Register as a User. If already registered LOG IN. Help this community by editing pages or by UPLOADING PICTURES.

Aloe Vera

From Philippines
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Herbal Remedies and Medicinal Cures for Diseases, Ailments & Illnesses that afflict Humans and Animals
Aloe Vera Astragalus Bankoro Bilberry Bitter Gourd (Ampalaya) Bitter Orange Black Cohosh Cat's Claw Chamomile Chasteberry Coconut Cranberry Dandelion Echinacea Ephedra European Elder Tree Evening Primrose Fenugreek Feverfew Flaxseed Garlic Ginger Ginkgo Ginseng (Asian) Golden Seal Grape Seed Green Tea Hawthorn Hoodia Horse Chestnut Kava Lavender Licorice Malunggay Moringa Oleifera Milk Thistle Mistletoe Passion Flower Peppermint Oil Red Clover Ringworm Bush (Akapulko) – Cassia alata Saw Palmetto St. John's Wort Tawa Tawa Turmeric Valerian Yohimbe
accept the bitter to get better


  • Aloe Vera

The medicinal herb Aloe Vera as an alternative herbal remedy for burns, diabetes and osteoarthritis - aloe, burn plant, lily of the desert, elephant's gall :

Latin Names--Aloe vera, Aloe barbadensisPicture of Alloe Vera

  • Red aloe (Aloe ferox) is known for its tonic effect on digestive functioning. It is also a natural remedy to support healthy bowel movements. Recent research and studies have shown Aloe to be particularly effective in maintaining healthy digestion and routine, healthy stools. (Odes HS, Madar Z. "A double-blind trial of a celandin, aloe vera and psyllium laxative preparation in adult patients with constipation". Digestion. 1991;49(2):65-71). (Langmead L, Feakins RM, Goldthorpe S, et al. "Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral aloe vera gel for active ulcerative colitis".

AloeVera 2.jpg
Giant Aloe Vera Plant
Aloevera03.jpg
Aloe Vera Plant
Herbal remedies for diabetes.JPG
How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm
Aloevera02.jpg
Aloe Vera Flowers
Aloevera01.jpg
Aloe Vera Plantation
Helpful Informational Links
Dandelion Root Products
The leaves and roots of the dandelion, or the whole plant, are used fresh or dried in teas, capsules, or extracts.
Try the Dandelion Way
Hoodia
Kalahari Bushmen have traditionally eaten hoodia stems to reduce their hunger and thirst during long hunts.
Alternative way to loose weight!
Immune System Supplements
Astragalus root is used to support and enhance the immune system. Astragalus has also been used for heart disease.
Herbal Alternative Health

What Alloe Vera Is Used For

  • Traditionally and herbal remedy for burns, aloe was used topically to heal wounds and for various skin conditions, and orally as a laxative.
  • Today, in addition to traditional uses, people take aloe orally to treat a variety of conditions, including diabetes, asthma, epilepsy, and osteoarthritis. People use aloe topically for osteoarthritis, burns, and sunburns.
  • Aloe vera gel can be found in hundreds of skin products, including lotions and sunblocks.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved aloe vera as a natural food flavoring.
  • Aloe Ferox (Aloe) has been traditionally used in wound healing since ancient times. The Egyptians were using Aloe as early as 1500BC. Aloe contains a number of active compounds that have proven healing properties and an excellent effect on skin health, growth and repair. It is not surprising that Aloe has a history of being a common household remedy and is found in many commercial skin care preparations!

How Aloe Vera Is Used

  • Aloe leaves contain a clear gel that is often used as a topical ointment. The green part of the leaf that surrounds the gel can be used to produce a juice or a dried substance (called latex) that is taken by mouth.
  • The aloe vera gel can be applied directly to the wound. It can heal a new cut, abrasion, or an insect bite. The soothing effect of the aloe vera gel can be felt almost immediately.
  • The aloe vera gel if applied immediately to a cut or wound, prevents the onset of an infection. The common band-aid can be used over the wound to keep the aloe vera gel in place.

What the Science Says about Aloe Vera

  • Aloe latex contains strong laxative compounds. Products made with various components of aloe (aloin, aloe-emodin, and barbaloin) were at one time regulated by the FDA as oral over-the-counter (OTC) laxatives. In 2002, the FDA required that all OTC aloe laxative products be removed from the U.S. market or reformulated because the companies that manufactured them did not provide the necessary safety data.
  • Early studies show that topical aloe gel may help heal burns and abrasions. One study, however, showed that aloe gel inhibits healing of deep surgical wounds. Aloe gel does not prevent burns from radiation therapy.
  • There is not enough scientific evidence to support aloe vera for any of its other uses.

Side Effects and Cautions about Aloe Vera

  • Use of topical aloe vera is not associated with significant side effects. Abdominal cramps and diarrhea have been reported with oral use of aloe vera. Diarrhea, caused by the laxative effect of oral aloe vera, can decrease the absorption of many drugs.
  • People with diabetes who use glucose-lowering medication should be cautious if also taking aloe by mouth because preliminary studies suggest aloe may lower blood glucose levels.
  • Tell your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.

Types of Aloe Vera Plants

  • Red aloe (Aloe ferox) is known for its tonic effect on digestive functioning. It is also a natural remedy to support healthy bowel movements. Recent research and studies have shown Aloe to be particularly effective in maintaining healthy digestion and routine, healthy stools. (Odes HS, Madar Z. "A double-blind trial of a celandin, aloe vera and psyllium laxative preparation in adult patients with constipation". Digestion. 1991;49(2):65-71). (Langmead L, Feakins RM, Goldthorpe S, et al. "Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral aloe vera gel for active ulcerative colitis". Aliment.Pharmacol.Ther. 4-1-2004;19(7):739-747.) One of the ingredients in Natural Moves™

How to grow Aloe Vera Plants

Aloe vera grows very well indoors and in pots.

Aloe Vera Products

Aloe Vera has been commercially distributed in many ways. Most of the products are extracts of the aloe vera gel.

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe Vera Gel used for osteoarthritis, burns and sunburns, It is relatively easy to care for the aloe vera plant. The aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) plant is about 95% water therefore, Aloe vera prospers beautifully in frost-free climates. Well-drained sandy soil, or sandy loam with moderate sunlight is suitable for the aloe vera plant. Aloe vera plants are great as indoor or house plants. Make sure that you use quality pots with proper drainage holes. Wider pots rather than deeper pots are better because Aloes have a shallow, spreading root system. You should allow the potted aloe vera plants to completely dry out prior to re-watering. Aloe vera becomes dormant in winter, at which time very little moisture is required. Do not expose aloe vera plants to extreme cold temperatures.

There are over 150 species of Aloe Vera, and they are mostly native of South Africa. The aloe vera gel which is gathered from inside the leaf of the aloe vera plant has excellent healing properties especially when applied to cuts and burns. When the aloe vera gel is applied to skin which is sunburnt, the cooling effect of the aloe vera gel gives immediate relief.

Herbal Remedy Products with Aloe Vera as part of the ingredients

Natural Moves.jpg
  • Natural Moves™ - Herbal remedy helps maintain regularity and support healthy regular bowel movements
    • Maintains normal bowel movements and bowel regularity
    • Supports the body’s process of regular toxin and waste removal
    • Addresses non-recurrent and non-persistent constipation
    • Acts as an effective liver tonic
    • Supports healthy peristaltic movement through the digestive tract
  • One of the ingredients: Red aloe (Aloe ferox) is known for its tonic effect on digestive functioning. It is also a natural remedy to support healthy bowel movements. Recent research and studies have shown Aloe to be particularly effective in maintaining healthy digestion and routine, healthy stools (Odes HS, Madar Z. "A double-blind trial of a celandin, aloe vera and psyllium laxative preparation in adult patients with constipation." Digestion. 1991; 49(2):65-71). (Langmead L, Feakins RM, Goldthorpe S, et al. "Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral aloe vera gel for active ulcerative colitis." Aliment.Pharmacol.Ther. 4-1-2004; 19(7):739-747.).

ColoFlush2.jpg
  • ColoFlush™ - Herbal supplement for cleansing of the colon and systemic health*
    • Supports the healthy functioning of the digestive system*
    • Promotes routine ‘flushing out’ of the colon without upsetting microflora*
    • Supports colonic ecology*
    • Maintains the normal digestion process*
    • Supports the systemic health of the colon*
    • Supports the body’s process of regular toxin and waste removal*
    • Helps prepare the colon for colonic irrigation*

Historical uses of Aloe Vera

Historical use of various aloe species is well documented. Documentation of the clinical effectiveness is available, although relatively limited.

Of the 500+ species, only a few were used traditionally as a herbal medicine, aloe vera again being the most commonly used species. Also included are A. perryi and A. ferox. The Ancient Greeks and Romans used aloe vera to treat wounds. In the Middle Ages, the yellowish liquid found inside the leaves was favored as a purgative. Unprocessed aloe that contains aloin is generally used as a laxative, whereas processed aloe vera juice does not usually contain significant aloin.

Some species, particularly aloe vera, are used in alternative medicine and first aid. Both the translucent inner pulp and the resinous yellow aloin from wounding the aloe plant are used externally to relieve skin discomforts. As an herbal medicine, aloe vera juice is commonly used internally to relieve digestive discomfort.

There have been relatively few studies about possible benefits of aloe gel taken internally. Components of Aloe may inhibit tumor growth. There have been some studies in animal models which indicate that extracts of Aloe have a significant anti-hyperglycemic effect, and may be useful in treating Type II diabetes. These studies have not been confirmed in humans.

News About Aloe Vera

Growing Aloe Outdoors: Can You Grow Aloe Outside

By Sandhya Raghavan

he aloe vera plant has become quite ubiquitous these days. Along with the humble tulsi plant, almost every household insists on keeping one. After all, it’s our go-to quick fix for treating from everyday cuts, scrapes and burns. The clear sap of the aloe plant works better than most over-the-counter creams and lotions for treating skin problems. In naturopathy, the juice is also used for treating not only infectious diseases, diabetes and gastric problems but also metastatic cancers.

The aloe vera gel is one of the most nutritionally-rich foods around. With 75 active constituents, aloe is replete in vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugars, fatty acids, hormones, saponins and amino acids. Its impressive nutritional profile also makes it a potential, complementary treatment option for IBS or irritable bowel syndrome.

Why aloe vera?

Aloe has been used traditionally for ameliorating a wide variety of stomach ailments such as constipation and diarrhoea. Together, constipation and diarrhoea are also the two commonest problems associated with IBS apart from bloating, gas, cramps and abdominal pain.

The soothing gel inside the aloe leaf is rich in phenolic compounds called anthraquinones, which tend to have a laxative effect in the stomach. In total, aloe has 12 anthraquinones, out of which, alonin and emodin act as painkillers, antibacterials and antivirals.

What do studies say?

Currently, scientific findings are a mixed bag as far as the effects of aloe vera on IBS is concerned. But some studies did show some positive effects on aloe juice on IBS symptoms. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences says that the aloe plant helped in relieving pain and discomfort in patients with IBS. But a 1991 double-blind study published in the Digestion journal showed that aloe vera helped in increasing the frequency of bowel movements and improving the texture of the stools. Laxative dependency was also greatly reduced. However, it failed to establish any reduction in pain. Although it is prescribed for stomach ailments as a home remedy, studies have thrown up mixed results about aloe’s efficiency. However, you can always try incorporating aloe gel in your smoothies to see whether it works for you.

How can you have aloe for IBS?

Pluck a clean aloe leaf and run it through water multiple times. You can also soak it in water overnight to remove all the grime and dust from its surface. Split the leaf in half with a clean knife and scoop out the innards of the aloe plant. Alternatively, you can also grind the entire leaf by snipping off its pointy spikes.

To be on the safer side, consult your gastroenterologist or a good naturopath before you commence treatment.


Growing Aloe Outdoors: Can You Grow Aloe Outside

By Bonnie L. Grant

Aloe is not only a lovely succulent plant but also an excellent natural medicinal to have around the home. It is commonly grown as a house plant but a lucky few zones can grow them year around outdoors. Some varieties have a cold tolerance below 32 F. (0 C.) with a bit of protection.

Growing Conditions for Aloes

Aloe plants are native to Africa and grow in many climates. There are over 400 species of aloe, with Aloe vera one of the best known. Aloe vera is not frost tolerant and cannot withstand chilling temperatures, but there are alpine varieties that have cold tolerance to nearly freezing.

Aloe grows in USDA zones 8 to 11 outdoors. Can you grow aloe outside of these zones? You can in the summer in a container, but you should move it indoors for the cold season.

Aloes grow in poor soil with good drainage. They require full sun for at least six hours per day but best growth is found where they receive at least eight hours of bright light. The growing conditions for aloes vary in their native habitat. Aloe polyphylla is a variety that is grown in the mountains of Lesotho and there are others which thrive in coastal or grassland locations.

The plants store water in their leaves, which means they can go long periods without water. They do need regular watering but are very tolerant of drought conditions for short periods.

Aloe Plants in the Garden

As a rule, you cannot grow the Aloe vera plant outside of its recommended zones except in a container in summer, then move the plant indoors to a sunny location for the winter. In areas that have milder climates, you can grow wide variety of aloe plants in the garden.

Try Aloe arborescens and Aloe ferox. Both are quite hardy specimens that will do well outside even in moist temperate zones.

Aloes are good as stand alone plants or produce lovely displays when combined with other succulents in a container. Try growing aloe outdoors in a container that will also allow you to bring them indoors if a freeze threatens.

How Can You Grow Aloe Outside?

Placing your aloe plant outdoors in appropriate zones doesn’t require any special care as long as the site is sunny and the soil is loose and gritty. In other regions, either keep the plant in a container to move, if necessary, or apply protection.

For occasional freezes, cover the plant with a large plastic container if the cold period is just overnight. If the cold snap is longer, you will need to spread a thick mulch or straw around the root base to also protect the root zone.

Growing aloe outdoors in beds where the cold is consistent and long in duration is not recommended. To save the plant, just keep it in a pot and move it outside when temperatures are warm. Gradually expose the plant to light when transitioning to outdoor life to prevent sunburn and let it acclimate to the new conditions.


Can You Split An Aloe Plant: Tips For Dividing Aloe Plants

By Marianne Power for the Daily Mail
• Jennifer Aniston revealed this week that her beauty secret is the aloe vera plant
• House plant can be wonderful for the skin, as it's soothing and moisturising
• However, evidence is less clear when it comes to digestion and hair growth

This week, Jennifer Aniston let the world in on the secret behind her youthful looks — and it isn’t a high-tech facial or eye-wateringly expensive cream.

Instead, it’s a houseplant which you can buy yourself for less than £10. What is this wonder product? Good old aloe vera, which she applies directly to her skin as a moisturiser, especially after sunbathing.

Aniston is far from the first celebrity to endorse the magic properties of these succulent leaves. There are even claims that aloe can help with everything from dental plaque to dandruff and digestion. But do the claims stack up? Here, we investigate.

SKIN TONIC

‘Aloe vera is wonderful for the skin,’ says Dr Nigma Talib, a naturopathic doctor whose celebrity clients include Sienna Miller and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. ‘It’s soothing and moisturising and contains vitamins A,B,C,D and E as well as minerals and anti-oxidants, which means that it is very healing.

‘It is also anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. However, we’re now learning that aloe is also anti-ageing.’

The simplest way people use aloe vera on the skin is to have a plant at home, and to break off part of a leaf to squeeze out the juicy gel. However, if you don’t have a plant nearby, buy a chemical-free aloe vera gel.

AID DIGESTION

The evidence is less clear, however, when it comes to claims that aloe vera can help with digestive conditions, such as Crohn’s, IBS, or colitis. NICE, the government watchdog, discourages people from using it for IBS.

‘Aloe vera is a laxative,’ explains Viktória Borsi, a naturopathic nutritional therapist. ‘If you have constipation it may help, however if you have diarrhoea with your IBS this will make matters worse, which is why I don’t recommend it for any digestive conditions beyond acid reflux. In this case, aloe vera juice is very effective in balancing the pH levels.’

There are two main constituents to aloe — the gel and the latex. The latex is highly irritating to the digestive tract and so a good quality aloe juice is key. Try Pukka aloe juice, made from only the gel.

BOOST HAIR GROWTH

There is some anecdotal evidence to suggest that rubbing aloe vera gel into the scalp, could help reduce hair loss — but there are no clinical trials.

Dr Talib says: ‘Aloe vera gel is rich in the vitamins that are needed for healthy hair growth — but hair loss has many causes, so while it could help, I will not say it’s going to cure baldness.’ However, Dr Talib does agree that applying aloe vera gel directly to your scalp can be a great natural treatment for dry hair or an itchy scalp. The anti-microbial properties can also kill the fungi that cause dandruff.

BANISH FILLINGS

Is it time to ditch your fluoride toothpaste and bottles of alcohol-filled mouthwash?

Dr Talib says: ‘Mouthwashes with aloe vera are anti-viral and anti-bacterial and they don’t contain alcohol, which is irritating and doesn’t serve any purpose. They are lovely to use and help the mouth to stay healthy.’

The British Dental Association, is less convinced. ‘What is proven beyond doubt to reduce the risk of tooth decay is to brush teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste, (including last thing at night), and also to reduce the frequency and amount of sugar consumed,’ says a spokesperson.

EASE HEADACHES

Aloe vera contains plant sterols, substances that are thought to have an anti-inflammatory effect. Dr Fayyaz Ahmed, a consultant neurologist at Hull Royal Infirmary, who is also medical trustee of The Migraine Trust, has recommended using aloe vera as a treatment for headaches and migraine.

He suggests splitting a leaf and using the gel on your hands and face (but not consuming it directly). ‘You could also try aloe vera deodorant or aloe vera soap to wash your hands and face.

‘I use this myself when I get a migraine, and I recommend it to my patients and we find that it’s beneficial.’


Can You Split An Aloe Plant: Tips For Dividing Aloe Plants

By Bonnie L. Grant
Can You Split an Aloe Plant?

While you can divide an aloe, dividing aloe plants is not quite the same as dividing a perennial or ornamental grass. This is usually as simple as cutting the root zone in half and, ta-da, you have a new plant.

Aloe plant division is accomplished by removing the offsets, which are the baby plants at the base of the parent. The process takes just moments and rejuvenates the parent while providing a new aloe start to propagate.

When to Separate Aloe Plants

As with any plant, timing is everything for any invasive action. Late winter and early spring produce a period of fairly inactive growth, which is when to separate aloe plants for the least damage to the root system.

Aloes are pretty hardy, so if you fail to remove the pups in early spring, they will likely take it pretty well even in the growing season. Reduce the light levels for a week before trying aloe plant division on actively growing succulents. This will help slow down the plant’s growth and metabolism and produce a better result.

How to Divide Aloe Plants

The process is quite easy and will only take a few moments. The parent plant needs to be removed from its pot, so this is a good time to replant it and fill the container with fresh soil. Use a cactus mix of three parts mixed with one part potting soil.

Remove the parent plant from its container and brush away soil and rock from the base and root system. Locate a healthy pup with a few roots and carefully cut it away from the parent with a clean, sharp knife. Sometimes, you don’t need a knife and the pup will just pull away from the parent. Lay the offset in a warm, dim room to callus on the end for two days before planting.

Planting Aloe Pups

The callus is simply to prevent the new plant from rotting in the soil. Once the end of the pup is dry, select a container that is just slightly larger than the pup. Fill it with a gritty potting mix and scoop out a small depression in the top to insert the pup’s roots.

Do not water until the roots have taken and begun to grow, usually two weeks from planting. Keep the pot in bright but indirect light where temperatures are warm.



Aloe Vera Plant Care – How To Grow An Aloe Plant

By Heather Rhoades

People have been growing aloe vera plants (Aloe barbadensis) for literally thousands of years. It is one of the most widely used medicinal plants on the planet. If you are wondering, “How can I grow an aloe plant,?” I am here to tell you that taking care of an aloe plant in your home is easy. Keep reading to learn more about how to care for an aloe vera plant.

How to Grow an Aloe Plant

The first step in aloe vera plant care is to realize that this plant is a succulent. Like cacti, succulents do best in dry conditions. When growing aloe vera plants, plant them in a cactus potting soil mix or a regular potting soil that has been amended with additional perlite or building sand. Also, make sure that the pot has plenty of drainage holes. Aloe vera plants cannot tolerate standing water.

One important thing in the care of aloe vera houseplants is that they have proper light. Aloe vera plants need bright light, so they do best in south- or west-facing windows.

Care of Aloe Houseplants

Another important part of how to grow an aloe plant is to water the plant properly. The soil of the aloe vera plant should be allowed to go completely dry before being watered. When the aloe plant is watered, the soil should be thoroughly drenched, but the water should be allowed to drain freely from the soil. The most common reason an aloe plant dies is that the owners water too often or do not allow the water to drain. Do not make this mistake when taking care of aloe houseplants.

You can fertilize your aloe vera plant, but aloes generally don’t need to be fertilized. If you decide to add fertilizing to part of your aloe vera plant care routine, aloe vera plants should be fertilized once a year in the spring. You can use a phosphorus-heavy, water-based fertilizer at half strength.

Growing aloe vera houseplants is not only easy but can also provide your family with a plant that can help treat minor burns and rashes. Now that you know a little more about how to care for an aloe vera plant, you need never be without this lovely and helpful plant.


10 Things You Can Do With Aloe Vera

By Nina Elias

How beauty experts use the gooey stuff to get gorgeous

The miracle skin saver

Your mom was onto something when she snipped off the tip of an aloe leaf and squeezed it onto your sunburn. The plant has been shown in studies to help heal minor wounds eight days faster than standard dressing, not to mention it’s an antibacterial and contains vitamins and minerals that can ease eczema and psoriasis flare-ups. But creative and enterprising beauty experts are using it for a lot more than the occasional cut or rash; they’re using it to get gorgeous, too. (Look more radiant than ever—and lose up to 25 pounds in 2 months with Prevention's new Younger In 8 Weeks plan!)

We collected experts’ completely natural aloe vera uses in these 10 DIY home recipes. To avoid added fragrance and dyes, look for 100% pure aloe vera gel. It’s available at most pharmacies and health food stores.

As a makeup remover

You have to get the raccoon eyes off somehow, but many makeup removers contain harsh chemicals that are very drying to your skin, says Ildi Pekar, founder of an eponymous skin care line. She recommends you squeeze a dollop of pure aloe gel onto a cotton ball and swipe away the day for a simple and effective alternative.

As a shaving cream

In-the-know beauty buffs swear by pure aloe as the perfect shaving cream: It’s antibacterial, which is great for nicks; it’s slippery, allowing for a nice close shave; and it moisturizes, too. You can use it on its own, or combine with other nourishing ingredients for a more luxe (but still DIY) product.

Erika Katz, author of Bonding Over Beauty, shared this recipe with us: Mix 1/3 cup aloe vera gel, 1/4 cup castile soap or hand soap, 1 Tbsp almond oil, 1/4 cup distilled warm water, 1 tsp vitamin E oil, and 5 drops of eucalyptus oil in a foaming bottle or a clean soap pump dispenser. Shake well before you use, and refrigerate up to six months.

As a soothing ice cube

Grab an ice cube tray, fill with aloe gel, and freeze. Pop them out and store in a freezer safe container. “These little frosty fellows are great after too much sun exposure, run-ins with your stove, bug bites, poison ivy, and even psoriasis,” says Corene Hejl, owner of beauty company feedmyskin. “At our house we call it the boo-boo pop!”

As a face wash

Is there anything it can’t do? Mix 1 Tbsp aloe vera gel with 1 tsp almond milk, and 1 tsp lemon, wash and let sit for a few minutes before rinsing. Since some minerals found in aloe are antibacterial, this face wash is ideal for sensitive skin, breakouts, and rosacea, says Pekar. Need an anti-aging boost? Mix 1 Tbsp aloe with 1 tsp 100% raw organic coconut oil, massage into hands until the contents are warm, then wash and rinse.

As an exfoliator

It’s not the most pleasant part of grooming, but exfoliation is important if you want to reveal glowing, fresh skin. Aloe is a great base for a homemade scrub because it helps soften your skin and supply oxygen to your cells, strengthening the tissue to create vibrant skin, says Pekar. Mix 1/2 cup of aloe with just enough brown sugar or baking soda to get a gritty (but not sharp) texture. Then rub it on your elbows, heels, arms, or wherever else needs softening in the shower.

For bad breath

Come a little closer…no, actually—don’t. When bad breath hits, drink up to 1/4 cup pure aloe vera gel dissolved in a 1/2 cup of water or apple juice, suggests herbalist Letha Hadady, author of Healthy Beauty. Aloe vera contains an anti-inflammatory compound called B-sitosterol that soothes acid indigestion, a common cause of bad breath. But resist the urge to chug; in large doses, aloe vera can work like a laxative.

As a night treatment

In a literal twist on getting your beauty sleep, Tammie Umbel, founder of Shea Terra Organics, likes to blend pure aloe juice with three inches of cucumber and half an egg white for a hydrating mask you can wear to bed.

As an eyebrow gel

We love a strong brow (step away from those tweezers!) but tidiness is key. Dip a clean mascara wand in some aloe vera gel and sweep over stray brows for serious stay-put power without getting hard or sticky.

And if you did go overboard with the tweezing, Hejl swears by this recipe: “Mix one part aloe gel with one part castor oil. It seems to help over-plucked eyebrows grow in faster.”

For dry, cracked feet

Petra Strand, creator of Pixi Beauty, incorporates this ultimate green beauty ingredient into a foot mask that makes dry, cracked feet baby soft. Mix together 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup corn meal, 4 Tbsp aloe vera gel, and 1/2 cup unscented body lotion and rub all over tired feet until well exfoliated. Sit for 10 minutes, then rinse with warm water.

As a personal hand sanitizer

Sick of your hand sanitizer drying out your hands? Mix 1/2 cup aloe vera gel, 1/4 cup alcohol, and 20 drops of your favorite essential oil and pour into a spritz bottle. “The alcohol fights germs while the aloe soothes your skin,” says Katz. To use, spritz once and rub between hands.


9 Healthy Benefits of Drinking Aloe Vera Juice

By Jesica Salyer (Medically Reviewed by Natalie Butler, RD, LD)

The aloe vera plant is a succulent plant species from the genus Aloe. It grows abundantly in tropical climates and has been used for centuries as a medicinal plant.

Aloe vera juice is a gooey, thick liquid made from the flesh of the aloe vera plant leaf. It’s commonly known to treat sunburns. But drinking this healthy elixir in juice form provides you with a number of other health benefits.

Aloe vera juice is made by crushing or grinding the entire leaf of the aloe vera plant, followed by various steps to purify and filter the liquid. With a mild, tolerable flavor, the juice mixes easily into smoothies and shakes. This makes aloe vera juice a practical whole food supplement. What are the health benefits of drinking aloe vera juice?

Here are nine reasons to drink pure, uncolored, low anthraquinone aloe vera juice.

1. Alkalinity

A body with an acidic pH is a breeding ground for disease. It’s an atmosphere where illness thrives. Help keep your body balanced by eating and drinking alkaline foods and beverages such as aloe vera juice.

Other smart alkaline food choices include:

• leafy greens
• root vegetables
• citrus
• nuts and seeds
• apple cider vinegar
• coconut vinegar

2. Hydration

The aloe plant is very water-dense, so it’s an ideal way to prevent or treat dehydration. Staying hydrated helps your body detox by providing a way for you to purge and flush out impurities. The juice also packs a hefty punch of nutrients that optimize your body’s organ output.

This is crucial, because your kidneys and liver are largely responsible for the task of detoxifying your blood and producing urine. For this reason, you need to keep them healthy.

Recovery from heavy exercise also requires rehydration through the intake of extra fluids. Your body requires more fluids in order to flush and rid itself of the lactic acid buildup from exercising. Try aloe vera juice instead of coconut water after your next hard workout.

3. Liver function

When it comes to detoxing, healthy liver function is key. Aloe vera juice is an excellent way to keep your liver healthy. That’s because the liver functions best when the body is adequately nourished and hydrated. Aloe vera juice is ideal for the liver because it’s hydrating and rich in phytonutrients.

4. For constipation

Drinking aloe vera juice helps increase the water content in your intestines. Research has shown the relationship between increasing the intestinal water content and the stimulation of peristalsis, which helps you pass stool normally.

If you’re constipated or have problems with frequent constipation, try incorporating aloe vera juice into your daily routine. Aloe also helps normalize the healthy bacteria in your gut, keeping your healthy intestinal flora balanced.

5. For clear skin

Hydrating aloe vera juice may help reduce the frequency and appearance of acne. It may also help reduce skin conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis.

Aloe vera is a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins that may help protect your skin. The important compounds in aloe vera have also been shown to neutralize the effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, repair your skin from existing UV damage, and help prevent fine lines and wrinkles.

6. Nutritious boost

Aloe vera juice is jam-packed with nutrients. Drinking it is an excellent way to make sure you don’t become deficient. It contains important vitamins and minerals like vitamins B, C, E, and folic acid.

It also contains small amounts of:

• calcium
• copper
• chromium
• sodium
• selenium
• magnesium
• potassium
• manganese
• zinc

Aloe vera is one of the only plant sources of vitamin B-12, too. This is excellent news for vegetarians and vegans.

Keeping your food and drink intake nutrient-rich is key in combating most preventable diseases.

7. Heartburn relief

Drinking aloe vera juice may give you relief when heartburn attacks. The compounds present in aloe vera juice help control secretion of acid in your stomach. The effects have even been shown to combat gastric ulcers and keep them from getting larger.

8. Digestive benefits

Aloe vera contains several enzymes known to help in the breakdown of sugars and fats and to keep your digestion running smoothly. If your digestive system isn’t operating optimally, you won’t absorb all of the nutrients from the food you’re eating. You’ve got to keep your internal engine healthy in order to reap the benefits from your diet.

Aloe vera may help decrease irritation in the stomach and intestines. The juice may also help people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other inflammatory disorders of the intestines. One study in 33 IBS patients found that aloe vera juice helped reduce the pain and discomfort of IBS. The study was not placebo-controlled, so more research is needed.

Aloe vera was also beneficial to people suffering from ulcerative colitis in an earlier double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

9. Beauty hacks

Keeping aloe vera juice on hand can also be good for a number of beauty and health needs.

Try using it for the following:

• makeup primer (apply before foundation)
• makeup remover
• sunburn soother
• lightweight moisturizer
• treatment for irritated scalp (mix in a few drops of peppermint oil)
What are the side effects of drinking aloe vera juice?

Decolorized (purified, low anthraquinone) whole leaf aloe vera is considered safe. A recent study in mice fed various concentrations of purified aloe vera for three months, in fact, showed no adverse effects at all from the juice.

Colored vs. decolorized aloe juice

On the other hand, nondecolorized, unpurified aloe vera juice can have many unpleasant side effects, including:

• diarrhea
• cramping
• colon adenomas (benign tumors)
• colon cancer after long-term use (rare)

Diarrhea can lead to severe pain, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances.

Researchers have concluded that the side effects caused by unpurified aloe vera juice are a result of the presence of anthraquinone, which is considered a laxative. Though anthraquinone is an organic compound naturally found in the leaf of the aloe vera plant, it’s considered toxic and should be avoided.

Studies show that purified and decolorized juice is a safer option when compared to colored aloe vera. When shopping, look for the following statements on the label:

• purified
• decolorized
• organic
• safety tested
Drug interactions with aloe vera juice

Aloe juice has been shown to interact with certain medications. If you are taking any drug that is considered a substrate of Cytochrome P450 3A4 and CYP2D6, do not drink aloe vera juice. Aloe vera juice may increase the risk of side effects of these drugs.

Aloe may also add to the effects of sevoflurane, causing excessive bleeding during surgery. If you are taking sevoflurane, check with your doctor before drinking aloe juice.

How much sugar is in aloe vera juice?

Unlike most juices, a 4-ounce serving of aloe vera juice contains no sugar and only a few calories. If you’re watching your sugar intake, aloe vera juice is a healthy choice. Where to find aloe vera juice

Aloe vera juice can be purchased online or in most health food markets. When shopping for aloe vera juice, it’s important to consider the quality of the product.

Look for organic, pure, and 100 percent aloe juice. It’s important to drink pure aloe vera juice rather than a blend that has fillers. Read the label carefully.

Next steps

For a health boost, drink up to 8 ounces of aloe vera juice per day. You can pour it over ice, mix it in with your smoothie or favorite juice, or just drink it from the bottle.


Characteristics About Aloe Plants

By Nannette Richford

Aloe is a genus of plants that contains over 400 species. The most widely known species is Aloe vera, which is grown for its unusual shape as well as for medicinal purposes. Although many think of aloes as a plant for hot, dry climates, these tough plants thrive in alpine, grassland, dessert and coastal regions. Although individual species vary in size, shape and color, they all have some common characteristics.

Aloe is a genus of plants that contains over 400 species. The most widely known species is Aloe vera, which is grown for its unusual shape as well as for medicinal purposes. Although many think of aloes as a plant for hot, dry climates, these tough plants thrive in alpine, grassland, dessert and coastal regions. Although individual species vary in size, shape and color, they all have some common characteristics.

Leaves

Aloes produce a rosette of fleshy leaves that may be either spined or smooth, depending on the variety. Most, however, have spines that line the outer edges of the leaves, and some have spines in the center of the leaf. Spines vary in size and shape according to the variety of aloe. Colors range from green to blue-green, with some aloes sporting reddish-colored foliage. Some aloes have blotches, spots or stripes on the leaves.

Flowers

Aloes produce flowers on a tall slender spike, which may be branched, that grows from the center of the rosette of leaves. Flowers vary in size but are generally tubular. Flower colors range from white to brightly colored red, yellow and orange. Seeds form in dry capsules once the flowers fade.

Adaptations

Aloes, like other succulents, have fleshy leaves that hold water to sustain the plant during a drought. To help prevent water loss through to the leaves and to reflect excess light away from the plant, aloes have a waxy coating on the outside of the leaves. This bluish wax accounts for some of the beautiful coloration of aloe foliage. However, that's not the plants' only adaptation. Aloes use crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM), a special form of photosynthesis, to help them conserve water. In normal photosynthesis, plants release water and take in carbon dioxide throughout the day through tiny pores, called stomata, on the undersides of the leaves. The stomata on aloe leaves, however, open only at night to take in carbon dioxide, while minimizing water loss. The carbon dioxide is stored overnight and used to manufacture food for the plant the following morning.

Hardiness

Although the vast majority of aloes thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 9 and above, some varieties, such as Coopers hardy grass aloe (Aloe cooperi), grass aloe (Aloe ecklonis), spiral aloe (Aloe polyphylla), Basuto kraal aloe (Aloe stiatula) and partridge breast aloe (Aloe variegata) survive to USDA zone 8a.


The green way to beauty

By Shahnaz Husain (THE HANS INDIA)

Aloe vera has been known for its healing properties since the ancient times in India and other countries. The Sanskrit name of Aloe Vera is Ghikanwar or Ghritkumari. The ancient Egyptians and Greeks used the Aloe Vera extract to heal cuts and wounds inflicted during battle. Aloe Vera has also been very much a part of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of herbal healing.

The plant is a powerful natural moisturiser and seals off loss of moisture. It also softens dead skin cells and helps their removal, leaving the skin smoother and brighter. In fact, it helps the normal functions of the skin by improving its capacity to retain moisture.

The removal of dead cells not only makes the skin smoother, but also improves the skin’s cellular functions. Aloe Vera also has an astringent action and tightens the skin, thus protecting it from early aging. It has shown remarkable results on sun-damaged skins, with its moisturising, softening, soothing and healing actions.

The regular use of products containing aloe vera helps to delay visible ageing signs on the skin. It is ideal for general cosmetic care too and is added to skin care products and lotions, like cleanser, moisturisers, serums, gels, masks and so on.

Aloe Vera can also be used in home care if the plant is available at home. The aloe gel or juice may be applied directly on the skin. The gel obtained from the plant itself is the leaf pulp and is found in the inner portion of the leaves.

The aloe juice is found just beneath the outer skin of the leaves. However, while using it directly on the skin at home, one should wash the plant well and observe total hygiene.

The aloe vera gel or juice may be applied on the face daily and then washed off with plain water after 20 minutes. It helps to soften and moisturise the skin. In fact, used regularly, it helps to restore the skin’s youthful properties.

Applying aloe vera is useful during winter and summer. In winter, it helps to relieve dryness and maintain the soft texture of the skin. In summer, it soothes the skin, especially after sun-exposure. It soothes the skin in cases of sun damage or sun burn.

It also moisturises the skin, without making the skin oily. Aloe Vera can also be added to face masks. Take one tablespoon oats or multani mitti, one teaspoon each orange peel powder and curd and one tablespoon aloe vera gel. Mix together and apply on the skin, washing it off after 30 minutes.

Aloe Vera can also be used on the hair. The gel may be applied on the hair and washed off with plain water after 20 minutes. It helps to soften and smoothen rough hair.

It can also be added to hair packs. For a cleansing pack, take gram flour (besan), curd and one tablespoon aloe vera gel. Mix into a paste and apply on the hair.

For extremely dry, rough and brittle hair, mix well together one egg, one tablespoons castor oil, the juice of a lemon and one tablespoon aloe vera gel or juice. Apply on the hair and wear a plastic shower cap. Wash the hair after half an hour.


Aloe Vera Varieties & Propagation

(San Francisco Gate)

Although you might think the aloe vera plant is a cactus because it has spiny, fleshy leaves, aloe vera is actually a tropical succulent plant with sap recognized for its soothing, medicinal properties. Adaptable to culture indoors as a houseplant, aloe vera is also suitable for outdoor culture year round in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 12.

Aloe Vera

The aloe vera plant has succulent, gray-green leaves that grow in an attractive rosette, with new leaves appearing at its center. Like most tropical plants, aloe vera prefers a sunny location whether grown indoors or out, although it will tolerate partial shade for several hours each day. It grows best in sandy, well-drained soil and is quite tolerant of drought and dry indoor air. If growing your aloe outdoors, choose a location where it is protected from rain, since too much water can cause the plant to rot. Aloe plants are cold-sensitive, so bring your plant indoors if temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit in your area.

Colorful Aloes

Many different varieties of aloe vera exist, ranging in size, growth habit and color. Some of the bright-colored varieties are especially attractive as part of a succulent border or an indoor succulent collection. For example, the variety "Orange Aloe" has bright, yellow-orange to red-orange leaves, with leaf edges sometimes developing a purple tinge. "Red Aloe" is another colorful variety with a reddish tinge that becomes more prominent at the edges and tips of its leaves, while aloe vera "Gold Tooth" is a fast growing cultivar with orange-gold leaf edges and spines. Aloe verdoornia is an unusual type with blunt-shaped reddish-brown leaves that have upward-facing thorns.

Other Varieites

Aloe plants also vary in size and shape, with some varieties developing a central, tall stem and eventually taking on a tree-like form. For example, the Kokoerbom aloe can reach a height of 30 to 40 feet, developing a thick, tapering trunk and resembling a tall tree with large, succulent leaves radiating from its upper end. Aloe "Dorian Black" is a continuously flowering variety that is standard in size but has unusual, narrow and highly pointed leaves covered in dark green blotches on a cream background. Aloe "Yellow Teeth" is another attractive variety with smooth, green leaves that are especially broad at their bases and covered with bright yellow thorns.

Propagation

Mature aloes often produce offshoots, small rosettes that appear at the base of the plant. To produce a new plant, remove these offshoots gently and pot in crushed lava rock, sand, charcoal or pumice, mixed with a small amount of potting soil. To propagate a younger plant, use a razor or sharp knife to remove a leaf cutting from the mid-portion of the main rosette, where leaves are actively growing. Dip the cut end of the leaf in rooting hormone and leave it at room temperature for 2 to 3 days to allow the cut end to dry, forming a callus. Next, press the leaf's cut end gently into your planting mix, water the pot well and keep it in indirect light, misting it daily and watering only lightly when soil is dry. Rooting should occur in several weeks.


The Difference Between Agave and Aloe Plants

(San Francisco Gate)

Agave and aloe represent an example of convergent evolution. These two completely different genera from two different parts of the world have both adapted to live in dry, arid climates. In turn, the two genera have developed a similar appearance, so much so that an untrained eye might not be able to tell the two apart. Nonetheless, the two are very different plants.

Different Classification

Aloe is a genus in the subfamily Asphodeloideae. Members of this genus are succulents. They have fleshy leaves arranged in a rosette pattern. Agave is also a succulent and also has fleshy leaves arranged in a rosette pattern. Agave, however, is a member of the subfamily Agavoideae.

Different Range

Aloe is an "Old World" plant. It originally grew in sub-Saharan Africa, on the Saudi Arabian Peninsula and on Madagascar. From there, aloe spread along the coast of the Mediterranean and to South Africa, where the aloe genus diverged into more than 120 species. Though aloe plants grow wild in the southwestern United States, they grow as an introduced species, not as a native one. Agave, on the other hand, are "New World" plants. They originated in Mexico and the American Southwest. Today they extend from Utah into northern South America, growing in deserts, arid grasslands and oak-pine woodlands. Aloe grows well in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 9 through 11. Agave grow in in zones 9 and 10, with some varieties being able to tolerate more heat or cold than the norm. Agave can tolerate full sun. Aloe likes a little shade during the sunniest times of the day. Both plants do well in sandy or even rocky soil if it is well-drained.

Different Flowers

The flowers of the aloe (Aloe barbadensis) are tubular, making them perfect for pollination by long-beaked birds. They grow in clusters atop long stalks. The flowers typically bloom in spring or summer and range in color from creamy white to orange, bright red or purple. Agave also flower atop a long stalk that shoots up from the center of the rosette. This flowering structure, called an inflorescence, is often as big or bigger than the plant that produces it. It carries a bushy grouping of flower at the top. The resources the inflorescence takes are massive. Expending them typically kills the agave plant. In other words, agave plants flower themselves to death. Consequently, agave plants flower only once in their lives, typically after 10 to 30 years, though sometimes after a much longer life than that, earning the agave the nickname "century plant."

Different Leaves

The leaves of the aloe are fleshy. For example, if you break open one of the leaves of an aloe vera plant, it will ooze its valued clear gel. Agaves, by contrast, are more fibrous. Though they do store water in their leaves, as do all succulents, agaves are shot through with tough, stringy fibers. One variety of agave, the sisal plant, is cultivated for its fibers, which are turned into cord and rope.



How to Force an Aloe Vera to Bloom

(San Francisco Gate)

The aloe vera plant (Aloe barbadensis) grows on kitchen windowsills across the United States. Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 9 through 11, aloe vera is grown outdoors in mild winter locations along the West Coast, the Southwest and the South. A native of Africa, it thrives in warm, mild climates outdoors or as a houseplant in brightly lit windows and sunrooms. With sufficient light, water and fertilizer, a mature aloe vera may produce a 3-foot-tall spike with yellow or orange flowers in late winter.

1. Remove the babies, or pups, from your aloe vera plant. Cut the connection between the mother plant and babies with a sharp knife if necessary. Allow the cut edges to dry for 24 hours before planting the babies in fresh potting soil. The baby plants take energy that the mother plant will now put into blooming.

2. Repot your mature aloe vera in the fall. Select a new flowerpot three to four times the width of the old flowerpot. Remove the aloe vera from the flowerpot and nestle it into a new planting mix of 1 part perlite and 2 parts potting soil. Tamp the soil gently around the roots and water thoroughly.

3. Place the aloe vera in a brightly lit, south-facing window. Your aloe vera requires as much light as possible to bloom.

4. Soak the soil with water when the top inch of soil is dry. Avoid overwatering; allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Aloe vera are succulents and require sufficient water to bloom.

5. Fertilize in December or January with a diluted 10-40-10 liquid fertilizer. Mix the fertilizer with double the recommended amount of water. Water the plant as usual, then drench the soil with the fertilizer solution. Fertilize after watering rather than during watering to avoid damaging the plant's root system.

6. Maintain a daytime temperature of 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Aloe vera are subtropical plants, blooming in the summer in their native habitat. They require warmth to produce flower stalks.

7. Fill a tray with pebbles and water. Place the aloe vera's flowerpot onto the tray to maintain the humidity around the plant. If your home is dry due to central heating, run a warm steam humidifier to raise the humidity in the room.

8. Place a small fan in the room to keep the air circulating. Good air circulation discourages mold, mildew and some pests, such as spider mites, from infesting your houseplants.


Things You Will Need
• Knife
• Flowerpot
• Perlite
• Potting soil
• Liquid fertilizer, 10-40-10 formula
• Tray
• Pebbles
• Warm steam humidifier (optional)
• Electric fan

◘ Tips

A mature aloe vera plant is 4 or more years old.
A cactus potting mix is a suitable substitute for the perlite and potting soil mixture.
If the fleshy leaves begin to shrivel, water thoroughly and monitor the plant to ensure it's receiving enough water.

◘ Warnings

Aloe vera have spines on the ends of their fleshy leaves. Work cautiously when repotting to avoid puncture wounds.
Never allow your aloe vera to stand in water; the roots will rot and the plant will die

How Often Do You Water an Aloe Vera Plant?

(San Francisco Gate)

Low-maintenance Aloe (Aloe vera spp.) produces upright rosettes of fleshy leaves. Each sword-shaped green leaf features pale white speckles and a serrated edge. Aloe grows outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11, although it thrives as a potted indoor or outdoor plant. These plants require little water and naturally grow in dry desert conditions.

Garden Aloe

Plants grown in outdoor garden beds rarely require water and usually receive enough moisture from rainfall, so they rarely require additional irrigation. If the soil dries completely and the normally fleshy leaves begin to shrink or shrivel, the plant can benefit from some water. This may occur during extended dry periods, but it isn't common, since aloe store excess water in its leaves for drought periods. Provide enough water to just moisten the top 6 inches of soil.

Potted Aloe

Container-grown aloe does require some irrigation. Generally, the plant needs watered when the soil dries out completely, but before shriveling or wilt of the plant occurs. Feeling the soil in the pot provides the best guide for watering times. If the soil feels moist, the plant doesn't need water. Water dry pots until the excess moisture begins to drip from the bottom of the pot, and empty any collected water from the drainage tray promptly. Allow the soil to dry out again before the next watering.

Soil and Moisture

The right type of soil affects the water needs for your aloe. These plants grow best in quick-draining sandy soil and will suffer rot problems and eventual death in wet or clay soil. Choose sandy or rocky areas that dry out quickly for outdoor aloe. Indoor plants perform best in a cactus soil mix, or combine a potting soil with equal parts sharp sand to provide drainage. Only use pots with bottom drainage holes so excess moisture doesn't collect in the soil.

Watering Issues

Aloe may develop a soft or mushy base and roots or root rot if overwatering occurs. The plant may not recover from this condition. If possible, dig up the plant and allow the roots to dry and heal the root damage for two or three days. Trimming off rotted areas can help recovery. Replant the aloe into fresh, dry soil. Resume watering when the plant perks up and puts on new growth. If overwatering only occurs once and the plant doesn't develop rot, allow the soil to dry completely before the next irrigation.



7 Amazing Uses for Aloe Vera

By Jamie Stone

It does so much more than soothe sunburns.

Aloe vera has been used for centuries, and everyone knows that it's good for soothing a sunburn (right?)—but it has many other beauty benefits. And companies are taking notice, producing not just aloe vera gels and skin-care products but drinks like Aloe Gloe Water. (The good-for-you concoction contains the plant’s more than 200 biologically-active amino acids, vitamins, and antioxidants, all of which are clinically proven to improve not only your skin but cardiovascular health.)

With all of aloe’s benefits, we rounded up our top five uses for the magnificent plant.

1. Use It As a Makeup Remover Aloe vera, believe it or not, has the ability to wipe away your makeup with just a few simple swipes. All you have to do is add a small amount of pure aloe to a cotton ball and then carefully wipe away your day.

2. Improve Your Wrinkles “A 2009 study published in the Annals of Dermatology noted that 90 days of internal supplementation with aloe gel significantly improved wrinkling and increased elasticity in human skin,” says Jennifer Linder, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and chief scientific officer for PCA SKIN.

3. Tame Your Brows Eyebrows “on fleek,” as the kids say. Simply dip a new (not used) mascara wand into some aloe vera gel to tame your brows and make them stay in place all day.

4. Reduce Skin Inflammation It’s not just acne-prone skin that gets red and irritated. “Aloe helps with inflammation associated with acne since it reduces inflammation and redness, but that would apply to any [skin] condition as well, not just acne,” says Linder.

5. Keep Your Mouth Healthy “A 2014 study showed that a polysaccharide from aloe helps reduce oral ulcers and the pain associated with them,” says Linder. The plant is also known to help with gingivitis when applied topically since it reduces swelling, inflammation, and bleeding of the gums.


7 Amazing Uses for Aloe Vera

By Summer Fanous (Medically Reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT)

Aloe vera gel is widely known to relieve sunburn and help heal wounds. But did you know that your favorite potted plant can be used for much more than sunburn relief and household décor?

The succulent has a long history of being used for medicinal purposes, dating back to ancient Egypt. The plant is native to North Africa, Southern Europe, and the Canary Islands. Today, aloe vera is grown in tropical climates worldwide. From relieving heartburn to potentially slowing the spread of breast cancer, researchers are just beginning to unlock the benefits of this universal plant and its many byproducts.

Heartburn relief

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder that often results in heartburn. A 2010 review suggested that consuming 1 to 3 ounces of aloe gel at mealtime could reduce the severity of GERD. It may also ease other digestion-related problems. The plant’s low toxicity makes it a safe and gentle remedy for heartburn.

Keeping produce fresh

A 2014 study published online by the Cambridge University Press looked at tomato plants coated with aloe gel. The report showed evidence that the coating successfully blocked the growth of many types of harmful bacteria on the vegetables. Similar results were found in a different study with apples. This means that aloe gel could help fruits and vegetables stay fresh, and eliminate the need for dangerous chemicals that extend the shelf life of produce.

An alternative to mouthwash

In a 2014 study published in the Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences, researchers found aloe vera extract to be a safe and effective alternative to chemical-based mouthwashes. The plant’s natural ingredients, which include a healthy dose of vitamin C, can block plaque. It can also provide relief if you have bleeding or swollen gums.

Lowering your blood sugar

Ingesting two tablespoons of aloe vera juice per day can cause blood sugar levels to fall in people with type 2 diabetes, according to a study in Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacy. This could mean that aloe vera may have a future in diabetes treatment. These results were confirmed by another study published in Phytotherapy Research that used pulp extract.

But people with diabetes, who take glucose-lowering medications, should use caution when consuming aloe vera. The juice along with diabetes medications could possibly lower your glucose count to dangerous levels.

A natural laxative

Aloe vera is considered a natural laxative. A handful of studies have looked into the benefits of the succulent to aid digestion. The results appear to be mixed.

A team of Nigerian scientists conducted a study on rats and found that gel made from typical aloe vera houseplants was able to relieve constipation. But another study by the National Institutes of Health looked at the consumption of aloe vera whole-leave extract. Those findings revealed tumor growth in the large intestines of laboratory rats.

In 2002, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration required that all over-the-counter aloe laxative products be removed from the U.S. market or be reformulated.

The Mayo Clinic recommends that aloe vera can be used to relieve constipation, but sparingly. They advise that a dose of 0.04 to 0.17 grams of dried juice is sufficient.

If you have Crohn’s disease, colitis, or hemorrhoids you shouldn’t consume aloe vera. It can cause severe abdominal cramps and diarrhea. You should stop taking aloe vera if you’re taking other medications. It may decrease your body’s ability to absorb the drugs.

Skin care

You can use aloe vera to keep your skin clear and hydrated. This may be because the plant thrives in dry, unstable climates. To survive the harsh conditions, the plant’s leaves store water. These water-dense leaves, combined with special plant compounds called complex carbohydrates, make it an effective face moisturizer and pain reliever.

Learn more: 9 healthy benefits of drinking aloe vera juice »

Potential to fight breast cancer

A new study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine looked at the therapeutic properties of aloe emodin, a compound in the plant’s leaves. The authors suggest that the succulent shows potential in slowing the growth of breast cancer. However, more studies are needed to further advance this theory.

The takeaway

There are a number of ways to use the aloe vera plant and the various gels and extracts that can be made from it. Researchers are continuing to discover new methods to put this succulent to use. Be sure to consult your doctor if you plan to use aloe vera in a medicinal manner, especially if you take medication.



Does an Aloe Vera Plant Go In Full Sun or Shade?

By Sarah Moore

Aloe plants (Aloe vera) are a common houseplant and succulent for warm-weather gardens. Their Mediterranean lineage makes them best suited for dry sites in full sun, though they can tolerate some shade. It is a versatile plant with many uses in the garden, and it adapts well to containers when grown indoors.

Identification

Although it is generally thought of as a native of the African Mediterranean, aloe vera has been under human cultivation for so long that its exact origin has been lost. It is a perennial hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 12, producing yellow flowers in summer under ideal conditions. It is a stemless succulent whose leaves grow in a radial or rosette pattern. The plant grows as tall as 3 feet. Aloe vera is also known as aloe barbadensis.

Light Requirements

Aloe vera is best adapted to dry, arid planting sites where it receives full sun throughout the day. Although aloe might adapt to some shade, those are not ideal conditions and aloe should not be planted in deep shade. When growing aloe vera indoors, place the plant on a windowsill or another surface where it will receive lots of bright direct light, such as in a west- or south-facing window. Best flowering occurs on plants that receive enough light.

Culture

Because they are adapted to arid climates, aloes will not tolerate overwatering. Water moderately in spring, summer and fall, allowing soil to dry out completely between soakings. In winter, when the plant goes dormant, do not water it at all. Because it is such a warm-weather plant, it will not tolerate temperatures below 40 degrees. In USDA zones colder than zone 10, either grow it indoors or pot in a container and only move it outside when summer temperatures allow it.

Garden Uses

Where there is no chance of freezing, you can grow aloe vera outdoors in low-water gardens, desert gardens or rock gardens. Although they are not related, aloe fills the same ecological niche as agave and can be used as a substitute for it in gardens. In most parts of the United States, however, aloe is grown as a houseplant on windowsills and in greenhouses where it receives plenty of light.


Benefits From Drinking Aloe Vera Juice

(San Francisco Gate)

Aloe vera has been adored for centuries as a remedy for skin infections and cuts. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, technological advancements have enabled the production of aloe vera products that aid in treatment of burns, constipation, diabetes, skin conditions and herpes. The plant’s products such as aloe vera juice contain a mixture of ingredients that can collectively curb other numerous health complications.

Detoxification

Aloe vera contains nine minerals -- calcium, copper, chromium, selenium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, manganese and zinc. The minerals interact to boost enzyme metabolic pathways. An increased enzyme activity ensures detoxification of metabolic wastes with minerals such as zinc acting as antioxidants in your body’s cells. Aloe vera does this with the help of vitamins A, B-12, C and E.

Immune System

Aloe vera juice contains the bradykinase enzyme, which stimulates the immune system’s functions. The enzyme helps in strengthening your immunity as the vitamins and minerals eliminate harmful wastes from your body. Aloe juice also comprises of a substance known as carrisyn that stimulates the production of white blood cells to offer your body protection against disease-causing organisms. Carrisyn also has antifungal and antibacterial properties, which are important to your immunity system’s defense activities.

Digestion

The plant’s juice contains an anti-inflammatory glycoprotein called alprogen, which is responsible for healing internal wounds that hinder digestion. According to the Mayo Clinic, drinking aloe vera juice can heal wounds caused by radiant heat. It can take care of digestive upsets such as colitis and heartburn resulting from excess acidity. The juice also regulates the production of intestinal juices such as pepsin, which may cause stomach distress when secreted in large amounts. Aloe vera juice can alleviate constipation by increasing water absorption.

Circulation

Aloe vera juice contains sumptuous amounts of vitamins that help keep your red blood cells healthy and circulating throughout your body. It also contains germanium, a mineral that helps your body correct circulatory disturbances. Other minerals, such as zinc, magnesium and potassium, collectively stimulate your circulatory system by supporting new cell growth and sustaining cardiac activity. The juice boosts blood oxygenation, guarding your body against oxidative stress.

Side Effects

Taking large quantities of aloe vera large can be harmful to your health, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. If you are taking diuretics, digoxin or have diabetes, avoid consuming aloe vera juice because it could lower your blood sugar level. Consult your doctor before consuming aloe vera.



10 amazing health benefits of aloe vera

By Pavitra Sampath

We have all heard about the amazing benefits aloe vera has for one’s skin and hair. But did you know that it can do wonders for your entire body? Right from aiding in proper digestion to helping you beat conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and constipation, aloe vera boasts of many benefits.

Improves digestion: Aloe vera is packed with nutrients and some of the most effective ones are the eight enzymes that it contains – aliiase, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, carboxypeptidase, catalase, cellulase, lipase and peroxidase – all of which help immensely with digestion. These enzymes are the main components in the breakdown of sugars and fats, enhancing digestion and nutrient absorption. If indigestion is something you struggle with, then eating either aloe vera pulp or drinking its juice everyday can do you a great deal of good. This property of aloe vera also makes it a very potent antidote against IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and acid reflux.

Is a great laxative: A very potent adaptogen (a compound that helps the body adapt to changes in the environment that affect the body’s functioning), aloe vera helps the body deal with stress and improves digestion by acclimatizing the body to dietary changes. Apart from that, it also increases the ability of your gut to absorb nutrients and digest foods – helping immensely in relieving constipation, the symptoms of IBS and acid reflux.

Rids your body of intestinal worms: Aloe vera is known to be a great vermifuge and is very effective in killing worms within the stomach. The reasons for this is that it exhibits strong anti nematidal (worm killing) activity and helps maintain the balance of the natural flora within your stomach, helping it keep infections at bay.

Detoxifies your body: Made mainly of gelatinous material, aloe vera is a great way to help detox your body. This material when eaten, passes through your stomach and absorbs all the toxins. What’s more it even helps in the proper removal of these wastes as feces making sure none of the toxins remain in the body. In the practice of Ayurveda, aloe vera is used as a compound to get rid of ‘ama’ or the toxic waste that commonly adheres to the intestinal walls and causes diseases.

Lowers cholesterol levels and protects your heart : A study published in the British Medical Journal found that beta sitosterol helps in reducing ones cholesterol levels, and aloe vera is packed with this compound. Apart from that, aloe vera also contains a large number of fatty acids that aid in the breakdown of fats in the body – helping in the overall reduction of cholesterol. All these actions also help improve circulation and regulates blood pressure, in turn protecting the heart from the ill effects of cholesterol.

Enhances the immune system: Aloe vera is rich in both polysaccharides and monosaccharides. Both these compounds when put together are highly effective in boosting your immune system by strengthening macropahges (white blood cells), which helps fight against bacteria and viruses.

Is an effective antioxidant : Packed with anti oxidants and adaptogens, aloe vera is great to beat oxidative stress. Not only does it boost your immune system and balance out all the bodily systems, but it also helps repair any damage due to stress and oxidation.

Acts an anti bacterial, anti fungal : Aloe vera’s active ingredients are sulphur, lupeol, salicylic acid, cinnamic acid, urea nitrogen and phenol prevent the growth of disease causing microorganisms and act as a strong antimicrobial agent helping in keeping infections at bay. These compounds are also very effective against fungus and viruses making aloe vera a very potent anti fungal, anti bacterial and anti viral agent.

Reduces joint inflammation and improves joint flexibility: Packed with a large number of anthraqunones (compounds like aloetic acid and cinnamonic acid) that are very effective in easing inflammation both internally and externally, aloe vera is highly effective in reducing joint inflammation. These anthraquinones when ingested help reduce the swelling caused due to various stomach disorders like ulcerative colitis, ulcers, acidity etc. and when applied externally work just as well on skin infections, burns and joint pain. Moreover studies have shown that the aloe vera can also help lubricate the joints making them less prone to pain due to arthritis and other joint disorders.

Improves skin health: Aloe vera is very soothing for the skin and does not cause any irritation. It’s anti-inflammatory properties help in treating blemishes, acne and other skin problems. A minor cut or wound, a burn or a rash can be effectively treated with aloe vera. The gel is extracted from the leaves of the plant and when applied to the skin, softens dead skin cells leaving the skin feeling soft and smooth upon regular use. It also delays visible signs of ageing like fine lines and appearance of wrinkles


8 reasons why you should drink aloe vera juice!

By Tania Tarafdar

Aloe vera juice is packed with vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B3 and B6 , folic acid and minerals like magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, and potassium, which can keep you in good health.

You probably know about the numerous benefits of aloe vera plant, but are you aware of how healthy its juice is? Well, aloe vera juice is packed with essential vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B3, B6 ,folic acid and minerals like magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, potassium and selenium that can give your health that much needed boost. So, here’s why you need to make drinking aloe vera juice a regular part of your regimen.

Aids in weight loss

Drinking aloe vera juice can be a natural and easy weight loss solution. It ups your metabolic rate and reduces lipid levels, which in turn can help you lose weight. Aloe vera juice also contains natural antioxidants that inhibit the spread of free radicals in your body.

Detoxifies your body

Aloe vera juice can be the ideal drink to detoxify your body. The high amounts of amino acids, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients make it one of nature’s most effective cleansers. Ayurvedic practitioners commonly use this juice as a means to get rid of toxins from your blood and digestive tract.

Relieves cold and cough

The juice of this miracle herb is an effective and safe remedy for relieving cough and cold. The antiviral and antibacterial properties in aloe vera help prevent the growth of microorganisms that cause respiratory infections. The plant is also rich in magnesium lactate which acts as an antihistamine, reducing the symptoms of sinusitis.

Eases arthritis pain

Aloe vera juice is an amazing home remedy for reducing pain and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis. The plant sterols, which are the anti-inflammatory compounds in the herb, are responsible for easing the pain to a great extent. These four Ayurvedic oils can also help relieve joint pain.

Promotes digestion

Being a laxative, aloe vera juice is extremely effective in relieving conditions such as constipation. The juice also helps in the growth of good bacteria in the gut, which can increase the ability of your gut to digest the food properly, keeping digestive disorders at bay. In addition to this, you can also drink the juice to reduce acidity.

Prevents vaginal infections

Aloe vera juice can be an effective treatment for vaginal infections too. The antifungal properties of the plant extract soothes the burning, itching and reduce the inflammation due to the infection around your vaginal area. You can also use lemon leaves to keep your vagina clean and healthy.

Improves dental health

Studies have also shown that the regular consumption of aloe vera juice can improve your dental health. It has been effectively shown to reduce gingivitis and formation of plaque. Squishing aloe vera juice in your mouth can also provide relief to mouth ulcers.

Boosts immunity

Aloe vera juice also helps bolster your immune system. Due to the fact that the juice has a number of essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and K, amino acids and polysaccharides, aloe vera juice helps strengthen your body’s immune system and boosts its ability to fight off infections. Eat these 10 foods to boost your immune system.

How to make aloe vera juice?
•Extracting the juice of aloe vera is fairly simple. All you need to do is cut off a leaf of the plan and wash it well. Then, peel off the top green layer to reveal the inner transparent gel. Scoop out this gel and use a blender to beat it into a juice.
•You can sieve out the juice so that it is easier to drink. Add a little honey to the mix to beat aloe vera juice’s bitter after taste.

If making the juice is too much work for you, then you can choose to buy it from your regular grocery or drug store. But make sure you buy organic aloe vera juice, as this is the healthiest type.

How much is too much?

Ideally you should have about 3-4 tablespoons of aloe vera juice a day. But if having the juice just as it is is difficult for you, simply add it to your fruit juice or smoothie as a healthy boost.

A word of caution:

Although healthy, it is advised that you consult a doctor before you consume aloe vera juice as it may have possible side effects.


Ways To Use Aloe Vera For Weight Loss

By Somya Ojha

Most people in today's date and time are struggling with weight problems, be it in being underweight or over. And both these conditions can negatively affect an individual's health and overall wellness.

So, today we at Boldsky are going to let you know about certain ways of using a popular medicinal plant for aiding your weight loss goals.

That medicinal plant is nothing but Aloe Vera. Yes, you read that right! The gel of the aloe vera plant is an excellent source of amazing health benefits. The antioxidants and antibacterial properties of this ancient plant have made it a true favourite of the people across the globe.

Used since ancient times, this healing and therapeutic plant can treat a wide array of health issues, and one of them is the problem of extra weight. This is one health issue that plagues millions of people worldwide.

Luckily, there are certain specific ways of using aloe vera gel that can speed up your weight loss plans, without causing any kind of harm to your body.

Read on to know more about these ways, here.

Note: If you're suffering from a health condition, then you must consult your doctor before including aloe vera to your daily diet.

1. Aloe Vera With Fresh Lemon Juice

One of the easiest ways of using aloe vera for weight loss is mixing it with another incredible natural ingredient like fresh lemon juice. The calorie-burning properties of both, aloe vera and lemon, have made them widely popular all over the world.

Just extract 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel and mix it with 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Then, put this mix in water and store it in a cool place. Drink this stellar weight loss homemade drink through the course of the day to shed extra pounds.

2. Aloe Vera With Cucumber & Pineapple

Pineapple and cucumber are replete with antioxidants that aid in weight loss and also boost metabolism. In order to enhance their effectiveness, several women prefer adding aloe vera to the mix for better results.

3. Aloe Vera With Honey

This combo might sound simple, but this is a tried and true favourite of numerous people around the world. Research studies suggest that the combination of aloe vera gel and honey can help speed up the weight loss process in an effective manner.

Preparing this homemade weight loss drink is rather simple. You will need 2 teaspoons of organic honey and 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel. Put both the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir them for a while. Then, have it with water at least twice in a day.

4. Aloe Vera With Green Tea

Green tea is a well-known weight-loss aid that is considered to be highly effective. Presence of antioxidants and other remarkable compounds in green tea makes it an ideal natural ingredient for promoting weight loss. And when it is combined with an equally effective ingredient like aloe vera gel, the results can surely astonish anyone.

This highly effective infusion can be prepared in a jiffy. Just put a teaspoon of freshly extracted aloe vera gel in a cup of green tea. Stir for a little while before consuming this homemade drink. You can drink this through the course of the day for immediate results.

5. Aloe Vera With Ginger

The last way of using aloe vera for aiding weight loss is by drinking it with ginger, an exceptional spice, that is extensively used for its medicinal purposes.

Mainly, there are two ways of having aloe vera with ginger. Either brew a fresh cup of tea or prepare a yummy and powerful homemade juice to make those extra pounds a thing of the past.

Put a teaspoon of aloe vera gel in ginger tea and drink it once a day or make a juice and consume it through the day. But, be very careful with the amount of ginger you consume to ensure that it does not adversely affect your health.


How aloe vera can make your lashes grow and more

(Daily Times)

While you're likely scouring department store shelves and drugstore aisles for the newest, most effective beauty potions, it's also worth digging into your garden or kitchen cabinets for powerful DIY remedies.

In addition to honey and coconut oil, aloe vera is a time-honoured, natural ingredient that can be used in a variety of different treatments.

If you're addicted to lash extensions, you'll want to try this natural remedy for strengthening and lengthening your fringe. Mix one teaspoon of aloe vera gel with one teaspoon of black castor oil, then apply the blend to your lashes with a clean mascara wand before bed. Be sure to do a patch test first if you have sensitive skin. The plant's gel is naturally anti-inflammatory. Dab it underneath your eyes to see a reduction in puffiness.

It's the best all natural makeup remover out there. You just have to apply gel to a cotton pad and swipe over your skin to clean off your makeup. Aloe naturally contains pectin, which can fight dandruff. Liquefy fresh aloe gel in a blender and massage the potion into your scalp, then coat hair from root to tip. After leaving on overnight, rinse it out in the morning for healthier hair.

It's the best natural acne fighter. Rub the inside of a fresh aloe leaf across clean skin to banish blemish-causing bacteria. Aloe is also packed with vitamin C, which brightens dark spots. Apply dabs of gel to any acne scars or other marks on your skin nightly. This hack will save you time and money. The vitamin E in aloe will keep your skin smooth and taut. Combining it with Greek yogurt and grated cucumber results in glowing complexion.


Aloe Vera – Called The Immortality Plant

(The Coasta Rica News)

Many people may already use the aloe vera plant for those small home emergencies, such as cuts, burns, sunburns, and scrapes. Did you know that you can also use aloe vera internally, and gain even more benefits for your body? The ancient Egyptians called it the plant of immortality, and the Native Americans called it the wand of heaven. Read more to learn why.

This simple plant contains more than 200 biologically active enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Aloe vera, according to The Journal of Environmental Science and Health, contains anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties that are beneficial in supporting your immune system to cleanse the body of invading pathogens and toxins. It comes packed with vitamins, such as B1, B2, B3, B6, folic acid, choline, A, C, and E. It is also valuable in helping the body to absorb and utilize B12.

This medicinal plant is an amazing little powerhouse. It contains minerals such as magnesium, chromium, sodium, potassium, manganese, calcium, zinc, selenium, iron, copper, and iron which all work together to increase metabolic pathways. It also contains those important enzymes, lipase and amylase, which support the digestive system to break down sugar molecules and fats. Twenty of the twenty-two essential amino acids your body requires, and the important salicylic acid needed to fight bacteria and inflammation are also packed into this amazing little medicinal plant.

Aloe vera has been proven to remove toxins from the kidneys, liver, stomach, spleen, colon, and bladder. It can provide relief from health issues such as upset stomach, intestinal inflammation, indigestion, and ulcers. It has great medicinal benefits for those suffering from arthritis as it alleviates joint inflammation and also boosts the digestive tract. It can also be used as a mouthwash to remove plaque just as effectively as those pharmaceutical brands of mouthwash, as well as heal mouth ulcers known as canker sores.

Are you impressed yet? The aloe vera truly is a plant that offers a wide variety of medicinal benefits. Hopefully you are now super motivated to give it a try.

The easiest and most delicious method is aloe juice, which you can find in many health food stores these days. The juice can be added to your other juices or smoothies, or drink it as is. It does have a bitter taste, so adding it to other juices or adding other products to the aloe juice does make it easier to enjoy. It is important that you use the pure aloe juice which is made from the leaf or the inner gel-like substance. It is also possible to buy the leaves at supermarkets, and these can be used in their morning smoothie.

But it is important to remember that this plant should be considered the same as any other ‘medicine’, and should be taken wisely and not indiscriminately. Would you take any medicine without being properly informed, or if you really didn’t need it? The same is true for aloe vera. It is best to use this medicinal plant for short periods of time, and then give your body a rest. The most important tip is to trust your body to ‘tell’ you what it needs, and when it needs it.

Your body has its own innate wisdom, and will let you know what it needs if you are willing to ‘listen’. It will also let you know when the use of aloe vera is no longer needed. A wise motto “more is not necessarily best” is a good reminder, and so only use it when it is needed. One regular user found that after using the plant in her smoothies for a couple of weeks, she would get a gag reaction when taking it. Certainly a very clear message from her body that it was done.

Contact Us for more information on other medicinal plants that can support your over-all health and well-being.


This Mixture Purifies Your Blood

By Praveen Kumar

We all know about the health benefits of aloe vera plant. In fact, aloe vera had been a healer since centuries. After garlic and ginger, even aloe vera has a special place in the world of healing ingredients.

Most of us use aloe vera topically on the skin but in fact, it can also be consumed. It can boost your blood circulation and purify it too.

In this post, let us discuss about a remedy that uses aloe vera and pineapple. This remedy is said to cleanse your kidneys and also purify your blood.

What You'll Need

You will need a glass of pineapple juice, 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel, one lemon, a few mint leaves and half a cup of water.

How To Do

Firstly, mix 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel in half a cup of water. Using a blender, blend them well.

Step #2 Squeeze a lemon and add its juice to the mixture of aloe vera and water.

Step #3 Add a glass of pineapple juice to the mixture and blend them well.

What Does It Do?

As aloe vera is alkaline in nature, your body will be able to rejuvenate from exhaustion; also it soothes digestion and prevents irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, colitis and many other disorders.

Another Benefit

It reduces inflammation and offers relief from certain types of pains. It boosts your immunity and brings down your cholesterol levels.


8 ways to use aloe vera

By Lambeth Hochwald

You may know it can treat a sunburn, but that's just the beginning.

If you’ve ever seen someone clip a piece of an aloe plant, open it and apply the “juice” to a sunburn, you’ve just watched the magic of this desert succulent in action.

In Chinese medicine, aloe is known as Lu Hui, and it’s used routinely both internally and externally, says Michelle Polk, an acupuncturist and herbalist in Chicago. “The main functions of aloe in Chinese medicine are for constipation and hemorrhoids,” she says.

And that’s just the beginning. Here are five ways to use this multi-purpose plant.

Sunburn

The most popular way to use aloe is to treat a sunburn. In fact, aloe is known by some as the “burn plant,” says Michael Swann, MD, a dermatologist in Springfield, Missouri. “The mechanism of action is poorly understood, but it appears that there is more to aloe than just being a good moisturizer, as it can even help you avoid the peeling normally associated with sunburn.”

To use the aloe plant: Break off a piece of aloe plant and apply the sap directly to your skin. “Commercially available aloe oil is also effective, and cooling it in the refrigerator before applying it may feel good on hot burned skin,” Swann adds. Skin improvements

Not only do studies show that aloe vera helps heal minor wounds eight days faster than standard dressing, but the plant has antibacterial properties, too, Polk says. “It’s useful for treating psoriasis, eczema or just ordinary dry skin,” she says.

Aloe also can help lighten dark spots on your skin, according to a 2009 study published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. If you have bruises, dark stretch marks or scars, smooth on aloe gel to encourage them to fade away.

Oral health

Aloe vera is a safe alternative to mouthwash, and aloe vera in tooth gels has been shown to be as effective as toothpaste in fighting cavities, according to a study published in the May/June 2009 issue of General Dentistry, a journal by the Academy of General Dentistry. “A 2014 study also found that aloe vera extract is a safe and effective alternative to chemical-based mouthwashes,” Polk says. “The plant’s ingredients work to block plaque as well as provide relief if you have bleeding or swelling gums.”

Heartburn

Reach for aloe vera juice for heartburn or GERD as it’s believed the plant prompts the same relief in the stomach as it does on skin, Polk says. It works to reduce inflammation in the esophagus, too.

Tip: Seek out aloe vera juice that has had its laxative properties removed since aloe vera juice on its own can have a laxative effect.

Bug bites

Itchy mosquito bite driving you crazy? Put a dab of aloe vera on it. Aloe's natural antiseptic qualities will reduce swelling and itching. And if you have some aloe gel in the fridge, that's a bonus. The coldness will stop the itch in its tracks.

Cleaning the air

Aloe vera is one of the NASA-approved Clean Air House Plants . It’s renowned for its ability to rid the air of certain toxins, including benzene and formaldehyde. “In various studies concerning plants and their ability to create suitable space station habitats, NASA found that there are a variety of different plants you can use to help purify the air and provide cleaner air to breathe for yourself and your family,” Polk says. “Aloe helps specifically clean your air from benzene, which is commonly found in paint and certain chemical cleaners and is known to be a carcinogen.” Warts

Have an unsightly wart on your hand or foot? Several home remedy websites suggest putting aloe on it, covering it with a band-aid or gauze and repeating the process twice a day for a few weeks. Aloe has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the size of the wart.

Athlete's foot

It seems counter-intuitive that a plant meant to provide moisture to skin can help heal a problem caused by too much moisture. But apparently, this magic plant can do just that. Why? Aloe can stimulate skin cell growth, so applying it aloe to athlete's foot twice a day may speed up the process of growing new skin over the affected area.


Aloe Vera – a miracle herb

By Deepa Gupta

Aloe Vera and its products are today popularly used worldwide and the consumption is rising. But, what is the reason behind its popularity?

A species of Aloe, Aloe Vera originated in the warm and dry climates of Northern Africa. Historical evidence suggests that it is one of the oldest plants having medicinal properties and health benefits.

Aloe Vera is becoming an essential ingredient in beauty and medicinal products. Following its popularity, many people keep Aloe Vera plants at home for its beauty and herbal benefits. It is said to contain over 200 biologically active, naturally- occurring elements, including vitamin, enzymes, amino acids and minerals.

The useful parts of Aloe Vera are the gel and the latex. The gel is obtained from the cells in the centre of the leaf and the latex is obtained from the cells, just beneath the leaf skin.

Healthcare practitioners use aloe gel to treat skin disorders, wounds, sun burns, radiation burns, dermatitis, diaper rashes, psoriasis, dandruff, scabies and bed sores. As a natural moisturizer, it provides oxygen to the skin and strengthens it within. Aloe Vera has anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial properties that help to treat mouth ulcers, gum disease and dental plaque.

Aloe latex is taken by mouth for seizures, asthma, colds, lack of menstrual period, swelling of the colon, depression, diabetes, glaucoma, vision disorders, varicose veins and joint inflammation. It promotes digestive health, nutrition absorption, healthy immune system and the reduction of nitrates. The plant is also thought to soothe arthritis and rheumatism.

Applying aloe gel is safe, but consuming it in unprocessed form from the latex can cause several side effects leading to major health problems if consumed in excess quantity. It can cause diarrhoea as it contains a substance called anthraquinone, if the laxative is consumed beyond moderation. Excess usage can lower the blood sugar and potassium levels. Sometimes Aloe Vera juice may result in skin rash, itchy or swollen skin, chest pain, throat irritation and difficulty in breathing.

If you feel these allergic reactions, stop consuming it immediately. Pregnant and lactating women should never consume Aloe Vera juice due to its purgative and irritant qualities. It can lead to miscarriage and birth defects. Lactating mothers are forbidden from its consumption because of the presence of anthraquinone which may lead to diarrhoea causing risk to the health of both mother as well as child.

Prolonged usage of Aloe Vera juice can also cause blood accumulation in the pelvis which may lead to kidney damage. The most alarming thing is that consuming it for more than a year can cause pseudomelanosis coli, a condition which increases the risk of colorectal cancer.

Too much of anything can destroy you, so don’t exceed the recommended usage of Aloe Vera juice. Consult your doctor before starting its consumption, especially if you are undergoing a medical treatment.


Aloe Vera leaf helps eliminate pollution

(MS/PR)

TEHRAN (MNA) – Iranian researchers used Aloe Vera leaf to synthesize a nanosorbent at the laboratorial scale to adsorb and eliminate heavy metal ions from aqueous media.

Taking into consideration the ever-increasing application of adsorption process in the elimination of environmental pollutants such as heavy metals, it is vital to select an appropriate sorbent from technical and economical points of view. Therefore, Aloe Vera leaf ash has been used in this research for the production of a magnetic nanosorbent to eliminate heavy metal ions, including copper, zinc, chrome and lead.

According to Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council (INIC), the nanosorbent was produced though a simple and cost-effective method. The nanosorbent can eliminate heavy metal ions from aqueous media with high efficiency and low side effects.

Particles of the sorbent were modified with iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles. The presence of these nanoparticles increases adsorption capacity through increasing oxygen containing groups on the surface. The magnetic nanoparticles can be separated from the media after the sorption process in order to be used again. Therefore, a decrease is observed in the adsorption process.

Results showed that the optimum amount of sorption has been 333, 345, 71.4, and 333 mg/g for lead, copper, zinc, and chrome oxides, respectively.

Results of the research have been published in Desalination and Water Treatment, vol. 57, issue 29, 2016, pp. 13747-13759.


8 ways to use aloe vera

By Lambeth Hochwald

You may know it can treat a sunburn, but that's just the beginning.

If you’ve ever seen someone clip a piece of an aloe plant, open it and apply the “juice” to a sunburn, you’ve just watched the magic of this desert succulent in action.

In Chinese medicine, aloe is known as Lu Hui, and it’s used routinely both internally and externally, says Michelle Polk, an acupuncturist and herbalist in Chicago. “The main functions of aloe in Chinese medicine are for constipation and hemorrhoids,” she says.

And that’s just the beginning. Here are five ways to use this multi-purpose plant.

Sunburn

The most popular way to use aloe is to treat a sunburn. In fact, aloe is known by some as the “burn plant,” says Michael Swann, MD, a dermatologist in Springfield, Missouri. “The mechanism of action is poorly understood, but it appears that there is more to aloe than just being a good moisturizer, as it can even help you avoid the peeling normally associated with sunburn.”

To use the aloe plant: Break off a piece of aloe plant and apply the sap directly to your skin. “Commercially available aloe oil is also effective, and cooling it in the refrigerator before applying it may feel good on hot burned skin,” Swann adds.

Skin improvements

Not only do studies show that aloe vera helps heal minor wounds eight days faster than standard dressing, but the plant has antibacterial properties, too, Polk says. “It’s useful for treating psoriasis, eczema or just ordinary dry skin,” she says.

Aloe also can help lighten dark spots on your skin, according to a 2009 study published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. If you have bruises, dark stretch marks or scars, smooth on aloe gel to encourage them to fade away. Oral health

Aloe vera is a safe alternative to mouthwash, and aloe vera in tooth gels has been shown to be as effective as toothpaste in fighting cavities, according to a study published in the May/June 2009 issue of General Dentistry, a journal by the Academy of General Dentistry. “A 2014 study also found that aloe vera extract is a safe and effective alternative to chemical-based mouthwashes,” Polk says. “The plant’s ingredients work to block plaque as well as provide relief if you have bleeding or swelling gums.”

Heartburn

Reach for aloe vera juice for heartburn or GERD as it’s believed the plant prompts the same relief in the stomach as it does on skin, Polk says. It works to reduce inflammation in the esophagus, too.

Tip: Seek out aloe vera juice that has had its laxative properties removed since aloe vera juice on its own can have a laxative effect.

Bug bites

Itchy mosquito bite driving you crazy? Put a dab of aloe vera on it. Aloe's natural antiseptic qualities will reduce swelling and itching. And if you have some aloe gel in the fridge, that's a bonus. The coldness will stop the itch in its tracks.

Cleaning the air

Aloe vera is one of the NASA-approved Clean Air House Plants. It’s renowned for its ability to rid the air of certain toxins, including benzene and formaldehyde. “In various studies concerning plants and their ability to create suitable space station habitats, NASA found that there are a variety of different plants you can use to help purify the air and provide cleaner air to breathe for yourself and your family,” Polk says. “Aloe helps specifically clean your air from benzene, which is commonly found in paint and certain chemical cleaners and is known to be a carcinogen.”

Warts

Have an unsightly wart on your hand or foot? Several home remedy websites suggest putting aloe on it, covering it with a band-aid or gauze and repeating the process twice a day for a few weeks. Aloe has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the size of the wart.

Athlete's foot

It seems counter-intuitive that a plant meant to provide moisture to skin can help heal a problem caused by too much moisture. But apparently, this magic plant can do just that. Why? Aloe can stimulate skin cell growth, so applying it aloe to athlete's foot twice a day may speed up the process of growing new skin over the affected area.


5 Ways to Use Aloe Vera to Rejuvenate Your Skin and Hair

By Suparna Trikha

I have always found the aloe vera plant to be highly underrated. Everyone can and should have it in their homes. This humble cactus can be grown anywhere, and has strong survival instincts too. You can grow it in a garden, in a pot, on the terrace or any open area. In Sanskrit, it is known as 'Kumari', meaning a young virgin girl, and I think it's apt because it imparts a youthful energy and boosts femininity. It is in my eyes one of the most valuable plants that nature has gifted us with and should be used wisely as it gradually rejuvenates the entire human system.

It is a good liver tonic and its regular use cleanses the system and helps regulate sugar and fat metabolism. It is useful for the treatment of obesity as well as jaundice. It is also excellent for internal healing and cleansing.

In this article, I am about to tell you the magical properties of aloe vera and how it can help your skin and hair. Here's how you can include it into your life regularly -

1. Hair Rejuvenator

Experiencing hair loss, especially in this Monsoon season? Well, aloe vera gel is an excellent hair rejuvenator and tonic. Take a leaf, cut it lengthwise into half and scoop out the clear gel from the inside. Blend this with 1egg and 2-3tsp olive oil, and massage into the scalp and hair. Cover with a hot towel for 10 minutes and shampoo after 40 minutes. If done twice a week, you will notice that your hair fall has reduced and your hair has started to look healthier and conditioned.

2. Nourishing Hair Mask

Aloe vera makes a wonderful hair nourishing food. You can add 2tsp of the gel to the following - 1 mashed avocado, 1 egg, 2tsp honey and 1tsp triphala. Mix all these ingredients well and use all over your scalp and hair. Cover with a shower cap and leave on for a minimum of one hour. This will soften and nourish the most damaged and driest of hair and promote a healthier hair growth.

3. Blemish Repair

If your skin is looking dull and discoloured, aloe vera is an excellent ingredient to reduce blemishes. Take 1tsp of aloe vera gel and mix it with 2tsp mashed papaya and 1tsp full fat cream milk. Massage this daily into the skin for about 10minutes and let the skin drink its goodness. You will notice that your skin tone will start to even out and the skin will look brighter.

4. Anti-Ageing Mask

Aloe vera has anti-ageing properties and is known to make the skin youthful. I would suggest that for those of you who are experiencing lines, wrinkles and a dull looking skin, make the following mask - 1 egg white, beaten till peaks, 3tsp aloe vera gel, 2tsp china clay, 2tsp gumbandi almond paste and 1tsp fresh cream. Mix all the ingredients well and apply it on clean skin. Allow it to dry completely and then wash your face with ice water.

5. Nourishing Cream

I have always felt that a nourishing cream at night does wonders to the skin. Make the following skin rejuvenating and repairing cream at home with a shelf life of one week -

50gm beeswax

20ml olive oil

2tsp aloe vera gel

2-3drops geranium essential oil

Method: In a double boiler, melt the beeswax and stir in aloe vera gel and olive oil, and mix well. Remove from the flame and let it stand and cool. Add the essential oil and when it acquires a semi solid state, pour into a sterilized glass jar and store in the fridge. This can be stored very safely upto a week if not 10days. I would suggest this be used daily at night for a younger and suppler looking skin.


The Latest Trend in Healthy Drinks Aids in Digestion, Ends Constipation, and May Even Lower Blood Sugar

Source:http://www.popsugar.co.uk/fitness/Health-Benefits-Drinking-Aloe-Vera-Juice-41867983
By Heather Dale (Additional reporting by Michele Foley)

Allow me to take some attention off apple cider vinegar for a moment and shed light on another drink that's been popping in conversations and is even included in some of our favourite cold-pressed juice blends: aloe vera.

As a topical agent, aloe vera can alleviate general discomfort from a bad sunburn (and has also shown some promise as a treatment for psoriasis), but imbibing this plant is a whole different story. Researchers believe that the complex carbohydrates found in the juice are where this plant's powers truly reside — it also contains a number of digestive enzymes, antioxidants, and a natural form of aspirin. With all this said, there are some promised benefits — with some having more merit than others — so get the facts and drink with care.

Digestion: Historically, aloe vera has been used as an effective natural laxative, since the juice of the plant encourages the bowels to move and helps with elimination. After sipping the juice, it takes about 10 hours for aloe to get things going. Be careful about relying on this as a long-term cure, since using aloe regularly can affect the lining of the intestines.

Blood sugar: Early research suggests that aloe vera juice can help lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. However, more thorough testing is needed to determine how beneficial aloe is in the situation, since studies have had conflicting results.

Cholesterol: Although the data is considered insufficient to support this claim, there is a small amount of evidence that suggests taking aloe orally can lower cholesterol. Once again, more studies are needed to see if aloe fulfils this promise!

You should be forewarned, aloe vera juice has a strong, pungent taste. If you can't cope with taking it straight, blend it in a smoothie or juice. Try this fruity strawberry, banana, and aloe vera smoothie or our avocado, spinach, and aloe smoothie, which is perfect for a day of detox. The recommended serving size for aloe one tablespoon up to two times a day.


6 Amazing Benefits of Aloe Vera for Hair, Skin & Weight-Loss

(ILT Bureau)

New Delhi : The green-cactus looking plant that sits out in your garden isn’t just a plant with its roots in folklore, it’s the crux of a million dollar industry that extends from beauty creams to healthy juices and diet supplements. Over time, aloe vera has seamlessly integrated itself into everything we use. But what makes this miracle plant so distinguishable?

The aloe vera plant is about one or two feet tall with prickly and bitter leaves, which act as a defence to keep animals and insects from feeding on the plant. The leaves hold a gooey translucent gel, also extremely bitter, and known all over the world for it’s unbelievable healing properties. This translucent gel is made up of around 96% water, some organic and inorganic compounds, a type of protein which contains 18 of the 20 amino acids found in the body and lastly, Vitamin A, B, C and E. Another part of the aloe vera plant which is used is the ‘sap’, a yellow-coloured liquid stuck to the skin of the plant from the inside. When dried and purified, the powdered aloe is often used as a laxative, though it’s effectiveness is questionable.

One of the most crucial elements found in aloe vera gel is a complex carbohydrate known as acemannan. It allows nutrients to reach the cells, nourish them and at the same time relieve them of toxins. Ayurveda, Chinese herbal medicine and British herbal medicine have all advocated aloe vera as a healer, when applied or consumed orally. Let’s go over some of its most prominent benefits.

Bill C. Coats writes, “Since the skin needs nutrition of its own, Aloe Vera, when formulated into a properly designed personal care regimen, can treat, exfoliate, restore, reveal and provide constant, impressive nutrition to the human skin.” And we’re about to show just how you can do that. Once you move past the slimey texture of natural aloe vera gel and apply it to your skin, you’ll notice how soothing and cooling it is. And it’s for these exact reasons that Ayurveda refers to aloe vera as the miracle herb that can be used to treat wounds, minor cuts, dry skin and severe burns.

Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj, Delhi-based dermatologist says, “Aloe Vera is rich in Vitamin C, E and beta carotene which gives it its nourishing and anti-ageing qualities. It can moisturise the skin without making it greasy, which makes it a great buy for those with oily skin.” She also suggests drinking aloe vera juice early in the morning on an empty stomach because it improves digestion and cures any kind of stomach trouble. And you know that if you’ve got a healthy inside, it’ll give you a glowing outside which in this case is radiant skin.

Aloe vera or aloe vera-based products can be used in the winter as well as in the summer and by people of all skin types. Aloe vera treats the cells on the epithelial level of the skin which is why it’s recommended by dermatologists to remove tan, treat sunburn and stretch marks. One way to use aloe vera is to apply the gel directly, another would be to make a pack using aloe vera along with some other special ingredients from your kitchen.

Aloe Vera for Weight-Loss

It’s not just the beauty industry that’s obsessing over the benefits of aloe vera, the health industry can’t stop raving about it either. According to Britt Brandon, the author of The Everything Guide to Aloe Vera for Health, “Aloe vera can improve the effectiveness of your diet and maximise your weight-loss potential. With ample amounts of vitamins and minerals that contribute to weight-loss, as well as amino acids, enzymes and sterols, aloe vera ensures your diet is not only supportive of weight-loss, but also improves the body’s absorption and utilisation, improving overall health as well as weight-loss success.”

Aloe vera is used in a wide range of health products, like diet supplements, juices etc. It’s rich in anti-oxidants which means it helps cut out free radicals in the body and boost your immunity. It’s also a good source of protein so it helps muscle development and gives you copious amounts of energy. There are countless studies that prove how effective aloe vera is for weight-loss, but it should be consumed regularly and over a long period of time for it to really work.

The natural taste of aloe vera is so bitter that you wouldn’t think of consuming it as is. Take the gel, dice it into small pieces and blend. Now mix a bit of this with some other fruit or vegetable juice that’s preferably sweet. You can also use the leaves of aloe vera, blend them, strain and drink. If you find it too bitter then mix it up with honey and drink. You can also add some lemon to this mix.

Aloe vera contains something called proteolytic enzymes which repairs dead skin cells on the scalp. It also acts as a great conditioner and leaves your hair all smooth and shiny. It promotes hair growth, prevents itching on the scalp, reduces dandruff and conditions your hair. Diane Gage, author of Aloe Vera: Nature’s Soothing Healer says, “Keratin, the primary protein of hair, consists of amino acids, oxygen, carbon, and small amounts of hydrogen, nitrogen, and sulphur. Aloe vera has a chemical make up similar to that of keratin and it rejuvenates the hair with its own nutrients, giving it more elasticity and preventing breakage.”


7 Aloe Vera Plant Uses

By Chelsea Clark (Health Advisory Institute)

All my close friends and family members have aloe vera plants of their own (especially after I gave the plants as gifts for Christmas a few years ago). Why? Because of the seemingly endless aloe vera plant uses for natural healthcare in the home.

We all love having fresh aloe on hand. Aloe may be best known for it’s use as a natural treatment for sunburns, but the benefits of aloe extend far beyond helping your skin heal. Learn how aloe can help keep your heart, teeth, digestive tract, and more healthy.

Aloe vera: an impressive medicinal plant with versatile qualities

The aloe vera plant contains an abundance of nutrients that make it incredibly healthy. These include vitamins like A, C, E, and B vitamins. It is also rich in antioxidants, antiseptic agents, immune-boosting compounds, enzymes, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and more. Each of these qualities has beneficial effects in the body, which range from speeding the healing of skin to keeping your heart healthy. 7 Top Aloe Vera Plant Uses

1. Healing wounds. Aloe is an excellent product to apply to wounds to help them heal better. It is a natural antiseptic agent, which helps to keep your wound clean and free of infection; it is anti-inflammatory, which helps aid in the healing process; it stimulates the growth and proliferation of new cells to help rebuild injured tissue; and it can even help reduce pain. Aloe has been an effective treatment for skin wounds ranging from burns (including sunburns) to C-section surgical wounds and more. To watch a video on how to use aloe vera for burn treatment, click here.

2. Lower cholesterol and triglycerides. When taken orally, aloe can do wonders for bringing cholesterol and triglyceride levels down. In one study, people took either 100 mg or 200 mg of aloe vera gel powder daily for three months. Significant reductions in total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL-cholesterol, along with an increase in healthy HDL-cholesterol, were seen in both groups. In another, 500 mg of aloe vera gel powder significantly improved cholesterol and triglyceride levels after eight weeks.

3. Reduce blood pressure. Aloe may also benefit heart health by lowering blood pressure. When people took 100 mg of aloe vera gel powder for three months, they saw significant drops in blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure decreased from an average of 140.1 mmHg to an average of 129.8 mmHg, and diastolic blood pressure decreased from 88.6 mmHg to 83.6 mmHg.

4. Improve dental health. One of the surprising applications of aloe is in dental health. Aloe has been shown to help conditions like gingivitis, periodontitis, and more. It also may be effective in helping prevent cavities, as it has antibacterial qualities. Studies show that is as effective as popular commercial toothpastes in controlling common bacteria responsible for cavities. Researchers note that as a toothpaste, it is also less harsh and can be good for people with sensitive teeth.

5. Treat ulcerative colitis. Because of its anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties, aloe is also helpful for those with the inflammatory bowel disease ulcerative colitis. It is known to help decrease compounds implicated in the disease called prostaglandins and interleukins. One study found that when patients with ulcerative colitis took 100 mL of aloe vera gel two times a day for four weeks, their symptoms improved significantly. After four weeks, 30% of the patients taking aloe experienced clinical remission of the disease, compared to only 7% of those on placebo. To read more about aloe and other natural treatments for ulcerative colitis, go here.

6. Manage diabetes. Aloe may help lower blood sugar, too. One hundred mg of aloe vera gel powder reduced fasting blood sugar significantly in diabetics after three months of treatment.

7. Relieve symptoms of psoriasis. Aloe is at least effective as a prescription cream (triamcinolone acetonid) in improving psoriasis symptoms.[11] It works well applied directly to psoriasis patches to help find relief from rashes, dryness, itchiness, and more. How to Keep an Aloe Vera Plant and How to Use It

Growing an aloe vera plant in your home is easy. Find an aloe vera plant at a local nursery and plant it in a small to medium-sized pot. Aloe doesn’t need a lot of water, as it is a desert plant. Water your plant by pouring water slowly through the center of the plant. Water about once a week, letting the soil become dry in between. Keep it in a well-lit place where it will get plenty of sunlight.

When you are ready to use your aloe vera, all you need to do is cut a leaf (or part of a leaf) off of the plant. For topical applications on the skin, cut off the tip of a leaf. Slice it open to reveal the insides. Apply the clear, gel-like insides directly to the affected area on the skin.

For oral intake, you can try making your own aloe vera gel and juice. Cut an entire large leaf (or a few leaves at once) off of the plant. Peel off the green outer layer from one side with a knife, then use a spoon to scoop out the insides. Blend the gel in a blender until smooth. Store in the refrigerator. When ready to drink, place about 2 tablespoons into a glass of water and stir.

If you don’t want to make your own or you don’t want to grow a plant, you can purchase pre-prepared products, such as whole-leaf aloe vera juice, aloe-vera skin creams, aloe toothpastes, or pure aloe vera gel. Be sure to find natural products free of harmful additives.



Health Risks & Benefits of Taking Aloe Vera Juice Internally

By Nadia Haris (Demand Media)

Aloe vera juice contains leaf pulp that is rich in natural nutrients and fiber. This well-known herbal remedy for the skin also has many benefits for internal healing, cleansing and repair when ingested as a nutritional drink. However, it can cause adverse side effects and reactions and should only be taken as directed. Do not consume aloe vera that is not made for internal, use and consult your doctor before self-medicating for any reason.

Digestive Benefits

Aloe vera contains nutrient compounds that help to heal and soothe the skin when used externally. It may also have similar benefits on the lining of the digestive tract, when ingested as a drink. A review published in the "British Journal of General Practice" notes that aloe vera decreases irritation and enhances healing and repair of ulcers in the stomach and intestines. Aloe vera juice also helps to decrease inflammation in irritable bowel syndrome, colitis and other inflammatory disorders of the gut. Additionally, aloe vera can increase healthy bacteria in the intestines that aid digestion.

Immune Benefits

Research published in the "Journal of Environmental Science and Health" notes that aloe vera contains anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties that aid the immune system to cleanse the body of toxins and invading pathogens. Additionally, aloe vera helps to balance the immune system to reduce the effects of seasonal allergies, rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory immune disorders.

Heart Benefits

Taking aloe vera internally may also help improve blood circulation in the body. A clinical study published in the medical journal "Angiology" reported that aloe vera may help decrease total fat levels in patients with high cholesterol. This helps to reduce fatty deposits and blood clots in the arteries of the heart and body. The research noted that patients with diabetes showed the highest improvement in cholesterol level; however, the exact mechanism of these benefits are not yet determined.

Diarrhea Risk

The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center warns that drinking aloe vera can cause adverse effects such as diarrhea. This occurs because aloe juice and aloe latex contain a substance called anthraquinone, which is a laxative. Severe diarrhea can cause pain, cramping and dehydration. Consult your doctor or nutritionist before ingesting this herb and do not consume aloe vera that is not produced for internal use.

Drug interactions

Like other herbal supplements, taking aloe vera internally can cause adverse interactions with prescription and over-the-counter medications. Aloe vera may inhibit or increase the effects of some drugs, according to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. For example, it may increase the blood-sugar-lowering effects of some diabetes medications and may cause potassium loss if taken with water pills or diuretics for heart conditions.



Aloe vera: Say hello to a wonder plant

By Fionnuala Fallon

This useful plant is used to reduce pain, to moisturise and to aid healing, among other properties

I burned my hand the other day. Not so badly that I had to contemplate going to the doctor, but badly enough that I could think about very little else other than the wince-inducing pain. And then I remembered the small, succulent houseplant that I grow in a pot on the kitchen windowsill for exactly this reason.

Naturalised in parts of Africa, Latin America, India, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, Aloe vera is an evergreen shrubby perennia that forms a rosette of sharply toothed, pale green, fleshy leaves. Its various common names, for very good reasons, include the First Aid Plant, the Miracle Plant and Nature’s Soothing Healer. For centuries, people have used the clear, odourless ‘aloe gel’ contained within its plump leaves to soothe minor cuts, grazes, insect bites, burns and other relatively minor skin disorders such as dermatitis.

Scientists have since discovered that within that viscous gel are substances known as glycoproteins and polysaccharides, which help to kill bacteria/fungi and reduce pain and inflammation, while also stimulating the skin’s healing process and boosting the body’s immune system.

On top of this, its remarkable moisturising properties mean that aloe gel is also a popular ingredient in many cosmetics, shampoos, skin creams, sunscreens, ointments and lotions, even some perfumes … for example, in the Clarins eau-de-toilette, Eau Dynamisante.

Some studies suggest that aloe gel can be used as a treatment for psoriasis, acne, herpes, even frostbite. Other research suggests that when taken internally, aloe gel/juice may help people suffering from adult-onset diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and some gastrointestinal disorders, although such use is not recommended without strict medical supervision.

In my case, I simple broke off a fleshy leaf and smeared the clear, sticky gel or leaf pulp, properly known as ‘leaf parenchyma tissue’, on the affected area. Then I split the leaf lengthwise and gently held it there. Within seconds the pain had eased dramatically, reminding me once again of the many amazing healing powers of plants.

So how do you grow it? Quite easily, is the answer. As befits a plant that is typically found growing in free-draining, rocky soils in some of the world’s warmest regions, Aloe vera requires an especially well-drained growing medium and a bright, frost-free spot. For Irish gardeners, that means that this sun-loving, drought-tolerant plant needs to be grown under cover during our cool, damp winters, but can be moved outdoors during the warmer summer months. The only exceptions to this rule are the country’s mildest, most protected, coastal gardens.

When growing it as an indoor/conservatory plant, add some good quality sharp horticultural grit or perlite to the compost to ensure sharp drainage and then place the pot in a draught-free, bright spot where the minimum temperature doesn’t go below five degrees Celsius. As for many indoor plants, always reduce watering to a minimum during the winter to prevent the roots from rotting. Come spring, you’ll need to start watering more regularly (but never so much that it’s sitting for any length of time in sodden compost) and give it an occasional liquid feed to boost growth. Always let the compost almost dry out in between watering.

I keep my plant indoors throughout the year, but as mentioned earlier, it can be moved outside during the summer months. Just make sure to give it a bright, sheltered spot, safely away from dripping roof eaves or gutters, or the dense shadows cast by large shrubs or trees.

Grown as a pot plant, Aloe vera typically reaches a height and spread of approximately 30cm, roughly a half to a third of what it reaches when grown in the wild. Mine has never bloomed but that’s not to say that yours won’t eventually produce a stout flower stem covered in yellow/orange tubular flowers in late winter/early spring.

Over time, baby plants or ‘offshoots’ will appear close to the base of the parent plant. These should be gently pulled away in summer, potted on and placed somewhere warm, out of direct sunshine, where they will soon root. Given the plant’s famed curative powers, you’ll always find a welcome home for such progeny.

The parent plant itself will also need occasional re-potting. Do this in summer also, taking care not to damage the fleshy roots. As for many indoor plants, its leaves can also get covered with a layer of dust over time. And so, every once in a while, I use a damp soft cloth to gently wipe mine down, taking care to avoid coming in contact with those sharp leaf spines.

Other than that, this remarkable plant seems impressively immune to attack by any pests and diseases, leading me to wonder whether its powerful curative properties extend to protecting it from such things. That wouldn’t surprise me in the least. Aloe vera plants are available to buy from most good garden centres, including Johnstown Garden Centre (from €12, johnstowngardencentre.ie)


Secret benefits of aloe vera for women’s health

By Gina Ricci (Philadelphia Wellness Examiner)

Aloe vera is well known for its beneficial properties, being often presented as a miracle plant. Interestingly enough, aloe vera has been used for beauty and healing purposes, since ancient Egypt. More recently, it has been discovered that aloe vera is quite beneficial for the health of women, as you will have the opportunity to discover on your own in the paragraphs that follow. Enjoy your read and do not hesitate to share your newfound information with your female friends and family members.

1 Menopause

When women enter menopause, they go through a number of changes, which can create more or less discomfort. In regard to the health of the skin, the aging process is aggravated by menopause, with fine lines and wrinkles becoming more obvious. While it is impossible to turn back the time, aloe vera can make a difference. It is often used as an ingredient in natural supplements for menopause, helping women go easier through such changes.

2 Sunburn

As a woman, a sunburn is quite dangerous, as it can affect the structure of the skin and lead to premature aging. If you have stayed in the sun for too long, it is recommended to use aloe vera as a natural healing agent. This natural remedy will provide the skin with both the necessary nutrients and antioxidants, in order to repair itself and eliminate the risk of photoaging. Moreover, aloe vera has an anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect at the level of the skin.

3 Tiredness

Unfortunately, many women lead stressful lives, finding very little or no time to rest. The signs of tiredness are obvious, with dark circles and bags under the eyes demonstrating that you have too many things on your plate. If you want to get rid of bags under eyes, you should definitely consider using aloe vera as a natural remedy. Aloe vera can help you eliminate the signs of tiredness, making you look better than ever.

4 Acne

Whether they have just reached puberty or entered adulthood, many women struggle with acne. This problem can have a negative effect on their self-esteem, reducing their confidence in themselves. Aloe vera can be used to improve the aspect of acne skin, healing any existent lesions and reducing the associated inflammation. Whether you use it as such or prefer a store-bought product that contains aloe vera, it is guaranteed you will love the aspect of the skin after a couple of weeks.

5 Moisturizer

Many women are on the lookout for the perfect moisturizer, spending generous amounts of money on expensive, yet less-effective products. If you want to moisturize your skin in an effective manner, you have to try out aloe vera (or at least products that contain such ingredients). Interestingly, aloe vera can moisturize the skin, without leaving it all greasy; this is the reason why an aloe vera moisturizer is recommended for all skin types.

6 Hair health

If you are tired of always dealing with hair loss and you want something to make your hair stronger, aloe vera is the ideal solution. You can use it as a conditioner, enjoying its moisturizing and strengthening properties at the level of the hair. All you have to do is apply aloe vera gel on your roots, after you have washed the hair. Leave it only for about ten minutes and then rinse your hair. Enjoy the new volume, shine and also the strong hair, all thanks to your secret remedy (aloe vera). Last, but not least, remember that aloe vera can stimulate the growth of the hair.

7 Scars

For women, having a scar can generate a lot of discomfort, especially if it is located in a visible location. Instead of worrying about such problems, you can use aloe vera with all the confidence. The aloe vera gel is an excellent remedy when it comes to scars, as it can stimulate the proper healing of the skin. The regular application of aloe vera will actually soften the scar tissue, making the respective scar less visible. So, the next time you are worried that you will have a mark on your skin, resort to aloe vera and everything will be fine.

These are only a couple of the many secret benefits that aloe vera has when it comes to women’s health. Keep in mind that you can also use aloe vera for a healthy digestion, as well as to stimulate the metabolism and maintain a healthy body weight. Moreover, aloe vera can be taken as a nutritional supplement, as it is quite rich in vitamins and minerals. Aloe vera has represented a natural remedy for a lot of problems, helping you stay strong and healthy. Do not hesitate to try it as recommended and enjoy its natural properties.


Aloe vera juice: 5 amazing benefits of guzzling the humble health drink

By Nikita Bhalla

From propelling weight-loss to detoxifying the body, aloe vera juice is a world of good health.

With a massive influx of sugar laden drinks and cold-press juices, the importance of drinking 'actual' healthy drinks is fading away, somewhere. Before you walk out of your house to buy another crate of colas to chill you down in the heat, you may want to have another look at your terrace garden. There, you spot an aloe vera plant--rich in fibre and natural nutrients, aloe vera juice can be extracted within no time. Just wash the leaf, cut it into two slices and extract the pulp out in a glass jar.

A well-known herbal remedy for the skin, aloe vera juice has many benefits to its credit. It not only heals you internally but also helps in cleansing and repairing of the body.

Here are some of the health benefits of the humble aloe vera.

  1. Helps in shedding weight: Aloe vera juice helps in weight loss by increasing metabolic rate to burn more calories. When you drink aloe vera juice, your body can naturally cleanse its digestive system, leading to a healthy weight management.
  2. Gives you a healthy skin: Aloe vera juice can help repair your collagen and elastin, giving you a radiant skin. The nutritional building blocks present in aloe vera, makes your skin fight the process of ageing and it also helps in soothing minor skin irritations, cuts and burns.
  3. Boosts immunity: Aloe vera juice contains many antioxidants which fight the free radicals found in human bodies and it also increases the body's metabolism.
  4. Promotes heart health: Drinking aloe vera juice could internally help you to improve blood circulation in the body. Aloe vera is known to decrease total fat levels in patients with high cholesterol. This further helps in reducing fatty deposits and blood clots in the arteries of the heart.
  5. Takes care of dental health: Aloe vera juice is known to be effective for your gums and mouth. It not only provides natural anti-microbial and anti-bacterial actions but it also contains several vitamins which promote cell healing and growth. It is a good source for healing mouth ulcers and bleeding gums.

8 Health Benefits of Antioxidant-Rich Aloe Vera

By Joe Leech (Authority Nutrition)

Aloe vera is a popular medicinal plant that has been used for thousands of years.

Here are eight health benefits of aloe vera that are supported by science.

It is best known for treating skin injuries, such as burns and sores, but may also have several other therapeutic properties.

1. Aloe Vera Contains Bioactive Compounds That Can Improve Health

Aloe vera is a thick, short-stemmed plant that stores water in its leaves.

It is widely used in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industries, and has an estimated annual market value of $13 billion globally.

Aloe vera is well recognized by its thick, pointed and fleshy green leaves, which can grow to about 12-19 inches in length.

Each leaf is full of a slimy tissue that stores water, which makes the leaves thick. This slimy, water-filled tissue is the “gel” we associate with aloe vera products.

The gel contains most of the bioactive compounds in the plant, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants.

Bottom Line: Aloe vera is a popular medicinal plant that is used in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industries. Its leaves are full of a “gel” that contains numerous beneficial compounds.

2. Aloe Vera Has Potent Antioxidant and Antibacterial Properties

Antioxidants are important for health.

Aloe vera gel contains powerful antioxidants, which belong to a large family of substances known as polyphenols.

These polyphenols, along with several other compounds in aloe vera, can help inhibit the growth of certain bacteria that can cause infections in humans (2).

Bottom Line: Aloe vera contains various powerful antioxidant compounds. Some of these compounds can help inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.

3. Aloe Vera Accelerates The Healing of Burns

Aloe vera is most commonly used as a topical medication, rubbed onto the skin rather than eaten.

It has long been known as a treatment for sores, particularly burns, including sunburns.

In fact, the Food and Drug Administration first approved aloe vera ointment as an over-the-counter medication for skin burns back in 1959.

Studies suggest that it is an effective topical treatment for first- and second-degree burns.

A review of four experimental studies found that aloe vera could reduce the healing time of burns by around nine days compared to conventional medication.

The evidence for aloe vera helping to heal other types of wounds is inconclusive.

Bottom Line: Applying aloe vera to burn wounds appears to accelerate the healing process. The evidence is inconclusive for other wound types.

4. Pure Aloe Vera Juice Reduces Dental Plaque as Effectively as Mouthwash

Tooth decay and diseases of the gum are very common health problems.

One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is to reduce the buildup of plaque (bacterial biofilms) on the teeth.

In a mouth rinse study of 300 healthy people, 100 percent pure aloe vera juice was compared to the standard mouthwash ingredient chlorhexidine.

After four days of use, the aloe vera mouth rinse was found to be just as effective as chlorhexidine in reducing dental plaque.

Another study found similar benefits of aloe vera mouth rinse when used over a 15- to 30-day period.

Aloe vera does this by killing the plaque-producing bacterium Streptococcus mutans in the mouth, as well as the yeast Candida albicans.

Bottom Line: When used as a mouth rinse, pure Aloe vera juice is just as effective at reducing dental plaque buildup as regular mouthwash.

5. Aloe Vera Can be Used to Treat Mouth Ulcers (Canker Sores)

Many people have experienced mouth ulcers, or canker sores, at some point in their lives.

They usually form underneath the lip, inside the mouth, and last for about 7-10 days.

Studies have convincingly shown that aloe vera treatment can accelerate the healing of mouth ulcers.

In a seven-day study of 180 people with recurrent mouth ulcers, an aloe vera patch applied to the area was effective in reducing the size of the ulcers.

However, it did not outperform the conventional ulcer treatment, which is corticosteroids.

In another study, aloe vera gel not only accelerated the healing of mouth ulcers, it also reduced the pain associated with them.

Bottom Line: Application of aloe vera, either as a patch or gel, has been shown to aid in the recovery of mouth ulcers (canker sores).

6. Aloe Vera Can Help Treat Constipation

Aloe vera has often be used to treat constipation.

This time it is not the gel, but the latex, that provides the benefits.

The latex is a sticky yellow residue found just under the skin of the leaf.

The key compound responsible for this effect is called aloin, or barbaloin, which has well-established laxative effects.

However, some concerns have been raised about safety issues with frequent use. For this reason, aloe latex has not been available in the U.S. as an over-the-counter medication since 2002.

Contrary to popular belief, aloe vera does not appear to be effective against other digestive disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Bottom Line: Aloe vera latex has strong laxative effects, making it useful to treat constipation. It does not appear to be beneficial for other diseases of the digestive tract.

7. Aloe Vera May Improve Skin Elasticity and Help Prevent Wrinkles

There is some preliminary evidence that topical aloe vera gel can slow aging of the skin.

In one study of 30 women over the age of 45, topical application of the gel was shown to increase collagen production and improve skin elasticity over a 90-day period.

Another study found that aloe vera reduced erythema (redness of the skin), but was also found to dehydrate skin cells .

There is very little evidence that aloe vera can treat skin conditions like psoriasis and radiation dermatitis.

Bottom Line: Early evidence suggests that Aloe vera may have anti-aging effects on the skin, but more research is needed.

8. Aloe Vera May Lower Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetics

Aloe vera has sometimes been used as a traditional diabetes remedy .

It is said to enhance insulin sensitivity and help improve blood sugar management.

Several animal and human studies in type 2 diabetics have actually found promising results from consuming aloe vera extract.

However, the quality of these studies was fairly poor, so it is definitely premature to recommend aloe vera for this purpose.

Additionally, there have been some cases of liver damage reported with long-term ingestion of aloe vera supplements .

9. Anything Else?

Aloe vera definitely has some unique therapeutic properties, especially when applied as an ointment for the skin and gums.


Five Reasons To Use Aloe Vera

By Emma Barlow

The Gran Canaria Wellness Association share their top five reasons why you should be using Aloe Vera

It's more than just a plant...

Aloe Vera has long been known as a handy product to cool the skin after overindulging in the sun but its uses and benefits do not stop there. The cactus-like plant has been valued for thousands of years for its cleansing and cooling properties and although 99% water, the 1% of Aloe is extremely powerful in soothing a variety of ailments. So much so, that we are still discovering it's seemingly endless benefits to this day.

A super plant in its own right, the Aloe Vera plant has over two hundred biologically active ingredients including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and fatty acids. It is to no surprise that the Egyptians referred to it as "the plant of immortality" and even Cleopatra herself used it in her beauty regime almost 3,000 years ago.

Gran Canaria is home to some of the purest Aloe Vera in the world and is used frequently in spa treatments, including at the luxurious 'Aloe Spa' at The Sheraton Gran Canaria Salobre Golf Resort. The Gran Canaria Wellness Association share their top 5 reasons why you should be using this spiky green plant for your health.

1. Relax: A well-known Adaptogen, Aloe Vera boosts the body's natural ability to adapt to external change. It is thought that Aloe Vera balances the body's system, stimulating the defence and adaptive mechanisms of the body, helping you to cope with life's stresses.

2. A Super Food: Much like the popular Chia Seed, Aloe Vera is a gelatinous plant food. Gelatinous plant food moves through the intestinal tract absorbing toxins along the way helping with digestion and aiding in detoxification.

3. Luscious Locks: Often a build of dead skin cells clog up the pores of the scalp hindering the growth of new hair follicles. Aloe Vera, rich in protolithic enzymes gently aids in the removal of these dead cells and gently cleanses the scalp by removing excess sebum and encouraging healthy hair growth.

4. Keep Healthy: Aloe Vera when consumed is packed full of polysaccharide which stimulate the white blood cells in our immune system to strengthen and fight against viruses. Aloe's natural high levels of anti-oxidants also naturally help to increase the bodies overall sense of wellbeing.

5. Clear Glowing Skin: Aloe Vera has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can prevent and reduce skin inflammation. This natural ingredient is perfect for providing the skin with natural source of moisture and providing a glowing complexion.


Aloe vera benefits

By PENDA HONEYGHAN
ALOE VERA has earned its name in many Jamaican households as the magic plant — often leading the treatment options for a plethora of body, hair and skin conditions because of its proven natural relief. Dr Sandra Knight, anti-ageing practitioner, says that the benefits of aloe vera are so varied and far-reaching that it is difficult to put a lid on them.

“As a child, aloe vera was the king of cure-all in my home. It is effective in resolving many issues — headaches, tummy aches, loose stools and scrapes and bruises, for example. And as it turns out, my mom’s obsession with aloe vera was one founded on science and research.

“Aloe vera is officially called a medicinal plant. It’s a thick-stemmed, succulent plant of the genus aloe, which has over 500 species including vera. The stem contains a thick, fleshy substance that contains bioactive substances including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants,” Dr Knight said.

She said aloe vera has immense health and beauty benefits, noting that the antioxidants — in which the plant is rich — are particularly important.

“The antioxidants found in the aloe vera plant have antibacterial properties, which accelerate the healing of many skin conditions, help treat mouth ulcers and remove plaque, reduce constipation, may lower blood sugar in diabetics, strengthen your immune system, and improve on general wellness and health if taken as a daily supplement,” Dr Knight said.

Dr Knight said that aloe vera has been used for thousands of years when no medicines existed, and therefore it comes as no surprise that herbalists and pharmaceutical companies have created thousands of products such as soaps, oils, gels and supplements in the top beauty and health care products sold globally.

The plant has also been used in managing skin conditions such as ageing, dryness, stretch marks, acne and other blemishes and sunburns. In the hair it controls dandruff, promotes hair growth, is a natural hair conditioner, and is integral in controlling scalp pH. In addition, aloe helps to boost the immune system, soothe haemorrhoids, reduce cholesterol, and lower the risks of cancer.

Dr Knight pointed out that while the plant is particularly beneficial in its natural state, great care must be taken in harvesting it.

“It is important that you try to harvest the jelly-like pulp only. The green stains from the skin have harmful substances that could cause skin reactions. Aloe vera gel extraction should be done quickly with limited exposure to sunlight; in fact, perhaps the best way to extract the contents of the plant is to freeze it and then peel the skin off. You will be left with pure aloe goodness! These you can then cube and swallow as a supplement, massage into your skin and scalp, leave overnight as a treatment, or blend into your favourite smoothie.”


Aloe vera helps prevent pollen allergy: Doctor

(Agencies, The Nation)

Islamabad - Balanced diet and use of aloe vera with empty stomach daily is the best prevention for the pollen allergy contraction as it boosts one’s immune system. One table spoon gel of aloe vera with empty stomach daily is the best prevention against pollen allergy, said doctor Syed Hasnain Ali Johar while taking to APP.

He said that those having weak immune system are more likely to fell victim to pollen allergy.

Dr Johar said that pollen allergy symptoms include sneezing and runny nose, itching and watering of eyes, coughing, and difficulty in breathing, wheezing and eventually attacks of asthma.

In addition, there may be itching on the skin and sometimes gastro-intestinal problems, he added. He said that main plants causing, this allergy, are mulberry in March-April while cannabis in June-July.

Replying to a question, he said pollen allergy is not infectious but a seasonal disease.

He advised pollen allergy patients to avoid the spicy food and pulses, potatoes, cauliflower and banana adding that they must avoid soft drinks.

He forbade use of perfumes, frequently going out in the evenings and suggested to wear face mask, use wet cloth for dusting, avoid the use of floor carpets, not to open the window of car, use vacuum cleaner instead of broom, use sun glasses in outdoor and apply fresh water in eyes and nose and avoid using hot water, are the measures which can control it to a limited extent.”

He advised the use of any oil including mustard oil for oiling the inner nostrils with finger as the best remedy to prevent pollen allergy. Director General Pakistan Meteorological Department Ghulam Rasool said that average Pollen Count for Islamabad today is 27.

He, however, said that during current season, intensity of pollen allergy would be low due to decrease number of paper mulberry trees and green grass in the capital.

He said rain is also expected in the last week of February and first week of March it will also help to reduce magnitude of the pollen allergy. To a question, he said that pollen allergy is expected from March 9 to March 25 with low intensity during current season. Red meat compound linked to worse outcomes in heart failure patients: Study

A new study finds that worse outcomes in patients with acute heart failure are linked to higher levels of TMAO - the major source of which is thought to be L-carnitine, a compound that is metabolized by gut bacteria during the digestion of red meat.

Previous studies have linked TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide) with higher risk of death in chronic heart failure, note the researchers, but their study appears to be the first to find such a link in patients with acute heart failure.

The results showed that acute heart failure patients who had higher levels of TMAO at the start of the period were the ones most likely to die or be rehospitalized with heart failure in the following 12 months.

Prof Suzuki said, “Higher levels of TMAO, a metabolite of carnitine derived from red meat, is associated with poorer outcomes associated with acute heart failure, one of the main diseases of the heart. This metabolic pathway provides a possible link between how red meat is associated with heart disease.”

Red meat is not the only dietary source of carnitine - for example, milk, cheese, whole-wheat products and asparagus also contain it, but in much smaller concentrations. It is also a common ingredient of energy drinks. Some research suggests the effect of bacteria metabolizing carnitine into TMAO and influencing heart risk appears to be more pronounced in people who consume meat than in vegans or vegetarians. But it is early days, and the implications of these findings are not well understood and require more research.


Aloe Vera : The Magic Potion For Your Body

By Niharika Choudhary

We face thousands of problems with our skin and hair and never think before rushing to get them sorted out, either at some expensive saloon or at a dermatologist's clinic.

The remedy to most of our skin and hair problems lies in a pot that is in our balcony or our kitchen garden. Yes! We are talking about the all-time favourite plant, Aloe Vera.

Did you know that the Egyptians called aloe vera' the plant of immortality'?

Aloe vera is a magical remedy for all your health troubles. Be it skin problems, hair issues or any kind of a health disorder, aloe vera seems to have calmed down every such problem.

Aloe vera can be used in the form of a cream, lotion, gel, serum, spray or with face and hair packs. It can also be consumed raw or in the form of juice or tablets.

Aloe vera works wonders for the body. When mixed with some other Ayurvedic or natural ingredients, its goodness increases manifolds.

Here, we are listing down the different uses and benefits of aloe vera, so that you make sure to bring this awesome garden plant to reap its maximum benefits for yourself and your loved ones.

Best Skin Treatment

You just need to get in the habit of applying aloe vera on your skin, either in the form of a gel or cream; or the best one, take a stalk of aloe vera, slice it from the centre and rub it on your face and the other desired parts.

You just need to get in the habit of applying aloe vera on your skin, either in the form of a gel or cream; or the best one, take a stalk of aloe vera, slice it from the centre and rub it on your face and the other desired parts.

Aloe vera is the best moisturiser ever, it is non greasy in nature, it increases the water content in your skin and leaves the skin feeling hydrated and soft.

It is also an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent and it reduces acne, heals sunburn as well as the redness that is brought about by the constant exposure to UV rays. It helps in reducing the tan and lightens up the skin tone.

Aloe vera removes the dead skin cells, improves the elasticity of the skin and makes it smoother and supple, thus preventing the early signs of ageing.

Better Than All The Hair Spas

It stimulates the growth of new cells, fastens the healing process and prevents the appearance of scars. It can also be used to treat small cuts, bruises and insect bites.

Better Than All The Hair Spas Aloe vera works as the best hair care treatment as well. It can be used with hair packs, mixed in oil, applied or rubbed on to the hair scalp in the form of juice or just raw.

The best benefit of aloe vera is that it maintains the pH value of your scalp, thus keeping the scalp moisturised and well conditioned. It promotes hair growth, conditions the hair, removes the dead skin cells and also eliminates dandruff.

Aloe vera has reserves of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which help it to fight against all kinds of hair-related infections. The use of aloe vera moisturises your hair, leaving it smooth and glossy.

Health Benefits

Aloe vera is the powerhouse with reserves of anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants. Its consumption helps to eradicate free radicals that cause damage to our body cells. When taken in the form of a juice, aloe vera helps to soothe the irritation in the stomach lining and oesophagus. Studies have shown that aloe vera can reduce the concentration of cholesterol in your vital organs.

Aloe vera also comes with oral benefits, as it helps fight the cavity-causing bacteria. Aloe vera thus boosts your immune system.

On the whole, aloe vera is the one-stop shop for almost all of your problems; however, pregnant and breastfeeding women should restrict the use of aloe vera, as it may cause complications to the mother and baby. Too much intake of aloe vera can be harmful for people with diabetes as well, as it lowers the blood sugar level. Similarly, it should also be avoided by people who are about to undergo a surgery.


Ways To Use Aloe Vera To Treat Acne And Scars

(Bindu)

Acne and acne scars are one of the major skin problems that we all face most often. Acne and scars make the skin appear dull. The skin also looks blemished because of the scars. Acne is caused when the skin pores get blocked. This gives a favourable condition to the bacteria to live and thrive on the skin, which eventually makes the skin look worse. The reasons behind several acne breakouts could be hormonal imbalances, poor diet, dehydration, body heat and an improper skin care. There are many natural remedies that can treat acne. However, aloe vera tops the list of the ingredients that can cure acne. Aloe vera possesses antibacterial and healing abilities that can reduce the presence of acne. Its natural astringent quality keeps the pores clean, giving less scope for the pimples and acne to develop. Aloe vera gel reduces the inflammation and clears the skin. There are different ways by which aloe vera gel on the skin can be used to cure acne, and therefore, in this article, we at Boldksy will be listing out some of the ways to use aloe vera to get a clear and acne-free skin. Have a look:

Aloe Vera With Turmeric: Aloe vera gel soothes the skin. Turmeric has antibacterial property that can treat acne and pimples. Take half a teaspoon of aloe vera gel. Add 2 pinches of turmeric to it. Apply this mixture on to the affected area and rinse after sometime.

Aloe Vera With Lemon Juice: This mixture is best suited to heal the scar marks on the skin. It reduces the dark spots that are left behind when the pimples get healed. This fades the acne marks and pimples effectively. Add half a teaspoon of lemon juice to one teaspoon of aloe vera gel. Apply this mixture on to the acne-prone areas every night and rinse it off the next morning.

Aloe Vera And Tea Tree Oil : Tea tree oil is known to reduce pimple and scar marks with its regular usage. A mixture of aloe vera and tea tree oil renders the skin free from bacterial infection and makes the skin clear. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil to 1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel. Apply this on to the skin and rinse after sometime.

Plain Aloe Vera Extract: Extract the fresh aloe vera juice. Apply it on the entire face and rinse thoroughly after sometime. Aloe vera gel contains ingredients that kill the bacteria, which cause acne. Use aloe vera for a period of one month to get the desired results.

Aloe Vera With Honey: Aloe vera and honey are the best ingredients that one can use to get rid of acne and acne scars. Mix aloe vera gel with a teaspoon of honey. Apply this mixture on the skin. Leave it for sometime and later rinse.


Aloe vera and autoimmune disease

(All Woman With Donovan Grant)

Dear Donovan,

Can you tell me if aloe vera is good for autoimmune diseases and if consuming it will improve my skin tone?

Aloe vera is a succulent plant which belongs to the same family as onion and garlic. Historical evidence has pointed to the origin of aloe vera in Africa. It is also called the miracle plant. It contains over 200 active components including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, polysaccharides and fatty acids.

It is very important to note that aloe vera is only one of a few plants which contain vitamin B12. The bulk of the aloe vera stem is filled with a gel-like substance which is about 99 per cent water. This plant has been used therapeutically by many for over 4000 years.

The therapeutic use of aloe vera is still very popular in Jamaica and worldwide. A study was carried out in Jamaica to determine the prevalence of herbs used for medicinal and other properties in randomly selected communities, (Grant and Meeks Gardner, 1999). This study has shown that the use of aloe vera is very prevalent, both in urban and rural communities. Aloe vera was mainly reported to be used to purge (detox) the blood.

Among its many therapeutic properties, several studies have shown that the plant is very helpful in the treatment of autoimmune disorders. Basically, autoimmune disorders cause either low activity or over activity of the immune system. Under these conditions, the body attacks its own tissues. These disorders decrease the body’s ability to fight foreign organisms. This results in the person becoming susceptible to infection.

Examples of autoimmune disorders include rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, inflammatory bowel disease and type 1 diabetes. Aloe vera contains a very important substance called acemannan which is a polysaccharide. This substance in aloe vera helps to stimulate the white blood cells which fight against foreign microorganisms in the body. In addition, aloe vera is also an immune booster because of the high level of antioxidants which help to eliminate free radicals.

Overall, there are compounds in aloe vera which can act as immune modulators. This means that these compounds have the ability to slow down or speed up the immune system response, thus protecting the body against itself.

Aloe vera is one of the primary compounds used in the cosmetic industry because of its healing properties. Also, the plant is very useful to hydrate, moisturise, soften, smooth and rejuvenate the skin when applied topically because of its high water content. In addition, aloe vera increases the elasticity of the skin, making it more flexible. The plant will also help to improve the blood flow to the skin, which helps to nourish and improve the formation of skin cells.

When aloe vera is taken internally, the gel goes through the intestinal tract, absorbing toxins along the way. These toxins usually become eliminated through the colon. The fact that aloe vera alkalises the body, the proper elimination of waste and toxins will definitely improve skin tone. In addition, aloe vera contains many antioxidants which will help to remove free radicals which can damage the skin. However, it should be noted that aloe vera is a potent medicinal plant and its medicinal uses should be respected and not abused. Therefore, some consideration must be taken, especially with the internal use.

Studies have shown that the long-term use of aloe vera can lead to a loss of electrolytes, especially potassium. Overall, it is generally thought that the use of aloe vera with periodic breaks is relatively safe.


Home remedy for mouth ulcers: Aloe vera gel

By Poorva Chavan

Forget rubbing toothpaste on your mouth ulcer. Here's what you should actually do!

Mouth ulcers are very common and almost everyone suffers from them at least once in a lifetime. Spicy food, citrus fruits like strawberries, oranges, poor oral hygiene are a few triggers of mouth ulcers. Many a times stress and conditions like constipation can also cause mouth ulcers. Here are a few more reasons you could be suffering from recurrent mouth ulcers.

Mouth ulcers do go away over a period of time but if they are treated at the right time, the pain and discomfort they cause can be avoided. There are various natural remedies you can use to treat mouth ulcers, but one of the best ways is to use aloe vera gel.

Aloe vera gel is known to be a cooling agent and can tackle mouth ulcers because many a times they are caused because of body heat. Aloe vera gel also has wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties. The pain associated with mouth ulcers is mainly due to the inflammation and hence, its anti-inflammatory properties help in reducing the pain. Also, aloe vera gel contains a mucopolysaccharide called acemannan which has the ability to alter the immune response of the body and help the wound to heal.[1] Here’s how you can use honey to treat mouth ulcers.

How to use aloe vera gel for treating mouth ulcers–

Aloe vera gel is the transparent gel-like substance in the centre of the leaves. You can simply cut open an aloe vera leaf and scoop the gel inside the leaf. Apply the gel on the ulcerated area in your mouth at least twice a day.

Photos of the Aloe Vera Plant