Aloe Polyphylla in Wanganui, Manawatu Wanganui, New Zealand – Image Courtesy: J Brew
The use of the Aloe Vera plant has grown on a large scale in recent years although it has been known for centuries for the health and beauty properties that it provides. Ancient Greeks and Egyptians considered it to be the “plant of immortality”. The first part of its name, Aloe, seems to have been derived from the Arabic word “Alloeh” (meaning a shining bitter substance) and ‘Vera’ means ‘true’ in Latin.
Aloe Vera for Exterior and Interior Skin
Aloe Vera has long been known as a powerfully soothing salve for the skin. It is now well known to be wonderful for healing cuts, scrapes, and burns. But did you also know that aloe vera is just as effective with wounded interior skin?
Aloe Vera juice, when taken internally, can soothe the most irritated stomach conditions – even those as severe as peptic ulcers. Peptic (also known as gastric) ulcers, are open sores in the stomach, caused by digestive juices and stomach acid. No one knows for sure what brings on these often painful episodes, but stress, not surprisingly, is often a trigger.
In a 2004 study from the U.K., researchers gave people with active ulcerative colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel disease, aloe vera gel to drink (remember that in the animal study, they used aloe vera juice, not gel). After four weeks of drinking aloe vera gel in water twice per day, there was a clinical response towards improvement and remission of ulcerative colitis, compared to those given plain water. No significant negative side effects were experienced due to drinking the aloe vera gel.
Ask the Diet Doctor: The Truth About Aloe Vera Juice – Dr. Mike Roussell, PhD, Nutritional Consultant
People often make the mistake of using the misleadingly soothing-appearing smooth white yogurt made from cow’s milk to treat ulcers. Unfortunately, the lactic acid in yogurt actually worsens the condition.
A much better solution is a plant-based one: Aloe Vera. According to The Analyst, the mild-tasting, colorless, and practically odorless juice of this edible and time-honored plant has functions including providing a protective coating to the stomach lining and promoting healing. And it isn’t just ulcers that Aloe Vera juice can heal or, at the very least, bring the sufferer much comfort, but also other digestive disorders including heartburn / GERD, diarrhea, constipation, and even hiatal hernia.
It is truly called a ‘time-honored’ plant as it was used way back in time by Egyptians queens Nefertiti and Cleopatra for their beauty care, and by Alexander the Great and Christopher Columbus to treat their soldiers’ wounds!
You can find Aloe Vera juice at your local health food store. Keep it refrigerated and follow the instructions on the bottle, or go with what your body tells you that it needs. In a time of so many harmful, artificial, and expensive medications, it’s refreshing to know that we can still heal ourselves and our loved ones with the aid of nature’s gifts, of which the Aloe Vera plant may be one of the most precious.
Cassendre Xavier (aka Amethyste Rah & Amrita Waterfalls) is an award-winning multimedia artist, musician and author, working in Philadelphia. She writes on various subjects including Raw Vegan/Live Foods, Alternative Health and Recovery from Addiction and Abuse.