August 26, 2014

Aloe Vera

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The Asian grocery store stocks tons of Korean aloe vera drinks mixed with fruit juices and a few of my blogger friends have started promoting them for their supposed health benefits. There's a long list for possible cures but also a warning for negative effects to the body.
According to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, aloe, which includes the plant's extracted juice, has been studied for potential effects on psoriasis and other skin issues, along with internal issues like constipation and diabetes. The center also notes studies indicating potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Other institutions such as the American College of Angiology report potential strides for heart conditions, while those studying dental and oral issues also cite potential benefits for treating and medicating oral diseases and conditions.

The flat cushion-y leaves have thick leathery skins with shallow but sharp spikes on both sides. To prepare them, I cut 4 inch pieces, stand the pieces for a few minutes on a paper towel to drain out the yellow stuff, then slice out the skins. I scrape out all traces of the yellow liquid until the white gel-like innard is exposed.

I added 4 tablespoons of aloe vera gel to a cup of water, blended them using an immersion blender, then mixed the juice into 3 cups of fresh green grape juice. Any juice may be added to the pureed aloe very gel.

Aloe vera is also ever present in shampoos, hand creams, and lotions so I made a half-cup batch of hand cream adding essential rosemary oil. It doesn't have any scent so the added fragrance comes out strong. I love it. The lotion feels so silky and smooth and is absorbed right away.


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