The Aloe ferox Plant

Aloe ferox (Cape Aloe) is indigenous to Southern Africa. It is found in the Southern Cape, Eastern Cape and southern parts of KwaZulu/Natal, the Free State and Lesotho. Aloe ferox is well known for its medicinal properties.

 

 

1. Description of the Aloe ferox leaf

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The leaf of the Aloe ferox plant contains two different juices, yellow bitter sap and white aloe gel. The bitter sap lies underneath the green peel and is part of the peel. The sap drains spontaneously when the leaf is cut. When the bitter sap is concentrated, bitter crystals or bitter powder are obtained. Aloe bitters is largely used in purgatives. The inner fleshy portion of aloe leaves consists of a mucous material, called aloe gel, which is not bitter. Aloe gel is used to prepare a health drink and is a popular ingredient in skin care products.

 

 

2. Harvesting

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Leaves are harvested in the veld. In an area where aloes are abundant, a basin-like hollow is made in the ground. The hollow is lined with a plastic sheet. Four to eight leaves from a mature plant are cut off close to the stem (below left). Two to three hundred leaves are stacked in a circle, cut surfaces facing inwards and overlapping, so that the sap drains and collects in the hollow (below middle). After some hours the sap of several draining sites are collected. The sap is processed to produce bitter crystals and bitter powder. The bitter sap is poured in a metal drum and then heated over an open fire (above right). The contents are continuously stirred while hot, until the volume is reduced by approximately half. The warm sap is then decanted into a tin and allowed to cool and solidify. The solid hard block can be broken and splintered into crystal of varying sizes.

 

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The leaves, from which the bitter sap has been tapped, are then further processed to make use of the aloe gel. The leaves are crushed to prepare an aloe jelly. A wholesome fruit drink is made from this and the jelly is also a much sought after component in cosmetic products.

 

 

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Dry aloe leaves are harvested and crushed to form tealeaves. A delicious herbal tea can be brewed. Tealeaves are pressed to form fibre tablets.

 

 

3. Wholesome Benifits

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Aloe ferox fights: colic, colitis,  hay fever,  headache,  indigestion,  heartburn,  diabetes,  spastic colon,  cancer,  urinary tract infections,  acne,  prostatitis,  vaginitis fistulas and inflamed cysts,  hepatitis,  jaundice,  tonsillitis,  throat infections,  mouth ulcers,  chronic fatigue,  gingivitis,  depression,  bunions,  corns,  warts,  moles,  scars,  eczema,  stomach ulcers,  high blood pressure,  amenorrhea,  infertility caused by amenorrhea,  bronchial asthma,  emphysema,  sinusitis,  insect repellent,  constipation,  intestinal parasites,  veterinary,  psoriasis,  arthritis,  rheumatics,  tennis elbow,  osteoporosis,  under active thyroid gland,  liver function,  dandruff,  hair loss,  sunburn,  x-ray -, radiation burns and ulcers,  nappy and heat rashes,  chafed and chapped skin,  blisters,  eye infections,  infections,  abscesses,  haemorrhoids,  stretch marks,  sun spots,  skin cancer,  liver spots,  itching,  insect bites,  allergies,  skin irritations,  dermatitis,  chickenpox,  shingles,  hives,  athlete’s foot,  bed sores,  wet or dry lesions,  chronic ulcers,  varicose veins,  muscle spasms,  leg cramps,  insomnia,  lack of energy.

 

 

4. Aloe Safety

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Aloe ferox has no side effects; only rare cases of allergies have been reported.

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Aloe ferox is non-toxic and has no undesirable side effects on the body. Aloe ferox is not habit-forming.

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Aloe gel is SAFE for all people, including pregnant women, nursing mothers, babies (already drinking fruit juice) and persons with intestinal irritation.

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Excessive doses of bitter sap or other strong laxative can encourage haemorrhoids or vomiting.

 

      Aloe bitter sap is not suited for:

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pregnant women as it can stimulate the uterus

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nursing mothers as it can pass through breast milk resulting in colicky babies

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persons with intestinal irritation.

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keep an eye on your condition when using medication.  It may be necessary to adjust your medication as your condition normalizes, especially in the case of high blood pressure and high/low blood sugar.

 

      When to expect results?

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Herbs can take longer to have a beneficial effect on some chronic symptoms than a chemically based drug.  Give Aloe ferox enough time to work – at least 3 months.

 

 

5. Detoxifying Symptoms

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Symptoms of a chronic condition may temporarily worsen as part of the detoxifying process of the body.  Other detoxifying symptoms that may occur are diarrhoea, nausea, windiness, stomach cramps and headaches.  Symptoms are of a passing nature.  Give your body time to adjust. Diarrhoea, as part of the detoxifying process, is only a problem if it lasts longer than a couple of days. Drink a lot of water and lower the dosage.