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What is Aloe Vera?
You may have seen the plant. It's that spikey looking cactus type thing with long, thick, squishy leaves. In fact, it is a member of the Lily family and the leaves are "squishy" because they are filled with gel. It is this gel that has given it the reputation for being called the "Miracle plant" or "Natural Healer". There are in fact over 200 varieties of aloes, It is the Aloe Barbadensis Miller (Aloe Vera) which is most beneficial to us people.
So what is in Aloe Vera?
Vitamins - it contains a wide range but the most important are the antioxidants, C, E and beta carotene (the precursor to vitamin A). It also contains vitamin B12 in very small amount.
Minerals - magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, chromium, calcium, sodium and potassium, all of which the body needs.
Amino acids - these are the building blocks of proteins and are required for healthy muscle developement in everyone (not just gym users!!). Aloe vera contains 20 amino acids and provides 7 of the 8 essentials required but not produced naturally by the body and usually provided by food.
Sugars - including polysaccharides which act on the immune system.
Digestive and Anti-inflammatory enzymes.
Lignin - which is an alcohol which allows Aloe Vera to penetrate deep into the skin.
Saponins - which are soapy substances which have an anti-microbial effect against bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeasts.
Anthraquinones - although in minute amounts they are strong painkillers.
Did you get all that? Yeah I was a bit blinded by the science that came with it and I spared you. There are plenty of case studies and reports should you wish to read them.
How does it help us?
When taken internally as gel drinks (an acquired taste but can be mixed with juices), it is reported to cleanse the digestive system making the absorption of nutrients in food much more efficient. It is also reported to help with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), ulcerative colitis, Psoriasis, Arthritic swelling and aid the immune system. Fortunately, I don't have any of the above ailments, but I do find I have more energy and perhaps strangely, feel less stressed.
Anyone who has tried it on burns may know that it is very soothing but also speeds the healing process and if scarred, the scars appear to be less apparent.
It's a great moisturiser though. Yes, I am a modern day man and I do moisturise.
I use an Aloe Vera toothpaste too. Being a smoker and coffee drinker, I am aware of stains, gum problems and bad breath. The toothpaste leaves my mouth feeling fresh and clean (as it should), my teeth looking pearly white (as they should be) and my breath fresh too. I also find that, when I wake in the morning, instead of having that early morning breath (you know what I mean), I still find my mouth reasonably fresh. My gums look and feel healthy too. Maybe it's that antibacterial effect in the Aloe Vera that's doing all this.
I have also used an Aloe Heat Lotion. Having damaged a muscle several years ago at work in my back (or so I thought), I tried almost everything. The pain went away but the problem was always there. I found out recently, I have damaged a muscle in my hip, which was leading to the back pain. I tried some Aloe Heat Lotion and WOW!!!!!, it's hot. It's like that first and second mouthful of hot curry. I rubbed the cream into my back and it gets to work straight away. It is in fact a very comfortable and intense heat and it sorts my problem out. Now all I have to do is some stretching exercises to help repair the muscle!!!!!
So I will continue using these products because they work for me. I have them delivered direct from a company called Forever Living Products which has been around for over 25 years. They deliver quickly, so I never run out and they may be more costly than the high street, but I think that using a product whose major ingredient is Aloe Vera is more beneficial than using products that contain some Aloe Vera. It's a play on words, but check the content sometime.
As with all alternative treatments/aids, try it and see. I've tried many and most have had no effect. I prefer not to take prescription drugs as they may sort out 1 problem, but they always seem to give you another. The products I use now, do the business.
Aloe Pura Aloe Vera is a combination of whole leaf and innergel and contains no additives ... more
and high potency. This unique formula was created to maximise the natural beneficial properties of Aloe Vera juice in a simple capsule that is designed to taken on a daily basis. Each tablet contains 100mg of concentrated Aloe Vera which is an equivalent to 12ml/12,000mg of fresh Aloe Vera juice.
Health Aid Aloe Vera helps to soothe, moisturise and heal both internally and externally. ... more
Taken internally it helps to cleanse the colon and can be used after abdominal or gynaecological surgery to restart normal bowel function. The Health Aid Aloe Vera capsule can also be opened and the contents applied externally to burns, wounds and scars to encourage healing.
The extracts of the famous tropical plant in this Aloe Vera Lubricant result in a medical ... more
grade lube with a pleasant natural scent that will leave your skin feeling soft and fresh.This personal lubricant is water-based, safe to use with latex condoms and silicone sex toys, and it washes off easily in the bath or shower.Comes in a handy and hygienic 60ml pump bottle.Another great product from Taboom, established European adult lifestyle designers and producers.