Aloe Vera—A Miracle Plant?
For centuries, aloe vera has been associated with powerful medicinal properties. There are countless care products and nutritional supplements that contain aloe vera on the market. But what makes this ‘wonder plant’ so special?
There are more than 200 types of aloe vera, but by far the most commonly used is Aloe Barbadensis Miller. This is what most people call aloe vera ("real aloe"). It comes from South Africa and is considered the most medicinally powerful of the entire aloe vera family.
What is aloe vera good for and how do you use it?
#1: Skin irritation
The gel in aloe vera works well for both normal and dry, split or sensitive skin, as well as acne. This gel improves skin cell regeneration and the removal of dead cells. It also nourishes the skin and is a disinfectant that cleanses small wounds and infections.
#2: Burns and sunburn
Fresh aloe gel can be administered directly onto mild to medium burns whatever the cause (sun, hot water, electricity). The gel is cool and refreshing, reducing pain.
How well the gel works depends on the individual and the severity of the burn.
Research has shown that a 5% aloe vera extract in skin cream has a positive influence on psoriasis. Aloe gel will not cure this skin disorder but can help improve the condition.
Aloe vera sap has been used for thousands of years to treat wounds. It speeds up wound healing and prevents scar formation.
Aloe vera prevents the development of scar tissue.
#5: Dandruff and hair loss
You will find many shampoos and conditioners containing aloe vera in the shops. It is used to improve the condition of the scalp and to treat dandruff and hair loss.
When you cut open the leaves of aloe vera, a bitter, yellowish sap oozes from just under the outermost layer. This is called aloe resin, aloin or barbaloin.
Aloin has been used for generations as a powerful oral laxative. It contains natural chemicals called anthraquinones that, when used in a normally-functioning gut, cause cramps and diarrhoea. The slimy consistency of aloe vera gel is much milder and safer for use as a laxative.
It appears as though aloe vera really is a magical plant!
Wishing you lots of good health and happiness,
Lieve Plasch. Lic. Psychologist
Sarah Van Damme, Elle Magazine Belgium 2017