Aloe Vera Plant/Wikipedia
Aloe vera has been popular since the time of Cleopatra. It’s astringent properties make it an excellent ingredient in soothing creams and lotions. The milky sap of the plant is useful as a first-aid remedy for infections and minor burns.
Aloe vera typically grows in subtropical temperatures outdoors. The plants are readily available at most garden centers and grow very well in pots indoors. It is a member of the daylily family. The stems reach about 24 inches long. At the end of the stems is a crown of fleshy leaves which contain the plant’s medicinal substances. The bitter juice and soothing gel come from cutting the leaves.
The most important compounds are aloe emodin and aloin, which affect the large intestine. It also contains resins and bitters. Amino acids, enzymes, polysaccharides and antibiotic substances are found in the gel. Thus, aloe vera is a strong laxative and wound healer.
Aloe helps to promote cell growth and regenerate the skin making it popular as a moisturizer for dry skin. It helps speed healing of cuts and minor wounds, eczema, minor burns and sunburn.bit.ly/Sunburn. Because aloe helps to stimulate intestinal activity it can be used internally as a laxative. However, overuse of any laxative may cause potassium defiency. Therefore, do not use it as a laxative for more than 1-2 weeks. Do not use it as a laxative long-term without consulting a physician.
The leaves can be used as needed. To obtain the gel, break or cut open a fresh aloe leaf. Then apply it to the affected area of the skin.
To obtain the juice, cold press the entire leaf or just the gel. The juice can help maintain colon health and is useful for peptic ulcers or irritable bowel syndrome.
For more information: The Garden Helper thegardenhelper.com/aloe~vera.html Boise, Idaho Garden and Plantswww.gardenguides.com/resources/nurseries/nurseries-city.asp