A place of Harmony Balance and Health

This blog has grown from its base in Ayurveda into a more expansive view of health, wellbeing and spirituality. Mind, body and spirit are explored using Ayurveda, Yoga and Energetic Healing. I hope that you find my posts helpful on your journey.
More information can be found on my new website Harmony Balance Health

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Aloe Vera



Our gardens are full of medicine and healing, we just have to know where to look. Aloe Vera  is a great example of garden plant that is full of medicinal properties. It is easy to grow as it needs little water or maintenance. What more could you want?

Most of us are probably aware of it's ability to sooth the skin. It is very cooling so is great for skin conditions that result from high pitta such as acne and eczema. Apply it to the skin and you will feel it's soothing effects. If you have a rash, scar, wound, burn, psoriasis or stretch marks you can break a piece straight off the plant and rub it onto your skin. It works really well for mouth ulcers too.  No need for creams and lotions, just go straight to the source and get the pure ingredient. Mother Nature the original pharmacist has all the best ingredients!

But did you know you can also take it internally? Have a look in your local health food store and you will see Aloe Vera capsules and juice. Even supermarkets and convenience stores have Aloe Vera juice. Internally it is good for digestion and has a mild laxative effect. The bitter taste of Aloe helps with the regulation of blood sugar levels as it encourages the liver to release bile making Aloe a useful herb for the treatment of diabetes. Because of it's cooling properties pitta conditions such as hyperacidity, peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis and bleeding from the intestines can be alleviated. People suffering from skin conditions such as acne, eczema and ulcers, will also benefit from taking Aloe Vera internally.

There are two types of Aloe Vera available the gel and powder. The powdered form should not be used long term as it is highly purgative. Good for removing pitta but not something you should be taking for a long time. The gel form is much gentler and better for use over extended periods of time. Also be aware that  the cheap drinks available in the supermarkets they are heavily diluted and contain very  little Aloe Vera. Pure Aloe Vera drinks are very expensive and you will need to go to a health food store to find them.

Aloe is also used Ayurveda as a women's tonic. Aloe Vera helps the flow of blood in the body. This make it a great herb for the female reproductive system as it specifically  helps to regulate the uterus. Its cooling properties also make it helpful for women who are suffering from the hot and dry symptoms of menopause.

Although it might seem Aloe Vera is for pitta related illnesses it is also effective for reducing all doshas. It is also a wonderful vehicle for carrying medicines to all the tissues of the body. A true wonder herb!

* Do not use when pregnant or before and operation as it thins the blood.