What is Aloe Vera?
There are over 240 different species of Aloe, growing mainly in the dry
regions of Africa, Asia, Europe and America.
Although Aloe Vera is a member of the Lily family, it is very-cactus like in its characteristics. This unique plant also belongs to a larger plant family called "Xeroids". Of the 240+ species of Aloe, only four are recognized as being of nutritional value to humans and animals. Aloe barbadensis miller (Aloe Vera species) is the top of these four. Significantly the top.
Thus, any aloe-based product you use should be made from barbadensis miller species.
Did You Know...
You can drink Aloe Vera? You've probably used it when you've cut or burned your skin and had fantastic results. You should consider drinking Aloe Vera too. Here's why...
Aloe Vera (barbadensis miller) contains over 20 minerals, all of which are essential to the human body. The human body requires 22 amino acids for good health -- eight of which are called "essential" because the body cannot fabricate them. Aloe Vera contains all of these eight essential amino acids, and 11 of the 14 "secondary" amino acids. Aloe Vera has Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E. Vitamins cannot be manufactured within the body, and some cannot be stored by the body, so it is necessary for the diet to sustain a continuous supply.
When drinking FLP Aloe Vera, it is recommended that - to get a steady supply of these minerals, amino acids and vitamins - one should drink between two to four ounces of Aloe Vera Gel twice daily.
How Aloe products are manufactured is extremely important!
The gel of the Aloe plant, when exposed to oxygen for a prolonged time (about four hours) oxidizes - rendering it worthless. (This is the same reaction to air as an apple undergoes when the "insides" are exposed to air - it quickly browns due to oxidation.)
Thus, you want the manufacturer's reliable assurance, in writing, that not only is the species correct - but also from harvest, to filleting (removing the outer leaf to retain only the clear gel), to manufacturing the process is four hours or less. If you can't have this assurance, look elsewhere.
Do They Grow Their Own Aloe - or Buy in Bulk?
You want a manufacturer who grows their own Aloe Vera in their own fields. Some manufacturers may purchase Aloe Vera in bulk once or twice a year and it "sits around" while waiting for the manufacturing process. Thus, if the Aloe Vera is grown on company OWNED and CONTROLLED fields, you can be better assured of freshness and nutritional value.
A Stable Gel - or the Brown Apple Syndrome!
Aloe must be "stabilized". This is a process (involving neither heat nor chemicals that would destroy the Aloe's original compounds) that assures the Aloe (such as the final juice or gelly, or lotion product) is essentially the same as if you freshly filleted the leaf yourself.
If it is not properly stabilized (in four hours or less from the time the leaf is harvested), it may also be of no nutritional value. The reason is because Aloe Vera oxidizes within four hours (much as an apple or potato turns brown when exposed to the air for a period of time) from the time the gel is exposed to the air. Once so oxidized, the gel loses it's nutritional value.
Again - Aloe barbadensis miller, of the 200+ species of Aloe Vera, is the most potent and nutritious - with only mature plants bearing the greatest benefits. If your Aloe Vera product isn't produced from the Aloe barbadensis miller plant you are not getting the best quality product. If it is not properly stabilized (in four hours or less from the time the leaf is harvested), it may also be of no nutritional value.
BOOKS - Aloe Vera
The following are recommended books:
Aloe Vera : A Scientific Approach
by Robert H. Davis
Review: February 2, 1998
Excellent science text for serious researchers & therapists. Dr Robert H Davis has gathered together scientific publications into a very worthwhile book on Aloe Vera. It is aimed fairly and squarely at the scientific/medical researcher with an interest in the uses of Aloe Vera in particular, or complementary therapies in general. Dr Davis has an impeccable academic background, and has spent the last ten years researching in this area, so he was ideally placed to compile this text on the latest developments in Aloe research. He is an advisor to the International Aloe Science Council.
Anyone with a keen interest in the Aloe Vera story
will find the hard science contained in this book of great value. I strongly recommend it.
Aloe Vera : Nature's Legendary Healer
by Alasdair Barcroft
Review: Aloe vera has been known for its healing properties since the dawn of civilization, but only recently have scientists attempted to verify the many claims that have been made for it. This authoritative book sets out to separate the truth from the legend and offers a practical guide to using aloe vera for many conditions that it has been found to alleviate.
The Complete Book of Herbs
by Lesley Bremness
Synopsis: With more than 340,000
copies sold in hardcover, this essential, full-color resource is now available in
paperback. Revealing the enormous potential of herbs, this sourcebook includes information
on planting, growing, and harvesting herbs, as well as the main uses of herbs. It also
offers an exhaustive identification guide, recipes, ideas for gifts, and much more.
from Glenburn, ME , January 13, 1999
Simply the best!
This is the primary reference I use in
my herb garden. I own and have looked at most books out there and this always comes out on
top. If you only buy one herb book this should be it. Comes in soft cover too. --This text
refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A reader from Massachusetts, USA , June 17, 1998
Everything you want to know about
herbs is in this book!!!!! Of all the books I have in my library of herbs none can
match descriptive integrity of this book. Between the uses and the way to grow them
is unmatchable to this one book. I hope everyone takes the time to read or look over this
book as I did.
From Sacramento, CA USA , October 13, 1997
Delightful reference book I got the last copy in the store and all others will just have to go wanting! I spent hours searching for an herb book that would fulfill all my interests and questions on general herb useage and this book is it. I keep it in the "library", that's how good it is!!