The best source of aloe vera is a freshly
cut leaf from an
organically grown aloe vera plant. The juice can be extracted by simply
squeezing it out of the tip of the leaf. Alternately, a whole leaf may
be placed into a food processor and then the juice can be pressed out
of the pulp created by the food processor.
The active properties of aloe include barbaloin and isobarbaloin. Aloe has
purgative, cholagogue, anti-inflammatory, vulnerary, and anthelmintic
effects. Aloe powder is a strong purgative and can be effective with
constipation. Scientific studies have shown that aloe is highly effective
when applied topically to burns, especially in the early stages following
the burn. As a vulnerary, it speeds wound healing and cell growth.
Aloe is said to have tonic effects similar to the Chinese herbal product Rehmannia 6
(a Kidney Yin tonic).
Recently, some companies have begun marketing aloe as an immune enhancing herb. Some of these
companies claim to have developed cold processing (and other secret
or proprietary) techniques that extract individual components from the
aloe vera juice. Two of these products are called Acemannon
and Manopol. In some conditions, these products can be very
helpful. Normally, we recommend that the juice of the plant be used.
The main uses for aloe include:
- Wound management
- Treating bowel disorders where there is inflammation
- Immune boosting