Agatha M. Thrash, M.D.
The most used species is Aloe Barbadensis (Spanish Aa'vila). It resembles a cactus, but is actually a perennial succulent belonging to the Lily family. It has stiff lance shaped leaves with a sharp apex and spiny edges and blooms early in the spring. The flowers are tube shaped and yellow or red in color. Aloe vera belongs to the class of plants called "Xeroids" - so called because they can close their stomata (openings/pores) completely to avoid loss of water.
When a piece of the fleshy stem of the plant is cut off or broken off, the wound on the plant closes almost immediately. Also, the cut end of the stem closes to retain water. It will remain green for several days and will keep in the refrigerator for two to three weeks.
Aloe Vera was used for centuries by the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, and Indians for cosmetic and medicinal purposes. The earliest recorded use is 1500 BC where Egyptian papers reported Aloe Vera applications for wounds, insomnia, stomach disorders, pain, constipation, hemorrhoids, itching, headache, loss of hair, mouth and gum disease, kidney ailments, blistering, skin care, sunburn, blemishes, etc. Also, in John 19:39 Aloe was used as a part of a mixture for anointing the body of Jesus after His death.
After much investigation in recent years, laboratories still cannot explain Aloe Vera's non-toxic potency. Today, it is used internally and externally as shampoos, sunburn lotions, and burn ointments. However, not everyone may be able to use it as some may be allergic to it. Before using it, it is important to test yourself. Do this by applying some Aloe Vera externally behind the ear or back of the arm. If stinging or rash occurs, discontinue its use.
Anti-allergenic, antibiotic, astringent (tends to dry skin), coagulating agent, pain and scar inhibitor, and growth stimulator.
1. Burns and scalds: keeps burn moist, stops pain, decreases infection and scarring.
2. Sunburn: mild to fair sunburn—cover with Aloe Vera juice frequently from leaf or Aloe Vera juice from pump spray bottle: decreases pain, stiffness, and peeling.
3. Cuts and wounds—clean, put in aloe gel, close wound and bandage. Keep bandage soaked in Aloe Vera juice or ointment. Inhibits infection, enhances healing and decreases scarring.
4. Digestive problems: perks up organs and helps inflammation/colitis. Take 1-2 Tb. gel or juice several times per day. Aloe Vera is a mild regulator of the bowels and a general tonic. Aloe Vera pulp or juice is not a real laxative, but the sap is. Sap is the yellow bitter fluid which flows between the skin and the pulp. Cathartic (as a laxative) place peeling of leaf in a jar of water in the refrigerator. Drink a little once or twice per week... strength determined by amount of peel in jar.
5. Hair and scalp: can use straight juice (or pulp) as shampoo and/or conditioner or Aloe Vera pulp as a wave set. Mixtures of Aloe Vera and oils are good.
6. Hemorrhoids and bleeding piles: insert a chunk of pulp into rectum or apply ointment in rectum or put in juice via syringe (or freeze Aloe Vera gel into small suppositories and insert into rectum). Use a desired. Apply again after each bowel movement, after bath, and before retiring.
7. Poison ivy, poison oak, and allergies: pain and itching decreases; enhances healing. Ointment or juice may be used.
8. Psoriasis and eczematous rashes: internally use juice or gel 1-2 T, 1-2 times per day. Externally, use 2 times per day as a juice or ointment.
9. Scar removal: May reduce scars, but it takes up to 6 months. Vitamin E is also effective. Can combine Aloe Vera and Vitamin E to form a salve.
10. Stretch marks: Aloe Vera itself or mixed with Vitamin E.
11. Varicose veins.
12. Skin cancer: Aloe Vera juice 2-4 times per day for months.
13. Abrasions, scrapes, stings: antibiotic, decreases itching, pain, and sting.
14. Ulcers: Use as part of treatment only. Take 2-4 T juice or gel 1/2 hour before meal time and before bedtime.
15. Arthritis: usually takes 2 months to see a difference, therefore use for a minimum of 2 months as a test—4 T per day. (1 gallon lasts 2 months on this dose). Once painful symptoms diminish, decrease to 1 T morning and evening or if can’t afford it, dice up leaf and put in the refrigerator in a jar of water and take as directed. Bitterness due to sap: to remove bitterness, peel skin from pulp, rinse the pulp and put it into the jar of water in the refrigerator.
16. Brown skin spots: said to decrease or remove with 2 times a day application using the juice or gel. It takes several months.
17. Acne: caused by oil clogged pores becoming infected. First cleanse the skin, then put on aloe vera (astringent).
18. Sinus: weak decongestant.
19. Diabetes: stimulates pancreas to produce more insulin—WARNING AND CAUTION to diabetics!!
20. Asthma: breathe in vapor from Aloe Vera leaves in boiling water.
21. Sore throat: may decrease pain, not powerful, gargle and swallow.
22. Eye and ear drops—eye drops: 1/2 C Aloe Vera juice and 1/2 C water to reduce sting.
“Is the actual plant leaf better than Aloe Vera products? The juice direct from the leaf is usually more potent than the processed and stabilized gel or juice obtained in bottled form but the bottled form is usually potent enough to do the job and is much more convenient.
“The plant on its own has some limitations—it is astringent, dries skin. Chemists have found it advantageous to combine it with other active ingredients such as vitamins A & E, lanolin, etc. to broaden and intensify its effectiveness.” pp. 17, 18. Aloe Vera Handbook by Max B. Skousen, 1982. Aloe Vera Research Institute, 5103 Sequoia, Cypress, CA 90630.
1. The strength of the leaf increases with age: old plants (bigger) better, but young still potent.
2. The plant can be root bound, so don’t repot until the upper plant gets too heavy. When root-bound, the plant sends out shoots. Take them out when 3-4” high or they will suck the life out of the mother plant.
3. Repot in any soil, but MUST have good drainage. Water well when first repotted, then don’t water for 3 weeks to promote root growth.
4. When first transplanted, the plant may turn brown or gray for a little while.
5. The leaves turn brown in direct sun.
6. The leaves lie flat in too little sun.
7. It is always best to use the lowest leaves closest to the ground because the older the leaf, the greater the potency. Also the leaves grow out from the center of the plant so a missing leaf will not be as noticeable.
For more information contact:
Uchee Pines Lifestyle Center
30 Uchee Pines Road #75
Seale, Alabama 36875