A Look at Aloe Vera Plants – Should You Have One in Your Home?
The Aloe Vera plant has been a source of healing for many centuries. Its health benefits in terms of medicinal purposes are well documented, dating back as far as 2000 years. Aloe Vera can been used for a variety of wounds to the skin, as well as burns, cuts, acne, sunburn and insect bites. There are a great many products on the market today that contain Aloe Vera. Some of these include sunscreens, skin lotions, antiseptic creams, after sun lotions, moisturizers, cosmetics and burn gels.
A Description of the Aloe Vera Plant
The Aloe Vera plant resembles a cactus, although it is a member of the lily family. It is a semi-tropical plant that originated in Africa. It was reputed to have been brought back to North American from the African continent sometime during the 16th century.
The Aloe Vera plant has long thick green leaves, and it is the leaves that house the water supply for the plant. This type of plant is very hardy, although it needs plenty of room to hold water because where it grows it often must suffer long periods of drought. The Aloe Vera plant is able to survive in harsh weather conditions and can get by in dry, warm climates because of its beginnings in the arid atmosphere of Africa.
When a leaf from the plant is cut from the top, a sap that is orange-yellow in color can be seen. It is this sap that is often turned into a drink. This healing herb can be applied topically and is also safe to ingest. Aloe Vera is used as a medicine more than it is used for anything else.
A broken leaf of the Aloe Vera plant yields a sticky substance that looks and feels a great deal like mucilage. This substance is a combination of water and fibers that keep the water supply in the plant in abundance, even after the green skin of a leaf is taken away. The mucilage-like substance is used to make Aloe Vera gel, which is very beneficial in facilitating healing of topical wounds.
History of the Aloe Vera Plant
Alexander the Great was known to have used this unique healing plant on his soldiers when they were wounded. There are instances noted in the Bible where the plant was also put to good use. Cleopatra, who was reputed to have very healthy glowing skin, used the Aloe Vera taken from the plant as part of her skin care regime.
The Aloe Vera plant is often thought of as a first aid plant because it is good for many small wounds, such as cuts, scraps, burns and insect bites. A study that was released in an American medical journal in 1935 documents how this plant is beneficial in treating lesions that result from overexposure to X-rays.
The Aloe Vera plant does so much more than treat skin wounds. Aloeride, which is the only pharmaceutical grade aloe product on the market today, is excellent at fighting a variety of digestive problems such as Crohn’s Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It also boosts immunity and helps to fight the signs of aging.