What is Aloe Vera?
Aloe Vera is a cactus-like plant which grows in the tropics. The stems are short, growing to a maximum height of 3 1/2 feet. The leaves are thick, green and fleshy, containing a gel-like substance, which is used for several medicinal purposes. It actually stores water in the leaves. The leaves are pointed and prickly on the sides. Please see below for a picture of the Aloe Vera Plant.
Please see below for a picture of the Aloe Vera Plant.
Aloe Vera and Blood Sugar
This plant has been known to help persons manage/control diabetes. When I was a child, this plant was seen all over. It would appear that most of my neighbors had this plant. Those without the plant would ask those of us who had the plant for a piece. As a child, I was not sure why it was so popular.
As I became older, and maybe I was finally paying attention, I heard people saying they use the water inside the plant (the gel-like substance) to make a drink or added it to their water and it helped to lower their blood glucose. I decided to give it a try. Nothing happened after the first three drink (I had it in my water, just a little piece-1 inch thick).
By the time I had the fourth drink, I had to lower my blood glucose medication. I saw a 2 point drop in my blood glucose. I always exercise caution with everything that goes into my mouth. At least, that is the new Josephine. Since that time I had Aloe Vera only twice. I also have other leaves like mango and soursop (used to make a tea or infused into my water), so I must exercise caution, bearing in mind that my liver can suffer, if I fail to exercise moderation.
Yeh (2016), supports the view that the aloe vera plant, has been used to reduce fasting blood glucose in human beings and it does so without side effects. This is great news for diabetics, especially if you are interested in using plant-based foods to heal your body.
It is interesting to note that the aloe vera plant is loaded with vitamins and minerals. This includes chromium, which is known to lower blood glucose. It also contains Vitamins A, B, C, E, folic acid, zinc, magnesium, and selenium. Of the 22 amino acids, the aloe vera contains 20 amino acids.
Making Aloe Vera Juice and Water
Please see below for two ways I incorporate aloe vera in my diet. I am sharing my version of a homemade aloe juice and also aloe water. Enjoy and get ready to see your blood glucose numbers going down. It was also reported that cholesterol levels will also improve when the gel is consumed (Riley, 2014).
- Cut a 1-inch piece of the aloe vera plant
- Wash and peel away the green sections
- Place 1/2 of an apple or 1 teaspoon of raisin into the blender (This is my sweetener. Use sugar to sweeten, if you would like. Note, I would suggest you make it a lifestyle change to cut back on sugar)
- Add the gel-like section and 1 glass of water in the blender
- Blend for about 1 to 2 minutes
- Cool in the refrigerator and drink
- Cut a 4-inch piece of the aloe vera plant
- Wash and peel away the green sections
- Add the gel-like section and 4 glasses of water in the blender
- Blend for about 1 to 2 minutes
- Add the juice of two limes and mix
- Pour in a container
- Cool in the refrigerator and drink through the course of the day
Jones (2007) reported the following after a research was done on human beings, who were treated with aloe vera:
- Of the 3167 patients with diabetes who were treated for two months, 94% experienced their blood glucose levels returning to the normal range. The patients were taken off their medication after 2 months.
- 90% of the 4,652 patients, had normal total blood lipids and serum triglycerides after 3 months of treatment using aloe vera.
- Most of the patients saw an improvement in their lipid profile after being treated with aloe vera for three months.
- By the second week of the aloe vera treatment, most of the patients felt well and suffered less from angina, which is a sign that there is something wrong in the region of the heart. This (angina) is a pain in the chest area, sometimes caused from insufficient oxygen-rich blood going to your heart muscle. It sometimes feels like your chest is being squeezed. It is possible to feel this pain in your arms, shoulders, jaw, back or neck.
- Within a year, with the exception of 348 patients, all the patients had normal ECG profiles. This was so even after they used a treadmill.
Soni (2014) had this to say after treating patients with diabetes and diabetic complications:
- Aloe vera effectively lowered blood glucose levels for persons suffering from diabetes.
- Diabetic complications, such as diabetic retinopathy can be prevented by eating high fiber foods, dietary control and consuming aloe vera on a daily basis (30ml).
- Aloe vera juice cures oxidative stress
- Aloe vera juice heal wounds.
- Joint and muscle pain can be relieved due to aloe vera juice.
- Arthritic pain can be reduced by drinking aloe vera juice.
- Aloe vera juice promotes hair growth.
- Drinking aloe vera juice will cure dermatitis, hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic.
- Aloe vera is anti-cancer when taken as a juice.
Other Health Benefits of Aloe Vera
- Soothes the skin. The aloe vera gel has been known to be very soothing when you get sunburn. I used the commercial gel recently for a sunburn and it was highly effective. It can be used to prevent sunburn. I should have done this first, right? I finally got two roots of the aloe vera to plant, so I will soon have my aloe vera plants at home to use for medicinal purposes. I prefer this to using a commercially made gel.
- Colon cleanser. It cleans the liver, kidneys, spleen, stomach and bladder and does so without you griping (Riley, 2014). You will feel like you took a mild laxative. For this reason, aloe vera can be used to relieve constipation (Leech, 2016). Please note that you must blend and use the skin and the gel-like section if you would like to get this result. Mix this with the juice from oranges to cleanse your colon and make your digestive system healthier.
- Makes hair stronger. For this purpose, I blend the skin and the gel, strain and use when washing my hair. This is excellent when your hair is falling out or you have split ends.
- Prevents dehydration. If it is used to make a drink which is had before a long journey, it will prevent dehydration. I like to blend the gel with water and lime for this purpose. I take it on my journey and sip as I travel.
- Heal wounds. This also includes surgical wounds. Here, it is the gel which is used.
- Soothes and heals varicose veins. The gel, when rubbed on varicose veins will soothe and initiate healing. I wish I knew this when my mom was alive.
- Helps with radiation burns (cancer treatment).
- Help to relieve piles (hemorrhoids). Blend the entire plant, except the root with oranges or grapes and some water. Drink this about 3 times for the day and your pile will be healed and you will also see improvements if you have irritable bowel syndrome.
Please take some time to view the video below. It will teach you how to use the aloe vera plant, as well as give you other interesting information about this precious gift from nature.
It is obvious that our grandparents knew a lot about the aloe vera plant as a medicine. This explains why the plant was so popular years ago as a home remedy. It is used to lower blood glucose, cholesterol, soothes the skin, heals piles, wounds, including surgical wounds, soothes burns and cleanses our colon, leaving us with a healthier digestive system. This list is by no means complete, based on the research completed in this area.
The health benefits of the aloe vera plant are numerous and it should, therefore, find a home in every garden. This plant can also be grown in pots for the persons living in small spaces or an apartment. It is a perfect plant to have for a variety of illnesses and so the effort to grow the plant at home will be worth the time and money spent. The plus is that it is easy to grow.
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- Jones, Ken. “Dietary Aloe Vera Supplementation and Glycemic Control in Diabetes.” (n.d.): n. pag. Web. 7 Aug. 2016.
- Leech, Joe. “8 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Aloe Vera.” RSS 20. Authority Nutrition, 12 Apr. 2015. Web. 06 Aug. 2016.
- Riley, Janice, Manifa Riley, and Paul Riley. In My Backyard: Powerful Herbs and Foods for the Caribbean. Saint Mary, Jamaica: Riley Publications, 2014. Print. Part 1.
- Soni, Yogita, Ramchandra Mochi, and Ghanshyam Gahlot. “Effect of aloe vera juice on diabetic and diabetic retinopathy subjects.” Indian J.L.Sci. 4.1 (2014): 41-45. Department of Biochemistry, Sardar Patel Medical College, 2014. Web. 07 Aug. 2016.
- Yeh, Gloria, David Eisenberg, Ted Kaptchuk, and Russell Phillips. “Systematic Review of Herbs and Dietary Supplements for Glycemic Control in Diabetes.” Diabetes Care. American Diabetes Association, 2016. Web. 6 Aug. 2016.
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