A – Z of Herbs – Uses and Benefits
The botanical name is ‘Aloe barbadensis miller’ and belongs to the Asphodelaceae family of plants. It is known for its dense succulent leaf with little spikes on the edges. Bright green in color, this plant is very easy to grow in your kitchen or shadehouse.
This plant has many therapeutic properties including, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer. It can be applied to the skin directly to treat many skin problems and you can also drink the juice to ease many internal inflammation ailments. There are 200 different compounds such as, amino acids, vitamins and minerals found in Aloe Vera.
- Soothes Sunburn – Applied to the skin, Aloe has a cooling sensation, increasing collagen synthesis and set up the natural healing process
- Burns – Mild burns can be treated with Aloe. Second degree burns need to be treated in a hospital or by your GP to prevent fluid loss and infection. When a burn heals from 2nd degree back to mild, Aloe Vera can be used to help prevent scaring of the skin
- Stretch Marks – Rubbed on an expectant mother’s belly, Aloe can help lessn or prevent the appearance of stretch marks
- Acne and hyperpigmentation – Aloe contains Salicylic acid, which when used it the best acne prevention. It help the skin shed dead skin cells for the skins outer layer and decreses inflammation.
- Psoriasis – Salicylic acid in Aloe helps to shed the buildup of dead skin cells and decrease inflammation on the out layer of the skin.
- Anti-Aging dry skin – Vitamin C and E in Aloe Vera prevent the formation of free radicals, skin damaging molecules and the salicylic acid acts as an exfliant. After cleaning your skin with Aloe and your skin is open to recieving a skin care product, apply a good moisturiser to your face. It does not have to be the dearest one on the market, just one that makes your skin feel soft and moisturised for the whole day.
- Internal Inflammation – Aloe Vera can be taken orally to easy internal inflammation, reducing pain in the gut. There are many products on the market available in your local supermarket or chemist, or you can prepare your own at home if you have a plant. Preparing your own plant, you can drink the juice straight, or add water to it, to your desired consistency. It can also be added to smoothies, cocktails, lemonade, desserts etc. Preparing your Aloe leaf – Extracting the gel out of the leaf is reasonably easy, just cut of the tip, remove the spikes on the edges and carefully slide a knife along and splice the leaf open. The gel is the part you want, any green from the leaf will make your drink bitter, so be mindful not to extract any green part with the gel. When you have your gel, just add to anything you like, as above