The Aloe Vera Plant

THE ALOE VERA PLANT: Where did this healing plant come from and what does it do for us? Find out why so many people have this plant in the kitchen!

Aloe Vera has a long and unrivaled history, dating back to Biblical times. This semi tropical plant has been mentioned on hundreds of occasions in a multitude of cultures throughout recorded history. Needless to say, aloe has been earmarked as one of the highest ranking herbal and healing plants known to mankind today.

Many have mistaken aloe for some sort of cactus type plant. Quite understandable given the thick, elongated and spiny leaves jutting from a plant growing so close to the ground. The aloe vera plant is actually a member of the Tree Lilly family known as ” aloe barbadensis”. Aloe has other relations within the Tree Lilly family to include the turnip, onion and garlic families. The connection to the Tree Lilly does go unnoticed during the springtime when aloe plants blossom with beautiful tubular shaped yellow flowers.

The aloe plant is both coveted and prolific, with at least 250 different species grown around the world. The aloe plant is grown in warm tropical areas as it cannot survive freezing temperatures. Aloe is successfully grown in Africa, South America, Mexico, the Pacific Rim and Australia. In the USA aloe can be found growing in Texas, Southern California and Florida.

The original use of the aloe plant on a commercial basis was for the substance called Aloin. This yellow sap served as a successful laxative for decades, way before prescription laxatives came to be. The 1950’s brought us what we know today as the ever common aloe gel. This wonderful and healing substance can be found in beverages, Over The Counter cosmetics and sunscreens, moisturizing products and nutraceuticals. Laboratory analysis has revealed the gel portion of the aloe plant is rich in minerals, vitamins, amino acids and enzymes. It is the saccharides portion of the aloe plant that has generated a great deal of research over the past decade or so. It is felt that these complex sugar chains may play a direct role in immune system enhancement.

Those of you who have the aloe vera plant as part of your garden may have witnessed the aloe plant “heal itself”. The upright stiff leaf of the aloe plant is held rigid by the pressure of the clear gel within the leaf. An aloe leave that is cut spurts this clear gel, much like a human would shed blood after being cut or scraped. And, much like a human cut which scabs over in a few minutes, the aloe plant produces a rubbery like film over the affected area to prevent a further loss of fluids.

Also existing as a houseplant that is relatively easy to maintain, it not uncommon for “those in the know” to keep a plant in the kitchen in case a burn should occur during normal cooking duties. To cool the burn and begin its healing, simply tear off a leaf and apply the cooling clear inner gel. Whatever your reasons for owning or using this succulent perennial plant, make certain that the aloe products you use have the seal of approval as designated by the International Aloe Science Council ( IASC). The IASC exists as a governing body to insure that you are indeed purchasing a first-rate product from an approved manufacturer.

About the Author

Dr. Linda Posh MS SLP ND, has been in the lab developing whole food nutritional supplements. Nutra-Resources Body Balance Liquid Vitamin Website donates all profits to Health Care for those in need.

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