Aloe, also known as Kumari, Lu hui, Indian Alces Ghirita, Curacao Aloe and Gawarpaltra, is part of the Asphodelaceae family and contains as many as 400 different flowering plant varieties, including the most popular Aloe Vera plant. Long hailed for its medicinal properties, the aloe plant is a staple used by most herbalists as it supports a variety of healing options.
Aloe Scientific Name
Aloe Vera or Aloe Barbadensis
Aloe plants resemble cactus plants as they are characterized by very fat, thick leaves with spiny edges. Flowers from the aloe grow in shades of gray, green, pink, red or yellow. Some aloe flowers grow from the leaves of the plant, while others appear to grow from the ground.
The medicinal properties of the aloe are also found in the leaves, as well as the flowers.
The flowers and the leaves of the aloe plant can be used for a variety of herbal treatments. The sap or the gel from the aloe plant can be applied topically or the portion of the leaf, which encompasses the gel, can be juiced, used as a tea or dried for oral consumption.
Aloe Vera plants can be grown in a pot indoors and its leaves can be picked whenever the beneficial raw gel inside of the leaves is needed for a topical burn or wound treatment.
Common Uses of Aloe
Aloe is popular for the following treatments:
- Athlete’s Foot
- Body Rash
- Burns (including sunburns)
- Cold sores
- Insect bites
- Intestinal parasites
- Irritable bowels
- Liver ailments
- Oral laxative
- Scars and abrasions
- Stimulate wound healing
- Varicose veins
Commonly found in a wide range of commercially marketed skin care products, aloe is also an FDA approved natural flavoring for food.
Aloe is an effective laxative and should not be consumed in large doses as it may produce painful abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Taken orally, aloe may also lower vital blood glucose levels. Diabetics are urged to only use aloe under the care of a physician as it may have an adverse affect on their condition.
Menstruating or pregnant women or women who are nursing should avoid aloe.
Although aloe is useful for minor burns and injuries, immediate medical attention should be sought for more serious injuries.
Overall, aloe is among the best herbal remedies for non-threatening burns and wounds. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is useful in minimizing all types of wound-associated swelling. Aloe also stimulates immunity and has anti-microbial properties, which are significant in reducing the risk of infection in a fresh wound.
For natural cures and home remedies, herbs like aloe can be very useful for a variety of treatments. As most herbs are safe to use for natural folk remedies, some may not interact well with prescription medications. When under the supervision of a medical doctor, full disclosure about any herbs currently being used should be given or a consultation about herbs being considered should be discussed to assure there are no dangerous interactions.
Whenever possible, a knowledgeable herbalist should be consulted before embarking upon a new herbal treatment.