptic activity that makes it ideal for the treatment of skin conditions, such as dry skin, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, insect bites, minor burns including sunburn and radiation burns following radiotherapy, nappy rash, nettle rash, shingles. In fact, the sap of the aloe plant is the best natural herbal remedy for sunburn that I know of.
It has also been used for treating mouth ulcers and gingivitis by rubbing the gel directly onto the gums.
Leaf, sap use the clear gel from the middle of the leaf. To access the gel, cut a leaf with a sharp knife a good 5 10 cm from the tip. Peel the skin back and squeeze or scrape the clear jelly and use directly onto the skin. Use the gel shortly after removing from the leaf.
The sap makes a very effective herbal remedy for sunburn
Aloe Vera grows well in pots or the ground and prefers full sun or part shade. It needs a dry, well drained soil. It will not tolerate wet soil, severe frost or heat. The herb can be propagated by cutting off the new plant at the base of older plants.
Do not take it internally unless under the treatment of a qualified Herbal Practitioner. Care should be taken as this herb has strong laxative qualities. Aloe Vera may cause an allergic reaction test the gel on a small area on the skin. See advice if a reaction occurs. It should not be taken by pregnant or breast feeding mothers and be used with care in young children.
Preparation and Dosage
Internally: Prepared mixture as advised by Herbal Practitioner.
Topically: Apply the gel directly 2 3 times a day.