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Aloe Vera and Animals
The History of Aloe Vera
David Urch, BSc, MA, VetMB, MRCVS has over 20 years of experience in the veterinary field. He was introducted to Aloe Vera after a serious accident. He then started using the Aloe Vera gel preparations in his veterinary practice and reported some very remarkable results.
He reports that Aloe Vera acts on:
- The Skin
- The Digestive System including the Oral Cavity
- The Respiratory System including the Nasal Chambers and Sinuses
- The Urinary and Genital Systems
- The Eyes
- The Ears
- The Musculo-Skeletal System
Many people often think that the Aloe Vera Plant is a cactus (I also thought this at one time) but it is a far cry from that. It is a member of the lily family, of which there are around 300 varieties. Many of these varieties have medicinal properties but the one most used is the Aloe Barbadensis Miller plant. This Aloe is the one most used in the earliest of veterinary preparations and has stood the test of time.
Aloe Vera plants are not totally mature until they reach the age of four years old, and it is extremely important that the gel is not extracted before this time.
The medicinal properties which help certain conditions are found in the inner gel of the leag. So the whole leaf has to be processed before the gel can be used. This inner leaf gel will affect the medicinal nutrients. The most acceptable preparation is therefore one which is based on the stablilized inner gel.
Plant Medicinal Nutrients
There have been over 75 nutrients found from the inner gel.
Some of the Reputed Actions of Aloe Vera
- Improved well being
- Source of essential nutrients
- Skin cleanser and moisturiser
- Penetrates to the dermal layer of the skin
- Encourages skin cell division leading to increased wound healing
10. Local Anaesthetic
11. Antimicrobial against certain bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeats
12. Decreases capillary bleeding
14. Decreases itching
15. Lowers temperature
16. No detectable side effects
17. Few contra indications
18. Potentiates the action of some other drugs.
When deciding on your choice of Aloe Vera preparation, there are a number of important points to consider in that it should be a) organically grown b) come from plants at least four years old c) filleted and unadulterated.
Tips On Using Aloe Vera Preparations
It should be introduced slowly and for animals with a sensitive digestive system you should start on a low amount of the oral Aloe Vera gel for a couple of days and then slowly increase to the level that is of benefit to the animal. It also depends on the weight of the animal as to what amounts you should use to help the condition.
It can be added to the food or water or it can be given directly by mouth.
Skin problems benefit from the oral Aloe Vera as well as the topical preparations. They can help with many allergies such as exzema, abscesses, fungal infections, pyoderma and many more types of dermatitis. The oral gel can be give by mouth and the topical preparation smoothed on to the affected area. It is also good for burns and wounds.
A few skin problems look worse before they improve and this is often referred to as the healing crisis. If you are in any doubt about the condition you should consult your vet.
You should always get advice from your vet before using any form of complementary preparation. They can be used to help a previously diagnosed problem or as a first aid treatment while you are waiting to see your vet.
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