Healing with Plant Medicine: Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera or Sabila is my very first herb that i like most. It actually is my favorite and for me i called this as my personal sacred Plant. I grew it as a child and even filled the wall of our fence with it. I thought it was just an ornamental plant but when i grow up I learn it has a powerful medicine within it. I also have seen its flower. Yes! Through time it gives flower and it smells sweet. Though i rarely see it blooming in pots and i don’t know when it will give flower once again. I’m so sad that i was not able to capture it flowers through film because that time i don’t have camera nor mobile phone that has camera. Yeah! I’m very old school that only knows soil and its healing herbs.
Aloe Vera or Aloe Barbadensis Miller has been known for its medicinal and cosmetic purposes. I have read that this plant was used to embalm ancient Pharaohs of Egypt as well as Jesus Christ. The word Aloe has an arabic origin which means Shinning Bitter substance while Vera is a Latin word meaning True. In my old notes on healing herbs, i found that this herb can endure extreme stress such as i test it hanging on the air without soil and water for about a year but still it is alive and didn’t dried up. It taught me spiritually to become patient, tolerant and humble. As i work on it, i found its power to be amazing. I apply it to open wounds, burns and even on skin infection. Our Elders have taught that this plant is a good hair grower and can heal all kinds of skin disease. And later on i found out that we can scrape of the white gel on it and eat it directly.
In making Herbal Healing Oil i add 1/4 cup of aloe vera gel in distilling coconut oil with mix herbs and when i put my finger in it while boiling i didn’t get burn.
It is found out that Aloe Vera has many active potential constituents such as vitamins, minerals, enzymes, sugar, lignin, saponins, salicylic acid and amino acids.
Vitamins: It contains vitamins A (beta-carotene), C and E, which are antioxidants. It also contains vitamin B12, folic acid, and choline. Antioxidant neutralizes free radicals.
Enzymes: It contains 8 enzymes: aliiase, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, bradykinase, carboxypeptidase, catalase, cellulase, lipase, and peroxidase. Bradykinase helps to reduce excessive inflammation when applied to the skin topically, while others help in the breakdown of sugars and fats.
Minerals: It provides calcium, chromium, copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc. They are essential for the proper functioning of various enzyme systems in different metabolic pathways and few are antioxidants.
Sugars: It provides monosaccharides (glucose and fructose) and polysaccharides: (glucomannans/polymannose). These are derived from the mucilage layer of the plant and are known as mucopolysaccharides. The most prominent monosaccharide is mannose-6-phosphate, and the most common polysaccharides are called glucomannans [beta-(1,4)-acetylated mannan]. Acemannan, a prominent glucomannan has also been found. Recently, a glycoprotein with antiallergic properties, called alprogen and novel anti-inflammatory compound, C-glucosyl chromone, has been isolated from Aloe vera gel.
Anthraquinones: It provides 12 anthraquinones, which are phenolic compounds traditionally known as laxatives. Aloin and emodin act as analgesics, antibacterials and antivirals.
Fatty acids: It provides 4 plant steroids; cholesterol, campesterol, β-sisosterol and lupeol. All these have anti-inflammatory action and lupeol also possesses antiseptic and analgesic properties.
Hormones: Auxins and gibberellins that help in wound healing and have anti-inflammatory action.
Others: It provides 20 of the 22 human required amino acids and 7 of the 8 essential amino acids. It also contains salicylic acid that possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Lignin, an inert substance, when included in topical preparations, enhances penetrative effect of the other ingredients into the skin. Saponins that are the soapy substances form about 3% of the gel and have cleansing and antiseptic properties.National Center for Biotechnology Information
On basic uses of Aloe Vera, it is effective on wound or burn healing. I remember my nephew when he was 3 years old playing around my kitchen on our Canteen and he accidentally placed his whole hands on a boiling pot of soup. It was too hot because we boil it continually in low fire using fire wood for our Mami Soup and thankfully i have my aloe vera around and apply it directly, and amazingly no trace of burn can be found on my nephew.
Another testimony on the effectiveness of Aloe Vera is when my younger sister accidentally hammered her little finger. We brought her to the hospital and the doctor said she need to undergo surgery removal of her finger or stem cell treatment. We do not have enough money for the surgery so we just went back home and apply aloe vera on her finger. With patience and faith in God her finger was cured and no trace of being hammered can be seen.
Aloe Vera Gel can also be taken internally to treat stomach ulcer. It is also used to clean up our intestine and give us good bowel movement. It is said that Aloe Vera can also use to lower blood sugar and it has antioxidant to boost our immunity.
Plant aloe vera in your home it may be handy and helpful for you someday as it will heal you from your illness or it may be your living companion in your house that will listen to your prayers.