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Becoming Aloe Vera


My trip to the grocery store found me breaking my normal spending habits to buy an Aloe vera leaf.

The prickly succulent tempted me too much this time.  I tested one for ripeness and gently placed it in the cart.

Setting aside science for now, I’m going to tell you why this Aloe vera will do me good. Please understand that the same reason may not hold true for you, but don’t be discouraged.

If you want comparable health benefits from Aloe, simply believe in every word that I write, take it to heart, make it mean something to you.

My mother introduced me to Aloe.  It happened on a Monday night.

I had just returned from a three-day vacation to Cartagena with a friend from school. We were in eighth grade.

His family had access to a boat and a wave runner, so one morning we boated out to White Sands Island.  We spent all day on the beach, eating fish and speeding off in the wave runner.  No one in his family asked if I was wearing sun screen, and even if they had asked, I was at that age when I believed in the resiliency of my skin, even under the vigorous equatorial sun.

On Monday night, I said goodbye to my friend and got dropped off at home, back again in Barranquilla, the thrill of Cartagena and the wave runner long gone.

My mother opened the door and saw me enduring the pains of a second-degree burn.

Instead of being upset, she calmly introduced me to the solution:  Aloe vera.  The green salve repaired the blisters on my shoulders and subdued the incessant pulse of sun in my skin.

Upon initial contact it was cold, and then, as if by magic, it absorbed the painful heat in my skin and became warm, leaving my skin cooler.

Ah… reprieve.

In this way, Aloe vera visibly cured my burn.  There was nothing mysterious about it. I saw the blisters close and the red abate.  I saw my damaged skin return to health and I felt the pain numbed.

Aloe vera will be good for me on the inside in the same way that Aloe vera was good for me on the outside.  This is what I thought when I was in the grocery store, and this is why I bought a leaf.

In the process of eating the translucent meat from this gift of nature, my mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestines, and rectum will come into contact with the same salve that nursed my skin back to health.

Where there is chaos, the Aloe will establish order.  Where there is damage, the Aloe will heal.

At the counter, the checkout woman was shocked when she scanned the leaf.

“What’re you getting this for?” she asked.

“To freeze,” I answered, “I’m going to use the frozen chunks like ice cubes.”

“Wow.  I’ve never heard that before.  I rub it on my face.”

“Really?  Well, there you go. I’ve never heard of that before.”

“Yeah.  It’s great!”

To support her enthusiasm, she showed me either cheek and pulled back her bangs.  Clear skin. Better than the commercials.

I drove home determined to not just eat the Aloe vera, but also coat my pores in its juice. Why not? There was nowhere I had to be and nothing to lose.  Moreover, I had complete faith in its ability to heal.

With the succulent mask glossy on my face, and a frozen Aloe cube rolling around my tongue, I couldn’t help but wonder if there was anyone else doing the same thing, under the same beliefs.  If so, hello.

April 21, 2009 8:58 pm

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