The aloe vera plant, Aloe barbadensis miller, has more healing properties than most other plants. The gel found on the inner leaf contains vitamins A, C, E, folic acid, choline, B1, B2, niacin, B6 and B12. There are several minerals found in the aloe plant as well. Calcium, zinc, chromium, selenium, magnesium, sodium, iron, potassium, copper and manganese. All of these contribute to a healthy metabolism, activated cellular communication and help produce enzymes. They also contribute to strong teeth, bones and joints. A really simple and fabulous homemade toothpaste would be taking the gel from the leaf and mixing it with a drop of pure peppermint or spearmint essential oil. These two simple ingredients make a powerful, non-abrasive toothpaste that fights bacteria and strengthens the enamel.
The aloe vera plant is also anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. When taken orally (I advise drinking aloe vera juice, I just feel it works better than taking pill-form), it can help with digestion, strengthen the immune system, help with nutrient absorption, reduce inflammation, provides essential amino acids, help treat diabetes, heal stomach ulcers, relieve constipation, detox the body of toxins, parasites and candida and then some. This plant is powerful and a gem of the Earth!
You can find aloe vera juice sold in stores and it's best to find pure, whole leaf organic aloe vera juice. That can get expensive though. An easy way to go about this is to buy an organic aloe vera plant to sit in your house, in some sunlight and water it everyday. You can then take a leaf and make your own aloe vera juice. Slice open a leaf and with a spoon, dig out the inner gel. Put the gel in a blender with a little bit of filtered or spring water and blend together. You can add fresh juice (lemon, orange) for added vitamin zing!
Besides taking aloe orally, it can be used topically too. Because aloe has a neutral taste, smell and touch, it can be used in several different ways. In our house, we have healed pink eye three different times, in less than 24 hours. We have also healed ring worm. In fact, any time our boys have ever had a "skin issue" or irritation, we grab aloe, rub it on the skin and it's gone the next day. The important thing to remember when using a natural remedy like this to heal an infection or irritation, is to do it several times throughout the day. I cut open a leaf and open it up, then literally rub the inner gel right on top of the skin until ALL of the inner gel has been absorbed into the skin! You do this every few hours! This method has worked for us over and over for healing viral and fungal infections. Living in Texas and having a fair-skinned, redhead, I have also seen the aloe plant work it's wonders on sunburns. A part of the wonder is how quickly it heals!
You can get an aloe vera plant at just about any store that sells plants or has a nursery. I picked up a handful of aloe plants at Home Depot and have them sitting around the house. I have two boys so there are a lot of scrapes, cuts, sunburns and a few of other childhood viral/fungal infections that have come through our house. Our favorite plant is the Aloe Vera plant, because it has helped us heal every single time!
Kelly Cuip is a registered nutritionist, author, researcher, blogger and mother.