For centuries, men and women from cultures from around the world have known about the healing properties of aloe vera. Throughout the Americas aloe has been one of the best topical treatments for burns, rashes, and various skin ailments. But aloe is also an extremely healthful natural food. Many cultures have included aloe as part of their daily diet. The Chinese have used it as an aphrodisiac, in Trinidad it is used for jaundice, and in Africa aloe is the cure for headaches. Native Americans used aloe to eliminate threadworms, and in Korea, aloe is used to increase energy and stamina.
Most people agree that aloe looks like a cactus but it is a member of the Liliaceae, or lily flower family of plants. Aloe Barbadensis is a specific type of aloe that is commonly used for its nutritional properties. It contains more than seventy-five nutrients! These include seven essential sugars or glyconutrients, twelve vitamins, eighteen amino acids and twenty minerals. Vitamins A, B, C, and E, beta-carotene, zinc, calcium, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese are all included in aloe.
Many people have used aloe as an internal cleansing or detoxification agent, as a pain reliever for sore joints and muscles, and as an antibacterial support. Aloe has commonly been used to promote better intestinal function, improving conditions like chronic constipation, hemorrhoids, colitis, and other gastrointestinal (GI) conditions. Emerging research shows that aloe can also be used to support our immune systems.
When a person first begins taking aloe, it has been known to cause a loose stool, diarrhea or stomach cramps. This is often called cleansing. While the cleansing process may be uncomfortable, it typically passes within a week. The effects of cleansing can be reduced by taking a little less of the aloe during the cleansing process and building back up to the recommended daily dose. It is important to continue taking the aloe because simply stopping in the middle of the cleansing process means your body still contains the unwanted toxins that were starting to be eliminated from your body. By cutting the dosage and building back up, we rid ourselves of the toxins, clean our digestive tracts, and can more quickly enter the maintenance phase where our bodies can more fully digest healthy foods in our intestines.
While many of us knew about aloes topical healing properties on wounds, burns, and bites, it should not come as a surprise that aloe is excellent as a health food supplement (sometimes called a nutritional supplement or herbal supplement) for healing our digestive tracts enabling each of us to more fully absorb the nutrients our bodies need for health and vitality.