HERB: Aloe Vera (Aloe Vera); 芦荟 lú huì
FAMILY: Liliaceae (Lily family).
Besides being great for soothing and healing the digestive tract, you can use the inner gel topically for burns or other inflammatory skin conditions.
Also I just learnt that Aloe Vera could help expel worms and is toxic to growing embryos and pregnant women! (Uterine stimulant [Emmanagogue])
The inner gel can be soothing for the digestive tract – peptic ulcers, indigestion, IBS, leaky gut.
The yellow sap is an irritant laxative; purgative for constipation.
Topically used for inflammatory skin conditions/disorders, burns, blisters, rashes.
Consume the inner gel in lime/lemon juice for a refreshing and soothing drink!
Be sure to avoid the yellow sap that oozes out as you cut – its a laxative/purgative
Cautions: not for long term internal use. (Chronic long term toxicity – electrolyte loss, especially potassium)
CONTRAINDICATIONS: avoid in pregnancy (abortifacient), menstruation, haemorrhoids, liver/gallbladder degeneration
PROPERTIES: Bitter cold [China]; Bitter, cool [India].
Leaves: bitter hot (?) moist.
Gel: salty cool moist.
Category: downward draining herbs – purgatives
Alterative – A substance that improves detoxification and aids elimination to reduce the accumulation of metabolic waste products within the body. They were formerly known as alteratives or blood purifiers and are largely used to treat skin and musculoskeletal disorders.
Anticarcinogenic – anti-cancer
Antifertility – capable of or tending to reduce or destroy fertility; contraceptive
Antipeptic ulcer – A substance that prevents or relieves ulceration (usually in the GI tract)
Antipyretic/Febrifuge – A substance that reduces or prevents fever.
Anti-bacterial / Anti-viral/ Anti-fungal
Antiseptic/Antimicrobial – A substance that inhibits the growth of or destroys micro-organisms.
Anthelmintic – A substance that kills or assists in the expulsion of intestinal worms.
Bitter tonic – A substance that is bitter tasting and stimulates the upper gastrointestinal tract via the bitter-sensitive tatse buds of the mouth and /or by direct interaction with gastrointestinal tissue. Bitters have a promoting effect on all components of upper digestive function, namely the stomach, liver & pancreas. In addition to appetite & digestion they improve general health & immune function.
Cathartic – A cathartic is a herb that accelerates defecation. This is a much harsher and stronger action than laxatives, which ease the movement of the bowels. These hers are used to detoxify the lower bowels of toxins. Unwise and prolonged use of cathartic herbs can cause electrolyte imbalances and dehydration.
Demulcent – A substance that has a soothing effect on mucous membranes e.g. within the respiratory, digestive and urinary tracts.
Diuretic – A substance that increases urinary output.
Embryotoxic – toxic effects on the embryo of a substance that crosses the placental barrier
Emollient – A substance used to soothe, soften or protect skin.
Emmenagogue – A substance that initiates and promotes the menstrual flow. Several of these herbs are also regarded as abortifacients.
Hypocholesterolaemic – A substance that reduces the level of cholesterol in blood.
Antidiabetic/hypoglycaemic – A substance that alleviates diabetes or the effects of diabetes.
Hypolipidaemic – A substance that reduces the lipid level (cholesterol & triglycerides) of blood.
Insecticidal – a substance used for killing insects.
Laxative – A substance that facilitates evacuation of the bowel.
Refrigerant – A substance that has cooling properties, particularly when applied to the skin.
Stomachic – a substance that promotes the appetite or assisting digestion.
Vulnerary – A substance that promotes the healing of wounds when applied locally.
- Clears heat and moves the bowels.
- Drains heat and fire.
- Clears liver heat and damp heat.
- Cools the blood.
- Invigorates blood.
- Promotes the menses.
- Promotes healing and benefits the skin.
- Benefits the digestion.
- Kills parasites.
“Those who have jaundice should put aloe in cold water overnight and drink in the morning and before going to sleep. Repeat this 3 or 4 days and the person will be healed.”
Hildegard of Bingen