Native Americans Called This Plant the Wand of Heaven
The Egyptians called aloe vera the plant of immortality, and Native Americans referred to it as the “wand of heaven.” It has long been prized for its healing properties. Today, many people keep an aloe vera plant at home to treat scrapes, cuts and burns. But aloe is even more beneficial when taken internally.
According to The Journal of Environmental Science and Health, this plant has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties that help the immune system cleanse the body of toxins and pathogens. It contains more than 20 biologically active, naturally occurring constituents, including polysaccharides, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids and minerals that help the body absorb nutrients.
Aloe vera is also rich in:
Minerals – Aloe has calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, selenium, sodium, iron, potassium, copper, and manganese, all of which work together to boost metabolic pathways.
Enzymes – It contains enzymes such as amylase and lipase, which help digestion by breaking down fat and sugar molecules. It is a source of bradykinase, which reduces inflammation.
Vitamins – Aloe vera has vitamin B12, which is necessary to produce red blood cells. That is good news especially for vegetarians and vegans, who are restricted in their sources of B12. Studies show aloe assists with the bioavailability of B12, so the body can more easily absorb and utilize it. It is also a source of vitamins A, C, E, folic acid, choline, B1, B2, B3 (niacin) and B6.
Amino Acids – Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and aloe vera contains 20 of the 22 that are essential to the human body. It is also a source of salicylic acid, which combats inflammation and bacteria.
Other Uses for Aloe:
Aloe is an internal cleansing agent, clearing the stomach, kidneys, spleen, bladder, liver and colon of toxic matter. It relieves indigestion, upset stomach, ulcers and inflammation in the intestines. It alleviates inflammation of the joints, making it a powerful treatment for arthritis.
In one study, it was shown that using aloe vera as a mouthwash was as effective at removing plaque as one popular mouthwash and its active ingredient, chlorhexidine. Unlike commercial products, aloe vera is all natural and free of manufactured chemicals. Aloe vera gel has also been proven effective in healing mouth ulcers, often known as canker sores.
Aloe can be used straight from the plant, and aloe juice can be purchased in most health food stores. Mix the juice into fruit juice or in a smoothie, or drink it straight – although most people find the undiluted juice rather bitter. Make sure the juice is pure.