Our skin is the largest organ in the human body and functions in six different ways (protection, sensation, heat regulation, absorption, and excretion, secretion) to preserve our overall health. Specifically because, skin is our body’s first line of defense, it is essential to nourish our skin with natural ingredients like aloe vera that help produce the same substances (collagen) found in healthy skin cells.
Outside elements and microorganisms are blocked by the skin’s protective barrier called the acid mantle. The acid mantle is the protective barrier made up of sebum, lipids, sweat, and water that form a hydrolipidic film to protect the skin from drying out and from exposure to external factors. Damage to this barrier is the cause of many skin problems, including sensitivities, aging, and dehydration.
What’s most miraculous about the skin is its ability to heal itself. When injured the skin can repair itself to protect the body from infection and damage from injuries. Through a hyper production of cells and blood clotting, injured skin can restore itself to its normal thickness.
For thousands of years around the world, aloe vera has been honored as a healing plant for its recuperative properties. It is also called “the vitality of youth” and is best known as a topical treatment for injuries to the skin, it also has potent therapeutic effects when taken internally. Aloe vera is most widely studied for its ability to promote wound healing by stimulating the turnover of collagen in the skin, facilitating faster wound repair.
A recent report found that patients on a burn unit treated with aloe gel healed in less than two-thirds of those who whose wounds were treated in the customary manner. Aloe cream has been used successfully in the treatment of psoriasis, with more than 80 percent of patients in a Swedish study reporting substantial benefit. The widespread benefits of aloe in the treatment of tissue injury were demonstrated in a study on frostbite in which aloe showed an ability to limit permanent damage and speed recovery.
Flourishing easily as an indoor potted plant you can easily keep aloe close at hand to treat minor burns and abrasions. For people with inflammatory imbalances such as hepatitis, heartburn, skin rashes, emotional irritability, and inflammatory arthritis, take one to two ounces of aloe vera juice three times a day. For teenagers with acne, two ounces of aloe juice mixed into four ounces of carrot juice help reduce aggravated skin.
For stubborn skin irritations topically, aloe gel is recommended. Mixing turmeric powder with aloe, applied directly to insect bites, burns, or acnes sores can facilitate rapid healing. Blended with dried lavender flowers, cumin, and comfrey, aloe gel makes a nice facial mask that replenishes dry skin and improves tone.
Aloe vera juice is readily available at health food stores. The usual dosage is one-half to two ounces, mixed in apple or cranberry juice, two to three times per day. Fresh aloe gel can be obtained by splitting a leaf with a knife and scraping the gel.