A living aloe plant in your home can look beautiful and provoke happy thoughts of sunnier climates. Aloe is also a great medicinal plant to have around to soothe the inflamed skin of playground-grazed knees or minor kitchen burns. If you choose to use your aloe plant topically, cut the gel-rich, older leaves from its base and store the leaf in a covered glass dish in the fridge to help keep it fresh.
The health benefits of this little ‘miracle plant’ linger on long after you go to bed, as the plant absorbs carbon dioxide during the night, thereby making it an efficient air purifier. Among other things, aloe is also used as a mouthwash, a pesticide/ fungicide and there is interesting research that suggests a link between aloe vera and blood sugar regulation.
As a supplement
As a dietary supplement, aloe is pretty nutrient dense, containing vitamins A, D, C, E, minerals, enzymes and most of the essential amino acids. The anti-inflammatory, gut-calming actions of aloe vera and its ability to aid digestion, have led to numerous studies looking at the effects of aloe on common digestive system disorders. A recent control study showed the reduction of inflammatory markers in ulcerative colitis and IBS sufferers in the participants consuming dose-specific aloe vera juice.
Aloe, Apple & Lime Shots
Stress, enzyme / nutrient deficiencies, hurried eating and processed foods can all effect our digestion and many of us can use a little help with digestion from time to time. I like to bring out a tray of aloe shots as an after meal tonic and this recipe combines hydrating green apples, antioxidant-rich limes, a couple of grapes for sweetness and a dash of gut healing aloe vera juice.
When choosing aloe vera juice, ensure that you choose natural versions, rather than the processed, sugary corner shop variety and do not exceed daily dose stated on the label.
Ingredients – makes 6 shots
4 green apples
80ml aloe Vera juice
6 sweet green grapes
How to prepare
Using a juicer, add the limes, grapes and apples in that order and juice on a medium setting
Pour in the aloe juice and stir in some ice
Serve in a short shot glasses