Aloe Vera Is Super
Known to the Egyptians 6,000 years ago as “the plant of immortality,” the aloe vera plant is again gaining a place of distinction amongst health conscious people, and not just as a topical gel to treat wounds, skin infections, burns and other skin conditions.1-4 More and more this plant’s spiky leaves can be found popping up among the other mixed greens at local markets and health food stores. A properly prepared inch or half-inch section of aloe vera (see below) can be added to juices, salads, soups, etc. We can attest that it is good for reflux and it is great in our smoothie.
Aloe vera is used for the treatment of reflux and heartburn. In addition, proponents of culinary aloe claim that it has benefits as a natural antibiotic and for the treatment of ulcers, irritable bowel, diabetes, kidney disease, and bladder problems.1,3 Scientific research has yet to refute or substantiate those claims.2 There are some preliminary research studies that suggest that aloe may lower blood glucose in diabetic patients and reduce blood lipid levels in patients with hyperlipidaemia.4 Yes, more research is needed, but it looks like aloe vera may be a very beneficial “superfood.”
- Aloe Vera Not Just for Sunburns The Food Channel Online. Retrieved 2010-2-17.
- Eshun Kojo, Quian He. Aloe Vera: A Valuable Ingredient for the Food, Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Industries—A Review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, Volume 44, Number 2, March-April 2004, pp. 91-96(6).
- Root, Jessica. Forty Amazing New Uses for Aloe Vera. Planet Green: Discovery Online. Retrieved 2010-2-17.
- Vogler BK, Ernst E. Aloe Vera: A Systematic Review of its Clinical Effectiveness. British Journal of General Practice 1999;49:823-828.
Recipe: Silky Pear Smoothie with Aloe Vera
2 pears (peeled, cored, seeds removed and diced
2 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp ginger
2 Tbsp aloe (cut in half a leaf of aloe and scrape the rich clear cream from leaf)
1 cup of yogurt
1 cup of ice
In a blender, place the pears, sugar, ginger, aloe, yogurt and ice.
Blend until it becomes smooth.
Photos by Jamie Koufman