I hope you have all survived the terrible storm without any damage to yourselves. As far as loss of property, as terrible and heartbreaking as it is, we can and we will, rebuild, replace and renew. We are Americans and we can do anything! Escaping with our families intact is the greatest blessing. We live in a wonderful community and are helping one and other as never before. That loving kindness will help us all to heal.
Almost everyone I know has an aloe plant. The fleshy, spikey leaves of the aloe are well known for their gelatinous interior and the fantastic ability to soothe and heal burns, cuts and scrapes.
Aloes grow in many tropical climes. When I visited the Bahamas, one of the junkets was to an aloe farm where thousands of plants were thriving in the hot sun. Row upon row of aloes in every size was a spectacular sight!
The leaf of the aloe can also be dried and ground into powder and then placed into capsules. Aloe has anti-inflammatory properties that help to relieve the pain and progression of arthritis and may help to repair joint damage.
Alexander the Great went bonkers when he discovered that they grew in huge numbers on an island off the coast of Somalia. He decided that he would grab the island for himself and his soldiers and keep the precious aloes from falling into the hands of his enemies. Imagine having your island conquered for a plant! But that's how much the ancients treasured aloe vera!
Aloes were used for both wound healing and as laxatives as far back as 1500 BC by the ancient Egyptians.
The interior of the aloe leaf contains allantoin, which has a proven effect on wound healing. It dries into a natural seal, keeping the wound or burn free of debris and bacteria, and promoting the regeneration of the skin and tissue.
Several years ago, I burned my hand so severely that you could see the underlying muscle. After cleaning the area thoroughly, I lavishly applied aloe vera and covered the burn. A plastic surgeon friend declared I would need grafting, but I used aloe three times a day for a week.
The burn healed rapidly without debriding or granulation and I had no pain or itching. I continued to use aloe until the healing process was complete. There is no scar and I have normal movement and use of my thumb. I didn't need a graft.
Aloe isn't used for cancer treatment, but someday it just might be. It contains the tumor fighting chemical emodin and derivatives of aloe are studied in the treatment of AIDS and cancer.
I always recommend aloe vera juice to my patients with digestive disorders. After determining that they can use aloe without a reaction, I put them on three 1/4 cup doses of George's Aloe Vera Juice daily. Taken on an empty stomach, the aloe vera soothes and heals an irritated bowel and helps to heal ulcers and prevent heartburn. Aloe is another plant rich in mucilage, the soothing, healing fiber that helps in many digestive disorders.
I use George's because unlike so many aloe juices, it doesn't have that gooey consistency that so many folks just can't handle. It's just like drinking water, but has all the benefits I seek.
When you use aloe vera at home, cut an older leaf from the outside of the plant, that's where the most potent gel is stored. The leaf will actually close it's own wound and the occasional whole leaf snipping won't harm the plant.
So go and buy yourself an aloe plant and treat it kindly. You'll have one of nature's miracle healers right on hand and no deductible!
Dr. Kleine regrets she cannot give advice by phone or e-mail. to make an appointment, call 631.472.8139 or email Drfootsi@myway.com.