Sunday, October 16, 2016

Taming the Giant Alovera in the Garden

Who would suspect this lowly fleshy plant left growing in a garden or in the wild to be of great importance to health and grooming? Thanks to the revival of traditional and natural medicine. Various formulations - from skin ointment to juice drink have suddenly emerged in the market. 
Dr Abe V Rotor 
Living with Nature - School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio 738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday []  
Miss Jules Rojas Sta. Maria holds a huge potted  Alovera (=Aloe barbadensis) at home in QC; cross section of leaf showing gel-filled parenchyma cells. Food, medicine, cosmetics products etc are prepared from the aloe vera gel.

It looks menacing, octopus in many ways - fleshy with radiating arms lined with spines, spotted all over, and snaking through other plants in our garden. There it is growing wild, or cultured for its many uses, exaggeratedly popular to the point that it is an elixir since ancient Egypt, Greece, China, and the whole tropical region. 

My dad used alovera to treat minor burns. He would pick a leaf,  split it after removing the spines along the edges, and make a poultice over the affected skin. When I became a father myself I did the same thing to my kids.  Alovera imparts immediate relief and prevents infection. And healing takes place faster than any natural means I know. 

I used to joke my friends whose hair is vanishing (the HIVs). "Mag alovera kayo," an advice to apply crushed alovera to grow back thinning hair. And they would laugh like we were in a beer garden, then throw back the challenge at us who were then well into our middle age. 

Just as alovera is hair rejuvenating, it is also effective in skin care and protection. No wonder alovera has been in use as gel pack even before someone introduced mud pack, an invention inspired in the animal kingdom. Old folk say, the gel is moisturizing, and as it dries slowly binds the skin cells from sagging. Take it from a scientific explanation.   

Researches discovered in alovera the presence of keratin, the primary protein of hair, consists of amino acids, oxygen, carbon, and small amounts of hydrogen, nitrogen, and sulphur. Alovera has a chemical make up similar to that of keratin and it rejuvenates the hair with its own nutrients, giving it more elasticity and preventing breakage.

Native Aloe vera, grown by garden enthusiasts for its neat radial symmetry and modest inflorescence.
There is much more to this report to support alovera's rejuvenating properties. This translucent gel is made up of around 96 percent water, a type of protein made up of 18 of the 20 amino acids found in the body. And it contains Vitamin A, B, C and E which important to the body.
The selling point that made alovera build a multi million industry is its claimed anti-ageing qualities - from cosmetic products, medicine, to food and beverages.

One thing more is that alovera gel is a complex carbohydrate known as acemannan. It allows nutrients to reach the cells, nourish them and at the same time relieve them of toxins. ------------------------------
Early records of Aloe vera use appear in the Ebers Papyrus from the 16th century BC, and in Dioscorides' De Materia Medica and Pliny the Elder's Natural History – both written in the mid-first century AD. It is also written of in the Juliana Anicia Codex of 512 AD. The plant is used widely in the traditional herbal medicine of many countries.------------------------------
Make your own Aloe drink. Scoop the gel leaving behind the skin and any discolored part.  Simply add to your favorite prepared juice drink. Or make your own mix of water, sugar, and flavor. One leaf extract makes a liter of aloe drink.  Your product can compare  - if not better than commercial products - because it is fresh and there is no preservative added. Besides you used glass container - not plastic or alum can.  

Caution: Doctors caution taking internally during pregnancy, menstruation, having hemorrhoid problem, and degenerative liver and gall bladder condition. Oral ingestion may cause abdominal cramps and diarrhea, which in turn can decrease the absorption of drugs. Non-decolorized liquid aloe vera is carcinogenic in test animals. 
Use of topical aloe vera is not associated with significant side effects. ~ 

Acknowledgement: Internet, Wikipedia, Living with Nature Series by AVR

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