Aloe ~ Accelerated Healing ~ 2/03/08
Aloe is often referred to as 'The living first-aid plant'. Ancient Egyptians called aloe 'the plant of immortality'. There are over 200 aloe species; the most used species for medicinal uses are:
Aloe vera A. barbadensis, and Candelabra or tree aloe A. aborescens.
Research conducted at a number of universities found that aloe penetrates the human skin almost four times faster than water and that aloe is an effective oral and topical agent for accelerating wound healing. As aloe can quickly penetrate injured tissue to relieve pain, reduce inflammation and dilate capillaries, thereby, it increases blood supply to the injured area and healing can occur rapidly. Burn clinics have found aloe to be 50% more effective for burn treatment than other specific remedies.
Aloe vera contains a wide range of beneficial nutrients, including protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, and many other valuable constituents.
Aloe has been found to heal radiation burns quickly and, for this benefit, aloe should be planted in every home garden. Recent talks have centred on the possibility that our future electricity supply may come from nuclear power. Nuclear development raises questions about the problem of radioactive wastes, and the fact that there is no safe means of disposal. Furthermore, wars now pose threats of nuclear dimensions. Will future generations be forever burdened with storage of toxic wastes and the very real threat of deadly spillage and contamination? These threats pose major concerns in contemporary society, yet the simplest solution may still prove the best: renewable energy sources. Safe and natural is always best practice ... and this is also true of our healing herbs.
Aloe has a wide variety of therapeutic uses. It inhibits histamines, which cause skin itching and other allergic irritations. When aloe is taken internally, it enhances the secretion of digestive enzymes, balances acid in the stomach and regulates sugar and fat metabolism and it is a tonic to the whole body. It has pain relieving properties and a cooling, moistening effect on the body that counteracts problems associated with excess heat and inflammation. It is most effective used as a rub, or the inner gel of the sliced leaf applied to the skin as a poultice. The aloe has wonderful demulcent properties, which helps to soothe and protect the lining of the gut.
Many people report benefits and relief when using the gel for colitis, peptic and duodenal ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, celiac disease and diverticulitis. Research has found that aloe increases the proliferation of lymphocytes, macrophages, T cells and antibodies, to stimulate natural immunity. Some internal uses for aloe include: allergies, arthritis and rheumatism, AIDS, autism, Downs Syndrome, candida, constipation, colds and flu, anaemia, diabetes, fluid retention, Epstein-Barr virus, insomnia, menstrual cramps, circulation and blood disorders, lupus, fibromyalgia, thrush, reflux, staph and viral infections, diarrhea, kidney, bladder and prostate conditions, paralysis, heartburn, back pain, high cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar, diabetes, lung and heart diseases, gout, bad breath, muscle cramps, bone fractures, gum disease, fatigue, nervous stress, cancer and for removing heavy metals from the body. Aloe gel is applied to haemorrhoids to soothe pain, irritation, and to speed healing.
Another practical way of using aloe is for cleaning teeth.
Aloe tooth gel: take an aloe leaf, cut a section open, rub your toothbrush into the thick gel of the leaf, and then brush your teeth. Aloe also provides a healing action to delicate gum tissue, as well as a cleansing function, and can inhibit the growth of damaging bacteria.
The Candelabra aloe species has a folklore tradition of use for cancer, shingles, pain relief and as a general tonic for good health. Candelabra aloe has a rather special substance called Aloctin A, found in quantities that can stimulate biological activities, such as mitogenic activity of T Lymphocytes, with scientific research showing its strong performance in boosting the immune system. In cancer patients, immune-modulating polysaccharides of aloe increase the body s production of tumour necrosis factor, which is a natural chemical that functions to shut off the blood supply to malignant tumours. Another derivative of the leaves is Alexin B, which researchers have found possesses powerful anti-cancer activity against lymphoid leukemia.
For full details of how to prepare the candelabra tonic recipe refer to my book 'How can I use herbs in my daily life?'
I encourage readers to grow aloe and make it part of your home health program.