Aloe vera

Aloe vera

(NOT to be confused with Cape aloe, the potent laxative)

Family: Xanthorrhoeaceae

The following information may not be re-posted, copied or published without my permission and appropriate credit given. Please contact me via email (listed on the About page) if you wish to re-publish any of the information on my blog.

aloe vera

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons (User:3268zauber)

Actions:

Demulcent, refrigerant, vulnerary, anti-inflammatory, laxative, alkaline, stabilizes blood sugar, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, nutrient, demulcent, mucilaginous, laxative, analgesic, moisturizer.

Harvest: Aloe can be taken any time of year, but is best harvested after it is at least three years of age.

Part used: Leaves

Constituents:

Anthraquinones (including emodin),  amino acids, antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, anthrones, acetylated mannans, polymannans, lectins, C-glycosides, aloin, and others.

Indications: 

Used to treat burns, diabetes, hyperacidity, inflammation, skin conditions, constipation, inflamed digestive tissues, ulcers, nutrient deficiency (in low doses to prevent diarrhea – boosts nutrient absorption), leaky gut syndrome, breaks up scab tissue, soothes pain and dry tissues when used topically, kills infections in cuts, burns and other wounds, moisturizes skin.

aloe flower

Photo courtesy of Forest & Kim Starr / Wikimedia Commons

Medicinal preparation:

Internal

Aloe vera has been included in commercial beverages, liquid supplements and (less often) capsules for internal use. Use with caution, and start with a low dosage – high dosages can be toxic, and even moderate doses can cause digestive discomfort in some.

External

Aloe vera is most renowned for its external applications. It can be applied directly onto wounds, burns and skin irritations. It can also be mixed with shampoos and conditions or used on its own as a hair or skin treatment. It is also commonly included in salves and lotions.

Contraindications:

Do not use internally during pregnancy or nursing. Do not give to people who are allergic to NSAIDS, as it does contain salicylic acid. Also do not combine internal use of aloe vera with the following drugs: antiarrhythmics, corticosteroids, diuretics or Lanoxin. Aloe vera can lower potassium and cause these particular drugs to accumulate to dangerous levels. Taken internally it may also cause cramping and diarrhea, especially at a high dosage.

I suggest consulting a pharmacist or physician before starting any herbal supplement if you are taking a prescription medication or have serious underlying health concerns. 

Energetic/traditional use:

Once a cosmetic used by ancient Egyptian royals, aloe has a long history of use, both as a cosmetic and a medicine. Some African tribes revere it even today, for being a plant of immortality and eternal health. It has also been used in burial processes and ceremonies where eternal life (even after death) is desired.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is intended as general education on herbs and is not intended to take the place of medical care. Please consult a health care professional before embarking on any health regime.

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