Well… I’m not actually writing from Fuerteventura, I am back in the UK but wanted to share some of my holiday with you.
Fuerteventura is one of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa. It is politically part of Spain. When people visit the Canary Islands they go to the more popular Tenerife but hubby and I wanted something relaxing and we were not too interested in clubs so that’s exactly what we got. We spent mornings jogging along by the beach, followed by long indulgent breakfasts, I snorkelled in the clear warm waters and we went on few tours.
One of the tours I have to tell you about is when we went to visit the Aloe Vera Factory.
The tour started with the guide telling us how many illegal immigrants they get from Africa each year and pointed out the army barracks/detention centres these poor people were put in. The Island is only 20 hours by boat from North Africa and one of the most popular routes into Europe. So people from many countries in Africa give it a shot. Sadly not many survive the journey; the boats are often ill equipped and overcrowded so many people end up at the bottom of the sea with their bodies washing up on the Island. Or their motors run out, so they end up drifting in the ocean for weeks eventually dying of thirst. Despite this, sometimes the reasons to leave outweigh the reasons to stay imagine if you are fleeing from war. Of the boats that do arrive or are intercepted safely the inhabitants are interrogated and often sent back home (Sigh).
Anyway….Fueteventura is a volcanic island and some years they get only 7 days of rain, some years 3 and some years nothing. The perfect climate to grow Aloe Vera organically.
Now to be honest I have never taken much notice of the plant. As a Jamaican many of my family members own one and claim that they use it for medicinal purposes. This tour gave me the opportunity to learn properly what it is for and why you would use it.
So here is the lowdown.
Of the 300 varieties of Aloe Vera (Which is actually a lilly not a cactus) Aloe Barbadenis Miller is the most superior of them all. So if you are going to get one get that one.
The leaf of this plant contains 200 separate ingredients including: 13 Vitamins, 13 Minerals, 16 Enzymes, 21 Amino Acids, Natural Aspirin, and Acemannan (google it) but you need it to be at least 7 years old to get all that good stuff.
So when you pick your leaf how what do you do with it? Peal it as you are looking for the slimy jelly part inside which you put in the blender.
How to use it Internally:
Aloe Vera strengthens your immune system and detoxifies your body (it also is a gentle laxative so be careful). have 1-2 teaspoons daily pure or mixed with a cold drink or a yoghurt.
How to use it externally:
Its a rapid skin moisturiser, it also has anti inflammatory, antibacterial, antibiotic and astringent ingredients so you can put it on a cut, a bruise a mild eczema even sunburn. It stimulates natural cell renewal and sooths irritated skin.
How to use it on your hair
Aloe vera has been used for hundreds of years on the hair. Be careful if you buy readymade products check the ingredients list as many only have a small amount of the stuff in.
Aloe is an amazing product for hair. It helps with the following: Promoting hair growth, hair loss, dandruff and itchy scalps, restoring balance to either oily or dry heads. Restoring the sheen, softness and strength of your hair and with no buildup it also combats frizz.
As a deep conditioner you can strain the blended jelly so that the white bits don’t get stuck in your hair. Then saturate your hair with it from root to tip. Put on your plastic cap and leave it on for a while or sit under the steamer with it on. Then wash it out as usual. Some people use it as well as their normal deep conditioner.
It can also be added to your spritz as a moisturier.
So that’s everything I learnt! You know I am now about to hop on Google to see if I can buy an older plant. Do you ever use Aloe Vera, how, in what form and have you found any benefits?