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Aloe Vera: I may look rugged but I’m just a big softy

January 11, 2014

The story of my adventure with Aloe Vera the plant and Leaky Gut the illness

By Joan McDaniel                     January 11, 2014

When you hear the name Aloe almost everyone thinks of skin care. In fact, it does have quite a reputation for treatment of skin injuries like burns, cuts, insect bites and other skin emergencies.

Walk the aisles of your neighborhood grocery store and you will find the ingredient “Aloe” on products ranging from cosmetics, after shave, and soaps to name a few. You will also find it in the produce department and as a natural juice drink. aloevera-products

One place you will not find it anymore is in an Over the Counter laxative aisle, for the FDA in the 1960s removed their approval of Aloe. The dark green of the plant can act as a natural laxative.                

Aloe Vera Products

The Aloe Vera plant looks rough of the outside but in reality is very soft on the inside

aloe-veraRough exterior


Soft Interior

I too had heard of Aloe and knew of it being good for the skin, but never really thought much about it.  It didn’t fit my game plan – I’m a nurse I have other “accepted” methods to use for skin care. We have a long list of Doctor approved skin creams and treatments with nice long names to treat our skin problems. That is just another Florida sales gimmick I told myself.

Then I got Sick and My World Changed

If anyone doesn’t know already, this blog is dedicated to my getting well from being very sick. It has been almost two years. I was almost too weak to walk. When I got home from the hospital, I had to crawl up the stairs on my hands and knees to reach my bed.

I am still getting well for it took at least 30 years to get this sick and it will take some length of time to really get well.  I am also finding I had more than just one illness.  My Immune system had been completely depleted and I had to fight to get it back. To use a phrase I borrowed “I am putting the fire out” Dr. Majid Ali.

I’m not sure what I had but it was spread from head to foot.

To the best of my knowledge I am recovering from having a raging body Candida Yeast Infection that had left my colon and had invaded the rest of my body and I had hypothyroidism which weakened my immune system.  That covers some of the symptoms but for the rest I either had leaky gut syndrome, or Fibromyalgia which means;

  • Fibra      (Latin) means fibrous tissue and has to do with painful tendons and      ligaments
  • Myos      (Greek) means muscles
  • Algos      (Greek) means pain

And/or I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Adrenal Exhaustion or Immune disorder (CFIDS) or as modern medicine calls it the Yuppie flu because they (the doctors) said it was all in your head. Modern medicine doesn’t have a treatment for it nor do they even recognize it as a disease. In any case that would explain the extreme pain I had when walking or standing up and the chronic inability to sleep yet be extremely fatigued all the time.  It was the first step I hated when I had enough strength to get out of bed.

I found by eating food as raw as I could and eating the things I had researched has brought me back.  I’m not there yet but just wait it is coming.

I am better and much stronger now

thCAK0624FFor I am able to climb three flights of stairs in a single bound… Well sort of…I think my picture friend does it just a little faster.

I was sick and very afraid of becoming an invalid. Did you know the government awards disability to at least 50% of fibromyalgia cases?

I did not want to be an invalid so –If I wanted to get well and regain my strength, I had to rethink my world and developed a sort of back to nature approach.

I started two things – a lot of research and a garden.

One way was to eat natural food as raw as I could  and to grow these foods in my own back yard. Besides a vegetable garden, I decided to plant an herbal and spice garden.

First Aloe Vera then Leaky Gut

I will talk about Aloe Vera and its versatility first then I’ll touch on what really made me so weak and sick in the first place.  I had spent the last 30 or so years doing what my doctor had told me …

Live with it”

When I was about 30 years old I was diagnosed with Spastic Colon.  My doctor told me there are not any pills to treat the condition but to avoid wheat in my diet and learn to live with it. He then went on to treat my high blood pressure which was 200/170.

So, I spent the next decade doing just that; ignoring the bloating, diarrhea then constipation, cramping, pain and general discomfort.  What I had was a damaged digestive system, that was simply getting worst and I just kept ignoring its increasing warning signs.  The discomfort was increasing and my strength was decreasing year by year.  I just kept Living with it with a sort of Tough on the Outside but soft on the inside look at life. Sort of like my Aloe Vera Plant. I may look strong but I was hurting inside and was rapidly losing my strength.

For now let’s go back to the garden and my Aloe Vera Plants.

I planted a Herb Garden

my-little-herb-gardenI went to the market, found starter herb plants and put them in a bigger pot and put it under the sun.  When I saw the Aloe plant I did the same. It looked more like a cactus then a Herb but this was learning by doing project so I added it along with the others. It was just one of the other plants.

Outdoor Living

One day my neighbor came to visit and I proudly showed her my herb garden. This is the same neighbor who helped me get to the hospital and home again when I was so sick.  When she saw the spiky desert looking cactus, she said, “Oh you have an Aloe plant! That’s great”

A few weeks later, there was a knock on my door.  It was the neighbor again.  She had cut her finger with aloe leafa pretty good cut.  She ignored my telling her go to the doctor saying it was bad but not bad enough for stitches. She asked if she could have a leaf or two (or whatever you call those long swords) of my Aloe plant. “Sure,” I said, eager to return a favor. My plants were still small but very useful it turned out for I saw her two weeks later no cut, no scar, and not complaints.

No wonder these leaves look like swords. Now that is one powerful tough looking herb garden.

I have heard of being prepared and having first aid kits but having Aloe so close is comforting and gave the herbal garden a whole new meaning.

Well, as time wore on I would learn just how valuable that Aloe Vera Plant would become.

What is this thing called Aloe?


Aloe originally came from the Cape of Good Hope, Africa. It is grown in the tropical or subtropical zones but can survive colder climates in the warm-summers or as a houseplant on sunny windowsill in the winter. It is a member of the lily family. Garlic, onions and tulips are also members of the lily family

Aloe Vera long green leaves contain Aloe A gel and a sticky yellow residue called latex. For thousands of years, people have known and used the gel from Aloe Vera leaves for healing inside the body and out.  Aloe has also long been a folk treatment for everything from constipation to skin softening. It was used for the healing power to eliminate toxins, lowering acid levels and breakdown fats and cardiovascular health like lowing blood pressure.

Aloe Vera has been found in the Egyptian Book of Remedies which predates Christ’s birth by 1,500 years.  It is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine’s Chin Wan Hung. The Ancient Aztecs used this miracle plant and its benefits have also been proven by modern-day science research.


Aloe Vera has over 200 nutrients, 20 Minerals, 18 Amino Acids, 12 Vitamins including Vitamin B12,enzymes, micronutrients and  polysaccharides, . It is At the top of the herbal healing hierarchy. It is extremely versatile herb used both internally and externally and as an emergency remedy with its gentle smoothing effects.

Externally it helps:

  1. Analgesic Wound Healing to help in the healing of  mild bites, burns, scrapes, sunburns and other small skin injures.
  2. It helps the healing burns including sunburns.
  3. It helps the external itch of dandruff, psoriasis and seborrhea

Internally it helps:

  1. A positive effect on the Cardiovascular health
  2. Aids in the elimination of constipation.
  3. Aids in digestion and helps with heartburn, GERD and stomach-ache.
  4. Reduces the body acid and returns it to an alkaline balance.
  5. Helps to regulate blood sugars.
  6. detoxified the body and colon. In other words it helps clean the intestinal walls and helps disorders like Leaky Gut Syndrome and other colon disorders.
  7. Helps with weight loss by increasing metabolic rate to burn more calories.
  8. Improves circulation.
  9. Aids in healing damage to internal tissues.
  10. Regulates blood pressure.
  11. Strengthens immune system.
  12. Retards the growth of cancerous tumors.
  13. Helps to reduce inflammation and pain.
  14. Generally it helps put the fire out.

And what does this have to do with leaking gut?

leaky_gut-262x300Leaky gut syndrome – A dysfunctional or diseased colon with increased intestinal permeability. The Colon or bowel has an altered or damaged bowel lining. Basically as I have put it together; Due to a loss of good bacteria resulting from infection, inflammation, medications, parasites, poor diet or toxins your cells break down due to lack of oxygen. The cells are covered in a toxic sugary gooooooo! Your cells need oxygen, bacteria and yeast hate oxygen.  When there isn’t oxygen bacteria and yeast have nothing to stop them and they overrun the body. They run out of control taking the available oxygen with them.

I have included a video from the food channel and in it they briefly cover Leaking Gut Syndrome

Most people are familiar with how Aloe Vera helps heal the skin on the outside, especially from cuts and burns.  But Aloe Vera also helps heal the body from the inside. Aloe Vera juice is a potent source of nutrients that assist the body with cleansing, and provides an environment where the body can better absorb the nutrients in food. Use caution when selecting commercial Aloe Vera drinks – many of them are loaded with sugar and preservatives.

The purpose of nutrition is to energize and detox the body.  Detox consists of the molecules of essential minerals from natural food attach adhere themselves to the molecules of toxins in the body until both the mineral and toxin are eliminated. From Majid Ali, M.D.

Cleansing from the inside

Here’s an easy way to make your own fresh aloe vera juice.

Video (2:21):

The Digestive system is complex and so is the gut and gut flora?

I have found the gut to be very complex–let me say it again–very complex and I will not be able to even start to explain or understand with any detail but for now just a quick scan of terms so you can start doing more research on your own.  I plan to dedicate many future articles on this very complex subject but I have found so far;

Basically it is the cells in your body not getting any Oxygen and being overrun with toxins or poisons. You system becomes out of balance and the one thing your body need is balance.

In my research, I found the following names for problems with the colon.

Candida Yeast overgrowth Infection – Our immune system is in the gut.  The gut needs gut flora which contains good and bad bacteria, good and bad fungus or yeast.  The good bacteria and yeast keeps the bad bacteria and yeast in balance.  You need both to digest food and to believe it or not fight infection. Lack of oxygen cause by toxins, destroys the good and lets the bad take over.  The stronger it gets the less oxygen the cells have and they die and you lose strength and function.

Candida Yeast infection – Shows itself in many ways, the most common is a skin rash or dandruff or constant infections or allergic reactions. The yeast-like fungi release mycotoxins (poisons) into the body.

A partial list of health problems are: allergies, bloating, brain fog, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, gas, headaches, insomnia, joint pain, memory loss, poor focus and concentration, Sinusitis, skin conditions, and sensitivities. The yeast infection can become systemic, the cells have become yeastized and inflamed.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS, or spastic colon) – is a symptom-based diagnosis characterized by chronic abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, and alteration of bowel habits. As a functional bowel disorder, IBS has no known organic cause. Diarrhea or constipation may predominate, or they may alternate. Historically a diagnosis of exclusion, a diagnosis of IBS can now be made on the basis of symptoms alone.

Leaky gut syndrome – or increased intestinal permeability, is a proposed condition of an altered or damaged bowel lining.  Basically as I have put it together; Due to a loss of good bacteria resulting from infection, inflammation, medications, parasites, poor diet or toxins your cells break down due to lack of oxygen.  The walls of the cell break down become dehydrated, shrink and become acid (anti-oxygen) and full of toxins (yeast and bacteria).  The leaky gut then allows these toxins and other substance such as microbes, undigested food, waste, or larger than normal macromolecules to leak through an abnormally permeable gut wall.  Proponents suggest that this then makes body’s immune system ineffective, for it can no longer function or process oxygen.

A whole list of chronic diseases can result like allergies, asthma, autism, inflammation, diabetes just to name a few.

Leaky Gut and Irritable bowel syndrome signs

Abdominal discomfort and distention

Abdominal Gas

Alternate bouts of diarrhea and constipation

Brain Fog

Chronic Fatigue

Food Allergies and or Intolerance

Weakened Immune System

Irregular bowel


Modern medicine has ignored this and other gut problems and Treatment by modern medicine is lacking

Conventional medicine has yet to catch up with the times and recognize intestinal permeability as the major health problem that it is. But lucky for you, holistic doctors have been treating this condition successfully for years. I cannot recommend any one food, treatment or doctor.  Help is available but you have to be the one to take the first step.

Until next time


Books by Dr. Majid Ali a homeopath have been extremely helpful and have given me a greater understanding of the ignored disease of Chronic Fatigue.

Book The Canary and Chronic Fatigue By Majid Ali, M.D.

Web site Dr. Majid Ali.

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