(NaturalNews) Aloe Vera is a succulent plant that has long been used to treat burns. It is useful for treating digestive complaints, as well as skin conditions. Aloe can be taken internally or used externally.
Aloe was mentioned by Pliny the Elder and also in the New Testament. "And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes," (John 19:3940). It is long been in use as an herbal medicine in the Orient and Asia.
Raw Aloe is an antibacterial as well as an antifungal, and has helped heal streptococcus growths on skin. But the two main uses of Aloe Vera are to treat burns and to soothe the stomach lining, as in the treatment of ulcers. Raw and processed Aloe Vera can be used for both of these treatments, however it is more common for processed Aloe Vera to be used as a drink and for the raw plant to be used directly or skin complaints and for wound healing. Raw Aloe Vera is best when obtained directly from a fresh plant. The leaves are long and pointed. Because the plant is a succulent, the leaves feel a bit squishy to the touch. When you break off the tip of an Aloe Vera plant, it will ooze for a short time and then seal itself. The plant will continue to send out new shoots that can be used in a similar manner.
To use raw Aloe Vera, simply break or cut the leaf one to two inches from the tip. With a sharp knife, cut through the thick, green, bark layer and you will see a gelatinous, clear, substance. Rubbing that clear liquid side against the skin applies the healing agent in the Aloe. Aloe Vera can be used to soothe the pain of sunburn, burns, insect bites, and other skin irritations. Treatment can be repeated as frequently as needed as there are no side effects. If using Aloe Vera from a fresh plant, keep the leaf portion in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator for repeated usage.
There are also many commercial sources of Aloe Vera that are processed only to a small degree so that they maintain all of the healing energy with very few additives. These are readily available in most health food stores and pharmacies. When Aloe is processed into a drink, the gel is frequently removed so that larger quantities can be drunk. Taken internally, it heals stomach ulcers and heartburn, and in general soothes the digestive tract. Aloe Vera has been shown to control blood sugar levels in diabetes and to aid cholesterol reduction. There are some adverse effects reported from ingesting Aloe Vera. These include diarrhea and kidney trouble.
Aloe Vera, a healing herb for thousands of years, is easy to grow in a pot on a sunny windowsill. Its healing leaves can be a balm to your body and soul.