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Aloe Vera--Is There A Doctor In The House?

Jul 14, 2008
Over two thousand years has mankind struggled to know all the intricacies of the aloe vera plant. Information found on Sumerian clay tablets dating back 2200 B.C. indicate the plant was used as a laxative. Archeology digs continue to verify an increasing use of the plant in that era.

Further historical findings indicate the plant was migrated from the African continent on into Europe and the Middle East. Usage increased through the ages and evidence has been discovered indicating the Egyptians processed the plant for export around 400 B.C. with the boiled sap being the main product. Searching in the Bible you will also find "aloes" used during this time period. Reading Jn 19:39 indicates that when Jesus died on the cross Nicodemus prepared the body with a mixture of myrhh and aloes, using approximately seventy-five pounds for the task.

The plant continued to spread throughout Asia and India and increasing into other geographical locations. During this process of introducing the plant as a healing "herb" the popularity has waned although never completely losing its attraction as a homeopathic remedy for many ailments and injuries. Sunburns, bee stings, scrapes and bruises: the aloe vera plant became a household staple in many areas for immediate antiseptic and analgesic treatment. Usage for treatments was limited solely on the availability of the plant.

Here we come with the industrial pharmaceutical curiousity. While still not wholly accepted by the medical society the many wonders of the plant have begun to be known. The gel that was squeezed from the plant for topical application for wounds has become known as the source of the majority of the plants attributes. This gel is now known to be comprised of Mono-- and Poly--saccharides, commonly known as sugars. These complex sugars are what is now thought to give the plant its healing powers.

Taking a bit of a deeper delve into the chemical makeup. Our bodies require Amino acids for metabolism. Of the necessary twenty we can only produce twelve of these so we rely on diet to supply the other eight. Guess what?--the inner gel of the aloe vera plant contains all eight of these acids. These eight are Leucone, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Valine and Tryptophan. Recognize the last one? Tryptophan is the ingredient in our Thanksgiving dinners (turkey) which acts as a natural sedative and gives us that wonderful afternoon nap!

Further investigation yields enzymes. Somewhere around eleven enzymes exist in the aloe vera plant's inner gel. A few would be Amylase, Catalyse, Lipase and Oxidase. All very romantic sounding names, huh? But guess what--all of these enzymes are necessary for proper utilization of the human body in the method known as LIFE!

For pure boredom we could continue on through mineral content. Minerals extremely deficient in the American diet of Big Macs and Slurpees. Minerals and vitamins--again very very necessary in our daily function of life. And to top this off, the aloe vera plant contains Salicylic Acid, a compound that is very close to aspirin in chemical makeup.

So we have a plant that will help soothe a bee-sting. A plant that if utilized properly can act as a laxative. We can utilize the gel-sap as a source of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. And we have a plant that will help us rest and snooze even if we do not get that big turkey dinner!

Further research has shown the gel to be effective (internally taken) in some treatments of heartburn, helping to maintain blood sugar levels, reducing congestion and soothing hemorrhoids (OUCH!). Big problem in the internal consumption is that the gel is extremely bitter. Tastes HORRIBLE. This would make it necessary to mask the taste for consumption or possess a mouth of very inactive taste-buds. So enters the pharmaceutical companies. Big business always abounds when there is a dollar to reap in a harvest.

With industrial capabilities we can now mash, distill, combine and mix this plant, forming new methods of delivery. There now exists many products ranging from pills, capsules, lotions, creams and sprays. Take your choice of delivery method. Bee-sting? Well just "spritz" a bit on aloe-vera juice on it and get back to playing hop-scotch. Sunburn? Same thing. Grab a bottle of lotion and give soothing relief all over your body. Indigestion, heartburn, congestion, any other ailment? Pick up a box of capsules and go on a regimen of pill popping for relief.

It should be said here, though, that some companies put out an inferior product so you need always be aware of your purchase. There is sufficient information regarding chemical makeup and product forms that no one should be buying anything unaware of what they are getting. So, keep up your own research. Check into what can help you with your situation requiring a boost of aloe vera.

Oh yes--even though you can buy multiple delivery systems of this product there is absolutely nothing stopping you from growing one on your kitchen window sill. Still nothing more soothing that a freshly snapped leaf rubbed over the fingers you just scorched on that hot frying pan!!
About the Author
Gordon Chandler is a 62 year old semi-retired disabled bored, blah, blah,blah individual interested in spreading the work on just about anything just about anywhere.
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