2 Oct 2006

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera, originally from North Africa, has been used as a medicine and as a beauty product for thousands of years. Cleopatra was said to use aloe vera gel as part of her daily skincare.

It grows in hot, dry regions of the world. If you wish to grow it yourself at home note that it is extremely sensitive to frost and cold damp climates so should be kept in containers indoors during winter and can then be moved out to a sunny spot during summer. It can be planted by division, transplants or is available as a potted plant in most garden centers. It requires good drainage. Aloe vera grows upright with thick, succulent leaves and tubular yellow flowers. It is part of the lily family which includes onions and garlic.

Aloe Vera has many uses in the home. The leaves contain a gel which is almost tasteless, colourless and odourless. The gel is used externally to treat cuts, burns, eczema, stings and sunburn. It eases pain, heals, reduces inflammation and dries into a natural bandage. Aloe gel is useful for all dry skin conditions. Research shows it also helps treating fungal infections like athletes foot. To apply, simply cut a leaf off of the plant, and squeeze the gel onto the skin. A pot of aloe vera in the home is useful for easy access to treat minor burns and cuts immediately they happen. Relief from the pain of rheumatoid arthritis has been found when applying an aloe vera poultice to the joint.

Internally it is taken for digestive system problems, mouth ulcers, gum disease and to improve the immune system. It is also used when detoxifying. Because of the seriousness of conditions like colitis, diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease and I.B.S. permission from your homeopath or doctor should be obtained first. As Aloes stimulate uterine contractions and it should be avoided during pregnancy.

Aloe Vera is used to rejuvenate the skin and lessen age spots. It also penetrates deeply into the skin layers. These reasons make it popular with the cosmetic houses for use in skin care products.

The leaf contains many enzymes, essential amino acids, proteins, polysaccharides, vitamins E, C, B1, 2, 3, and 6 and the minerals iron, manganese, calcium and zinc.

It is important that you obtain pure aloe vera products if commercially made. One of the ways of doing this is to check with the International Aloe Science Council, Inc .

So why not get a plant in your garden or home for both first aid and beauty ?

Aloe Cleansing Gel
from Aloe Therapy

2 oz. Aloe vera gel
1 tsp. almond Oil
1 tsp. vegetable glycerin
1/2 tsp grapefruit seed extract or Vitamin E oil
4 drops Sandalwood essential oil
2 drops Lavender essential oil

Mix well and put in small jar. Gently clean face with Gel, then remove with damp washcloth or tissue.


mary said...

Hi, I often read your blog and so enjoy the thoughts and information you share.

I have a question I thought I'd ask since you have so much knowledge about natural things. I have a cat named Sweet Pea..she's had skin problem ever since she wondered into my house over 13 years ago..she was no more than 7-8 weeks old at the time. I've taken her to vet after vet..dermatologists, etc. and no one can diagnos the problem. They've ruled out parasites..mange, and all othe typical skin diseases in cats. One vet seems to think it is very much like a wart virus...something extremely rare in cats.

It may well be alleriges..environmental irratations weakened imuune system..or the like.

Trouble is no one is sure..they ar stumped. At this point I am just trying to make her comfortable..anything else would be a huge bonus. She is itchy and the sores are raised dry and very very hard. At first they appeared on her back to come and go with the seasons. But it very well could just be that it ran its course. They come and go. Now they are alwasy on her face and ears.

The last two years they've been persistnant..perhaps because she is older now. A strong, 1 month course of anti-biotics cleared up almost eveything..however they did not fix the underlying problem and they came back within 3 weeks. I do not want to use cortisones unless absolutely necessary as they areway too hard on the system and aren't a fix anyway.

Sorry this is so long and drawn out.

Do you know of anything that I can safely use for itchiness..and perhaps to relieve the dry scaley scabs that appear. If you get the scabs off they are red underneath and sometimes bloody. If this is a virus type problem..are there any oils one could use for it? I know there are some oils like Teatree that cannot be used on cats.

Thanks alot for any info you may have.


Jackie said...

Seeing skin problems in cats are very serious and things like food, and allergies can cause major problems it is best to see a holistic vet. There is a list of many of them worldwide at
Plus this site has tons of useful info.

In the meanwhile aloe vera gel is probably the best medication to use as it can only help but do no harm. It should relieve the itchiness and discomfit. Also the juice can be added to your cat's water to help internally.

Another product that is used often with good results is organic neem oil salve. It is a powerful anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and insect repellent. But in this case I would stick to the aloe vera gel.

mary said...

Thanks so very much for your answer
Jackie..I will go out and get some Aloe Vera gel asap. IS there one better than another or re they all pretty much the same. Am in Canada.

Shirley's place is a great resource chock full of info.

I have Neem oil & tea at home...the oil smell is very strong should I dilute it before putting it on her ears.

Neem product I have:

Again..many thanks.


Jackie said...

I am sure that the health shop will give you the best advice on the best aloe vera gel they have in stock.

I would say you would need to dilute the neem quite a lot as the salve probably is only 10% or less. I am no expert on neem oil so suggest you within get advice on that from either the health store or vet.

Try the aloe vera first anyway to see how that goes and if no response get hold of a holistic vet, they are many in Canada, after 10 days.

Marion said...

I just divided my Aloe Vera plant, and got six more out of one! I have had a plant or more in my home since my kids were little. Now my granddaughter thinks I'm incredible because I know this plant stops "owies"!

I couldn't do without it.

EuroYank said...

I just wanted to say "Thanks" for your blog that is filled with important and useful information!

Anonymous said...

I am a big fan of aloe vera. Another few minutes of learning more for me, thanks to you, Jackie!

Anonymous said...

Alright Jackie I'll do that..and thanks again.

Melissa said...

I never knew aloe could be useful in treating eczema. This is great news for me as I suffer with eczema, especially during dry weather. Thanks for the tips!

Cat's Cradle Creations

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Waheed Elqalatawy said...

Hi Jackie,
Awonderful deep article. Aloe vera also contains Mannose an essential sugar that help optimize cell communication with other cells, it improves the healthy condition of both the skin and digestive system.
If you want to have a look at some more more information you can read an article in my blog titled "Essential Sugars".

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