Aloe vera, A. barbadensis, etc.
Aloe vera has an incredibly long documented history of use– described on Mesopatamian clay tablets and Egyptian papyrus, referred to in the works of Dioscorides, Pliny and Galen, aloe is a plant loved by so many cultures around the world.
Aloe is a powerful and famous first aid herbal remedy, most well-known for its ability to soothe and cool burns. Simple and safe, it soothes our skin and mucosa both topically and internally.
Aloe is one of our best slimers! Check out our detailed “Slip and Soothe” Materia Medica which has an Aloe entry along side several other slimy soothers like Marshmallow and Seaweed. If you’d like to view the Free School Class Video we taught on this, please visit the Herbalista Toolkit.
Evergreen perennial originated from the Arabian Peninsula but has made itself at home around the world. Literally. Since I was a child, my family has always had a plant in the window, and I’m sure the same can be said for many of you.
The light green leaves are thick and fleshy with white tipped, saw-like, serrated edges. The leaves grow in a basal formation.
the gooey insides (aka pulp/ gel/ juice); Please note: the outer leaf is also used in some remedies but that contains a powerful bitter compound which is a strong laxative. We are NOT talking about this part. Only the inner part.
When grown as a perennial houseplant in a sunny window, you can simply harvest from it whenever you have need. Cut only a section of the leaf that is what you need with scissors. Split it open and scrape out the gooey-goo!
anti-inflammatory, refrigerant, demulcent. emollient, mucilaginous, vulnerary, immunomodulator
skin + mucosal tissues
radiation burns, sunburns, wounds, ulcers, rashes, dermatitis, mucosal and skin inflammation, vaginitis, ulcers
PREPARATION + DOSAGE (EXTERNAL)
- Gel or Juice: apply topically as needed for burns or any dry and inflamed areas.
- See RAW Dressing (a blend of Rose Hydrosol, Aloe Gel and Witch Hazel distillate). This soothing spray can be used for a variety of inflammations from hemorrhoids to sunburn. Apply as needed.
- Mix Aloe gel with a couple drops of Lavender essential oil and apply topically for burns.
Aloe is well used as a vehicle to deliver other herbal extracts. For example:
- Add a few drops of Lavender essential oil or hydrosol for a cooling burn remedy.
- Blend into lotions with other vulnerary herbs such as Calendula for extra healing.
- Mix with other cooling anti-inflammatories for topical spray such as rose water
PREPARATION + DOSAGE (INTERNAL)
- Again, we are only referring to the inner pulp type of extract here. NOT WHOLE LEAF which would include the outer leaf containing alloin which is extremely laxative.
- Aloe Juice is a popular beverage in Mexico, Brasil, India and many other places around the world. Blended with other juices to make a cooling and refreshing drink, there are many different aloe based brands sold at grocery stores (i.e. Aloe King).
- Typical undiluted Dose: ½ – 3 fluid oz. of Aloe Juice per day.
- For inflammation and summer heat, pair with other cooling and refreshing herbs and foods such as cucumber or watermelon.
- For digestive heat, pair with carminatives such as chamomile and fennel.
SAFETY/ CAUTIONS: Inner pulp of Aloe considered a food and generally considered safe. Warnings against use while pregnant, most likely referring to use of the outer leaf which is extremely laxative.