Aloe Vera: A Legacy Of Healing
Aloe Vera is a short-stemmed green plant originating from Eastern and Southern Africa that has amazing healing properties. It usually grows between 80 and 100cm tall and has thick serrated leaves. The plant contains a sticky yellow substance in its inner leaves, which when extracted, is processed into a liquid or gel form.
The Aloe plant is quite an easy plant to grow and care for. It requires well-drained sandy soil and shouldn’t be placed in direct sunlight. Moderate light is sufficient. If the plant is a pot plan then you should ensure that the plant is completely dry before watering again. Too much water will do more harm than good!
It has been clinically proven that Aloe Vera stimulates cell growth in damaged skin and leaves the skin hydrated and softened. It also happens to have incredible anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. The substance is rich is both vitamins A and B and contains sources of calcium, choline, copper, chromium, folic acid, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. It is also what is known as a manno-protein, containing 18 different amino acids that are occasionally referred to as wound healing hormones.
Aloe Vera is commonly used to treat a multitude of different skin conditions such as eczema and burns due to its healing properties. It has an affect likened to that of aspirin and also combats inflammation. It is more commonly being used in beauty products such as moisturizers as it softens and soothes the skin.
You may be surprised to hear that Aloe Vera has now also emerged to be an excellent food preservative. Researchers in Spain have developed a gel based on this amazing plant that prolongs the life of fresh fruit. The gel is an alternative to synthetic preservatives such as sulphur dioxide. It both colourless and odourless and has no taste whatsoever. One study showed that grapes coated in the Aloe Vera gel could be kept for as long as 35 days, compared to the normal 7 days for untreated, unpreserved grapes. According to their research, the food is preserved as the gel forms a protective layer between the fruit and the air, and due to its antibiotic and anti-microbial properties, inhibits bacteria growth.
As I’m sure you have noticed, Aloe Vera is now being added to every product out there, from makeup to sunscreen to shampoo to soap. Aloe Vera products particularly benefit individuals that suffer from skin conditions like eczema as they happen to be both soothing and gentle on the skin. This isn’t to say however that people who don’t suffer from a specific skin condition can’t benefit from the properties of the Aloe Vera plant. Aloe Vera is great for arthritis and asthma sufferers and as a general first aid remedy. It can be used to treat all sorts of mild burns, grazes, scalds, cuts and even sunburn.
Overall Aloe Vera is a very useful substance and you should always be on the look out for any products that include it. You will definitely benefit from the mystical properties of this elusive plant!