Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Healing Properties of Aloe Vera

I can’t say enough about this miraculous herb. I have used aloe in many different circumstances, and each time it came through with flying colors.

Aloe vera is my #1 sunburn remedy. Whenever you’re going someplace where you’ll be exposed to the sun, I strongly recommend taking a bottle of aloe vera gel with you. It is easy to use and does a great job of healing and soothing the skin. Don’t leave home without it.

You can find 100% aloe vera gel at most health food stores. You don’t want to use a gel that has less than 95% aloe in it. Otherwise, you may get too many unwanted ingredients along with the aloe.
  • Simply apply the gel to sunburned areas
  • Because it’s a gel, it will dry fairly quickly
  • Depending on the severity of the burn, I would apply it liberally and frequently
  • It works on any kind of burn, not just sunburn
Keep it on hand for vacations or whenever you know you’ll get extended sun exposure.

Aloe vera gel is also good for dehydrated skin. If your skin has been exposed to the sun for an extended period of time (even if there is no sunburn), applying aloe gel is helpful. Because it is primarily water, aloe vera helps to replace the water lost through sun exposure, rehydrates the skin, and helps to reduce outer tissue damage.

Another way to keep general dehydration at bay on your face is to apply the gel after cleansing and before toning and using your moisturizer. The gel will act as an extra layer of hydration, adding water to the skin without adding oil. Therefore, aloe gel can help with all dehydrated skin, even if you have oily skin. Because of its gel-nature, it might cause a slight flakiness, which is just due to the dried gel. Usually if you apply moisturizer over the aloe gel, the flaking won’t occur.

An obstinate abscess. Years ago, my cat, Grace, was spayed. She kept licking her stitches and eventually developed an abscess due to the irritation. After the vet drained the abscess, he recommended keeping the cat from cleaning the area for a few days. How was I going to do that?

Knowing the healing properties of aloe vera gel, I put it on Grace’s stitches. She didn’t much like the taste, so I thought it would stop her from licking the area. I kept reapplying the gel frequently, and to my amazement, within 48 hours the abscess had completely gone away, and her incision had miraculously healed. I couldn’t believe it. I always knew the amazing healing job aloe could do for a sunburn, but I had never experienced its ability to heal a cut or an incision. Being termed a contact healer, it makes sense it would speed recovery with almost any injury.

Air bag survivor. A client called one day after her friend had been involved in a car accident. The air bag deployed (which was good), but the impact had basically burned her face (which was bad). The sudden speed of something hitting your face like that is bound to cause injury. This lady looked battered and bruised, and a good deal of her facial skin was singed. I recommended applying 100% aloe vera gel liberally and frequently and told her it was to be kept on at all times. I sent some information so she’d know what aloe was and why she was using it. Then I sat back and waited, knowing aloe vera would come to the rescue.

After a few days my client called with the results: Her friend only showed a trace of the accident’s effects. The burned places had healed up within the first day, and she didn’t show any signs of being in an accident. My client went on and on about how she couldn’t believe the difference between seeing her friend just moments after the accident in comparison to seeing her a few days later. They were both amazed that aloe vera gel could do so much in so little time.

The following information about the attributes of aloe vera is being used with permission from the authors of The How To Herb Book, my number one favorite herb book.

Aloe vera is one of the most popular and well-known herbs. It truly is one of the great healers. It belongs to the lili family of the succulent “aloes,” not the cactus as many people believe. Aloes have been used for centuries; they have even been found in Egyptian tombs.

Aloe vera:
  • contains a pain-relieving agent and is a “contact-healer,” which means it starts healing on contact.
  • is excellent for burns.
  • gel is used by nursing mothers for sore nipples.
  • rapidly penetrates the three layers of skin, carrying nutrients to all layers.
  • juice can be used as an eyedrop to improve circulation and eyesight.
  • stimulates circulation in wounded areas, which also promotes healing.
  • promotes removal of dead skin and stimulates the normal growth of living cells, which helps wounds to heal rapidly.
  • prevents and draws out infection.
  • relieves itching in chicken pox.
  • expels pinworms. Drink juice for several days.
  • moisturizes and improves the skin. Is put in many cosmetics and shampoos. When the product contains other natural ingredients beneficial to the skin, this is wonderful because aloe vera’s penetrating ability helps to carry them through the three layers of skin. But if the products contain harmful additives, chemicals, or colorings, they could also be carried through the three layers of skin. Know what is in your product. Read the label!

I recommend keeping an aloe plant or at least some aloe vera gel (if not the juice, too) in your home. Not only for sunburns or burns you receive in the kitchen, aloe can help keep your skin feeling more hydrated—especially during the colder winter months.

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