Most people know aloe as the sunburn reliever due its cooling qualities. The juice or gel of this gelatinous and sticky plant, however, offers so much more than thirst quenching or sunburn relief.
Let’s start with the basics: aloe comes in different forms. You may find it as gel, juice or powder. Each form lends itself to different applications.
1. Improve your skin
Aloe is often used in inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne. It is a very potent herb so don’t overdo it – apply a tiny bit of gel or juice topically, or take some internally in an herbal formula as directed by a qualified health practitioner. “How about aloe in cosmetics?”, you may wonder. The percent of aloe in these products is rather small so opt for the real thing.
2. Relieve constipation
Powdered aloe is laxative and, therefore, helps release waste from your body. Be patient as it does so slowly, usually after 10-12 hours of taking it. It’s considered a general detoxifier, acidity reducer, and a liver and spleen cleanser. Avoid using aloe if you have Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or inflamed hemorrhoids.
3. Ease headaches
When you feel like your head is about to explode from a headache or migraine, try taking some aloe internally or apply some gel on your forehead and temples.
4. Manage female discomforts
Known in Eastern traditions as a female tonic, aloe increases blood flow in women with abnormal absence of periods, soothes the body and mind in painful menstruation or PMS, endometriosis and menopause. Take powdered aloe in a formula as instructed by a health practitioner. Not recommended for women with uterine bleeding because it increases blood flow. Pregnant women should also avoid ingesting aloe as it is abortificient in large quantities.
5. Reduce inflammation
People suffering from swollen glands, bursitis or conjunctivitis could benefit from the use of aloe under the supervision of a health practitioner.
How to use aloe?
All you need is a small quantity. Too much aloe could cause hypotension or hypoglycemia in some people. Unless you have any of the above conditions, consider 2 tablespoons of aloe juice or gel in the morning before breakfast for up to a week as needed, apply it topically on a wound or bruise, or follow the direction of your health practitioner if taken internally in an herbal formula. I can’t emphasize this enough—aloe is very potent so be mindful of how much and for how long you take it. It’s always best to check with a qualified practitioner.
This blog is to make you aware of the various uses of aloe. However, the information in this article is not meant to be used to replace your other medications prescribed by a doctor. Please consult your physician.
Many thanks to Della Davis at Mount Madonna Institute for her edits.
Image by subliminl, freeimages.com