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Learn more about this incredible plant with its magnitude of healing properties and scientifically proven nutritional benefits
Aloe Vera has been valued for thousands of years for its remarkable healing and regenerative properties. Archaeologists have found pictures of the plant on ancient Egyptian temple walls dating back to 4000 BC, and both queens Cleopatra and Nefertiti used it in their beauty regimes. For centuries, it has been used across Asia, Africa and the Americas; for example, the Fountain of Youth, with its legendary powers of rejuvenation, was sited amongst Aloe plants. Aloe grows extensively in hotter climates, and has earned many names as testament to its potency: wand of heaven, wonder plant, heaven's blessing, plant of life, harmonic remedy, and elixir of longevity, are just a few. There are more than two hundred varieties of Aloe, many of which can be seen in the Princess of Wales Conservatory at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Only a few have medicinal properties - Aloe Vera (Barbadensis Miller), being the most effective. It is a common household plant, even in the UK, and contrary to appearance it is not a cactus, but part of the lily family, along with onions and garlic (which is also a natural antibiotic). So, when you drink the Aloe gel, you are actually drinking a vegetable juice.
Until recently, Aloe was little heard of in Europe because it does not travel well. As soon as the leaf is cut, oxidation occurs, and the power of the healing agents it contains are greatly reduced. Anyone attempting to import the gel into the country was disappointed as the weakened Aloe failed to live up to its reputation. In 1978, Forever Living were the first to patent a stabilisation process which ensures that what you get in the bottle is essentially identical to what you get when you cut open a leaf, and so for the first time people in the West could appreciate its full potency.
What makes it so powerful?
For a start, the gel contains 75 nutrients, and over 200 active ingredients - and that's just the ones that we know about. But it is the synergy of these constituents that is most important - as all of the elements combine together, the resulting whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts.
Aloe has adaptogenic properties; that is, the body takes what it needs from the plant, benefiting the area that needs it most.
Aloe is effective in so many different areas because it works on the epithelial tissues, which form our skin, gut lining, bronchial tubes, and genital tract.
It is a rich source of vitamins, particularly A, C, and E, and one of the few plant sources of B12, which is particularly important for vegans and vegetarians. It also contains more than twenty of the minerals needed on a daily basis, such as magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, chromium, calcium, sodium, and potassium. It contains twenty amino acids, including seven of the eight essential amino acids.
The essential fatty acids in Aloe are beneficial not only nutritionally (the only dietary sources are fish and some seeds), but also as anti-inflammatory agents. These are plant sterols, natural steroids with no detrimental side effects.
It is high is enzymes, which are vital for every function of the body to occur, and yet are destroyed even at low heat, so lacking in a usual diet where most food is cooked before it is consumed.
Aloe contains a substance called lignin, which is renowned for its penetrative abilities. Aloe is not just working on the surface of the skin, like most skin creams, but reaches right down through to the layers where it is renewed.
It contains saponins, natural cleansers that are anti-microbial, and effective in the treatment of bacteria, viruses, and yeast and fungal infections.
Aloe contains six natural antiseptics, so is effective in treating infection.
Mucopolysaccharides present in the gel are sugars that are found in every cell of our bodies.
Aloe is one of the highest natural sources of these essential building blocks, which the body manufactures only during childhood.
Aloe contains anthraquinones, which are natural painkillers.
Who are Forever Living?
Forever Living is the world's biggest Aloe vera producer, growing over 80% of the world's commercially grown Aloe vera. The company controls the process exclusively from growing the plants right through to the retailing, so they can ensure the highest quality at every stage. The plants are grown in the USA, and harvested by hand. Within hours of harvesting, they are stabilized using a unique process patented by the company, thus oxidation is prevented, and the Aloe will keep for several years in sealed containers. The products are not sold in high street stores, but only through direct marketing, because with a product of such high quality, you need service to match, and this is best achieved by selling it on a more personal basis.
In 1997, Forever Living was the only brand of Aloe sold in this country that met with the IASC standards (the International Aloe Science Council); since then, the market has boomed, and there are now many Aloe products on the wholefood store shelves. It is essential when purchasing Aloe that you get top quality, or it will not be effective. Although Aloe is probably the most popular ingredient in toiletries, according to research done in 1994, most brands contain less than 2% aloe (at least 25% is needed for the product to have any real benefits). In all of Forever Living's Aloe range, 100% stabilised Aloe vera gel is the principal ingredient. Unfortunately, much of the labelling on Aloe vera sold in this country is misleading. If it says 100% Aloe vera gel on the bottle, this just means that the Aloe itself is 100% pure - the bottle can still contain 95% water! The Aloe industry is almost entirely unregulated, and even the IASC seal of approval is only a guarantee on the Aloe content, not on the end product. Forever Living test the quality of the gel every day to make sure it is up to standard, carry Kosher and Islamic marks of approval, and none of the products are tested on animals. What's more, every product sold by Forever Living comes with a 60 day money back guarantee. If, at the end of that period, you are not satisfied with the results, you can have a full refund. We have tried every brand of Aloe vera gel on the market and are convinced this brand is by far and away the best!
Recommended dosage: start off with one tablespoon a day, either first thing in the morning or last thing at night. If you don't like the taste you can mix it with fruit juice. You may experience a healing crisis, such as a skin flare-up or an unsettled gut. Once your system has adjusted, up the amount to a level you feel comfortable with. Two to four tablespoons a day is the suggested maintenance dose. You cannot overdose on our aloe vera; cancer patients and Aids sufferers have been known to benefit from 8-16 oz doses daily.
Check out our selection of some of the most popular Ayurvedic herbs.
Originally, Ayurveda defined seven body types. These, referred to as doshas, were Vata, Pitta, Kapha, Sama, Vata-Kapha, Vata-Pitta, and Pitta-Kapha. The first three types occur in their pure form very rarely and so seldom is it that anyone is primarily influenced by one dosha alone. Most Ayurveda reference the following three doshas:
The vata dosha combines the elements ether and air. It is considered the most powerful dosha because it controls very basic body processes such as cell division, the heart, breathing, discharge of waste, and the mind. Vata can be aggravated by, for example, fear, grief, staying up late at night, eating dry fruit, or eating before the previous meal is digested. People with vata as their main dosha are thought to be especially susceptible to skin and neurological conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, anxiety, and insomnia.
The pitta dosha represents the elements fire and water. Pitta controls hormones and the digestive system. A person with a pitta imbalance may experience negative emotions such as anger and may have physical symptoms such as heartburn within 2 or 3 hours of eating. Pitta is upset by, for example, eating spicy or sour food, fatigue, or spending too much time in the sun. People with a predominantly pitta constitution are thought to be susceptible to hypertension, heart disease, infectious diseases, and digestive conditions such as Crohn's disease.
The kapha dosha combines the elements water and earth. Kapha helps to maintain strength and immunity and to control growth. An imbalance of the kapha dosha may cause nausea immediately after eating. Kapha is aggravated by, for example, greed, sleeping during the daytime, eating too many sweet foods, eating after one is full, and eating and drinking foods and beverages with too much salt and water (especially in the springtime). Those with a predominant kapha dosha are thought to be vulnerable to diabetes, cancer, obesity, and respiratory illnesses such as asthma.
The key to maintaining physical and mental health is in keeping these elements and doshas in harmonic balance through proper diet, herbs and life style, otherwise early aging and various diseases can manifest. These three doshas can even be traced back to the very beginning of creation as representing the three Gods in Vedic wisdom Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma. One or more of these doshas or elements will predominate in every individual living entity creating seven possible body types. By knowing which type you are by symptoms, the proper diet and herbal treatment can be established for you.
- Eliminating impurities. A process called panchakarma is intended to cleanse the body by eliminating ama. Ama is described as an undigested food that sticks to tissues, interferes with normal functioning of the body, and leads to disease. Panchakarma focuses on eliminating ama through the digestive tract and the respiratory system. Enemas, massage, medical oils administered in a nasal spray, and other methods may be used.
- Reducing symptoms. The practitioner may suggest various options, including physical exercises, stretching, breathing exercises, meditation, massage, lying in the sun, and changing the diet. The patient may take certain herbs -- often with honey, to make them easier to digest. Sometimes diets are restricted to certain foods. Very small amounts of metal and mineral preparations, such as gold or iron, also may be given.
- Increasing resistance to disease. The practitioner may combine several herbs, proteins, minerals, and vitamins in tonics to improve digestion and increase appetite and immunity. These tonics are based on formulas from ancient texts.
- Reducing worry and increasing harmony. Ayurvedic medicine emphasizes mental nurturing and spiritual healing. Practitioners may recommend avoiding situations that cause worry and using techniques that promote release of negative emotions.
- Cold Water Extracted. It extracts and concentrates the medicinal properties of the herbs. Removing all the fibers and unnecessary parts to make the herb as pure as possible. Making just a little bit go a very long way, allowing ¼-1 teaspoon more than enough.
Seagreens Culinary Ingredient is a raw organic sea vegetable condiment, that is probably the most nutritious sea vegetable we know of. Kate uses it in many of her recipes, and we also use it as an ingredient in our Out of the Woods green powder blend. Check this handy fact sheet to discover why Seagreens is so incredibly beneficial.
I was never much of a biscuit person Pre-Raw days. That said, If I ever did buy a packet, It didn't last long...!These Strawberry oat Jam sandies are the best biscuits I have ever had. They arent too sweet, they have the texture of a cooked biscuit- a good crunch to them, whilst still a little crumbly, as a biscuit should be. Then, the amazingly chewy jam centre, is JUST like I remember a jammie dodger to be.They come in neat little packs of two, so you can ration them and not open the whole box at once. The packaging is absolutely perfect. Slick, stylish and simple. These would make a lovely gift. I, however, hid them in the bottom drawer and dipped in when I needed a cacao-free morsel to keep my sugar levels up. How dainty......review by Laura Coxeter
Having had a Thermomix in my possession for a little over a month, I do think the name is a little misleading. I think a better name would be the Wondermix. Or maybe the Amazingomix. Because until you actually get to play with one in your own kitchen, you cannot imagine the excitement and joy that its versatility and efficiency can generate. Everyone I knew that had one verged on the evangelical when talking about it, and now I can totally understand why.
Photo shows Jesus Loves You to Gojiness,
from Raw Magic, made entirely in the Thermomix
The Thermomix is a revolutionary kitchen tool, and that's why it is so perfect for raw food cuisine, the revolutionary way of eating. With the Thermomix, making healthy, nutritious, fresh meals has never been easier. Whatever you want to do in terms of raw food cuisine, the Thermomix does it triumphantly. Smoothies, milks, salads, soups, ice cream, chocolate, cakes, nut butters, all in minutes.
Chocolate Activated Walnuts
The most telling thing I can say about these nuts is simply to point out that the bag in the picture is empty! I was unable to help myself. In my defence, it took me longer to take the photograph than I had planned because the camera batteries needed recharging so it wasn’t like I inhaled the whole bag in 2 minutes. So it’s only partly that I have issues with impulse control around chocolate nuts; the rest is of it is all about these being so more-ish they should be a Class A controlled substance.
Imagine you could buy antioxidant capsules more powerful and fast-acting than anything currently on the market. Imagine that you bought them in a bottle that magically replenished itself so that for the rest of your life, you could take as many capsules as you liked and never finish the bottle. Imagine that these antioxidants not only reduced inflammation but also helped you relax, gave pain relief and helped normalise biological markers such as cortisol cycles and pH. Sound good? It’s not a fairytale – except it’s not a bottle of pills, it’s the earth’s natural electromagnetic field. When you are electrically connected to the earth’s field, either by simply being barefoot on the earth or if you’re indoors, using a piece of grounding kit, you are getting all of the benefits I just mentioned. Continue reading
Raw Magic in Goa 2013 was a great success. How could it not be? A paradise location, amazing food, gorgeous people, and an overflowing of information and inspiration from Kate.
These courses work on so many levels. On the most basic level, you are getting a raw chef training that you can use in the kitchen at home to prepare the most fabulous food for yourself and your loved ones. Or you could use that training to help you set up as a raw caterer, making food on a commercial scale. You are also getting the full download as to why raw foods works, how to make the diet sustainable, and how to deal with the common issues that arise when transitioning your diet. Again, you can choose to just apply this information personally, to quantum leap your own raw development, or you may choose to use it to start coaching others in the raw lifestyle. On top of this, there is the spiritual layer to what Kate does, and this is where the true magic lies. Changing your diet is about so much more than having more energy and feeling happier in your body. It opens you up to a whole new level of vibrancy in yourself and in your life, a way of being which is helping you access your true potential and really shine your light in the world. On the course, not only does Kate explain all this, but you get a chance to experience it and truly be it. Surrounded by so many like-minded people, absorbing high vibrational information, eating the best food on the planet, all in a supportive, beautiful environment, allows you to access the best of who you are and bring that to the fore.
Are you keen to learn more about the raw lifestyle? Are you the sort of person who loves to totally immerse yourself in new environments? Do you have some time on your hands, and are looking for inspiration?
Raw Living are looking for interns to assist Kate & Chris in spreading the Raw Magic.
Ideally you will
- be able to commit to a minimum of one month
- be able to find suitable accommodation in Brighton, and if applicable, the other cities Kate is visiting during your internship
- be able to support yourself for the duration, and pay for flights and other travel expenses where necessary
- have a working knowledge of Photoshop, Excel, Gmail, Google Drive, and Wordpress.
- be comfortable using social networking tools
If this sounds like something that would be perfect for you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, telling us a little bit about yourself, and the dates you are available. If you are interested in travelling, it would help if you can check Kate's diary first so you can see if her travel arrangements during that time suit you.
Please note, this is an unpaid position. You will gain invaluable experience, not only in raw foods, but in event management and entrepreneurial skills. You will gain free entry to all the events that Kate is running during your internship, and trade discounts on all your Raw Living shopping during the period. Meals are not included, but let's just say, where there's Kate, there's usually Cake.
One of the more popular products we sell are the Inspiral Kale Chips. Currently, Inspiral produce these little tubs of goodness in four flavours - Cheesie Purple Corn, Baobab & Onion, Wasabi & Wheatgrass and Cacao & Cinnamon. They also have a new flavour on the way, Raspberry & Maca, and some more in the pipeline.
Inspiral are currently on a mission to get kale chips, as Inspiral's founder Dom, says, "out of the health food stores and into the high streets." To do this they need to raise money for a very fancy bit of equipment which means they can produce the kale chips on an industrial scale and get them out across the nation. They also want to get them into 100% compostable packaging.