What Aloe Vera does in your body: why Egyptians called it the plant of immortality

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Known to the Egyptians as the plant of immortality and to Native Americans as the wand of heaven, aloe vera comes with a wide array of amazing healing properties — some of which you may already be aware. You might even have your own aloe vera plant in your home for those small emergencies like scrapes, cuts, and burns, but did you know that aloe vera is not only limited to topical use and is actually even more beneficial to your body when taken internally?

Aloe vera contains over 200 biologically active, naturally occurring constituents which include polysaccharides, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, and minerals that promote nutrient absorption.

Aloe vera also possesses anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties that assist the immune system in cleansing the body of toxins and invading pathogens. But that isn’t all aloe vera juice/gel has to offer.

Equipment

• Six Aloe leaves (depending on size) from a mature and healthy plant. Leaves that are anywhere from four (4) to six (6) inches in length make a generous 1/4-cup amount.
• A clean sharp knife
• A clean cutting board and work surface
• A clean Glass container (It’s best to store your gel in the fridge preferably in a dark or opaque glass container to protect it from light which can degrade it). Make sure the jar has a secure fitting lid to keep air out.
• Food processor or blender
• Paper towels
• Spoon and spatula
* Optional: rubber gloves to protect your hands from the serrated edges of the leaf.

Method

1. Begin by washing your hands. You don’t want to introduce any unwanted bacteria into your gel and contaminate it. Make sure your work surface, and utensils are clean when preparing your gel.

2. Choose leaves that are mature, thick, fleshy and a deep green in color. Look for leaves that are at least 4-6 inches in length. The oldest and largest outermost leaves near the bottom of the plant are ideal; they contain a thick, nutrient-rich gel layer. Did you know that cut Aloe leaves do not grow back? However, the cut leaves will eventually stimulate the emergence of new growth from the center of the plant.

3. Remove the leaves. Use a sharp knife to create a clean cut, without harming the plant of course. Cut close to the base of the leaf and slice away from the center of the plant. Or you can buy cut Aloe leaves at select stores or online.

4. Rinse the outer skin of the leaves and knife under running water. Now place the cut leaves in a bowl at a 45 degree angle for 15 minutes or so. This step enables the dark yellow, very bitter Aloe juice or latex to drain out, which is found in the cells located just under the surface of the leaf. The latex is a very powerful laxative, which can irritate the intestines. The laxative effect could cause potassium levels to become low.

5. Now carefully remove the serrated edges and skin. Mature Aloe Vera leaves are slightly curved. Place the concave side down on a cutting board. Next, slice around the perimeter. This will leave you with the top and bottom layer of skin, exposing the Aloe gel in between. The top layer of skin comes off next. Run the knife just under the surface and peel it away. Now you can flip the leaf over and do the same to the other side.serrateedge

6. Remove the gel from each leaf and place it in a clean jar until you’re ready to process the batch in a blender or a food processor.

7. Transfer the gel into a food processor and process until it’s uniformly mixed. Next add a scant quarter teaspoon of vitamin C powder (100% Pure Powder; non-GMO, Pharmaceutical Grade (USP); GMP Quality Assured in the form of ascorbic acid to every cup of gel. It neutralizes oxygen on contact thus acting as a preservative. Or you can add 400 IU of vitamin E. In its natural form, vitamin E is designated d-, as in-d-alpha-tocopherol (recommended). You can also use grapefruit extract as a preservative. Add the gel and your choice of preservative in the food processor or blender and thoroughly mix or you can manually stir it into the processed gel with a spoon.

8. Store in the fridge in a glass container with a tight lid and label (include the date made). Fresh Aloe gel usually keeps for about a week in the fridge, but with a preservative it will last much longer, up to a month or so. Still it’s best to make small batches and replace as necessary to maintain the utmost potency and freshness. Use a clean spoon to scoop into your gel even if you are going to apply it topically as fingers can introduce unwanted bacteria into the gel.

DOSAGE

For internal use of aloe gel, 30 ml three times a day. Topically, apply the fresh gel as needed.
Internal: Take 2 ounces (4 Tbsp) per serving alone or mixed with a favorite juice 2x a day.
For serious conditions take up to 8 ounces daily.

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