Monday, November 3, 2014

Healing Properties of Aloe Vera

I wanted to introduce you all to the latest addition in my family. Say hello to my first Aloe Vera! Yay!

I found this gal at Millcreek Gardens. From my research, Aloe Vera plants contain a ton of nutrients good for the human body. I'm starting to wonder what this little plant CAN'T do for people. I think given enough time and resources this plant could bring about world peace and end world hunger... Well, mmmmmmmmaybe not. But seriously, this magical little plant can do so much for you. Take a look.

High in Vitamins, Minerals and Other Good Stuff
Aloe Vera contains vitamins such as A, C, and E -- all antioxidants that are great for breaking down free radicals in your body. If you are suffering from depression and anxiety, this little guy is rich in B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 and folic acids. It's quantities, when ingested, could help replenish your energy like a 5 Hour Energy drink! Yay for perkiness! It has somewhere around 20 minerals, such as calcium, zinc, sodium, iron, potassium, copper, and magnesium. There are some great fatty acids, especially HCL Cholesterol (lowers fats in the blood), campesterol (lowers cholesterol), and β-sisosterol (great anti-inflammatory), just to name a few. The most common way to ingest Aloe Vera is in juice form, that can be purchased at your local natural food store.

Healing the Body Inside and Out
It is a great antiseptic when the gel is applied to open wounds. It helps accelerate the healing process and reduce the likeliness of resulting scar tissue. It has an abundance of chemicals (such as sulphur, cinnimonic acid, salicylic acid) which hinder bacterial growth, reduces inflammation, and fights off infections. It's cooling gel also soothes the infected area. It works great for burns (including any type of blistering), insect bites, sores (e.g. bruises, warts, cold sores), cuts, vaginal infections, and urinary tract infections. When ingested in a juice or a tea, it is known to kill off bacterial and viral infections -- hence being able to fight of those last two infections mentioned. Aloe Vera juice can boost the immune system with it's anthraquinones to fight off illnesses caused by environmental, emotional, and physical stress. 

Cures Tummy Aces and Pains
The anthraquinones in the juice will introduce more water into your system, acting as a natural laxative to alleviate constipation. A juice could also hydrate you if you have a touch of the D (diarrhea). Its gel like consistency also helps flush the system out by absorbing toxins as it moves through your digestive tract all the way to your colon. Too much bad bacteria in your stomach? Aloe Vera juice will help get your intestinal flora back in balance, whether from long use of antibiotics or eating something that is causing heartburn.

Air Purifier
I'm so happy I purchased this plant before the horrible inversion settles into the Salt Lake valley during the winter months. It intakes carbon dioxide and converts it into oxygen at night, as well as during the day! (To my surprise, not all plants do this.) This makes it safe and helpful to put in each room of your home. I mean, why wouldn't you with such a beautiful plant?

Of course there are some side effects. Please read this link about possible side effects and do your homework if you do plan to use Aloe Vera, especially internally. Consult your healthcare provider before using any herbal remedy or supplement. Always discontinue use and consult your physician if your experience any side effects.

I could go on about this little plant.  Although this is my initial research, my plant contains a lot of healing secrets that I am really excited to discover.


  • "The Healing Power of Aloe Vera and How to Use it at Home" by Paleo Mama,
  • "The 12 Benefits of Aloe Vera" Laura Dawn, Happy and Raw
  • "Aloe Vera: A Short Review" Indiana Journal of Dermatology
  • "Aloe Vera Used as an Antiseptic", We Love Aloe
  • "5 Reasons You Should Have an Aloe Vera Plant", The Parsimonious Princess

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Little Bamboo That Could

About a month ago, I noticed my mom's bamboo plant was looking really sick. The leaves were drooping and turning a yellow-green color, while the stocks were starting to fade. My mom has had the bamboo for less than a year and has been trying everything she knew to keep that plant from dying. She would clean out the water every week, put it various parts of the house with different lighting, and tried feeding it once a month with no results. I figured there was something a miss when my mom said it was doing better when she put it in direct light. Putting a bamboo in direct light is the quickest way to burn the leaves. So, I decided to take it home and see if I could help out. One of the first things I did was clean off the leaves. There was a thick layer of dust on each leaf that I suspected was not letting it get the light it needed when it was in partial sun. I carefully wiped down each leaf with a paper towel soaked in distilled water. As the paper towel moved down the leave, a black streak started moving with it, reminding me of wiping down a shelf that hasn't been used in years. Seeing that much dust made me consider the plant was having trouble photosynthesizing and getting the energy it needed from the sun. That's why it seemed to do better when it was put in direct sun light.

Once I was done cleaning off the leaves, I could feel the little bamboo was still stressed out. I took the little bamboo to my kitchen and began removing the stones to reveal algae building up around the rocks and the roots. I took everything out of the container. To my surprise, the stocks were wrapped in plastic with only two holes for the roots to come out of. I clipped off all the plastic and the roots covered in algae with disinfected clippers. Then very thoroughly disinfected the rocks. I also disinfected the glass planter. I put everything back and put some new water with plant food into the container.

I wish  I had photos of the bamboo when I first took it in and the in between steps. I was a little more preoccupied with saving the bamboo, it didn't occur to me. Here is what the plant looked a week after being cleaned.

It started looking much perkier and the roots started spreading throughout the pot really fast. To prevent the algae from building up again I transplanted the little guy into a new opaque planter. Here is the cute little guy after 3 weeks and in his new home.

The leaves are getting a darker color and they don't have a funky film on them. The little guy also feels a lot less stressed out and seems to be producing new leaves. Yay for happy plants! I hope this little guy continues living a strong and happy life.

Oh! Here is also another bamboo plant that I've had for almost 4 years now. I transplanted it into a new pot that it was out growing around the same time as the one above.
Unfortunately, the green container did not hold water well and started leaking. I think it was also emitting something to the bamboo, as it caused the bamboo to start drooping. So, here it is in its new little purple home. Hopefully it starts to perk up soon. 
I'll be following up with this little guys progress. I'm really enjoying the new container. It doesn't leak and contrasts great with the green from the plant. I just hope my resilient bamboo starts looking better soon. But it's a little early to tell. *crossing fingers* 

I  realized from taking care of these two bamboo plants how much I can learn from gardening and trying to communicate with the plants. I'm really excited to take care of more plants in the future and learning new things from them!