Aloe Vera – A Prickly Plant with Pizzazz

Some Aloe Vera gelato I saw in Milan…but I wasn’t brave enough to taste it!

You’ve heard of aloe vera gel, aloe vera cream, but have you ever head of aloe vera ice cream? Well maybe the Italians have got it right with this uniquely flavoured gelato, since the health benefits and general uses of this plant go beyond what you might think. It may seem like a strange addition to your diet, but like all natural supplements it is important to make it a part of your daily routine in order to feel the benefits. Once you do you will be able to notice that the aloe acts as a natural cleanser for your digestive tract, improving your bowel regularity.

Aloe vera which grows like a weed in hot climates like the Middle East makes it an ideal aid in helping with various digestive disorders including heartburn, hyper-acidity and constipation. Just to give you that extra boost, aloe vera also has supplementing vitamins which the body cant store but needs, such as vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E.

One of the advantages of cleaning out your digestive system, is that this allows the body to rid itself of any unwanted substances which might be causing you to feel under the weather. Besides regulating your energy levels, it will do the same for your weight, which is always better than any fad diet or strange diet pill.

If actually eating aloe seems a bit more than what you can handle, it is still a handy thing to have around the house given its multiple external uses. Aloe Vera can be used on cuts open wounds, rashes and insect bites since it helps in the healing process as well as prevents infection. Just make sure you clean the area thoroughly first.

Another area where aloe is extremely useful is on burns, meaning anything from cooking mishaps to a sun tan gone wrong. Here in the Middle East the sun can be cruel and applying aloe to the affected area sooths the pain while healing the skin.

However you need to be aware of which gel you use. While most people are aware of the availability of Aloe Vera gels, what you might not know is that the plant itself, while green on the outside, is actually filled with clear pulp. This means that any green aloe product you buy, has been artificially coloured.

A simple potted plant can be a welcome addition to your natural medicine collection. Image via carrotmadman6

Your best bet is to plant some in your garden. Being a part of the cactus family it needs very little care and likes semi tropical climates, perfect for the arid Middle Eastern environment.

Of course if you don’t have a garden, or your area is too cold, it makes a very convenient pot plant as long as it is given enough sunlight. While it may not be aesthetically pleasing, this is one plant you will benefit from having around.

And if you’ve read my post on a simple summer ice-cream recipe, why not try adding in some aloe vera, to taste. If you dare!

Read more about natural ways to enhance your skin:
RECIPE: Soothing, Sensual Rosewater
The Healing Powers of Honey

Top image by Naomi Ben-David

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