Latin: Aloe barbadensis Aloe vera
Chinese: Lu hui
WHAT IT DOES: Aloe vera gel is bitter in taste, cold in action and mucilaginous. It heals and soothes skin irritations.
RATING: Gold (external use)
SAFETY ISSUES: Not for internal use when pregnant, if suffering from any intestinal or kidney disease, or during menstruation. Do not use in children under the age of 12, and internal use is not recommended in excess of 8-10 consecutive days. Completely safe when used externally.
• External use: apply liberal quantities of fresh gel from plant leaves topically
I will only be talking here about the external use of aloe vera gel. (I believe there are other safer, more effective herbs that have the same internal applications as aloe.) Aloe vera is a plant that should be kept in every home, affording instant access to the fresh gel from its leaves for treating sunburn, minor burns, skin wounds, insect bites, acne and bruises. It is one of the best household items for parents to keep on-hand to educate children about using plants safely as medicine.
Aloe vera gel can benefit patients suffering from severe skin disorders such as psoriasis, frostbite and radiation burns (Miller et al., 1995; Klein et al., 1988). The healing effects of this plant result from a complex set of anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, emollient, and anti-bacterial properties.