Aloe: A Spectacular Succulent

March 31, 2011

We’ve long known this green jelly as an excellent sunburn healer but it seems as if more and more foods are incorporating this healing plant

We’ve long known this green jelly as an excellent sunburn healer but it seems as if more and more food and beverages are incorporating this healing plant into their list of ingredients. Belonging to a larger plant family called Xeroids, this member of the lily family has very cactus-like qualities; like its ability to store water and resist drought conditions. Referred to as everything from “voodoo juice” to the “silent healer,” Aloe Vera, has been considered an ancient cure for hundreds and hundreds of years and has historical fans ranging from Cleopatra to Aristotle.

Aloe Vera is an amazing botanical grown in arid desert regions of the world. There are over 200 varieties of aloe, yet only four carry medicinal properties. Aloe Vera promotes quick healing, has antibiotic properties, stimulates cell growth, and is also a pain inhibitor. It contains more than 70 essential ingredients including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, proteins and amino acids.

Aloe’s purported benefits include treating and alleviating: insomnia, stomach disorders, bone and joint disorders, cold sores, sprains, psoriasis, inflammation, and poor blood circulation. It also detoxifies and builds the immune system. Research from UC Davis demonstrated that adding aloe to vitamin supplements, notably vitamins C and B12, helps people absorb the vitamins more readily. More specifically aloe’s healing properties are thought to stabilize blood sugar, with implications for diabetes, combat cancerous cells, provide electrolytes similar to “sports drinks,” lower cholesterol, ease intestinal problems i.e. constipation and ulcers, and more.

Currently Aloe as an ingredient can be found in skin care, hair care and supplements but keep an eye out for more aloe beverages and aloe on ingredient lists. With all its history and phenomenal healing benefits, maybe it should be “an aloe a day keeps the doctor away!”