aloe vera

Herb Of The Day: ALOE VERA

If the old stories are true, one of Cleopatra’s beauty secret was aloe. The ancient Egyptians recognized the healing properties of this herb and also used it as one of the ingredients in embalming fluid. The plant was introduced into Europe in the tenth century, where over time it became an important ingredient in many herbal medicines. Aloe arrived in the West Indies in the 16th century and is still widely grown there. The fleshy herb is today a component of modern cosmetics and health care products ranging from hand and face creams to shampoo. In cool climates, aloe is often grown in conservatories or as a houseplant. Potted aloe plants are a common sight in many kitchen, where the leaves are within easy reach to apply to minor burns. Freshly snipped aloe leaves are the ultimate homegrown first aid.

aloe vera

Usage: They have a soothing effect on minor cuts and burns, dry or chapped skin, sunburn, and insect bites.

Traditional and Current Medicinal Uses

There are more than 300 species of Aloe, but only a few have traditionally been used as herbal medicines. These include Aloe Perryi from northeastern Africa and A. Ferox from South Africa. But it is Aloe Vera that tops the list as the aloe with the widest use. Both the Greeks and the Romans used it for treating wounds. During the Middle Ages, the yellow juice found in the leaf skin, was favored as purgative or cleansing properties. Throughout history, Aloe Vera’s value has largely been divided between these two distinct therapeutic roles–as purgative and as leaf gel to heal wounds.

The clear gel found inside the fleshy leaves is used for treating minor burns, woods and certain skin conditions such as eczema and ringworms. The healing properties of aloe gel were popularized in Western countries in the 1950s, when much was made of the plant’s ability to heal burns–including even radiation burns. The soothing effect of the gel is almost immediate, and it forms a coating over minor wounds that seems to help prevent infection. In Indian Ayurvedic medicinealoe gel is considered an important tonic for excess pitta (meaning “fire”).

The source of aloe’s other major role in herbal medicine is the bitter, yellow liquid that is derived from the outer layer of its leaves. Known as drug aloe, aloe latex, aloe juice, or aloe sap, it has a powerful purgative effect. (It should not be confused with aloe gel-containing product as sold aloe juice.) Because of its intensely bitter taste, the latex was recommended for a time as nail-biting deterrent to be painted on the fingertips of children. Aloe is one of the most commonly used herbs in the United States.

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Chakra Awareness Guide: 7 Main Energy Centers

C7: CROWN CHAKRA (Sahasrara)

Location: Top of the head

Color: Violet

Element: Thought/Will

Functions: Vitalize the upper brain (cerebrum)

Glands/Organs: Pineal gland, cerebrum cortex, central nervous system, right eye.

Gems/Minerals: Amethyst, alexandrito, diamond, sugilite, purple flourite, quartz crystal, selenite

Foods: Fruits & Vegetables

Qualities & Lessons: Unification of the Higher Self with the human personality. Oneness with the Infinite. Spiritual will, inspiration, unity, divine wisdom and understanding. Idealism. selfless service. Perception beyond space and timing. Continually of consciousness.

Negative Qualities: Lack of inspiration, confusion, depression, alienation, hesitation to serve, senility.


Location: Center of the forehead between the eyebrows

Color: Indigo (Dark Blue)

Element: Light

Functions: Vitalize the lower brain (cerebellum) and central nervous system. Vision.

Glands/Organ: Pituitary gland (some say the pineal gland), left eye, nose, ears.

Gems/Minerals: Lapis Lazul, azurite, sodalite, quartz crystal, sapphire, indicolite tourmaline.

Foods: Blue/purple fruits and vegetables.

Qualities/Lessons: Soul realization, intuition, insight, imagination. Clairvoyance, concentration, peace of mind. Wisdom devotion, perception beyond duality.

Negative Qualities: Lack of concentration, fear, cynicism, tension. Headaches, eye problems, bad dreams. Overly detached from the world.

C5: THROAT CHAKRA (Vishuddha)

Location: Throat area

Color: Sky Blue

Element: Akasha/other

Glands/Organs: Thyroid, parathyroid, hypothalamus, throat, mouth

Gems/Minerals: Turquoise, chrysocolla, celestite, blue topaz, sodalite, lapis lazuli, aquamarine, azurite, kyonite.

Foods: Blue/Purple fruits and vegetables

Qualities/Lessons: Power of the spoken word. True communication. Creative expression in speech, writing, and the arts. Integration, peace, truth, knowledge, wisdom, loyalty, honesty, reliability, gentleness and kindness.

Negative Qualities: Communication and/or speech problems. Knowledge used unwisely, ignorance, lack of discernment. Depression, thyroid problems.

C4: HEART CHAKRA (Anahata)

Location: Center of the chest

Color: Green (secondary color is pink)

Element: Air

Functions: Anchors the life-force  from the Higher Self. Energizes the blood and physical body with the life-force. Blood circulation

Glands/Organs: Heart, thymus gland, circulatory system, arms, hands, lungs.

Gems/Minerals: Emerald green and pink tourmaline, malachite, green jade, green aventurine, chyrosprase, kunzite, rose quartz, ruby

Foods: Green fruits and vegetables.

Qualities/Lessons: Divine/unconditional love. Forgiveness, compassion, understanding, balance, group consciousness, oneness with life. Acceptance, peace, openness, harmony, contentment.

Negative Qualities: Repression of love, emotional instability, out of balance. Heart problems

C3: SOLAR PLEXUS (Manipura)

Location: Above the navel, below the chest

Color: Yellow

Element: Fire

Functions: Vitalizes the sympathetic nervous system. Digestive processes, metabolism, emotions.

Glands/Organs: Pancreas, adrenals, stomach, liver, gallbladder, nervous system, muscles.

Gems/Minerals: Citrine, gold topaz, amber, tiger eye, gold calcite, gold

Foods: Starches. Yellow fruits and vegetables.

Qualities/Lessons: Will, personal power, authority, energy, mastery of desire, self control. Radiance, warmth, awakening, transformation, humor, laughter, immortality.

Negative Qualities: Taking in more than one can assimilate and utilize


Location: Lower abdomen to navel area

Color: Orange

Element: Water

Functions: Procreation, assimilation of food, physical force and vitality, sexuality.

Glands/Organs: Ovaries, testicles, prostate, genitals, spleen, womb, and bladder.

Gems/Minerals: Carnelian, coral, gold calcite, amber, citrine, gold topaz, peach aventurine

Foods: Liquids, Orange fruits and vegetables.

Qualities/Lessons: Giving and receiving, emotions, desire, pleasure, sexual/passionate love, change, movement, assimilation of new ideas. Health, family, tolerance, surrender. Working harmoniously and creatively with others.

Negative Qualities: Over-indulgence in food or sex. Sexual difficulties. Confusion, purposelessness. Jealousy, envy, desire to possess. Impotent, uterine and/or bladder problems.

C1: ROOT or BASE CHAKRA (Muladhara)

Location: Base of the spine (coccyx)

Color: Red (Secondary color is black)

Element: Earth

Functions: Gives vitality to the physical body. Life-force, survival, self-preservation, instincts

Glands/Organs: Adrenals, kidneys, spinal column, colon, legs, and bones

Gems/Minerals: Ruby, garnet, bloodstone, red jasper, black tourmaline, obsidian, smokey quartz

Foods: Protein (meat and dairy products not recommended) Red fruits and vegetables.

Qualities/Lessons: Matters relating to the material world, success. The physical body, mastery of the body. Grounding individually, stability, security, stillness, health, courage patience.

Negative Qualities: Self-centered, insecurity, violence, greed, anger. Overly concerned with one’s physical survival. Tension in the spine, constipation.

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