June 30th, 2014Aloe Vera
Jo Franks M.H.
The warmer weather is an invitation to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Often it’s a time that we over expose our skin to the rays of the sun and end up with a painful sunburn. We are able to use the sun’s rays to produce vitamin D only until the skin begins to turn pink. That time frame varies depending on one’s skin type. Aloe Vera gel is one of the first things many people turn to for sunburn or any other type of burn. The quickest and easiest way to use Aloe Vera is to get the gel fresh from the leaves. Cut off a piece of the leaf and split it open, placing the cut leaf right on the burn or gently rub the fresh gel onto a larger area of sunburn.
Aloe Vera has long been considered an important Medicine. Aside from burns, it has also been used for wounds, stomach pain and digestive disorders, constipation, headache, itching, baldness, mouth and gum diseases, kidney ailments, blistering, and blemishes. Native Americans called the plant “wands of heaven” and used it for healing, especially for burns. The gel seems to mildly kill the germs on the surface and promote healing.
Aloe Vera penetrates the skin quickly and deeply. This allows water and other moisturizers to sink deeply into the skin, restoring lost fluids and replacing the fatty layer. It permits the uronic acids, which strip toxic materials of their harmful effects, to penetrate deeply and allows the cleansing astringent qualities of the gel to work better. By increasing the circulation of the blood to an area, Aloe Vera sloughs off the dead cells and fosters the growth of new ones. This helps foster the regeneration of scarred or blemished skin tissue and provides a protective coating on the skin to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. This antiseptic action also stops skin infections (acne) in oil-clogged pores. It heals blemishes with little or no scarring. It is also said to replace lost hair and eliminate liver spots.
Aloe Vera makes a nice house plant. It is easy to grow and requires very little care. When the soil dries out, it needs to be watered. Repot when the plant outgrows the pot and when many little starts form. When you need the plant for use, just pinch off an adequate section of leaf, trim off the prickles, and squeeze out the gel or apply directly to the wound.
Jo Francks is a Master Herbalist graduate of The School of Natural Healing. She is also a Holistic Iridologist and Quantum Touch practitioner.