The Health Benefits of Aloe Vera

The Health Benefits of Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a succulent plant originating in Northern Africa, that sits at the top of the world's best superfoods list. It grows in arid conditions and you will see it growing in a wide range of climates today.

Aloe's history is quite fascinating. Cleopatra was said to have bathed in it, and the Greeks adopted it from the Egyptians. Alexander the Great and his army were said to have used it, and he fought for the Island of Socotra where it grew abundantly. Gandhi too was said to have used it in his fasts to maintain strength.

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If you do not have any aloe plants in your home, you may want to consider acquiring some; easy to care for, simply water with some rain water when you can. The gel of raw aloe vera contains vitamins A, C, and E; minerals sulfur, calcium, magnesium, and chromium; as well as antioxidants, fiber, amino acids, enzymes, sterols, lignins and, most importantly, polysaccharides. It is revered for its cooling antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic properties and has a wonderful moisturizing and rejuvenating effect on the skin.

It is known as a powerful medicinal plant that provides energy and strength, supports the immune and digestive systems, and aids skin regeneration. When it comes to cuts, scraps or burns, aloe is excellent; just fillet a leaf and apply the gelatinous gel from the stalk to your skin. You will be amazed at how quickly the skin will heal.

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It has a wide spectrum of properties and the ability to heal the body both internally and externally. Internally, it can assist in all areas of digestion, including increased absorption. Aloe vera topically leads to clearer, fairer and healthier skin, and sets the stage for an anti-aging protocol. This amazing plant is also said to aid in sculpting our bodies. It has been shown that consuming aloe vera can help maintain lean muscle mass while losing weight.

The list of beneficial properties of aloe vera is endless. One way to start using it today is as a natural "facelift". Fillet the leaves of the aloe plant and remove enough gelatinous substance to rub into the entire face and neck. Leave it on for 30 minutes while you feel your skin getting pulled tighter. Rinse off with warm water and presto, you just gave your face the best food ever!

Editor's Note: Consuming raw aloe internally is dangerous. If taking aloe vera internally, be sure to purchase a trusted, tested brand.

Image: Garry Knight

Reference: Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future by David Wolfe

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Jeanette holds a Bachelor of Science degree and spent many years in the corporate world. In the mid-90's, ready to pursue a more joy-filled life, Jeanette began working closely with Wayne Gendel (a Hippocrates Health Educator) and Forever Healthy, a company dedicated to natural health products. Over the next 10 years, Jeanette learned more about the healing properties of living foods and decided to incorporate raw food education into her growing natural health practice. This journey included networking with like-minded people and connecting with suppliers of ethically-superior foods and products. She also organized events for David Wolfe, a world-renowned authority on living nutrition. During this time she was also drawn to the ancient healing art of Qi Gong and became an instructor. She experienced dramatic changes in her life and promotes the self healing power of practice and discipline. Jeanette understands the value of lifestyle balance and rhythm, learned through her wellness practices and also raising her son. She brings intelligence, humor, humility and life experience to all of her pursuits -personal and professional. Her vitality, knowledge and passion are now helping many others achieve natural beauty and balance. Through her consulting, events, workshops and blog, Jeanette facilitates self-change and living a natural and more conscious life. Her mission is to spark people to live an abundant life full of energy and vitality.