Week 3 – Aloe Vera as medicine
Aloe vera is renowned for its healing effects on the skin, but did you know that it has just as many healing powers once inside the body?
Polysaccharides are known for healing the skin seven layers deep and found beneficial for immune and gut health. Polysaccharides are found in every cell of our bodies. Our bodies, however, stop creating them after the age of ten. At the gastrointestinal level, the Polysaccharides in Aloe vera have been shown to act as potent anti-inflammatory agents, neutralizing many of the enzymes responsible for damaging the mucosal wall.
Aloe Vera also directly controls Candida overgrowth allowing for normal bacterial flora to be restored in the gut. This is extremely important considering approximately 80% of your immune system is located in the gut!
On top of this, Aloe Vera is filled with Enzymes, which is important to maintain a healthy body. Here are some of the Enzymes found in Aloe, and how they work in the body:
* Amylase - breaks down sugars and starches
* Bradykinase - stimulates immune system, analgesic, anti-inflammatory
* Catalase - prevents accumulation of water in the body
* Cellulase - aids digestion of cellulose
* Lipase - aids digestion of fats
Don’t forget to feed the enzymes! Enzymes need vitamins and minerals to do their job, and Aloe Vera happens to be an anti-oxidant rich plant, containing vitamins (A, C and E) and minerals (zinc and selenium). Also, the antioxidants found in Aloe vera help boost the immune system and combat free radicals in the body.
Aloe vera is a powerful healer both topically and internally. When using it internally, keep in mind that the skin of the Aloe vera plant contains a potent stimulating laxative called aloin, which is found in the outer leaf. It is imperative to avoid consuming the outer leaf or the yellow fluid located between the outer leaf and the inner gel. The strong laxative effects of aloin can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalance (low potassium levels).
As with all plant remedies, consult your health care provider before using if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Oral aloe is not recommended during pregnancy due to possible stimulation of uterine
contractions. In breastfeeding mothers, it may sometimes cause gastrointestinal distress in the nursing infant.
We will be ending our journey with Aloe Vera next week. Stay tuned for week four where we will share recipes for your skin and gut health.
And remember to use our Rain which contains the amazing Aloe Vera!
Previous Week - Meet the Plant - Aloe Vera, Skin Health
Next Week - Aloe in Recipes