Aloe Vera (Lu Hui)
Botanical Name: Western – Aloe vera, A. barbadensis. Eastern – A. chinensis.
Aloe is a genus containing over 240 species of flowering succulent plants. The most commonly known is Aloe Vera. It is a cactus-like succulent with a long history of being used internally and externally as a medicine to treat wounds and upset stomachs. Studies confirm the plant’s ability to effectively treat genital herpes, psoriasis, and burns, and reduce the incidence of tumors in the liver, bone, and spleen by 90%.
Watch a short video, from Ann Christensen, Founder and Creator of White Rabbit Institute of Healing™ – Aloe Vera: Diaper Rash to Burns.
Below is an overview of aloe vera, combining the best of Western Science, Oriental Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore, and a wide range of healing modalities. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of aloe vera.
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Western Name: Aloe Vera
Also Known As: Aloe, True Aloe
Organs/Systems: Digestion, Skin
Key Actions: Laxative, Analgesic, Antibacterial, Antiviral, Anti-inflammatory, Digestive, Immune Enhancing, Antioxidant, Emollient, Purgative, Vulnerary, Demulcent, Vermifuge, Emmenagogue
Medicinal Uses: Acne, burns, wounds, upset stomach, laxative, psoriasis, dermatitis, diabetes, constipation, stomach ulcers, protects against liver, bone, and spleen tumors, herpes, supports immunity, acne, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), stuck menses.
Pin Yin: Lu Hui (Translates as “Aloe Vera Gel.”)
Also Known As: N/A
Meridians: Liver, Large Intestine, Stomach
Key Actions: Clears Heat, Cools the Liver, Purgative, Drains Fire, Guides out Accumulations, Kills Parasites, Strengthens the Stomach
Medicinal Uses: Dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, irritability, constipation and fever due to Heat in the Liver, convulsions, hemorrhoids, scabies, abdominal pain, painful swollen arthritic joints, childhood nutritional impairment (especially due to roundworm). Also used externally for ringworm.
Basic Habitat / Botany:
Aloe leaves form a large, thick fleshy rosette of leaves. The flowers are tubular and most often yellow, orange, pink, or red. The leaves vary in color from gray to bright green.
Aloe Vera is native to tropical and southern Africa, Madagascar, Jordan, the Arabian peninsula, and various islands in the Indian Ocean. A few species have naturalized and are found in India, Australia, and North and South America.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Translucent Inner Pulp of the Leaf, Yellow Resin from Leaf Wounds, Juice
Flavors/Temps: Bitter, Cold
Caution: Considered safe. Not recommended for long-term use due to its laxative capacities.
Key Constituents: Anthraquinones (including Aloin (both Nataloins and Barbaloins) and Emodin), Volatile oil, Acemannan, Hormones (Auxins and Gibberellins), Vitamin A, C, B12 and E, Enzymes (including Alkaline phosphatase, Amylase, Cellulase, Lipase), Polysaccharides, Calcium, Selenium, Chromium, Manganese, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium, and Zinc
History/Folklore: Of the over 240 species of Aloe, only four are recognized as having nutritional value. Aloe vera is recognized as the most medicinal and nutritional.
Aloe produces two substances, gel and latex, that are both used medicinally. The gel is a clear, jelly-like substance found in the inner part of the leaves and the latex comes from just under the plant’s skin and is yellow. Some aloe products are made from the whole crushed leaf and will therefore contain both the gel and the latex.
The gel is used for weight loss, diabetes, hepatitis, stomach ulcers, asthma, inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS), and externally for radiation-related skin sores. The latex is mainly used as a laxative but has been used to treat colds, bleeding, colitis, depression, glaucoma, and hemorrhoids. Fresh aloe leaves are taken orally to help cancer.
Applied to the skin, aloe gel is used to treat acne, sunburns, burns, burning mouth, radiation skin damage, diaper rash, frostbite, bedsores, scabies, wounds, and genital herpes.
Studies indicate that aloe helps heal wounds by improving the circulation of blood flow and preventing cell death around the wound. The gel also appears to be harmful to certain types of bacteria and fungi improving its wound-healing abilities.
A study completed in 1996 in Sweden focusing on using aloe vera to treat chronic psoriasis indicated a cure rate of 85% with no relapses reported within the next 12-month follow-up.
The constituent, acemannan, found in aloe helps treat canker sores and dry sockets in the mouth. The hormones, auxins, and gibberellins, found in the plant help heal wounds and have anti-inflammatory properties. The anthraquinones function as laxatives, analgesics, antibacterials, and antivirals.
The Ancient Greeks and Romans are documented to have used aloe vera to treat wounds and ulcerated male genitals. The Ancient Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra, regarded aloe gel as a foundation of youth and used it to preserve her skin. The Egyptians also used aloe in their embalming processes.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine aloe gel has long been used as a purgative, and in India, the gel is regarded as an effective cooling tonic. The Chinese will also use aloe in pill or powdered form, but not in decoctions. The good quality gel is very dark green and lustrous with a strong taste.
The aloe that is referenced in the Bible is an unrelated fragrant wood used as incense.
One aloe leaf can be used for weeks. The severed end of the blade is self-healing and the thin film that develops can be easily broken with each use.
The unprocessed aloe contains aloin, a laxative, however the processed juice does not contain significant levels of aloin and is therefore used to soothe and aid digestion.
Some constituents in aloe may possibly be good for inhibiting the growth of tumors. As yet, studies have not confirmed these claims for human usage.
Aloe plants are popular as garden ornamentals.
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American aloe (Agave americana) is not an aloe plant. It belongs to a different family of plants.
In the Middle Ages, the liquid in the leaves was used as a purgative.
Aloe Vera is recommended as a natural method for building immunity without causing allergic reactions or unwanted side effects.
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