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Know Your Naturals: Aloe Vera

How well do you #KnowYourNaturals? We thought we would dedicate this blog to the super succulent, Aloe Vera, because it’s magical!

The latin name:

Aloe Barbadensis

Where to find it:

You can find Aloe Vera growing wild in most tropical climates, although it is believed to have originated in the Arabian Peninsula. We have spent a long time diligently looking for the most ethical and quality Aloe Vera. This comes all the way from Spain to go into your truthpaste!

The earliest recorded use of Aloe Vera comes from a 16th century BC Egyption medical record called the Ebers Papyrus. Known as ‘The Plant of Immortality’ it has been used throughout the centuries in China, Japan, India, Greece, Egypt, Mexico, and Japan.

What is it used for?

What isn’t it used for? From a pleasant way to decorate your home to banishing dandruff, Aloe Vera is used widely for too many things than we can list here. Described as ‘The Wonder Plant’, Aloe Vera is used in food, drink, cosmetics and holistic remedies. 

Aloe Vera was an obvious choice for the truthpaste formula. With six different antiseptic properties it’s been shown to fight the causes of gingivitis or periodontitis, reduce inflammation of the gums and soothe sensitive teeth. 

How did you find it?

If you don’t live in a warm climate where types of Aloe Vera can be found in reasonable abundance, you may not necessarily have discovered this plant yet. Don, 35, a film maker from South London says; “I first discovered in El Salvador after a day of filming. I had sun cream on - but not on my legs. We were riding around in the back of an open back pickup and my legs got so burnt so badly, that by evening I was vomiting and nauseated. A member of the community centre who was looking after us cut a huge leaf off an Aloe Vera growing outside, slit it down the middle and opened it out and laid a leaf on each of my legs. In the morning the burn was gone, and I’ve never had a tan like it. The leaves were so thick, not like ones you get here in garden centres they were literally the size of my leg. I’ve deeply respected the plant ever since.” This wasn’t the only time that Aloe Vera came to Don’s rescue. “Years later, visiting Columbia, I suffered a fissure and used Aloe Vera to soothe the inflammation. I learnt how to prepare it by soaking in water to take it internally*. There’s a toxin that is bad for our stomach in it so it’s important to know how to do this properly.”  We want to stress that you should NEVER try to do this without professional advice and guidance. 

For others Like Caroline, 34, a data analyst from Worthing. Aloe Vera was a staple part of the household cupboard. “We use it for everything - we drink it, take supplements with aloe in, have aloe suncream, toothpaste, moisturiser and conditioner. I’ve even made up ’super shots’ with Aloe Vera to help prevent a hangover on a girls night out”

Katie, 41, from Harrogate, was recently introduced to the natural benefits of Aloe Vera when looking for a natural antibacterial hand gel. “There just wasn’t any available, and with 2 young children, I wanted to find an alternative. The Aloe Vera gel means that our hands don’t get dry as they did with some of the shop bought gel. It was after buying it, I learnt about the many other uses for it. I love it!”
We love to hear new and innovative ways that our customers are using natural products around the home, or in their day-to-day lives (whatever that might entail in the current climate!). We’d love to hear from you. Have you got a top tip for using Aloe Vera? Let us know! We will be posting the best ones, so do include a photo for us!

Aloe Vera, like any natural remedy, needs to be treated with care and respect. Whilst its benefits are arguably varied and versatile, it's important that it is used correctly.

So before you rush to order a 12 foot plant from the internet, remember that you shouldn’t use Aloe Vera internally if you are under 7, pregnant or breastfeeding. Aloe Vera can have a laxative effect so you need to consult your doctor or pharmacist before ingesting. 
 
Sources:
Ajmera N, Chatterjee A, Goyal V. Aloe vera: It's effect on gingivitis. J Indian Soc Periodontol. 2013;17:435–8.

Davis RH, Donato JJ, Hartman GM, Haas RC. Anti-inflammatory and wound healing activity of a growth substance in Aloe vera. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 1994;84:77–81.


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