A Very BIG Deal You Always Want on Your Kitchen Windowsill!

There is 1 thing you always want on your kitchen counter and 1 you always want on your kitchen windowsill. First, keep a glass of water with some fresh parsley in it on your counter. Parsley fights cancer and is a super alkalizer, so having this fresh herb handy so you can add it to your green smoothie and other dishes is simply smart. And it keeps best in water, similar to a bouquet of flowers.

And the thing you always want on your kitchen windowsill, and this is a very BIG deal, is a potted aloe vera plant. Besides being such a pretty plant, and easy to grow, it has loads of important uses. Aloe vera has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. From relieving heartburn to slowing the spread of cancer, researchers are only just beginning to unlock all of the powerful uses of this universal plant and its many amazing byproducts.

I cut a leaf and add it to my green smoothie at least once or twice a week. Taken alone, aloe vera is sour-tart. But with greens and fruit, you can't even taste it.

Here's are just 7 reasons why aloe vera should be on your kitchen windowsill and used regularly:

1. Aloe vera fights heartburn. Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder that results in symptoms including heartburn. Research shows that consuming 1 to 3 ounces of aloe gel at mealtimes can reduce the severity of GERD and other digestion-related problems. The plant's low toxicity makes it a safe and gentle remedy.

2. A little aloe vera gel a day keeps bacteria on fruits and vegetables away. More research shows that an aloe vera gel coating on tomato plants and apples was able to block many types of harmful bacteria. This means that aloe gel could help produce stay fresh for longer without the need for potentially dangerous chemicals. Squeeze the gel from a leaf, mix with some warm water, and wash your fresh-from-the-store produce in this liquid before refrigerating it.


Aloe vera is a powerful alternative to chemical-based mouthwash. Other research found that aloe vera extract is a safe and effective alternative to chemical-based mouthwashes. The plant's natural ingredients, which include a healthy dose of vitamin C, block plaque and also provide relief if you have bleeding or swelling gums. Squeeze the gel from a leaf, mix with a little warm water (and maybe some peppermint essential oil for a nice fresh zing) and swish around in your mouth after brushing. Your teeth and gums will thank you.

4. Aloe vera is a superb blood sugar regulator. Still more research says that two tablespoons of aloe vera juice per day causes blood sugar levels to fall in people with type 2 diabetes.

5. Aloe vera gel relieves constipation. 'Nuff said.


Aloe vera gel brightens and hydrates skin. Lots of studies show the plant's specialty, ability to do well in dry, unstable climates, also makes it an excellent skin treatment. The combination of the moist leaf and special plant compounds called complex carbohydrates make it an effective face moisturizer (and as a bonus, relieves pain).

7. Stepping up in the battle against cancer. And some of the most exciting research of late shows that aloe-emodin, a compound in aloe vera leaves, slows down the spread of breast cancer cells. Researchers are confident they'll find aloe is effective in treating other cancers as well.

So the takeaway? Researchers are continuing to discover new ways to put this green and safe superpower to use. So if you're interested in natural remedies, and want a pretty décor touch as well, opt for an aloe vera plant. You can see it won't hurt a thing to include a little aloe vera in your diet every day. And to get you started, here's my favorite green smoothie drink-I take this every morning:


2 tablespoons chia seed

½ lemon (rind, seeds, and all), diced

1 quarter of a fresh pineapple, peeled (but keep core), chunked

1 small aloe vera leaf (2 to 3 inches)

2 tablespoons raw honey

3 to 4 cups packed greens (baby spinach, kale, collards, parsley, etc.)

3 cups apple juice (or other fruit juice-plain water works well also)

Blend all ingredients in high-powered blender and drink immediately. Store in air-tight container in the fridge. Consume smoothie within 24 hours to get the most benefit from nutrients. (NOTE: You can also add kiwi, banana, strawberries, etc. Whatever fruit you have on hand will work well.)

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    Alice Osborne
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
    Email the author! alice@dvo.com

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