Aloe vera has been used for centuries as a topical skin treatment. Typically, in Indian and Southeast Asian cuisines, aloe can be eaten, cooked or raw. The pale green “skin” of the stems hides the clear “meat” inside the leaves, as well as the natural gel that produces the plant, both of which are edible. You can use aloe in salads or in drinks where it refreshes. Aloe is considered safe for oral consumption, but since it has a natural laxative effect, long-term regular consumption is not recommended.
Preparing Raw Aloe
While the outer green skin of aloe can be eaten, it is often bitter and stiff, so it is removed and only the transparent inner part of the stem. The easiest way to get into the gel is to cleanse the skin with a sharp knife, and then crush the meat inside and eat it as is. However, more complex preparations often contain large pieces of the stem, cut into rectangular parts, which can then be added to salads or drinks for texture. You can rinse the gel that the plant naturally secretes before eating meat, but the gel is also edible, although the sticky texture can be unpleasant for some people.
One of the easiest ways to consume raw aloe is to turn it into juice. “You do not suck all the stalks of aloe, instead you mix pieces of aloe meat and gel with water and drink liquid. Since aloe is naturally a bit bitter, you can also soak pieces in water overnight and then drink only water. The texture of aloe is soft and slightly sticky, which some people may find unpleasant. You can also mix cooked aloe with fresh juices - for example, orange, lemon or even grapes - to mask the taste and texture, since aloe is a mild tasting. According to a review published in Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects, Second Edition by Mikey Foster, Duncan Hunter, and Samir Samman, aloe vera gel can help treat constipation and can help lower blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes. Raw weight of aloe and gel can also relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and ulcers.
The composition and calorie content of the plant
According to various sources, the leaves of the plant contain from 150 to 250 nutrients, and this applies to all varieties. The list of ingredients includes resinous compounds, organic acids (l-coumaric, cinnamon, citric and isolimonic, malic and succinic), esters and phenols, polyuronides, C-glycosyl-chromon-aloesin, chrysophanic acid, anthrons, homonataloin, emolin, aloin , nataloin, rabarberon, emodin, allantoin, volatile, and also vitamins A, C, E, PP and group B.
The energy value of the plant (per 100 g) is 20 kcal. There are no proteins and fats in it, but there is a small amount of carbohydrates - 5 g per 100 g of leaves. Due to this, the plant is referred to products with a low glycemic index (an indicator of the rate of breakdown of the substance and, at the same time, an increase in blood sugar), therefore it can be used as part of dietary dishes.
What is the difference between aloe and aloe vera? What is the difference between agave and aloe?
Aloe is a bush with fleshy leaves that spiral in a spiral from the center. The peculiarity of all plant species in the special structure of the leaves is that there are many cells inside them. As the aloe grows and grows, they are filled with moisture (juice) and biologically active substances. In nature, there may be specimens 3 m high. At home, species that grow to 70 cm in height are usually grown.
Aloe vera is used to prepare dishes, decoctions and infusions (photo: infakty.ru)
The most useful are varieties of aloe vera and agave. Other species may be poisonous.
Aloe vera from the agave is distinguished by such signs:
- aloe grows like a bush, and the agave grows like a small tree,
- agave is used for medicinal purposes externally in the form of ointments and gels, and aloe vera pulp is added to dishes and drinks,
- agave is more versatile. Almost his only contraindication (except for individual intolerance) is benign and malignant neoplasms. Aloe vera has more contraindications. Among them - pregnancy, hypotension (low blood pressure), disorders of the cardiovascular system, diabetes (with hypoglycemia),
- agave is used to treat almost any damage to the skin: wounds, cuts, scratches, burns, psoriasis, furunculosis, ulcers and eczema.
Medicinal properties of the plant: benefits and harms
Can I eat raw aloe vera? Aloe has many useful properties, in addition, their number significantly exceeds the number of possible risks. Some of them:
- lowering blood sugar. This is possible due to increased sensitivity to the hormone insulin, which is responsible for transporting sugar to the cells (especially relevant for people prone to developing diabetes),
- elimination of inflammatory processes due to the healing of wounds and their disinfection, and this is typical for both external and internal use of the plant extract,
- removal of plaque. Aloe juice is used as part of rinsing the mouth,
- memory improvement due to normalization of blood circulation. As soon as little nutrients and oxygen enter the brain, all mental processes get worse. Aloe prevents this
- prevention of interaction with free radicals, who are considered the culprits of cancer
- increase immunity. This is facilitated by the presence of vitamin C in the composition of the leaves of the plant.
This is not a complete list of the beneficial properties of the plant. However, before using aloe, you need to make sure that there are no direct contraindications.
Aloe in any form is contraindicated in:
- pregnancy. In the first and third trimester in the composition of dishes and drinks, as well as in cosmetics. Due to the plant extract in the early stages, the tone of the uterus may increase, and this is fraught with premature termination of pregnancy. In the second trimester, aloe can be used orally to maintain immunity, but in small doses (no more than half a teaspoon of pulp per day). In the third trimester, aloe can cause premature birth (there is a risk of giving birth to a premature baby),
- diabetes accompanied by hypoglycemia. Due to the use of the plant, the blood sugar level may decrease even more,
- low blood pressure. Aloe reduces it even more
- individual intolerance to the substance.
What happens if I eat aloe pulp every day? With excessive use, digestion may be impaired, because aloe has a laxative effect (with diarrhea it is better not to use it at all).
Is it possible to eat raw aloe (with peel, without peel)?
Can I eat aloe? Can. However, it all depends on its preparation. For most recipes from the entire variety of plants (there are about 500 species), aloe vera (the second name is “agave”) or aloe vera (the second name is “agave”) is chosen. Only these two species are considered safe. The rest are poisonous, therefore, they can cause serious violations. As a rule, agave leaves are intended for internal use, and agave - for the preparation of gels and ointments for external use.
For salads and dressings, it is preferable to use aloe pulp (photo: botanichka.ru)
Can I eat raw aloe leaves? You can, but you need to cook it correctly. Different parts of the plant are used for different purposes. The flesh is considered the most valuable. It is used in the form of gruel during the preparation of decoctions, infusions, gels, masks and lotions for the face and body. However, eating it is also possible. The main thing is to remove latex (yellowish milky juice that fills the space between the skin and pulp of the plant). If this is not done, the use of the plant can have, at a minimum, an excessive laxative effect and, as a maximum, serious disruptions to the functioning of internal organs.
Can I eat raw aloe gel? Aloe vera pulp is also called gel. Its taste leaves a hint of freshness, so aloe is often added to dietary food: salads and dressings for them, smoothies and cocktails. Such dishes and drinks are especially popular in the summer, because they quench thirst well. The main thing is that along with the gel, milky juice should not be added to food. It can ruin the taste of a dish, making it more bitter.
How to eat aloe gel raw? The gel is prepared as follows: cut a leaf of a plant, cut sharp edges from above and from the side. Carefully remove the skin on the flat side, take out, using a wooden spatula or teaspoon, a transparent gel and cut it into small cubes. Each cube is well washed with running water so that there is no dust, dirt and latex left on it.
Is it possible to eat peel of aloe leaves? The peel of the leaves of the plant can also be eaten. It reminds a little of celery - it is also crispy, juicy and smells wonderful. It can be added to salads and dressings, side dishes and vegetable drinks. The preparation rules are similar to gel preparation (the main thing is to remove the milky juice). If the peel is too stiff, you can leave it in cold water for half an hour before adding it to a dish or drink.
Can I drink pure aloe juice? Aloe juice is not suitable for internal use, because it is quite concentrated. Because of this, it can aggressively affect the stomach and intestines. Based on this, with abuse there is a likelihood of developing gastritis. To soften the effect of the juice, it is diluted with water in an equal or twice as large proportion, based on the recipe. Most often, such drinks are prepared in the form of decoctions or infusions.
How to eat aloe vera with honey. Another way to mitigate the possible aggressive effects of plant juice is to eat it with honey. Such a remedy is relevant for colds (cough, runny nose) and problems with the intestines (bloating, flatulence).
What happens if you eat aloe in the form of an industrial gel? Serious poisoning is possible, because the industrial gel from pharmacies is intended exclusively for external use.
Using a plant to treat diseases
Can cats eat aloe leaves? It is possible, but only aloe vera or agave. The remaining species are poisonous. However, it is better not to give these plants to animals. If the pet has eaten a leaf of another aloe variety, you need to take it to the veterinarian or try to induce vomiting yourself.
The myth of aloe freshness. Aloe juice does not have to be fresh. It can be stored in a refrigerator in a closed glass container for several days before that. However, after a week, it loses its healing properties, so it is better to use it as quickly as possible.
Application for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases
How to eat / drink aloe with heart and blood vessel problems?
Aloe is good for the heart and blood vessels (photo: ferran.rf)
- composition: 1 tbsp. l aloe leaves, 1 tsp Arnica flowers, 300 ml of alcohol, 1 tbsp. l dried hypericum. Preparation: pour herbs with alcohol and insist for 3-4 days in the sun. Then strain through several layers of gauze. Take 10 drops per glass of water three times a day before meals. The course of treatment is 2-3 weeks,
- composition: 1 tbsp. l aloe juice, 3 tbsp. l dried hypericum, 10 tbsp. l berries of hawthorn, 3 l of water. Preparation: pour the ingredients with boiling water, wrap and leave for 2 days. Strain the infusion through cheesecloth, squeeze the berries of hawthorn and add juice to the product. Apply 0.5 cups 4 times a day for 15 minutes. before meals,
- composition: 2 lower leaves of aloe, 0.5 cups of lemon juice, 0.5 l of honey. Preparation: grind aloe in a meat grinder or blender, squeeze the juice. Introduce lemon juice and honey. Take 1 tbsp. l three times a day one hour before meals for 2-3 weeks.
With hypertension of the first and second stages, atherosclerosis of cerebral vessels:
- composition: 1 tbsp. l aloe and mint, 2 tbsp. l St. John's wort, medium potatoes, 0.5 l of water. Preparation: pour herbs with boiling water, insist under the lid for 2 hours in a dark, cool place. Strain through cheesecloth. Grind raw potatoes on a grater or in a meat grinder, squeeze the juice. Pour potato juice into the cooled infusion. Use 2 tbsp. l 5-6 times a day one hour before meals or 2-3 hours after it. Used for hypertension,
- composition: 1 tbsp. l aloe, 1 tsp. St. John's wort, sage, and valerian root 100 ml of alcohol. Preparation: insist the ingredients for 16-18 days in alcohol, filter. Dip a cotton pad in the infusion, smell it 30 with each nostril. The way to use for 14-21 days,
- composition: 1 tbsp. l aloe and St. John's wort, 5 tbsp. l fresh nettle, 350 ml of vodka. Preparation: pour herbs with vodka, leave in the sun for 24 hours, then 5 days to keep in a dark place. Strain the remedy, apply for 2 tsp. on an empty stomach and before bedtime.
With heart cramps:
composition: 1 tbsp. l aloe, St. John's wort, pharmacy chamomile, field horsetail, 0.5 l of water. Preparation: pour herbs with boiling water, leave for 20 minutes, strain. Drink the composition during the day. The course of treatment is 7-10 days.
With heart failure and after myocardial infarction:
composition: 1 tbsp. l aloe, 1 tsp. elderberries, St. John's wort, oregano, 3 tsp. calendula Preparation: pour herbs with boiling water, simmer for 10 minutes over low heat, cool, strain. Consume 1 tbsp. l 4 times a day.
For migraines, stroke:
- composition: 1 tbsp. l aloe, 2 tbsp. l St. John's wort, 3 tbsp. l thyme, 300 ml of alcohol, 0.5 l of carrot juice, 200 g of sugar. Preparation: mix everything, leave for 3 days in a cool place under the lid. Strain. Take 50 ml half an hour before meals twice a day. Use once a week,
- composition: 1 tbsp. l aloe, 2 tbsp. l pine cones, 3 tbsp. l spruce needles, 2 l of water, 30 drops of alcohol tincture of St. John's wort, 2 raw eggs. Preparation: beat eggs, pour in alcohol tincture of St. John's wort. Bring spruce needles and cedar cones to a boil, leave over low heat for 20-30 minutes. (to softness). Cool the broth, add the eggs. The course of treatment is 10 weeks. The first 2 weeks to use 1 tsp. after eating, over the next two weeks - 2 tsp., another week - 4 tsp. Then reduce the amount of medication in the reverse order.
- composition: 100 g of aloe juice, 500 ml of honey, 300 g of chopped walnuts. Mix the ingredients, take 1 tbsp. l three times a day half an hour before meals,
- composition: 100 g of aloe juice and honey, 2 tbsp. l finely grated carrots or carrot juice. Mix all. Use 1 tsp. three times a day before meals,
- composition: take half a glass of plantain juice and honey. Bring the ingredients to a boil, pour in a thermos and insist for 2-3 hours. Add a glass of aloe juice, mix. Dilute 2 tbsp. l in a glass of water, drink before each meal,
- composition: 2 tsp. aloe juice, 1 tsp. honey, 10 drops of propolis tincture (10%). Mix everything, take twice a day half an hour before meals.
Is aloe juice good for children?
Children under three years old do not give juice from the plant. In the future, you can prepare on the basis of aloe juice drops in the nose or gargle for colds:
- aloe juice with lemon and honey. Mix the ingredients in equal amounts. Use in the form of drops in the nose (2-3 drops three times a day),
- aloe juice and rosehip oil. Mix everything in equal proportions, add 2-3 drops of essential eucalyptus oil. The product should stand for 10-15 minutes. Treat them with nasal passages 2-3 times a day. A cotton swab dipped in drops can be used for this. It is left in the nostrils alternately for 5-10 minutes. 2-3 times a day
- oil emulsion with aloe juice. Aloe juice is diluted with olive or peach oil in a ratio of 1: 3. The tool is used in the same way as the previous one.
During pregnancy and breastfeeding
During pregnancy, aloe is used mainly externally in the form of masks and gels for the face and curls. In the second trimester, aloe juice can be added to nose drops for colds or eat half a teaspoon of pulp to prevent constipation.
In an interesting position, aloe is recommended to be used carefully (photo: Life4me +)
In the first and third trimester, it is recommended to refuse the internal use of plant juice. This also applies to breastfeeding, because aloe extract can affect the composition of milk and cause digestive upset in the baby. In any case, the use of aloe during pregnancy and lactation should be agreed with the doctor.
Which aloe to choose?
For eating, it is better to choose Aloe Barbadensis Miller (“true aloe”). The most useful shrubs that were grown on the open ground.
For recipes, it is better to take the lower leaves of the plant 15-18 cm long. The plant should be 3-10 years old. In order for the plant to accumulate juice, it should not be watered 10-14 days before use.
Learn about other uses of aloe from the video:
Species and distribution of scarlet
There are more than 500 species of this plant, most of which are distributed in Africa, especially on the Arabian Peninsula, on about. Madagascar and the Republic of South Africa. Scarlet came to Europe in ancient times and spread further around the world. The plant grows especially well in temperate and tropical climatic zones.
The shape of the leaf, the presence of cilia or spikes, as well as the height of the trunk, depends on the type. Some species can reach up to 5 m in height and trunk thickness up to 30 cm. In the natural environment, scarlet blooms every year. Цветы располагаются на отдельной стреле и имеют вид колокольчиков или трубочек алого или светло-оранжевого цвета. Растения, которые выращиваются в комнатных условиях, редко достигают 1 м и практически никогда не цветут.
Размножение и уход за алое
Алое размножается отростками, которые вырастают около основного стебля. Due to the climatic characteristics of the plant’s homeland, at room temperature, the plant should be planted in light soil mixed with charcoal, put on the sunny side and irrigated no more than 1-2 times a week - an adult plant and no more than 3 times - freshly planted process. Be sure the plant needs complementary foods in the form of liquid fertilizer for cacti.
Aloe leaf collection
Leaves can be harvested year-round depending on needs, but for the best concentration of nutrients, the plant is not watered for 2 weeks before harvesting. Use should be the largest and fattest lower leaves not less than 15 cm in length. It is best to break the sheet at the base. They should be used within 4 hours, otherwise all useful substances will disappear.
Chemical composition and availability of nutrients
The composition of aloe juice includes vitamins (E, C, A and group B), microelements (manganese, copper, zinc, potassium), polysaccharides, kakhetins, enzymes, aloin, phytoncides, organic acids (cinnamon, l-coumaric, malic, isolimonic , citric and amber), phenols, esters and resinous substances. Aloe juice has bactericidal, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, helping in the treatment of skin diseases (ulcers, eczema, allergic rashes and redness, dermatitis), internal organs (gastrointestinal tract, liver, kidneys). In complex therapy, it is used to enhance the secretion of gastric juice and bile. With cuts and abrasions, a sheet cut along is used to disinfect and stop bleeding. The restorative properties of aloe help in rejuvenating the skin, moisturizing it, giving firmness and elasticity.
How to use scarlet
Most often, for medical purposes, use fresh aloe juice or cast into the pulp. When cooking gruel, it is necessary to remove the peel from the leaves along with the prickly edges, and pass the pulp through a meat grinder or crush it in a mortar. To get aloe juice with a high content of regenerating substances (biostimulated leaves), several preparatory procedures should be performed before squeezing the juice. To begin with, the plant is not watered for 20 days, thereby creating the effect of natural drought, then the leaf is torn off, wrapped in dark paper, leaving the ends open, and placed in the refrigerator for 10 days.
Such manipulations lead to the production of natural biostimulants in leaf cells that have anti-aging and regenerative properties. After exposure, the leaves are crushed and filled with water in a ratio of 1: 3. Then the mixture is allowed to infuse in a sealed container in a dark place for an hour. Ready juice should be filtered and stored in the refrigerator for no more than 14 days. Use aloe in this form for external grinding and as a lotion for the face. Also, in various folk recipes, alcohol tinctures, concentrates, compresses, ointments and emulsions are prepared from leaves.
The use of aloe in traditional medicine
On an industrial scale, aloe is used to produce water extract (to increase immunity, gastrointestinal ulcers, eye diseases, to reduce the toxic effects of antibiotics), tablets, wound healing ointments (for burns, dermatitis) and syrups (for cough and anemia). Also, intramuscular injection of Aloe water extract is indicated for bronchitis, pneumonia, bleeding ulcers, diseases of the oral cavity and abscesses.
The use of aloe in traditional medicine
There are a large number of folk recipes in which the main component is scarlet. Here are a few of them:
To increase immunity: Take daily 3 times a day for 1 tsp. half an hour before meals, a mixture of chopped walnuts (300 g), honey (200 g), aloe juice (100 g) and lemon (3-4 pcs).
For throat with acute respiratory infections and sore throat: Take aloe tincture. To prepare it, you need to grind the peeled aloe leaves (250 g) in a meat grinder, pour them with sugar (100 g) and let it brew for 3 days in a tightly closed jar in a dark place. Then pour vodka (250 ml) and still insist 3 days. For a complete recovery, tincture should be taken 1 tbsp. 30 minutes before meals 3-4 times a day. Also, rinse using juice of biostimulated leaves, diluted in water and brought to a boil. Cooled to 40 ° C, the throat is gargled as often as possible, and with purulent sore throat - every 30 minutes.
For gum and oral health: Rinse your mouth with aloe juice diluted in water (50/50), especially delaying the solution in places of bleeding or the gums from the tooth.
With peptic ulcer of the stomach and duodenum: Shredded scarlet leaves (150 g), sprinkle with sugar (100 g) and insist 3 days in a dark place. Dry red wine is added to the finished mixture and allowed to brew for another day. Take 1 tablespoon before meals. 2-3 times a day. The course of treatment is at least 1.5 months.
With prostate adenoma and problems with potency: Mix in equal parts (for example, 50 g each) aloe juice, goose fat, butter, rosehip powder and honey, boil in a water bath for 5-7 minutes, cool and refrigerate. Before taking 1 tbsp. the mixture should be dissolved in hot milk (200 g). The course is 7 days 3 times a day.
Aloe is considered a dietary product that is used in the preparation of salads, snacks and drinks. This plant goes well with apples, onions, carrots, honey, nettles, cabbage, rosehips and sea buckthorn. To get rid of the characteristic bitterness, be sure to add lemon juice or kefir to the dishes.
The use of aloe in cosmetology
Aloe is very often used to prepare face masks, scalp and bathtubs.
Mask for sensitive skin: Pour dry linden, chamomile, St. John's wort and rose flowers (1-2 tsp each) with boiling water (200 ml), cool to 40 ° C, add the pulp from one small sheet of scarlet and let it brew until it cools completely. In the finished mixture, gauze folded 3-4 times should be moistened and applied to the face. After 15 minutes, the remaining mask must be washed off with warm water.
Moisturizing mask: Mix aloe gruel (2 tsp), moisturizer (3 tsp), peach seed oil (3-4 drops) and vodka (1 tsp), apply the resulting mixture to previously cleansed face skin and leave for 20-30 minutes. Gently remove maxi residues with a napkin.
Firming hair mask: Mix aloe juice (2-4 sheets, depending on the length of the hair) mixed with one yolk and apply on the scalp and along the entire length of the hair. After 20 minutes, rinse with slightly warm water.
Anti-aging bath: Mix aloe juice (3-5 tbsp), milk (500 ml) and peppermint infusion (1-2 tbsp) and pour into a bath with warm water. To lie in such a bath should be no more than 15 minutes.
Dangerous and harmful properties of aloe
Aloe is categorically contraindicated: during menstruation and during pregnancy, with exacerbation of diseases of the gallbladder, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, hypertension, varicose veins, with hemorrhoidal and uterine bleeding, with bloody discharge from the respiratory system, with individual intolerance and children under 7 years of age.
You can use raw aloe in salads by adding small slices as apices or large slices as the main ingredient, often with some herb side dishes. This second type of salad is common to Indian and Southeast Asian crops, where raw aloe is more common. You can also mix the gel with salad dressings. Due to its mild flavor and slippery texture, you can process raw aloe in salads just like seaweed. The natural coolness of the plant goes well with strong flavors such as sesame seed oil, hot peppers and garlic.
You can also eat cooked aloe. In this case, larger pieces are used, and the delicate texture of the plant is best for delicate cooking methods such as poaching. Aloe releases a lot of water when it is cooked and becomes softer when it is compressed. You can gently soak or soak aloe before using it in juices, salads or even soups and roast for a milder taste. Fully cooked aloe no longer has a mucous texture, which can make it more attractive.