Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera Barbadensis Miller

During my road to recovery from CFS, I tried many different types of nutritional supplements, some helped the symptoms and some didn’t. One product that showed massive improvements in my health and my daily functioning was Aloe Vera drinking gel. I have been so impressed by the benefits of the gel from the Aloe Barbadensis Miller plant that my family and I still take this every morning without fail…we call it our ‘healthy body insurance’!

Is it just another health fad?

It could seem to some that the drinking of Aloe Vera is the latest health fad, however, this is not the case.  Researchers have discovered that it was used by the ancient Chinese and Indian cultures.

A bit of History

It is also thought that Aristotle persuaded Alexander the Great to capture the island of Socotra, in the Indian Ocean, to get its rich supply of aloe, in order to heal his wounded soldiers on the return from their successful campaign into Persia, in 333BC.  History also depicts that Cleopatra and Nefertiti were highly into Aloe for its beauty benefits.

‘You ask me what were the secret forces which sustained me during my long fasts.  Well, it was my unshakable faith in God, my simple and frugal life style, and the aloe, whose benefits I discovered upon my arrival in South Africa at the end of the 19th century.’

MAHATMA GANDHI

(in a letter to his biographer Romain Rolland)

Do all types of Aloe plants provide benefits?

There are over 400 different species of Aloe but only about four or five are known to have medicinal properties, Aloe Barbadensis Miller (also known as Aloe Linnes and Aloe Vulgaris) being the most potent.

In the modern world today, there are many companies producing Aloe Vera products, which claim to have miraculous health or beauty benefits.  It is becoming increasingly difficult to know which ones will make us feel better and which ones will just be a total waste of our money.

When looking for a good quality drinking gel, it is important to consider whether or not the whole leaf has been used in the production or just the inner leaf gel.  The outer leaf and the sap, also known as aloe latex, just underneath the hard rind, is not where all the goodness lies and the sap also has a very bitter taste.  Whereas, the inner leaf gel contains at least 75 known ingredients that are among those required by our bodies to function well.  I would rather have a bottle full of inner leaf gel than a blend that includes the protective rind of the plant.

Some of the amazing ingredients found in the inner leaf gel

Vitamins – a wide range of vitamins can be found in the gel, the most important of which are the antioxidant vitamins C and E and beta-carotene, the precursor of vitamin A, all three of which have a positive influence on the immune system.  Aloe is also one of very few plants to contain vitamin B12, a deficiency of which can lead to fatigue, depression and poor memory; all of which I suffered with having CFS.

Minerals – these include magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, chromium, calcium, sodium, potassium and iron.

Amino Acids – the gel provides 19 of the 20 amino acids needed by our bodies and, more importantly, 7 of the 8 that cannot be manufactured by the body and which therefore have to be consumed as food.

Sugars – including the important long chain polysaccharides, which support the immune system.

Enyzmes – help to break down food and aid digestion, which ultimately helps the nutrients that we digest to be absorbed more efficiently.

Plant Sterols – act as powerful anti-inflammatory agents.

Saponins – have a powerful anti-microbial effect against bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeasts.

Lignin – enables the aloe vera to penetrate deep into the skin.

Anthraquinones – the ones that are naturally strong painkillers and possess anti-bacterial and virucidal activity along with having a laxative effect on the body.

Salycylic Acid – an aspirin-like compound, which is anti-inflammatory when taken orally.  Also helps to break down dead tissue if used topically.

Possible Evidence to back up the benefits of Aloe

Although, there is only anecdotal evidence to say that drinking aloe vera gel can help with fatigue in humans, Peter Green, a vet, undertook research using aloe vera gel with horses that were suffering with Chronic Fatique Syndrome.  It seems the results could be proof that aloe vera has a positive effect on the immune system.  Obviously, the horses were unaware they were being treated for CFS, so could this be proof enough that the benefits gained by humans, who take aloe for this condition, cannot be put down to the placebo effect?

Here is a link to the results of Peter Green’s findings:

http://mfligroup.com/EquinePeterGreen.pdf

How potent is the Aloe gel?

The International Aloe Science Council (IASC) says that for an aloe vera drinking product to be classed as a gel it needs to contain at least 85% certified aloe vera; for a juice it need only be 15%.  Even when buying an inner leaf gel you should check for the IASC Seal of Approval.

So, check the label before buying –

  • Is it an Aloe Vera ‘gel’ rather than ‘juice’?
  • Does it contain at least 85% aloe vera ‘inner leaf’ gel, as opposed to 100% ‘whole leaf’?
  • Does it contain some not so natural additives or preservatives?

It may appear cheaper but if you need to buy 5 bottles of it to get somewhere near the benefits of a good quality gel then it’s not cheap, it’s a waste of money!

I am sure that there are many ‘good’ aloe vera drinking gels being produced but the one I personally came across all those years ago when I was suffering was the one produced by Forever Living Products.

For me, this gel ticked all the boxes, it was easy to get hold of and none of my local shops sold anything near as good –

  • Each yellow bottle contains at least 95% aloe vera inner leaf, natural, unrefined gel
  • The plants are organically grown using no pesticides, herbicides or chemicals
  • The gel is harvested, filleted and stabilised using a cold process, which doesn’t damage nutrients
  • It is bottled within 2 hours, with no travelling involved
  • There is no filtration or concentration involved

I know that I am getting the most pure form of aloe vera gel that I can possibly get and this really matters to me.  I want to know that I am not pouring my money down the drain.

How my family benefits

After taking the gel for just 3 weeks, I noticed an amazing difference in my health and wellbeing, in many different ways, including increased energy levels, reduction in joint pain and muscle aches, better digestion and improvement in a skin condition I had had since birth; and the benefits just grew and grew the longer I continued to take the gel.

In more recent years, members of my family have also had positive results from drinking the gel on a regular basis.  My husband used to have at least five bad colds a year, which always went to his chest, he doesn’t even get one a year now, which suggests to me that his immune system is much stronger.  My mother has suffered from an inflammatory bowel condition for years, which very nearly made her housebound and she now feels like a new woman, with the effects of the gel being life changing for her.   I could go on and on about the benefits of taking this wonderful product and suffice to say, it will remain a main staple in mine, and my husband’s diet forever!

How long before you see results

I have always believed that, when trying a nutritional supplement for the first time, it is important to commit to it for at least 6 to 8 weeks.  Nothing frustrates me more than when people take a natural supplement for a couple of weeks and then give up saying that it made no difference to them and then they go back to taking over the counter medication, that just masks the problem for a few hours and depletes their body in other ways.  Boy, am I glad I stuck this one out!

Where can you buy the good quality Aloe?

Forever Living gel is not sold through retail outlets but by Forever business owners via word of mouth recommendation; apart from being the best form of marketing, this also keeps sales and advertising costs down, which means more money can be spent on producing an excellent quality product. I am one person who can passionately recommend the products to others, which is why I am proud to be a Forever Business Owner.

If you would like to buy or just get more information on the aloe gel, along with other Forever aloe vera-based products, please click on the link here:

Forever Living Shop

HEALTH WARNINGS:

Anyone with any health issues should refer to their GP prior to taking aloe vera gel.

Although diabetics can take aloe vera gel, they should consult their GP first, and, as it may lower blood sugars they would need to monitor their levels more closely.

Aloe vera contains Salycylic Acid, which is an aspirin-like compound and therefore people who are severely allergic to aspirin should probably not take it.

Anyone taking anticoagulant drugs should have a blood test within 3 days of starting aloe.

People on anti-epilepsy drugs should not take aloe vera as it can interfere with their medication.






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