– Aloe Vera

aloe-vera-leavesDating back to ancient Egypt, Aloe Vera has been used for a variety of medicinal purposes. Native to Africa, varieties of the aloe plant are now grown in other dry and arid regions throughout the world. During the 1800’s the aloe plant was used by midwives and pharmacists to stimulate menstruation and induce miscarriage . Today, aloe juice concentrate is used internally as a laxative on upset stomachs, and to soothe heartburn and ulcers.

ALSO KNOWN AS:
Burn plant, sabila, Indian alces, kumari, ghirita, gawarpaltra, lu hui, socrotrine, cape, curaiao, Barbados, Zanzibar aloe

WHERE IT’S FOUND: Native to Africa.

WARNING LEVEL: Moderate risk associated with use. High doses of oral aloe are dangerous. Don’t take oral aloe if you have intestinal problems, heart disease, hemorrhoids, kidney problems, diabetes, or electrolyte imbalances. If you take any drugs regularly, talk to your doctor before you start using aloe supplements. They could interact with medicines and supplements like diabetes drugs, heart drugs, laxatives, steroids, and licorice root.

LAST MENSTRUAL CYCLE: If your last menstrual cycle started about 6 weeks ago.

POSSIBLE TOXICITY: DEATH ASSOCIATED WITH USE, kidney & liver toxin, purgative.

UTERINE & HORMONAL EFFECTS: Contracts uterus, increases blood flow to the uterus, increases estrogen, increases oxytocin.

COMMON USES & KNOWN HEALTH BENEFITS

  • Used for treating burns, scalds, sunburns and scrapes
  • Helps with heart burn and ulcer
  • Soothes upset stomachs
  • Laxative (can help alleviate constipation)
  • Helps fight infection
  • Smooths and beautifies skin

HOW IT’S PREPARED

  • LIQUID ALOE JUICE CONCENTRATE: One tablespoon of liquid aloe juice concentrate on its own or mixed with juice or water before meals (up to three times daily).
  • ALOE TEA: 3 oz. (85 g) fresh aloe leaves sliced to 1 qt. (1 L) water, heat to boiling, strain, and to temper the bitterness add 1 oz. (28 g) sugar. Take early in the morning.
  • POWDERED ALOE EXTRACT: 1 – 2 size “0” capsules, two to three times a day.
  • EATING ALOE: conventional food dosage is about 15 grams per day of natural leaf and 2-5 grams of juice concentrate or dried matter.
  • DRINKING ALOE: bottled flavored aloe vera drinks are available in some countries.

POSSIBLE SIDE-EFFECTS AND SIGNS OF TOXICITY: intense nausea, vomiting, cramping, diarrhea, abdominal pain, excessive menstruation, enteritis (inflammation of the small intestine). There is a possiblility of blood in the stool. Aloe may cause electrolyte imbalances in the blood of people who ingest aloe for more than a few days, avoid the month prior to colonoscopy, toxicity might create red colored urine or intestinal pain. 

RESOURCES & REFERENCES: