Herbs & Natural Foods for Health


Scientific Name - Aloe vera

Properties - Anesthetic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, sunscreen, tissue restorative -- speeds healing, prevents scarring, soothes itching and burning.

Common Uses - Aloe gel is used to accelerate the healing process for burns, wounds, and skin irritations. May aid in healing the eyes of "flash burns" from welding. Apply gel from a fresh cut leaf to burns, wounds, poison ivy, and hemmorhoids. In folk medicine, Aloe gel has been taken internally to alleviate constipation, to heal ulcers, to ease the pain and swelling of arthritis, and to help diabetics control blood sugar (see caution).

Parts Used - Gel which makes up the body of leaves.

Locating & Handling - Use fresh cut leaf if possible. Easy to grow in a pot on the windowsill. Purchase at a nursery. Soil should dry between waterings.

Caution - Although Aloe has historically been taken internally, it is no longer recommended. Severe abdominal pain may result from internal use. (Some herbalists recommend combining it with other herbs to avoid this.) Internal use during pregnancy could lead to miscarriage, as it stimulates uterine contractions.

Origin - Africa, brought to Greece by Alexander the Great.

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Patten HERBALS ~ Early Herbals
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