Category Archives: self-improvement

The Great Aloe Vera Experiment

The Great Aloe Vera Experiment

aloe vera plant

While trolling my way around the web, I found an old article on using Aloe Vera gel for healing the teeth and gums. This seemed interesting, and I read and then searched for a few others. Imagine my surprise when not one but several of these articles firmly declared that using aloe gel as a substitute for toothpaste was every bit as effective as those aforementioned toothpastes!

Yup, the stuff from inside the aloe leaves was as good as toothpaste. Fights germs and everything, according to the article. Here’s the link to the study I found which gives all the details of the 15 person study they did, using aloe gel directly injected into disease pockets of gums in the test subjects. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3200013/

I am more used to using aloe gel on my skin for sun burn and the like, but since like most folks I do have a bit of an issue with my teeth and no dental coverage, I figured it couldn’t hurt. So I am going to give it a try.

First and foremost let me state firmly that I am not a doctor! I am just trying this on my own, so if you want to try it, I’d suggest talking to your doctor first. Now that we have that clearly established, let’s proceed.

Since I have a HUGE Aloe Vera plant with lots and lots of little plants cropping up, I took several of  the larger older plants and stripped the biggest leaves. The instructions for processing aloe at home advocated using a vegetable peeler to remove the outer skin and leaving just the clear interior gel.

That wasn’t exactly a success, I have to admit. I did my best to scrape the gel from their interior before giving up and simply whirring them into submission in my blender. The result was a thick, sticky green goo. Since I mean to carry out this experiment for at least the next couple of months, I will try to have pictures of the process for you at a later date.

I then put the sticky goo into a mesh colander and set that in a large bowl to catch the drips. I wasn’t aiming to remove all the outer skin of the leaves, just the biggest portion of it. The saponins in the skin have a mild laxative effect, but with the current trend for colon cleansing that is only another plus, right?

Now while my delightful alien slime was settling out, I headed back to the computer to do a little more research.

Apparently Aloe Vera gel has a lot of vitamins. Mike Adams, editor of NaturalNews.com has a very detailed article on the benefits of using Aloe Vera. He also has included links to studies and analyses of the plant and its effects. Here’s the link: http://www.naturalnews.com/021858_aloe_vera_gel.html .

Once the gel had more or less separated from the gunk in the colander, I poured it into a sterilized glass bottle, labeled it and put it in my fridge. Using a shot glass, I poured a one ounce amount and swished around my mouth for several minutes. I can’t say I’m fond of the texture, but the taste wasn’t too bad. Kind of hard to describe, but the best way to say it would be that it tastes very ‘green’—like a mix of celery and kiwi, if you can imagine that. When I was done swishing it, I swallowed the stuff; no sense letting it go to waste, right?

I even used the leftover green gunk as a facial mask, since aloe has such significant benefits for the skin. I just smeared it onto my face and let it sit for twenty minutes while writing this post. My skin is feeling nice and smooth and fresh and my mouth feels pretty good too.

I’ll keep you guys updated as to the results of my Aloe experiment. So far things are in the very early stages, but if it has even half the effects that are claimed for it, this could be a very good thing. Who knew a little houseplant was so good for you? If you have ever experimented with Aloe Vera, I’d love to hear your results as well. Please leave a comment and let me know, or if you have any advice on a better way to process the leaves, it would be great if you would share!

Find your peace, friends.
Rev. Zita.
All pictures and images on this page are courtesy of Microsoft Free clipart

What’s the most important book you ever read?

What is the most important book you ever read?

off kilter library

I’m not talking about religious books like the Bible, the Quran or the Talmud; we all know those are important, so let’s leave them aside for the sake of this discussion.

What are the most useful books you have ever read? Which book was it that you read and actually put to work in your daily life? How did it influence you?

Was it something like the ‘7 habits of highly successful people’ or was it possibly Internet for Dummies? Did Hints from Heloise change the way you live?   How to win friends and influence people is a classic on the art of communication and has helped thousands in their daily lives.

So what has helped you to live your life? What made you change for the better?

For me these are a few of the most influential books I have ever read. I’m sure that someday I will add more to this list, but these are the ones that really hit me hard and made me think.

Macbeth by William Shakespeare. This play taught me at a very young age that you need to really think before taking drastic action. If Ol’ Mac had asked more questions when he met those three ladies, he may not have put a disaster into motion.

The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris. I went to a Catholic High School and found this in the restricted section of the library one day. A study of humans as biological entities, it made me really think about my place in the world. It had the added benefit of really upsetting my teachers. Hey, I was sixteen at the time.

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. This book made physics less mysterious and more accessible for me. I loved it.

The Joy of Sex by Alex Comfort. First, I found the pun of his name amusing, and the truly practical and un-embarrassed attitude was just what I needed at the time. I can’t say I’ve been able to put everything into practice, but the clear, rational tone was wonderful.

Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven: Women, Sexuality and the Catholic Church by Uta Ranke-Heineman and Peter Heinegg. Ranke-Heineman was a chair of theology and used Roman Catholic Canon Law as her source material. It made me angry that as a female I was being so devalued on so many levels. Yeah, this was a huge influence on the way I thought about the world.

Chess for beginners by Israel A. Horowitz and Sol Horowitz. Hours of fun!

The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli. It’s still the basic primer for the art of politics.

The Art of War by Sun-Tzu. The ultimate strategy guide, written by a man who lived it every day.

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Yeah, this is a weird one to have in here, but as much as I dislike Scarlet O’Hara, she knew how to survive. She also wasn’t willing to hide her abilities behind a folded fan, even if she had no clue about how to manage her personal life.

These are not the only important books I have ever read, of course. My personal library has several hundred books in it, not counting the ones I have sold or donated when I was done with them. I have read books on everything from cooking to car repair (if only that one had taken root) and philosophy, religion and politics, fashion and art. I like science fiction and crafts, how-to books and fantasy fiction.

In the midst of all the millions of words I have read over the decades of my life, the books that have actually helped or hindered are few. I’d like to know what books you consider the most influential in your life. Take a moment to think about it, and use the comment box to let me know: what was your most important reading experience?

Find your peace, friends.

Rev. Zita.

(Image courtesy of free clip art office.microsoft.com)