Aloe Vera is a plant belonging to the lily family (liliceae). There are over 200 different species of aloe growing in the dry regions of Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Aloe Vera resembles a cactus in appearance but it is actually a perennial succulent. Stiff, lance-shaped leaf with a sharp apex and spiny edges characterize these plants. The colors of the aloe barbadensis leaf vary from gray to bright green and some species even have striped aloe leaf. Yellow or red tube shaped flowers are produced on leafless stems are generally densely clustered. The size of the flower stem can be as small as a few inches and as large as several feet.
THE HISTORY OF ALOE VERA
Aloe Vera or “the first aid plant” as some people call it, is widespread throughout the tropics but its effectiveness as leaf, gel, juice, and plant with curative powers is reported throughout the world. The word “vera” means “true” and is so named because of about 200 species of Aloe Vera, only Aloe Vera is considered by some people to have the best medical properties. For more than 3,000 years, Aloe Vera has been reportedly used for medical purposes. One of the earliest written references to the aloe vera plant can be found in the Bible, John 19:39 “Nicodemus also, who had first come to Jesus by night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes”. In biblical times aloes were very valuable. It is said that the women of ancient Egypt and Greece used the Aloe Vera Gel from the Aloe Vera plant to improve their complexions and skin texture. Indeed some believe that Cleopatra’s beauty can be credited to this plant. The effectiveness of Aloe Vera Gel as a beauty treatment for velvety skin and lustrous, gleaming hair was so remarkable that some of the ancient maidens claimed that it was a gift from Venus, the Goddess of Love. Down through the ages people of many civilizations have praised the miracle-like results produced by the Aloe Vera plant. Mexicans have rubbed the thick gelatinous juice from this plant into the scalp and hair. They claim it prevents baldness and stimulates the growth of healthy, shiny and manageable hair. Hawaiians have gathered Aloe Vera Leaves and crushed them to produce a paste to relieve arthritic pains and to sooth sunburn discomfort and prevent blistering and peeling of the skin. Indians of our hemisphere claim that the Aloe Vera Juice of Aloe Vera Barbadensis plant can be used as a tonic for better digestion and for the relief of ulcers and poor elimination.
USES OF ALOE LEAF & ALOE JUICE – MYTH OR MIRACLE?
Today, the Aloe Vera plant is still used by many people of many countries who maintain that it is nature’s “cure-all” for an un-ending list of ills. Undoubtedly there is an explanation. The Aloe Vera Juice is often added to drinks in cases of congestion and to prevent and counteract colic. It has also been used to purify water since its chemical properties remove chlorine and fluoridation taste. The Aloe Vera Leaf is sometimes used for the treatment of infections of the skin and contusions, rheumatism, arthritis, and aching joints. It is said the pulp is used in the treatment of tumors, ulcers, open sores, ringworms, boils, acne, allergy rashes, psoriasis, itching, burns and scalds, insect stings and poison ivy. The Aloe Vera Gel, Aloe Vera Juice, and Aloe Vera Leaf, when blended with milk and papaya, is believed to help kidney infections, sluggish livers, dysentery, stomach ulcers, and colitis.
ALOE VERA RECIPES
Delicious ways to consume the Aloe Vera Leaf/Leaves & Aloe Juice
(1) Aloe Lemonade
This tastes just like lemonade and is a very refreshing way to consume Aloe Vera Juice during those hot summer days!
2 cups of water
2 inches of Aloe Vera Gel
1 cup of lemon juice
10 ice cubes
1-2 Tblsp of Raw honey or sweetener of choice
Blend it all the ingredients together and you’re done! Enjoy!
(2) Aloe Almond Bliss
If you’re in the mood for something cozy, warm and sweet, this is the perfect combination! This is a drink you can prepare during those cold winter days.
2 cups of homemade unsweetened Almond milk
1-2 tsp of coconut oil (cold pressed extra virgin)
1 TBLSP of blackstrap molasses
2-3 inches of Fresh aloe very jelly from the plant
Add a few ice cubes if you prefer.
Blend all ingredients together and voila!
(3) Garden Green
Juice of one lemon
2 inch of Aloe Vera Gel
Cut cucumber and apple into pieces
Place all the ingredients in a blender.
Blend until smooth then add 150 ml of Apple Juice
(4) Choco-Banana Aloe Smoothie
1 glass of chocolate milk
250 ml skim milk or soya milk
8 tablespoons Aloe Vera gel
Blend all ingredients together. Add ice cubes as desired
(5) Stress Reliever Aloe Smoothie
2 1/2 cups strawberries
1/2 cup strawberry juice or nectar
1 pitted peach
1 cup plain yogurt
8 tablespoons Aloe Vera gel
Blend all ingredients together plus ice as desired
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