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Aloe Plants

Added/Modified on July 23, 2016

LATIN NAME:
Aloe barbadensis

GENERAL DESCRIPTION:
Aloe plants, also known as medicine plants and the burn plants, are a perennial tropical herb.

They grow to reach 2 to 3 feet high, growing straight from the soil as a rosette of fleshy basal leaves that are whitish-green on both sides and have spiny teeth on the edges.

The yellow to purplish blooms yield two therapeutic substances. The first is a translucent gel that is obtained from the inner leaves. The aloe gel works externally to relieve minor burns, skin irritations, and infections.

When the aloe gel is taken internally it provides relief from stomach disorders.
The second therapeutic effect comes from the bitter yellow juice that comes from aloe plants known as latex. This is found just beneath the surface of the aloe leaves. Latex acts as a powerful laxative.

TARGET AILMENTS

Take the gel internally for:

* digestive disorders
* gastritis
* stomach ulcers

Use the gel externally:

* irritated eyes
* infections in wounds
* minor burns and insect bites
* skin irritations and bruising
* sunburn and poison ivy
* chickenpox
* acne and eczema

Use internally for:

* constipation

PREPARATION

Over the counter:

Aloe plants are available as bottle gel, fluidextract, powdered capsules or latex tablets.

At home:

Eyewash: Dissolve ½ teaspoon powdered aloe gel or the aloe gel in 1 cup water and add 1 teaspoon boric acid to accelerate the healing process.

Pour the solution through a coffee filter or cheese cloth before applying to the eyes.

Bath: Add 1 to 2 cups of gel with wheat germ oil to reduce bruising.

Parts used: The solidified gel from the leaves.

Collection: The liquid that drains from the freshly cut leaves dries to a syrupy thick consistency.

Actions: Cathartic, vulnerary, emmenagogue, vermifuge, hepatic. Externally demulcent, vulnerary.

Combinations: It can be used internally to increase menstrual flow, but should be combined with a carminative (substance that stops the formation of intestinal gas and help to expel gas that has already formed) to reduce griping.

SIDE EFFECTS: Not Serious

Allergic dermatitis, intestinal cramps, or diarrhea.

SPECIAL INFORMATION

* Do not exceed the recommended dose of the latex. If it is taken in excess, it can cause intestinal cramps leading to ulcers or irritated bowels.
* Do not use internally while pregnant or breastfeeding.
* Do not use if have gastrointestinal illness unless under the supervision of a herbalist or healthcare professional.

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