All Aloe is Aloe Vera right? Nope. Turns out there are several hundred different species of aloe in existence. Out of all these different plants, only four are recognized as being of nutritional value to humans or animals, and Aloe Barbadensis Miller (pronounced bar ba den sis) is the most potent and nutritious of these four with the mature plants bearing the greatest benefits.
Everyone knows what to put on a burn - Aloe! It turns out that aloe has many more beneficial properties than just as a burn remedy. Modern research reveals that aloe enhances the proteolytic enzyme action in skin tissue. By helping the natural process of cell division and exfoliation, aloe effectively rejuvenates and rebuilds new healthy tissue at an accelerated pace.
Here are some fun facts about Aloe Barbadensis:
- Aloe Barbadensis gel has been well-known throughout history as a healing agent for burns, bruises, cuts, abrasions, insect bites, and other damaged skin tissues. The first detailed discussion of Aloe's medicinal value is found in "Papyrus Ebers", an Egyptian medical book written between 1553-50 BC.
Legend has it that Aloe Vera was Cleopatra's beauty secret. In the first century AD Discorides, a Greek physician, and Pliny, a Roman, wrote of the plant's many medicinal values for both internal and external use. Alexander the Great may have captured the island of Scotra to secure supplies of Aloe for his soldier's wounds. The journals of Marco Polo speak of its magical powers in the Orient, and Columbus mentions the mysterious properties of the plant in his writings too.
- As a succulent, the inner Aloe gel helps the plant maintain natural moisture and retards the evaporative process, even drawing in moisture from the air. These same great benefits are directly passed on to us when we put the gel on our skin!
Our skin is naturally covered with a waxy waterproof protection. We can see this when we get in the shower and the water beads up on our skin. Aloe gel is actually able to naturally penetrate this protective surface to take its healing and moisturizing processes deeper within.
- Not all parts of the Aloe Barbadensis plant are useful. Only the pure, innermost gel is beneficial to humans. The outer membrane of the Aloe Vera plant is made up of a thick waxy coating that protects the plant from being eaten by grazing animals. When broken or crushed this coating form aloins that are irritating and harmful to skin tissue.
I'm sure you've seen Aloe Vera being sold in a beach shop. It usually stands out with it's bright green color and terrible smell. Those are the aloins made from grinding up the whole aloe plant at once. You should only used Aloe Vera products that are completely clear. Only aloe that has been hand-picked and hand-filleted will be pure, clear, and devoid of this irritating substance.
- Aloe gel is actually sensitive to heat. It's surprising that a gel that's predominately used to heal burns is also damaged by heat. The pure inner gel must be cold stabilized, not heat pasteurized. Pasteurization "cooks-out" most of Aloe's natural benefits. Cold stabilization retains 100% of the plants natural beneficial properties.
- Aloe Barbadensis Miller is absolutely the best ingredient that you can find in skin care products. If a skin care company is using Aloe Barbadensis as the first ingredient in their products, you can be assured that they are going to be effective, valuable products.
Most skin care products use water as the number one ingredient. This makes products cheaper and totally unable to penetrate the skin. Check the labels of the skin care products you purchase and avoid products that use water as the first ingredient. Instead look for Aloe Barbadensis Miller. Your skin will thank you!
Leah Day is a skin care consultant for L'Bri Pure n' Natural.
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