Herbs have been used as medicines for thousands of years. Till recently people relied on traditional systems of medicine that were based on observational analysis, It is only now that scientific methods have evolved enough to allow experimental research. However, this does not denigrate the observations made over centuries. Plants used in folk medicine are still the main source of drug discovery and development.
Modern medicine may have the tools but nature still has all the compounds.One promising herb that is often unrecognized for all its medicinal properties is Aloe Vera. This herb seems to be the complete package for a good life. Its active ingredients can not only detoxify the body of harmful toxins but also rid the body of excess adipose tissue in a harmonious way. Aloe Vera is an excellent choice for a clean and healthy life.
The herb also has appreciable beneficial effects that protect the skin from the elements.Aloe Vera draws the heat out of burns, soothes and softens the skin just minutes after being applied. Sunburnt, dry or cracked skin and scrapes can all benefit from a slathering of Aloe Vera gel. It is said to maintain beauty, smoothen wrinkles, and brighten the face. Nature packs Aloe Vera in ready-to use leaves, (just break off a leaf and squeeze the gel onto a burn or bruise) but its effectiveness and quick action is greatly facilitated by processing its active principle.Description:Aloe Vera has a long history as a multipurpose folk remedy. It has been exceptionally recognized for its healing properties for over eighteen centuries.
Being a desert plant it needs very little water and is an ideal houseplant. While it grows wild in the dry mountains of Yemen, commercial cultivation of Aloe Vera is done in the high deserts of Texas and Mexico. Worldwide, there exist hundreds of species of this succulent, yucca-like plant, but those most often used are Aloe Perryi Baker, Aloe Ferox and the most effective species Aloe Vera barbandensis, simply known today as Aloe Vera.Components of Aloe Vera:The plant can be separated into two basic products –
The Gel and the Latex.Aloe Vera gel is the leaf pulp, or mucilage, a thin clear jelly-like substance obtained from the tissues that make up the inner portion of its leaves. The gel contains carbohydrate polymers, such as gluco-mannans or pectic acid, plus various other organic and inorganic compounds. It relieves pain, speeds-up healing, protects from frostbite and is used to control eczema and psoriasis. It is widely used in a variety of forms such as lotions, moisturizers, cosmetics, and shampoos.
Aloe Vera latex, commonly referred to as “Aloe juice,” is a bitter yellow exudate from the pericyclic tubules just beneath the outer skin of the leaves. For pharmaceutical use as a laxative (to promote bowel movement), the juice is often dried to produce “Aloe Vera” granules that are dark brown from exposure to air. In the past, exclusive use of the Aloe latex led to the widespread belief that Aloe Vera was no more than a laxative.The terms “gel” and “juice” are not always clearly defined by manufacturers and often are confused by consumers. The juice of the Aloe Vera leaves has efficacious cleansing agents that help in detoxifying and excretion of toxins.
It is only now that we are beginning to realize its potential to effectively control weight loss on a long-term basis.Aloe Vera in Weight Loss:Obesity has become an epidemic in our times. Up till now weight loss remedies had numerous problems. Weight loss diets used to involve distressing diets and workouts that involved a major disruption of daily living. A greater problem was to maintain the ideal body weight for any length of time. An increasing appreciation of nature’s potential and relentless research into age-old wisdom has finally found an ideal weight loss supplement: Aloe Vera.Aloe Vera is increasingly being recognized as one of the best agents to promote weight loss. The Aloe Vera gel is an effective agent not only to reduce but also to stabilize the body mass index.
The Aloe Vera gel action on body weight is multi-pronged, making it suitable for varied population groups and individuals. Aloe Vera has something to offer to everyone.Aloe Vera stimulates the metabolic rate in the liver cells helping us to burn more energy. The activity of each cell rises and more heat is generated. The increasing amount of fuel required for this task is derived from fat and carbohydrate stores of the body. This has a direct effect on the body mass index. Thus taking Aloe Vera supplements is akin to doing multiple workouts over a week.Aloe Vera also has a high content of “Collagen Protein”. Supplementing Aloe Vera in the diet increases protein intake. Proteins are difficult to digest and the body spends more energy assimilating them into the system.
This additional expenditure of energy is well suited for someone who wants to exchange flab for brawn. Imagine a supplement that builds you up while burning your fat stores at the same time.As mentioned above, Aloe Vera decreases the transit time that food spends in the intestine. The faster food moves the less is absorbed, enhancing the above actions of Aloe Vera on the body mass index. Little wonder then that some of the names ascribed to this medicinal herb over the years include “The Dietary Plant” and “The Harmony Remedy”!In the concluding part of this article I talk about the application of Aloe Vera as a Detoxifying Agent and how Aloe Vera helps combat baldness.Yeye Onwugbufo, “The Aloe Vera Lady” is a successful natural health, nutrition and wellness consultant.