The aloe plant has been used as far back as the 4th century B.C. for its medicinal purposes. The plant was originally acquired from Socotra, a island located in the Indian Ocean. Aloe was used for remedial purposes in the 10th century A.D. by the Patriarch of Jerusalem who suggested it be used by kind Alfred the Great of Britain. Even today, after making the pilgrimage to Mecca, Muslims can place the Aloe plant over their doors as a protection from evil.Aloe Vera BenefitsThe gel from the inside of the aloe plant’s leaves is used in the United States and worldwide in cosmetics and skin treatments. Europeans use aloe as a laxative and digestion aid. The plant is a green spiny shrub that produces close to 25 leaves, forming an attractive rosette appearance.Aloe contains a component that acts against viruses such as the flu, chickenpox, and herpes and can also kill bacteria. Aloe also stops bowels from absorbing water. This speeds the passage and volume of the bowel’s contents, resulting in a laxative effect.Aloe Vera possesses external healing properties and speeds the healing of skin injuries such as poison ivy, ulcerations, hives, and burns. Internal healing properties result from its use as a laxative; however, use as a laxative can cause agonizing cramping. Other herbs including senna and sagrada are often used instead.Conditions such as ulcers and diabetes have also been treated with aloe; there are no definitive clinical studies to prove aloe’s effectiveness in treating these conditions.Dosage and AdministrationTo treat constipation, an aloe latex 50-200mg capsule can be ingested once daily for up to ten days.Stabilized aloe gel in used to treat minor burns. The gel can be applied to the skin up to five times daily. The use of aloe gel on serious burns should only occur under close supervision of a medical professional. To treat inflammatory bowel conditions including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease (refer to precautions below), take two tablespoons, or 30 ml, three times daily. Using aloe to treat diabetes must be done only under medical supervision. Clinical trials have used one tablespoon, or 15 ml, of aloe juice two times a day to treat type 2 diabetes.