We will be having a class on one of my favorite super-foods: Aloe Vera! Yes. Aloe Vera is a super-food, and since it flourishes in Southern CA, we will be demonstrating just a few of it's many amazing uses! We will have a limited supply of fresh aloe plants on hand for FREE, so come early to get yours! We will do some food demos using aloe with plenty of samples to go around! This is also a pot-luck, so feel free to bring your favorite raw vegan dish whether it's simple or fancy; we can enjoy a great meal and conversation together as we learn about this superb plant. In the meantime, here are some awesome details about Aloe:
A member of the lily family, aloe vera is one of the most nutritious vegetables on the planet. The aloe vera is a perennial succulent that originated in the tropics of Africa and was transferred to the western hemisphere in the 16th century. The ancient Egyptians first discovered the magic of this superfood and bred it into most of the cultivars we see today. Legend has it that Cleopatra attributed her great beauty to her daily practice of rubbing fresh aloe vera gel into her skin. The Essenes inherited aloe from the Egyptians and continued to cultivate the plants near the Dead Sea. The Essences ate raw and living foods and consumed aloe as their primary superfood. Many of them were reported to have lived to be 125 years of age during a time when the average life span was 39 years old. It is reported that Alexander the Great required his armies to carry potted aloe vera with them on military campaigns in order to apply the aloe to the wounds of the soldiers. The stories report that Alexander was so fond of aloe, that he conquered the island of Scottra in the Indian Ocean solely to procure aloe. The Benefits of Aloe Vera: The gel of the raw aloe vera plant contains a host of amazing vitamins including vitamins A, C, and E. It is loaded with minerals including sulfur, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and chromium, as well as antioxidants, fiber, amino acids, enzymes, sterols, lignins, and most importantly, polysaccharides. The polysaccharides contained in aloe gel have a special lubricating effect on the joints, brain, nervous system, and skin. They are long-burning carbohydrates and help to provide steady energy over time. They also have immune-modulating effects and help increase the ability of the immune system to fight chronic viral, nanobacterial, and fungal infections. These polysaccharides are effective at killing yeast (candida) and dissolving mucous in the intestines, thereby helping to increase nutrient absorption. Research also suggests that these polysaccharides soothe the digestive track and aid in resolving all sorts of digestive difficulties such as colitis, ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome. Our body converts the polysaccharides into oligosaccharides, which protect the mucosal lining of the digestive tract and have been shown to be effective in fighting Bordetella pertussis (whopping cough pathogen), E. coli strains, Heliobacter pylori, and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Aloe vera aids in weight loss and can be an important part of any weight loss or fitness program, as aloe helps to burn fat and promote lean muscle mass. Aloe acts as a prebiotic, which means that it potentiates the effectiveness of probiotics such as L. acidophilus, L. bifidus, L. salivarius, L. plantarum and makes them work better. Clinical Studies on Aloe: In clinical studies of rodents, aloe vera has demonstrated the ability to markedly inhibit arthritis, edema, and inflammation. The results specifically demonstrated a 50% decrease in inflammation. Studies have also demonstrated that aloe vera reduces radiation sickness in animals. Aloe helped them gain weight and recover faster with less nausea after being exposed to the radiation. In both animals and humans, studies have confirmed aloe vera’s ability to heal and even prevent skin damage. Slabs of fresh aloe vera gel can be applied and left directly on sunburns, skin cancer, eczema, and psoriasis for several hours with positive effects. Topical application of aloe stimulates the production of Langerhans white blood cells both locally and systemically. Topically, aloe can be used to treat: abrasions, acne, arthritis, athlete’s foot, blemishes, brown spots, eczema, hemorrhoids, insect bites, insect stings, jellyfish stings, poison ivy, poison oak, psoriasis, rashes, scarring, skin allergies, skin cancer, skin infections, stretch marks, stinging nettle, sunburn, varicose veins, and wounds.