All about aloe vera

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aloe on the green divas

aloe vera

We recently had a listener inquire about aloe, so we went to our favorite green diva herbalist and healer, Brigitte Mars, who answered her question and more. Listen to this Green Divas Health & Beauty podcast, then read on for more details about aloe. ~ GD Editor

almost all you need to know about aloe

botanical name

Aloe vera, a. barbadensis, a. ferox


Liliaceae (lily)

The word aloe is derived from the arabic word alloeh, which means shiny and bitter and refers to the aloe gel. Vera means true in latin.

part used

Gelatinous substance in the stalks


Important constituents:  aloins, anthraquinones, polysaccharides, salicylic acids, calcium oxalate, glucose


Cool, bitter, moist

physiological effects

Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory,  antifungal,  anti-inflammatory, biogenis stimulator, cholagogue, demulcent,  emmenagogue, emollient,  laxative,  purgative, rejuvenative and vulnerary


medicinal uses

  • References to its use as a healing agent can be found amongst early egyptian, chinese, greek, indian and christian literature. Legend says that it was the desire for aloe plants that caused alexander the great to conquer the island, socotra, where aloe was cultivated in the fourth century b.c. Aloe is also thought to have been one of cleopatra’s beauty secrets.
  • Aloe vera gel cools heat and inflammation in the body.  It helps the body slough off dead tissue and stimulates the formation of new cells and can help prevent scarring.
  • It is also known to help with arthritis, bursitis, burns, constipation, dysentery, jaundice, sore throat, tuberculosis and ulcers among other things.
  • Applications of aloe as a lotion, poultice, salve, shampoo, or spray are all used to improve; acne, bites, boils, burns, dandruff, dermatitis, fever, hemmorhoids, herpes, insect bites, poison ivy, psoriasis, rashes, ringworm, scars, sunburn and wounds.
  • As a flower essence aloe vera restores inner balance in cases of exhaustion.
DYK #aloe is not only an amazing #healer, but also considered #GoodLuck? @brigittemars tells us… Click To Tweet

other uses

African hunters sometimes rub aloe juice on their bodies to reduce sweating and mask human scent.

Parents have sometimes applied aloe gel to the finger tips of children that bite their nails in order to get them to break the habit.

Around the world, aloe is considered a symbol of good luck.

edible properties

Some people include aloe juice as a beverage, in a shot glass taken twenty minutes before a meal to heal irritated digestive surfaces. it is often mixed with juices or in smoothies, for health purposes.


  • Aloe should not be used internally during pregnancy.
  • Using aloe during nursing may have an overly laxative effect on the infant.
  • Excessive use may aggravate hemorrhoids.  
  • High doses may cause vomiting.  
  • When used as a laxative, combine with other carminative herbs to prevent gripe.
  • When used topically, aloe is best combined with other moisturizing ingredients to prevent drying the skin.aloe2.

range and appearance

Aloe, a perennial plant grows in full sun, without too
much water. It can be stemless or with very short stems. The leaves are lanceolate, thick and fleshy, green to gray green in color with a serrated margin. The flowers are produced on a spike, each flower pendulous with a yellow tubular corolla. Aloe is one of the easiest house plants to grow. There is a saying that, “if you can’t grow aloe, get plastic plants.”


Listen to the latest full episode of the Green Divas Radio Show …

GD Ticker, Green Diva Foodie-Philes, Green Divas Health & Beauty, Green Divas Radio Show, Grow It, Healthy Living, Natural Health

About the author / 

Green Diva Brigitte

Brigitte Mars, an herbalist and nutritional consultant with over forty years experience, is the author of Beauty by Nature, Rawsome!, The Sexual Herbal, Addiction Free Naturally, Healing Herbal Teas, The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine, The Country Almanac of Home Remedies, and co-author of The Hemp Nut Health and Cookbook. She is also the author of a phone App called IPlant. Learn more about Brigitte at

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    Psychic Nest April 13, 2016 at 5:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Brigitte,

    We hear so many times about aloe vera but really, how many things do we really know about it? The tip about putting some aloe vera on kids’ fingertips so as to stop biting their nails is fantastic! One of my nieces is very sensitive to her surroundings and gets stressed easily, so biting her nails is the first thing she does. Thank you for the amazing tips!


    Bonnie K. Aldinger April 15, 2016 at 10:03 am -  Reply

    When I was a kid in Hawaii, my mom always kept an aloe plant in the kitchen. When you burned yourself, you would just break off a point and rub it on the burn. Worked so well!

    I’ve never been tempted to try one of these aloe drinks ’cause I remember the sap as being very, very bitter.

    Marcia @ Menopausal Mother April 15, 2016 at 10:51 pm -  Reply

    We had an aloe plant in our backyard and it was great for sunburns! My mom used to rub the sticky inside of the leaf on the burn and it took the sting away instantly.

    Brenda Keene April 22, 2016 at 12:15 am -  Reply

    Thank you for this infor. On the many uses of aloe vera. Esp. On acne and for ulcers.

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