Aloe, form the Arabic word meaning ‘bitter’ and Vera from the Latin word meaning ‘true’ has been used as a wound healer, beauty enhancer and digestive aid. The ancient Egyptians would embalm the dead with Aloe to benefit form the antibacterial properties and slow down decay. Christopher Columbus used it to keep his men healthy during long voyages and Gandhi consumed it during long periods of fasting from food. Despite the Samurai covering their bodies in it before battle to cause immortality, we now know a few things about this plant but one is not immortality.
Aloe Vera gel contains powerful antioxidants, which belong to a large family of substances known as polyphenols which can help inhibit the growth of certain bacteria which we need as we cleanse. Applying Aloe to the skin, teeth, gums and hair and stopping the use of chemical soaps and fluoride toothpaste will enhance the healthy bacteria all over your body. Most research shows Aloe’s ability to heal burn wounds faster than chemical creams and is now used as a treatment during cancer radiation therapy. Due to the powerful antioxidant properties it is useful for cleansing and enhancing the detoxification process especially in the first three days. Aloe Vera can increase hydration into the cells and improve the detox system from the cells. However this means we have to increase hydration or you risk pulling water from your digestive system and causing constipation.
Aloe is packed full of Vitamin’s including A, C, E, folic acid, choline, B1, B2, B3 (niacin), B6. Aloe Vera is also one of the few plants that contains vitamin B12. Some of the 20 minerals found in Aloe vera include: calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, selenium, sodium, iron, potassium, copper, manganese.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. There are about 22 amino acids that are necessary for the human body and it is said that 8 of these are essential. Estimates of the amino acids found in aloe range from 18-20 amino acids, with all 8 essential amino acids. Aloe Vera also includes quite an impressive range of fatty acids. Aloe contains three plant sterols, which are important fatty acids – HCL cholesterol (which lowers fats in the blood), campesterol, and B-sitosterol. All are helpful in reducing symptoms of allergies and acid indigestion. Other fatty acids include linoleic, linolenic, myristic, caprylic, oleic, palmitic, and stearic.
Aloe Vera is a well-known adaptogen. An adaptogen is something that boosts the body’s natural ability to adapt to external changes and resist illness. It is thought that aloe’s power as an adaptogen balances the body’s system, stimulating the defence and adaptive mechanisms of the body. This allows you an increased ability to cope with stress (physical, emotional and environmental stress like pollution).
Now you have a little bit of an understanding into this remarkable plant, you can see why it's used for reaching optimal health throughout the world.