Anna Hunt, Staff Writer
For those who are familiar with the Aloe Vera cactus you might find it surprising that the sticky, often bitter gel inside the leaves is remarkably beneficial to your health and can be a rather tasty raw food supplement.
Aloe Vera, sometimes referred to as the miracle plant, has many medicinal properties and can be used topically or taken internally in either its raw form or combined with juices. Harvesting Aloe Vera is easy, and the video below explains which leaves to pick for external use (concave leaves will be more bitter) versus which leaves are better for eating (convex, or thick on both sides, and soft leaves are more tasty). The narrator also shows you how to cut a leaf and scrape out the “meat” out of the middle for using and eating.
They recommend to “get up every morning and eat a leaf,” but, if you have a very westernized palette, as do I, then the taste and texture of Aloe Vera by itself will probably leave a lot to be desired. However, taking the gel from a leaf and adding it to a morning smoothie, especially with citrus fruit and ginger to cover the bitterness of the Aloe, makes eating raw Aloe each morning a blissful way to add this powerfully healing food to your diet.
Because of its rejuvenating, healing and soothing properties, Aloe Vera is commonly used as a sunburn remedy, in cosmetics and lotions and in alternative medicines. When taken ingested internally in its raw form, Aloe Vera can:
– Treat first and second degree burns
– Reduce chafing of the nose for persons suffering from hay-fever or common cold
– Alleviate symptoms of eczema and psoriasis
– Improve digestive issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation and ulcers
– Improve circulation
– Regulate blood pressure
– Defend against bacteria
– Cleanse the colon, reducing the risk of colon cancer
– Improve your metabolic rate
Although Aloe Vera gel is mostly made of water, within 1% of this substance there are over 20 minerals (including Calcium), 12 vitamins (including Vitamin A, C, D, B1, B12 and E), 18 amino acids (including collagen protein), and various enzymes. If you’d like to start taking Aloe Vera, there are many commercially produced juices you can purchase if you do not own a plant. Or you can easily cultivate your own plants, which are very easy to keep.
I now regularly use Aloe Vera often in my morning smoothies for that healthy boost I would never get from a breakfast of bacon and eggs or a sweet donut. Take advantage of this simple, easy to harvest and prepare medicinal plant to benefit your health.
About the Author
Anna Hunt is an entrepreneur, writer and yoga instructor. Her company Pura Vida Yoga Vacations organizes Yoga retreats in Costa Rica.
This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.
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