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Aloe Vera - Aloe vera syn. Aloe barbadensis

A succulent prickly leafed perennial, flowering with a spike of orange or yellow flowers. The leaves contain a clear gel, which is well known in its use as a soothing skin remedy. The clear gel is a valuable and effective healer of wounds and burns - speeding up the rate of healing, and providing a protective coating to the wound, and reducing the risk of infection. The base of the leaves exudes a bitter yellow liquid which when dried is known as "bitter aloes" and is commonly used as a strong laxative for treating short-term constipation. Unlike the soothing clear gel from the upper parts of the leaves, the bitter yellow liquid from the base of the leaves should not be used on the skin.

Aloe vera has enjoyed a long history as a skin lotion and Cleopatra is said to have attributed her beauty to it. Native to Africa, Aloe is now a popular pot-plant throughout the world and makes a useful 'living-first-aid-kit' for cuts, grazes, burns, scalds, sunburn and skin irritations - in an emergency, a small part of the leaf can be broken off and the clear gel applied neat to the affected area. The clear gel is an emollient and is wonderfully soothing and astringent - it contains polysaccharide, which helps the skin retain mositure, and aloectin B which stimulates the immune system, in turn encouraging healing and promoting the growth of healthy new skin cells.

! Do not take internally during pregnancy or whilst breast-feeding. Do not use the bitter yellow juice on skin. Do not take if suffering from haemorrhoids or kidney disease !


pale leaves

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