Sunday, August 17, 2008

Medicinal Monday's #1- Aloe Vera

For a while now I have been thinking about starting a series of posts. I have finally decided what my series will be. Medicinal Monday's, every Monday I will post on a new Medicinal Plant. Everyone should have medicinal plants in their garden for the simple fact that you never know when you might need them. They do not come off of a shelf with an expiration date. You know exactly how fresh they are and where they came from. Best of all they are the cheapest form of medication you can get. For my first Medicinal Monday post I have chosen the well known Aloe Vera Plant( Aloe barbadensis ) .

Aloe Vera is also know as Medicinal Aloe and Savila. I am unsure of the origin of Aloe but I do know that it grows here in Florida very well. Aloe is very drought tolerant which makes it ideal for xeriscaping. Aloe grows well in sun to partial shade areas better than most but will pretty much grow anywhere. This species of Aloe does not have the sharp spines like other Aloe Plants. The spines are actually pretty soft. Aloe is edible but doesn't taste very well at all.

Aloe Vera is jam packed with lots more pros than cons. Let's weight them out real quick.

PROS
External Uses
  1. Sunburn Relief: To do this you carefully remove a piece of Aloe from the plant. Then you skin the piece in your hand. I always leave a piece at the end to hold on to because it is very slippery. Then rub it all over your sunburn and let it dry.
  2. Treatment of minor cuts and scratches: Use the same method as above
  3. Reducing Inflammation: Use the same method as above
Internal Uses

  1. Poor Appetite: Aloe is said to aid in the loss of appetite
  2. Digestive Problems: Taken internally aids in the treatment of common digestive problems
  3. Ulcerative Colitis: Aloe is a well known anti inflammatory
  4. Constipation: Aloe prevents the absorption of water in the bowel making it move faster.
Growing Conditions
  1. Drought tolerant: Does not require regular watering
  2. Low Maintenance: Aloe does not need much care. You can pretty much forget about the plant and it will always be there for you.

CONS

  1. Cramping: If taken internally, Aloe Vera may cause painful stomach cramps.


With that being said I think Aloe Vera is a must have in every garden. I primarily use it for sunburn and minor cuts. Living in Florida I get sunburn very often and I am always cutting myself on something. Here are some pictures of one of my Aloe Vera Plant.





I hope you enjoyed this post. See you next Medicinal Monday!





Disclaimer: This post was designed to teach about herbs, wild herb conservation, historical uses and latest herb research. This information is presented for educational use only. It is not meant to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease. Please discuss your health issues as well as herb and supplement use with your doctor.

9 comments:

Julia said...

Very interesting - I'm going to enjoy this series!

Laurie from My Garden To Yours said...

I love aloe plants. I live in the north, so I grow mine as a houseplant. I don't think it would survive our winters here outdoors.
I am looking forward to more monday posts on medicinal plants.
Thanks!

GardenJoy4Me said...

Hey LP !
Thanks for the heads up on your Monday speciality posts .. I have Aloe Vera as a house plant and I have known about some of its uses .. great idea ! Thanks !
Joy

Crafty Gardener said...

This looks like it will be an interesting series of posts. Aloe is a house plant where I live. I can put it outside in summer (in its pot).

Hocking Gardener said...

Wonderful idea on creating Monday postings for medicinal plants! I have used aloe many times for sunburns and minor burns. I am looking forward to more Monday posts on medicinal plants.

The Hunky Gardener said...

Great idea for a weekly post. I also like the Tuesday Tips idea.

DS said...

Nice post. It makes it easy to see the important info!

Aloes (or at least as far as I know) come from southern Africa (plants are no respecters of political borderlines). If you're interested in seeing a blog focussing on aloes in a South African garden, plus photographs in their natural habitat, try

http://aloegardenwilderness.blogspot.com/

Aloes are also being investigated for their polysaccharides (I think that's the right term): special plant sugars that heal a number of diseases taken internally.

Teresa said...

I just want to add that even if there are a lot of benefits to using aloe vera one should also be aware that in some cases, for some ilnesses, it is not recommended due to some side effects.

lillian said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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