Simon’s Simples: Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera


Aloe is native to Africa but has spread all over the world due in part to its usefulness to mankind. Records from 1500BC show it was used in Egypt to treat infections, burns and parasites. Other names for the plant include ‘Plant of Immortality’, ‘Medicine Plant’ and ‘Lily of the Desert’.

Aloe is practically a medicine chest in its own right and is often thought of as the single most useful plant for a whole host of human health problems. It can almost replace dozens of first-aid products, making even bandages and antibacterial sprays obsolete. Research shows that this plant can:

  • accelerate healing from burns
  • boost cardiovascular performance and physical endurance
  • cure ulcers, IBS, Crohn’s disease and other digestive disorders
  • ease inflammation
  • halt the growth of cancer tumors
  • heal the intestines and lubricates the digestive tract
  • help prevent kidney stones
  • help to balance overly acidic dietary habits and stop acid reflux
  • hydrate the skin and accelerate skin repair
  • lower high cholesterol
  • nourish the body with minerals, vitamins, enzymes and glyconutrients.
  • prevent and treat candida infections
  • protect the body from oxalates in coffee and tea
  • protect the body from oxidative stress
  • protect the kidneys from disease
  • reduce high blood pressure naturally
  • repair blood cells and boost oxygenation
  • soothe arthritis pain
  • speed recovery from injury or physical exertion
  • stabilize blood sugar and reduce triglycerides in diabetics
  • stop and prevent constipation

Aloe Vera is easy to grow and there is no reason for buying it in ‘processed’ forms. It ‘buds’ into new plants that can be potted-on and can take some quite severe mistreatment, eg ‘forgetting to water’ as it holds so much liquid inside the leaves. This is where you will find the good stuff. In addition to water, the leaves contain:  20 minerals, 12 vitamins, 18 amino acids, 200 phytonutrients, enzymes, glyconutrients & glycoproteins and polysaccharides.

Aloe Vera is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. The moist, nutrient-rich gel is easily reached just by peeling the skin from the leaves – a little like filleting a fish! In its fresh form – as a live plant, it is almost self-sustaining and always on hand in its most powerful state. Use the gel raw from the leaves on burns and cuts. It is sensational on cuts, in addition to the above qualities, it soothes and cools the wound whilst feeding the healing process. As the gel dries it also contracts, pulling the edges of the wound together.

For internal uses, the gel literally ‘slips down’ your throat. It is mostly without taste but some of the 500 varieties incline towards bitter. For this reason it is easy to slip it into a smoothie recipe of your choice, although you might want to add a sweetener. Its good with berries! Some people use it as a sport’s drink as it helps with electrolyte balance.

Research since the 1930’s demonstrate the plant’s ability to heal wounds by putting a protective surface over the wound and facilitating the healing process. It is a brilliant plant to demonstrate the ‘synergy’ of nature – many elements working together to effect a cure. Much as pharmaceutical industries would like a product that emulates this powerful plant – it remains un-copyable so far. Meanwhile the industry is still testing the viability of bio-piracy through the world’s legal systems.