Plant Portrait: Aloe Vera

Plant Portrait Aloe Vera - BLOG - Jana Teneva

Known already since ancient times in Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece,
the Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis) has been used for over 5000 years
for its amazing virtues. This East African native grows well not only in tropical
climate but as well in pot indoors, at kitchen windows or living room tables.

It is claimed to be the favourite one of Cleopatra.
She advertised many famous beauty products, including milk and oats
for bathing next to aloe for skin care. Maybe she knew that the aloe vera
matches the natural pH of the human skin, making it a perfect skin tonic.
Or she had discovered the Aloe Vera gel contains a natural sunscreen
that blocks 20 to 30 % of the ultraviolet rays.

Plant Portrait - Aloe Vera - Jana Teneva

But let us look closer at this graceful plant. What is hiding inside are several key components like B-vitamins, vitamin E, selenium, silicon, enzymes, anthraquinone (aloin and barbaloin).

They all contribute to the several healing properties of Aloe Vera:

  1. pain relieving and tissue-repairing, thanks to the rich concentrations of “anthraquinone” in the thick gel of the leaves;
  2. soothing and calming for kitchen burns or bad sunburn, reversing blisters and preventing scarring and tissue damage;
  3. helpful for insect bites and stings, reduce the itching;
  4. calming for rashes, eczema and acne;
  5. reducing inflammation in the digestive system and for arthritic pain (both topical and internal use);
  6. helps reduce the sugar in the blood of diabetic patients when taken internally;
  7. taken internally, Aloe Vera is one of the most widely used and safe laxatives.

Because of all these amazing properties Aloe Vera gel is often used as a base of cream, foundation or after-sun-lotions. According to the herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, an aloe plant is a must in every household. And since I read this, I got myself not one but 3 Aloe Vera plants. There are super easy to take care of and I am using the fresh gel from the leaves for easy skin masks or to add the gel in fresh juices (for example a good mix is an orange-aloe juice). Due to its laxative properties, pregnant or nursing mother should avoid using it internally and it should be given with caution to kids.

Hands-on, how to use Aloe Vera: cut a leaf, peel off the green skin, wash the piece of hard transparent plant gel and mix it with water for smoothies or use it directly on your skin topically. Once the aloe gel dries on the skin, it might start pulling a bit, feel free to wash it off if it gets uncomfortable. 

There are several sorts of aloe plants, make sure you use the Aloe Vera, which has all virtues listed above.

Aloe Vera at Home

Aloe Vera is used in several products by Dutch Health Store

ISUN Skincare uses aloe vera in several of its face cosmetics products for example:

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