ALOE: FRIEND OR FOE?

 

The Aloe plant is renowned world wide for its curative benefits and has been used as a household cure for thousands of years. Not only is Aloe one of Queen Cleopatra’s beauty secrets, but it has also been used over the millennia as an antiseptic and anti-fungal, and to improve digestive problems

However, it is important to understand that not all types of Aloe are good for you. There are over 330 types of Aloe plants, most of which are toxic and contain high levels of Iodine, known to cause kidney failure if consumed in large quantities.

The most recommended type is called Aloe Vera Barbadensis and when it comes to having one at home, it is important to allow the plant two years to mature. This ensures the plant will be at its healing peak. Aloe plants that will be used for medicinal purposes should always be potted to avoid animal urine and unwanted chemicals to seep into the plant.

Raw Aloe Vera should only be used as a topical ointment for wounds, scratches, etc. and not ingested directly. The viscous part of the plant contains a very powerful laxative called Latex that can be very irritating to the digestive system.

For individuals who would like to improve digestive problems such as gastritis with Aloe Vera, I recommend you find a natural aloe product that doesn’t contain Latex or Iodine. The best Aloe products are usually concentrated and cold pressed (as with virgin olive oil) not boiled, as this ensures the aloe is Latex and Iodine free but still retains its nutritional value.

Strong laxatives such as Latex are not recommendable for long term use as they are known to force the digestive tract into strong (often painful) bowel movements that destroy the lining of the intestine. The result is poor absorption and chronic constipation.

In short, Aloe can be a very powerful ally when it comes to preventing infections and digestive problems. But to take advantage of Aloe Vera’s many benefits you must use the right kind.

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