Why have I introduced Aloe Vera products and those from a global MLM/Network Marketing company at that, when I'm all about supporting small business, shopping local and hate party plan stuff?
To be perfectly honest I am in two minds about it.
I have been looking for products to complement the products I make myself. I'd rather do what I know and love well (besides there not being enough hours in the day) and complement/expand my range by sourcing high-quality products from other people. This worked brilliantly with the introduction of the organic skin care products as they are made locally (as in 10 mins down the road) by another home business - The Family Hub Organics. http://www.thefamilyhub.com.au/
To expand my 'Garden Pharmacy' I was on the look-out for other natural supplements and I met someone who sells Forever Living Aloe Vera.
Now my foster dog Millie, the lovely little Cocker Spaniel, has a LOT of allergies and is a bit scratchy and smelly (she's lovely though so please do think about adopting her!). She came to me because she needs a chemical-free, unprocessed diet. Unfortunately this alone hasn't 'cured' her. We've tried grain-free (well sort of, the little gannet pinches any food she can get her paws on - bagels and cereal this week - packaging included!), LOTS of Apple Cider Vinegar (in food and on her skin/ears), coconut oil, oregano oil, oily fish, turmeric...you get the idea. The ACV works to an extent, the problem is, on her it smells. Aloe smells MUCH better (well it doesn't smell much at all but what you can smell of it is pleasant and doesn't make you think of chips!), is said to be alkalising in a similar way to ACV, people swear by it etc etc...so I did some research and figured I'd give it a go!
Along with Millie; Whiskey, the kids and I all started getting dosed up on aloe over the school holidays. The kids aren't keen on it, even hidden in smoothies, but the dogs take it happily from a spoon or with their sardines at breakfast. Now, I can't honestly say it has been any kind of miracle potion (although there are many testimonials to this fact) but I'm not a fan of chemical multi-vitamins (and some are quite pricey), so, if a spoonful or two of aloe a day serves up a dose of vitamins and minerals to supplement our sometimes lacking diet then I'm all for it!
So here's a quick run down on the blurb....
Aloe a.k.a The Plant of Immortality has been recorded as far back as the ancient Egyptians and is reported to have been used by Cleopatra (make of that what you will). It contains a large range of vitamins (A,C, E, folate and B vitamins, including trace elements of B12 - rarely found in plants) and minerals (calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, chromium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc). You can drink it, use it on the skin (most of us have dabbed a bit of the sap on mozzie bites, sunburn etc) and you can make cleaning products from it. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, prebiotic, probiotic, good for pain relief, the skin, gut health, digestion and much more....see Forever Living/Google for the full details.
Forever Living itself has been in business since the '70s, produces the majority of the world's aloe and the products are all made from high quality, organic, cold-pressed aloe from their own plantations.
Now back to my lunch...
A lot of the time it's a Marmite sandwich in the car on the way to pick the kids up from school. It's also not unheard of for me to get through the day on coffee and Ribena. So, for me it's all about the little things I can do to just tip the balance a bit in favour of healthier living. Generally I cook a fresh, healthy evening meal but lunch is a write off and breakfast isn't always much better.
Between the commentary that food today is not what it once was (depleted minerals in the soil talk) and the fact that by midnight, when I do the kids lunchboxes, I lack the will to live let alone prep a rainbow salad jar for my lunch! I figure if a glug of aloe goes some way to compensate for this then it's a realistic i.e. minimum effort and sustainable change I can make to my diet. And if it helps Millie along the way then that's a win for everyone!
Below are a couple of links to get you started if you are curious and want to start doing your own research.
NB - Aloe comes up on lists of plants toxic to dogs because there is a toxic layer between the inner leaf and the skin. Prepared aloe gel only uses inner leaf extract so isn't harmful. This is the reason I am using an overseas aloe product and not using aloe from my garden, but, stay tuned for why aloe plants are still a great addition to the home (out of the way of hungry pets).