03 April 2005

Aloe Vera for Humans & Animals

Quote for the day:

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skillexcept for learning how to grow in rows.”
Botanist

Another silvery morning in the valley on the first day of Daylight Savings Time. The critters are quiet and life is good.

Found myself in a wonderful conversation with two delightful people while fixing a computer yesterday. Out-of-the-box chat that covered everything from Space to Health. So did a bit of research on one of the natural healing remedies i love and share it here.

Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)
photo credit: The International Aloe Science Council

It is native to East and South Africa and cultivated in the West Indies and other tropical areas throughout the world. Although there are over 200 species of aloe there are probably only three or four with medicinal properties. Of these, Aloe Vera barbadensis is the most potent.The name was derived from Arabic meaning "bitter" because of the bitter liquid found in the leaves. In 1500 B.C. Egyptians recorded use of the herbal plant in treating burns, infections and parasites. Ancient Greeks, Arabs and Spaniards have used the plant throughout the millennia. African hunters still rub the gel on their bodies to reduce perspiration and their scent.

Main Uses:

1. Place on burns to relieve pain and prevent blisters
2. Reduces inflammation, decreases swelling and redness, and accelerates wound healing
3. Keeps the skin supple
4. Controls acne and eczema
5. Relieves itching due to insect bites and allergies
6. Relieves sunburn and skin irritation
7. Increases the availability of oxygen to the skin
8. Helps to detoxify the body
9. Contains Lignin which gives it its penetrative ability to reach deep into the skin; saponins which exert a powerful anti microbial effect against bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeasts such as candida and anthraquinones, including aloin and emodin, which are strong painkillers and antibacterial, they are also powerful laxatives
10.Contains anti-inflammatory fatty acids that are helpful for the stomach, small intestine and colon. It naturally alkalizes digestive juices to prevent over acidity - a common cause of indigestion. It helps cleanse the digestive tract by exerting a soothing, balancing effect
11.Take in conjunction with antispasmodics or carminatives (anti-gas) such as Calamus or Angelica to counteract griping
12.Stimulates growth of fibroblasts key cells that help in the manufacture of collagen
13.Anti-viral action For pets and Dental see Dr. John Finnegan on mucopolysaccharides

Caution: Over dosage can cause gastritis, diarrhea and nephritis. As aloe stimulates uterine contractions, it should be avoided during pregnancy. Also, because it is excreted in breast milk, it should be avoided during lactation, as it may be purgative to the child.

References

Aloe vera the Miraculous Healer Lee Cowden, M.D. Health Consciousness, 1992. Volume 13, No. 1, page 25. Wound Healing, Oral & Topical Activity Of Aloe Vera R. H. Davis at the University of Pennsylvania, Leitner MG; Russo JM; Byrne ME. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc Vol. 79, Number 11, Nov 1989, P559-62
Isolation And Identification Of A Phenolic Antioxidant From Aloe Barbadensis’ Lee KY, Weintraub ST, Yu BP. Dept. of Food & Nutrition, Ho Seo University, Asan, Chungmam, Korea.
Whole Leaf Aloe Vera And The Human Immune System Lawrence Plaskett, B.A., Ph.D., C.Chem. F.R.I.C

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