Aloe Vera (Aloe bardaenis) ~ Materia Medica by Jyll Renee’

Aloe VeraAloe Vera

Botanical name: aloe bardaenis

Common name:  juice from lilies, desert lilies

Habitat:  Aloe Vera has pointed and fleshy leaves that produce a  gel and juice.  They are natives of  tropical Africa, where they grow in the wilds, but aloes also flourish in the West  Indies and Mediterranean countries on cultivated aloe plantations designed  exclusively for commerce.

Considered an easy plant to grow by most it  requires a sandy, well drained soil and sunny location.  It is not frost resistant so if you live in  colder climates, plants in pots should be brought indoors at the first sign of  cold weather.  It is easiest to start  from leaf cuttings, cut a large fleshy leaf from the mother plant and let it  dry out for several days, until the cut is sealed over and healed.  Place cutting in sandy dry soil, (just sand  will work fine) for several weeks until new roots form; plant in sandy, well  drained soil.

There are more than 200 species of perennial  aloe, but only aloe vera is considered true aloe.  True aloe produces a yellowish juice that  will seep out when a leaf is cut.

The color of aloe juices differ, according to the locations where the plants are grown and the methods used to extract the juice.  Both the gel and the juice come  from the aloe’s leaves.  As a rule, the  gel is not used internally, but the juice has a long history for internal use.

Healthy Info:  Truthfully, every household should have a plant or two  of this around, it is so valuable a medicinal.  It is one of the best herbs for burns and skin infections (except for  staph infections), and is used internally as a laxative and a cleanser.

  • Constipation (stubborn) and Digestive Distress.  Aloe  tea is a well-respected digestive aid, particularly for severe or stubborn  cases of constipation.  It relaxes the  bowels, acts as a stomach tonic, and stimulates the large intestine.  It promotes bile flow to help regulate  digestion.  In India, a tonic wine is  made from fermented aloe gel, blended with honey and spices, and used for  anemia, poor digestion and liver disorders.  You can make aloe tea with honey and mint, spiced with cinnamon, to have  your own tonic.
  • Moisture.  Aloe gel is an emollient that helps skin retain its moisture.  It has been called Natures Best Moisturizer.  In ancient Egypt, aloe was regarded as a  religious plant, and it is said Cleopatra used its gel to protect her skin from the damaging effects of the hot Egyptian sun.
  •  Parasite Purge. Aloe vera is one of the most  effective treatments to expel worms or other parasites from the intestinal  tract.  It is also antifungal.
  • Radiation Burns and Skin Surgery.  Aloe is a  healing stimulant that is used topically in the United States to speed healing  after radiation burns and skin surgery.  You can wash burns with cooled aloe tea, or take an aloe bath.
  • Uses Through the Ages.  As far back as  the fourth century, aloe was used by Greek physicians to cure everything from constipation to liver problems.
  • Caution.  In high doses, aloe can cause intestinal cramps.  For this reason, aloe is often combined  with an herb like peppermint, which eases cramping.   Prudent use would be to take aloe only for  stubborn digestive disorders or an aggressive attach on intestinal bacteria, for a short term only.  Aloe is not  recommended for internal use by children, pregnant women, or the elderly.

*Aloe Sunburn Bath

If you ever get one of those flaming red sunburns,  this recipe will save your skin and let you sleep at night.  Make 2-4 bags of aloe tea and pour the tea  into a cool bath.  Soak in the aloe to  take out the sting, activate healing and prevent moisture loss from your skin

*Properties;  purgative, tonic, wound healer, soothes-tissues, anti-fungal, expels worms and parasites, promotes bile flow

 

References: 20,000 Secrets of Tea, Victoria Zak pages 73-75

Jyll Renee Master Herbologist (765-644-0312)

Submitted by: Jyll Renee’, Master Herbologist (Click here to learn more about Jyll Renee.)

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Jyll Renee'

Family Herbalist: Clayton College of Natural Health Certificate Course; Anatomy/Physiology Online course, www.alternativemedicine.com Master Herbalist, Sage Mountain School; The Science and Art of Herbalism Continued and Previous advanced training in Botanical Medicine. Natural Medicine practice since 1995. Naturopathic Practioner, 3 year internship – Dr. Deborahe Prock ND