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Planning Retirement Online

All about Aloe Vera      June 2005 

Amazon book - Aloe Vera: Nature's Silent Healer  

All about aloe vera

What is it?

Aloe vera is a plant with succulent, fleshy leaves. It looks a bit like a cactus but is related to the lily family. 

Break open a leaf and you get a gel oozing from inside. This gel is the base of a variety of products, some in the form of a cream or ointment or in a drink.

What does it do?


Aloe vera is used to treat a wide variety of skin conditions, including sunburn, cuts, minor inflammation and burns. It is also used in moisturisers, toothpaste, soaps and shampoos and in suncreams. A cream containing 0.5 % of Aloe

vera extract used three times a day for four weeks

has been shown to help psoriasis patients.

Why does it work?

The gel is rich in a number of vitamins, minerals, plant sterols (which act as anti-inflammatory agents), saponins (which have a powerful anti-bacteria effect), amino acids (building blocks of essential protein). Together they soothe and heal damaged skin. Aloe vera gel may also provide mild analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects.

Natural or processed?

You can grow a small potted aloe vera plant and just break off or cut a leaf and squeeze out the gel as needed - for burns, minor wounds and skin ailments. Aloe is a low-maintenance plant. It is very easy to grow, needs little water and almost no care.

There are many commercially processed aloe products on the market, some of which have been reconstituted from a powder. Some products that claim to contain aloe actually have so little that they have no therapeutic value at all. Go to a reliable health food shop and ask before you buy. Or try the well-established Forever Living products: .

Is it safe?

To date, there are no known adverse reactions or side effects with the use of aloe gel.
But there is also aloe, a potent laxative drug derived from the outer leaf tissue of the aloe plant in the form of a yellow juice, but usually sold as a dry powder. This contains purgatives and can cause inflammation to the gut. So do not use the outer leaf, just squeeze out the gel.



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