Aloe Vera is a plant which is widely known for its wide array of amazing healing properties. It has been used for centuries. Even the Egyptians called it the plant of immortality. Aloe Vera is packed with over 200 biologically active and naturally occurring compounds. These include vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, polysaccharides and minerals that stimulate nutrient absorption.
Here are some of the Aloe Vera compounds:
Vitamins and Minerals
Aloe Vera contains vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, B6, folic acid and choline. Additionally,
Aloe Vera contains vitamin B12, a vitamin that vegans can’t consume in high quantities due to their diet. When it comes to minerals, Aloe Vera contains calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, potassium, sodium and copper. When combined, this mineral can boost metabolic pathways.
Aloe Vera contains important enzymes such as amylase and lipase. They help digestion by breaking down fat and sugar molecules.
The salicylic acid in Aloe Vera helps fight inflammation. Moreover, Aloe Vera is rich in over 20 essential amino acids that are required by the human body in order to function properly.
BENEFITS OF ALOE VERA
- Prevents digestive disorders such as bloating, constipation, IBS and colitis, and soothes the stomach
- Encourages the production of white blood cells
- Diminishes the risk for arthritis inflammation
- Treats acne and eczema
- Hydrates the skin
- Reduces rashes, boils, and other skin irregularities
- Helps burns heal
- Fills in wrinkles
- Heals wounds
- Boosts the immunity
- Regulates the blood sugar
- Strengthens the urinary tract performance
- Helps with reducing heartburn and indigestion
- Improves the heart’s work and the blood’s quality
- Keeps the gums healthy
Aloe Vera can be used topically or you can consume it. If you choose to ingest it, you can control the concentration of Aloe in your juice mixtures and smoothies.
HOW TO PREPARE AND USE ALOE GEL
- A clean cutting board
- A sharp filleting knife
- An aloe plant
- A clean plate
- A clean cotton towel
- A sterile glass jar
- Fresh lemon juice
- A food processor (optional)
Wash your hands. Start by washing your hands and cleaning the work surface. It is important to eliminate any unwanted bacteria.
Choose leaves that are mature, thick, fleshy and a deep green in color. Leaves should be at least 4-6 inches long. The oldest and largest outermost leaves near the bottom of the plant are ideal; they contain a thick, nutrient-rich gel layer.
Cut the leaves. Use a sharp knife to create a clean cut, without harming the plant of course. Cut close to the base of the leaf and slice away from the center of the plant.
Rinse the outer skin of the leaves and knife. Now place the cut leaves in a bowl at a 45 degree angle for 15 minutes or so. This step enables the dark yellow, very bitter Aloe juice or latex to drain out, which is found in the cells located just under the surface of the leaf. The latex is a very powerful laxative, which can irritate the intestines. The laxative effect could cause potassium levels to become low.
Remove the serrated edges and skin carefully. Place the concave side down on a cutting board. Next, slice around the perimeter. This will leave you with the top and bottom layer of skin, exposing the Aloe gel in between. Run the knife just under the top layer and peel it away. You can do the same on the opposite side.
Remove the gel from each leaf and place it in a clean jar. You can squeeze some lemon juice over it and shake the jar to coat equally.
Pour the gel into a food processor and make a smooth gel. Keep the gel in a sealed jar in the fridge. It can stay up to a week.
If you want to use it topically, clean and cut the leaf lengthwise and rub the gel on the wound few times a day, until it is completely healed.
For medicinal use, take 30 ml of the gel, 3 times a the day.
HOW TO GROW ALOE VERA
The first step in aloe vera plant care is to realize that this plant is a succulent. Like cacti, succulents do best in dry conditions. When growing aloe vera plants, plant them in a cactus potting soil mix or a regular potting soil that has been amended with additional perlite or building sand. Also, make sure that the pot has plenty of drainage holes. Aloe vera plants cannot tolerate standing water.
One important thing in the care of aloe vera houseplants is that they have proper light. Aloe vera plants need bright light, so they do best in south- or west-facing windows.
Care of Aloe Houseplants
Another important part of how to grow an aloe plant is to water the plant properly. The soil of the aloe vera plant should be allowed to go completely dry before being watered. When the aloe plant is watered, the soil should be thoroughly drenched, but the water should be allowed to drain freely from the soil. The most common reason an aloe plant dies is that the owners water too often or do not allow the water to drain. Do not make this mistake when taking care of aloe houseplants.
You can fertilize your aloe vera plant, but aloes generally don’tA?need to be fertilized. If you decide to add fertilizing to part of your aloe vera plant care routine, aloe vera plants should be fertilized once a year in the spring. You can use a phosphorus-heavy, water-based fertilizer at half strength.
Growing aloe vera houseplants is not only easy but can also provide your family with a plant that can help treat minor burns and rashes. Now that you know a little more about how to care for an aloe vera plant, you need never be without this lovely and helpful plant.