Aloe Vera: The Natural Healing Choice

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The Benefits of Eating and Drinking Aloe Vera Juice/Gel and Internal Uses

This is one of the questions I am asked most often, and one of the most dangerous questions for me to answer. Why? I hear you ask.

Mainly because I'm not a nutritionist, or qualified to prescribe you Aloe Vera that you can take internally, and any suggestion on my part of telling you, or advising you what to do, could lead me open to any number of complaints, or much worse. So you will forgive me if I am a little coy about advising you on taking Aloe Vera internally.

So why this page? Up to now we've talked about external uses, but besides restoring skin tissue, Aloe Vera boasts some impressive internal health benefits too.
NutriBullet Drinks Maker
Whilst I could never come outright and say, eat this, or drink that, for the reasons already stated, I CAN tell you what I do, and why. The rest then, is up to you. If you are happy to proceed on that basis, then please read on.

I have been making my own cordial for many years. I will go out collecting field edge (not roadside) blackberries and elderberries. I grow black currents, red currents, apples galore and many more fruits and vegetables that are otherwise good for juicing or smoothies. During times of glut, these are prepared and stored in the freezer.

It was with this background that I became interested in bringing the healing properties of Aloe Vera into my diet, whilst at the same time seeing little green bottles of Aloe juice (Aloe water really) in many of the major supermarkets. I even tried a few of them, but quickly decided, they were either diluted beyond any use, had more sugar than water, even worse, had artificial sweeteners, and more preservatives than your average Pharaoh in his tomb.

So there they are on the shelves, ranging from about 75p to 2.50 for a little bottle, totally dumbed down to the cheapest ingredients, with colouring to keep consistency, preservatives to increase shelf life, and excessive sweetness to appeal to most tastes. Never mind if that's the best way to drink it or not, but that's supermarkets for you.

I find this is the best part about growing your own Aloe Vera. If you only make as much as you can drink in a few days, then the best way to preserve your Aloe gel and juice, is to leave it in the plant until you need it. Anyway, this is when I started experimenting with making my own Aloe drink.

Aloe Drink: This is my own recipe for a refreshing, tasty drink, that I enjoy from time to time.
  • I collect together all or some of the following ingredients:
    Water. Any kind is fine (tap water, filtered water, mineral water, sparkling water).
    Aloe Vera Drink A largish Aloe Vera leaf, or a slice off of an extra large Aloe leaf.
    Honey (one or two teaspoons to taste).
    A Nutri-Bullet, liquidizer or hand whisk.

    In it's purest form, this is all you need.
    But it is sometimes nice to add your favourite juice, fruit, spice or flavouring, to give it some variety.

    Perhaps a little orange juice.
    Perhaps a little pinch of turmeric.
    Perhaps a handful of black currents, or black berries, or blue berries, even a few strawberries or a banana.

  • Method:
    Take your Aloe leaf and wash the outer skin. Slice down both sides of the leaf to cut off any spines, and lift one side away from the other (or use a fillet knife as you would when filleting a fish) to cut the rind away from the gel. Or, if you just have one side of rind removed, use a tea spoon and gently scrape out the clear gel. Be careful with this that you don't scrape too hard and pick up some green or yellow of the rind, as this is very bitter, called aloin.

    Place this gel and juice, which will feel quite slimy, into your blender. Add some water, any other ingredients you wish, and the honey. Then whizz around in your blender for a few seconds. More if you like your drink smooth, less if you like a few 'bits' in your drink (like orange juice with bits), this is chopped up Aloe pulp, and is the way I prefer it myself.

    I will just say one thing more. I find I like mine warm, so I tend to use hot water (not boiling) from the kettle. This helps the honey to dissolve and also hightens any natural sweetness in the drink. But the main reason, is because I absolutely hate the taste of wheatgrass. You know the stuff, that disgusting green powder that has so many health and energizing benefits. I have long since given up sprinkling it on my cereal, and now find that it is quite palatable in this form. Just a small half-teaspoon goes down quite well.

    Some people will use all orange juice and no water, or half and half, which is fine. It is nice to add a splash of lemon juice or even grape juice to give it some 'bite', but it's not necessary. The important thing, I find, is to experiment and have a little fun with it.
Aloe Gel for Eating: If I decide I want to eat the gel, either just for my general health and wellbeing, for a particular reason, such as a bit of acid reflux, for tiredness or another illness, then I prepare it this way.
  • Slice off a large Aloe leaf, usually the largest and healthiest, one currently available. This will not harm the plant, as the end will dry and seal over. Wash the leaf under water or wipe with a damp cloth. Now this bit is very important, stand the leaf vertically, cut side down on some kitchen paper or inside a sieve.
    Aloe Vera Slices of Leaf
    This is to allow the aloin to drain out. You will see this as a dark or yellow liquid that drains from the cut site. Remember aloin (see glossary) is a bitter liquid that can have a laxative effect. Great if you are constipated, but most unwelcome if you aren't. This will only take a minute or two and you can continue to the extraction process.

    Using a sharp knife, slice off the spines and a little of the back rind of the leaf. Use the knife to slice off the back rind along its length. If you notice any yellow juice leaking out, lift the leaf from the plate or cutting board and wipe away.

    If the leaf is fat and full of gel, then continue with the knife and remove the rind on the other side until you are left with a solid lump of clear slimy gel. Once again clean up your work area to remove any remaining aloin. You can now slice the gel into cubes. Sometimes I eat these cubes straight from the leaf. They are fairly tasteless and have a consistency like those cubes of jelly you may use to melt down for a trifle base.

    If you have rather less gel to work with, it may be easier to scrape off the gel with a teaspoon. Be careful not to pick up any green or yellow from the inside of the rind, so scrape carefully. Your gel should be clear.

    How you eat it is really up to you. As I said, I just eat small cubes (about oxo cube size) and down the hatch they go, but I have also cooled it in the freezer, when the gel is rather less defined, like when extracted with a spoon, and mix it into some ice-cream. Absolutely delicious, because all you can taste is your ice-cream.
It's not that I'm saying Aloe Vera is good for EVERYTHING, that's probably not possible, if for no other reason than nature likes variety. Just like you can't live on chips (even though some people try). What I do like to say is 'TRY it on everything', to see if it makes any difference. If it does, that's great! If not, try something else.

To the sceptic, I have little sympathy, as nowadays almost everyone will know someone who has benefited from the healing properties of Aloe Vera, even if to broadcast the fact invites scorn from the medical professions. I love to be able to show my children, the next generation, that there are alternatives to the brow beating we get from big pharma, with their expensive TV ads, that try to convince us they are the only ones who can help us. Poppycock!

It's worth remembering, over two-thirds of the worlds population can't afford expensive drugs and so are routinely treated with herbs, and plants, stems, leaves, roots and honey, that are not only effective, but are known to be equal to, and in some cases superior to, synthetically produced medicines. In addition to all the external benefits already acknowledged, aloe vera is now known to be very effective in treating acid reflux, to improve brain function, to lower cholesterol, and to help diabetics control their blood sugar. It is helpful in a variety of digestive disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and possess soothing properties that help conditions that promote inflammation and over-acidity.

In general, the joints and muscles benefit from aloe's anti-inflammatory properties, as does the immune system, not in the least because of the 200 or so nutritional compounds that the body needs to be fit and healthy, many of which are found in our humble, mine and yours, Aloe Vera.

Ready to give this a try for yourself? Order from here and I'll pick you a fine specimen from my stock


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