Sunday, July 31, 2016

A surprising superfood: Learn the history and benefits of Aloe Vera

“O Love, what hours were thine and mine, In lands of palm and southern pine; In lands of palm, of orange blossom, Of olive, aloe, and maize and vine.” — Alfred Tennyson

Aloe Vera is one of the great survival plants in the world. Said to originate to fruition in Africa, it now flourishes across the global landscape in temperate and tropical climates. This plant has been passed down through the centuries for its unique healing and longevity enhancing properties. The Egyptians are the first people in recorded history to utilize Aloe. It is rumored that the two Egyptian queens, Nefertiti and Cleopatra, used Aloe Vera frequently as part of their beautification routine. This plant was highly revered by the Egyptians as well as other cultures as part of a larger longevity diet and lifestyle. The Mohammedans viewed Aloe Vera as a religious icon, hanging it in the doorway believing that it would protect them from negative spirits. The people would create a mixture of aloe and myrrh for embalming upon the death of a Pharaoh.  People were allowed to enter the funeral of the esteemed king so long as they brought at least one pound of aloe vera. The lure of this plant has only escaped a small portion of the planet. Aristotle is said to have persuaded Alexander the Great to conquer the land of Socotra (now Yemen) for their aloe vera plantations. In the times of the Crusades, the Knights of Templar concocted a drink made out of palm wine, hemp, and aloe pulp. They called this “the elixir of Jerusalem”, believing this would add considerable years to their lives. Arab traders had brought aloe to India and Persia by around 600 BC. The Arabs figured out how to separate the gel from the outer shell.  They called this plant the “desert lily” for its inner and outer uses.

The history of aloe vera continues to span far across continents, making it’s way to Great Rome, China, Spain, Portugal, Holland, France, and Britain. Every stretch of land that has had its hands on aloe began to revere it and incorporate it into their own healing systems. Christopher Columbus discovered aloe vera on his second voyage to America reporting, “Four vegetables are indispensable for the well being of man: wheat, the grape, olive, and aloe. The first nourishes him, the second raises his spirt, the third brings him harmony, and the fourth cures him.”

Aloe vera exhibits highly unique properties that make this a true longevity enhancing superfood in every way. The plant displays a husky green armor where inside of each one of these sturdy leaves lies a mucilaginous gel. The aloe leaves must be filleted off in order to consume this potent medicinal food. Aloe can be used topically and internally. It is not widely recommended here to use many of the store-bought aloe vera concentrates or drinks as many are filled with preservatives and do not even remotely contain the medicinal qualities this plant is known for. The soft gel is highly concentrated with the long-chain sugars known as polysaccharides, providing satiation, long-term energy production, anti-inflammatory properties, and informing our immune system with highly advanced “biological-data” in which to perform better. The white blood cells that make up our immune system operate more efficiently on certain types of nutrients such as these bitter polysaccharide sugars. These rare sugars help modulate our immunity, which helps fight back all forms of infection such as fungal, viral, and nano-bacterial(calcification). Viral infections, in particular, are a major concern in the world at large. They are even smaller than bacterial organisms and require a viable host to survive. They invade our cells and, once in the body, begin to replicate virus cells in place of what was once a healthy cell. Aloe vera is a powerful ally in the removal of these virus-producing organisms by restoring the delicate balance of our inner terrain.

The glyconutrients (polysaccharides) in aloe vera help to boost the immune system by producing antioxidants that help identify and eliminate free-radicals in the body and increase longevity. Antioxidants such as vitamin C and E are present in aloe along with increasing the production of the glutathione syntheses enzyme in the liver. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that is important for the development of our white blood cells as well as preventing damage to other cellular capabilities that hinder as oxidation occurs. Every area in the body can be affected by the increased production of glutathione such as the liver, amino acid transport, enzyme activation, protein synthesis, and critical metabolic reactions that influence DNA repair.

Research studies done at the Medical Plant Information Centre, Mahidol University in Bangkok showed that aloe vera juice on its own could have significant effects on diabetic patients by lowering blood glucose and triglyceride levels. A study was conducted with two groups out of 72 patients with diabetes mellitus. One group took one tablespoon of aloe juice (not even the whole gel) twice a day and the other was administered a placebo. Their results showed that after two weeks, the fasting blood glucose levels of the patients who drank the aloe juice was generously reduced and continued to improve as the study progressed.

In the book, Sugars that Heal, Emil I. Mondoa, MD, Mindy Kitei attests to a case where Aloe Vera was used to help stabilize a cancer condition where traditional medical treatment was ineffective.

“In a 1998 study conducted in Milan, Italy, twenty-six patients with advanced solid tumors (including cancers of the breast, gastrointestinal tract, brain, and lung) who hadn’t responded to traditional therapy were treated daily with 20 milligrams of melatonin, which has been shown to induce some benefits in untreatable metastatic cancer patients. Another twenty-four patients received 20 milligrams of melatonin daily plus a tincture (alcohol-based liquid) of Aloe vera, 1 milliliter twice a day. A partial response was achieved in two of the twenty-four patients treated with melatonin plus aloe, whereas none of the patients treated with melatonin alone improved. In addition, the cancer stabilized in fourteen of the aloe patients, compared with only seven of the melatonin patients.”

This plant is best known for it’s topical uses along with it’s astounding digestion-enhancing properties. Aloe aids the body in calming the digestive system and can be helpful for many digestive disturbances such as ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome. Our internal surface structure is lined up with epithelial cells that are responsible for connective tissue maintenance where aloe vera supports the replication of these cells, making it a key component of any longevity diet. When our inner environment is clean and functioning optimally then our outer environment begins to show it. The topical application can be remarkable for sunburns, scars, psoriasis, open wounds, and fire burns.

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