The genera of Aloes has over 250 varieties, but only four have significant healing or medicinal properties. The most commonly grown for its high potency is the Aloe barbadensis miller genus and in common parlance called the Aloe vera plant. Alloeh, an Arabic word for “Shining bitter substance” may be the root word for Aloe, while the Latin word vera meaning “true” is the source of the word itself as is used. Thus in essence it can be called the true shining bitter plant which is so appropriate to those who know it and use it. Aloes are tropical plants and even though resembles the cactus family actually belong to the Liliacae family which includes onions, garlic, lily, tulip and asparagus.
The Aloe vera plant is made up of brush like roots which are underground while the thick leaves grow straight out of the ground in a rosette pattern which is wide at the base and tapers to the tip forming the lancelot leaf shape. The leaves have thorn like barbs all along the edges and as new leaves spring out from the center the outer ones spread out giving it a clump like look. At full maturity the aloe leaf is known to get to 2-3feet (60-90cm) in length and could weigh 3-4Ibs (1-2Kg) especially for the commercially grown plants. The Aloe vera plant can be grown both indoors and outdoors.
The goodness of the Aloe vera plant is in the leaves. The outer green skin is bitter and usually peeled off to harvest the gel like opaque pulp. The green skin contains a substance called aloin which gives it the bitter taste and if used in small quantities is a powerful purgative. In the pulp or gel lies the miracle of all times.
Long before the advent of modern medicine and the development of pharmaceutical drugs, the ancient civilization for centuries used Aloe vera plant for successful treatment of a host of internal and external ailments. After centuries of pushing natural remedies to the background in favor of pharmaceutical medicine in these modern era, the escalation of side effects caused by these chemically based medications got the medical world concerned enough to go back to the basics. Nowadays the medical profession is introducing the general public to a more holistic approach to healing with greater emphasis on the use of natural products and remedies. The awareness of the role good nutrition plays in maintaining a healthy lifestyle is creating a huge shift from orthodontic medicine to alternative therapies, mostly natural remedies.
One of these natural remedies making great waves is the gel from the Aloe vera plant which contains a compendium of health promoting substances such as the essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, enzymes and phytochemicals. Over a hundred and still counting of these nutritional compounds have been discovered by scientists and these work synergistically to provide the diverse beneficial effects making it an all round tonic or better still a treasure chest of good nutrients, hence the name given to it, the miracle plant.
Do you know that every single cell in your body is made from the food you eat. For this obvious reason nutrition is considered the cornerstone of health. Good nutritional therapy is the medicine of the future. If doctors of today do not become nutritionist, the nutritionist will become the doctors of tomorrow. Is it not a shame that we only take notice of our bodies when things start going wrong and then rush off to the doctors expecting a miracle prescription? If we only realize that it is not our last meal that makes us sick, but our last thousand upon thousands meals which if not nutritionally nourishing and toxic free that has gradually built up and disorganized the cell compositions, we will watch carefully what we ingest. It is almost like a feature found in the computer called wysiwyg an acronym for what you see is what you get. In the human system, same applies. what you take becomes you. Lots of junk foods overtime makes the body behave like junk. Conversely, if you watch your diet and eat nutritionally balanced meals, you will certainly reap the benefits.
The medicine of tomorrow will be from natures pharmacy of nutrients found in living foods, to correct the body's chemistry and restore wellness. The Aloe vera plant is one of these living foods. I have known and read extensively as well as used this plant for over thirty years. I now want to share and propagate the wonders of what Mother nature has given us through this appropriately called miracle plant.
Lets get back to the basics. There is so much to know about this plant. Join me in the journey.