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.
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.
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