Health and Fitness By Mae Davies / January 6, 2015 Aloe Vera (Barbadensis), also known as Cape Aloe and in some countries simply as ‘Medicine Plant,’ has been known as a great topical medicine used commonly for burns, insect bites, itching, and also for the hair (for added sheen and strength). I remember having aloe vera while growing up; my mom was an enthusiastic gardener and she had quite a collection of plants. We had probably 2-3 potted plants of Aloe, and I remember we used it mainly for the hair; we would extract the gel from the thorny leaves and apply this straight to our scalps. Back then, we didn’t know of its other beneficial properties. Fast forward to this year, and I noticed my few potted plants of Aloe were getting crowded so I started re-potting them; lo and behold, they just started multiplying so fast. They are indeed ‘prolific,’ and from about 3 pots, I now have more than 10 pots and they keep on growing! I then started researching for ways to use them as I rarely get burnt and my skin and hair are doing fine. So I went to my bookshelf and picked up my favorite herbal book entitled “The Herbal Drugstore: The best natural alternatives to over-the-counter and prescription medicines” and looked up what it says about Aloe. Well, it confirms that “aloe’s ability to soothe burn pain is so well known that some chemists stock it right next to the sunscreen…” It also says that “aloe is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal and can speed up healing.” There’s no mention of it being edible. So I left it at that. I thought of giving away some pots to those who wanted it and managed to do that. But I still had so much left over, and because they grow so fast, I am re-potting almost every week now. I have been juicing in the past, but this year I bought a Nutribullet – also known as “The Superfood Nutrient Extractor.” It’s a blender/food processor designed to extract nutrients from food by breaking down the ingredients into its tiniest most absorptive form, and I was experimenting on different fruits and vegetables that I can put in it. While grocery shopping a few weeks ago, I noticed a carton of Aloe Vera Juice in the health and wellness section. From reading the instructions, I found out it is 100% made from the Aloe Vera gel, only liquefied into juice consistency so it can be consumed easily. Bingo! Now I know it is edible, but is it any good to drink it? I quickly searched online for the benefits of drinking aloe vera juice, and what a shocker! It lowers blood pressure, it thins the blood to prevent strokes, it’s good for the heart, kidney, and liver, and it lowers cholesterol… the list goes on! Some other very noteworthy benefits: Aids in digestion, Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS, and constipation Removes toxins Regulates triglycerides and blood sugar, improves glucose levels Aids in weight loss One doctor even mentioned in his article that “drinking aloe vera juice is the ultimate healthy habit,” and with so many women wanting to live a healthy lifestyle and opting for natural methods, that is great news! You don’t know how happy this made me, knowing my Aloe plants will be put to good use, and with an added bonus of getting all those amazing health benefits!