Aloe: The Healing Plant (PART 2)

Updated 02 October 2013

Aloe: The Healing Plant (PART 2)

In my last article, I examined some of the many healing and immune-lifting merits and nutritional values of the aloe family. Aloe vera is the most studied, known, and used species of the hundreds of the aloe family. I have exposed you to both the scientific and the traditional aspects of the “precious” gift of the desert to its dwellers and humanity.
Aloe comes in over 300 species. In the Caribbean, Aloe vera and Aloe barbadensis are grown, while Socotrine aloe is grown in East Africa. In South Africa, Aloe Africana and Aloe ferox are known as Cape aloe. Aloe vera, Aloe perryi, and Aloe arborescens grow wildly in the deserts of Arabia as well as the island of Socotra. They can also be cultivated in gardens.
Because of its inherent virtues that help cure many illnesses and its potency and efficacy on illnesses, I felt Aloe arborescens deserves its own space. I became acquainted with the plant’s benefits in combating diseases (even cancer) through traditional therapies and hearsay, but I needed scientific evidence in order to spread the word about this healing plant. With recent research supported by scientific evidence and facts, I can freely discuss its curative properties. So many of you have responded to Part 1 that I am eager to proceed with la pièce de résistance, Aloe arborescens.
Aloe arborescens belongs to the same family as the other varieties of aloe. The small plant has thorny thick green fronds, which yield a juicy gel-like colorless sap, resembling slippery ice-cubes, turning a reddish-brown after drying, called “sibr” in Arabic. It is said that the word “aloe” takes its origin from the Arabic language, even though none of its Arabic names resemble it. The plant is called sabbaar in Arabic, coming from the word “patience,” which has no connection with the word “aloe,” but Father Romano Zago in his book spoke of the connection. Maybe, expert herbalist Dr. Jaber Al-Qahtani can clarify this point for us further.
Sometime ago, I was exploring health books in the US, when I came across a book called “Cancer Can be Cured!” by Father Romano Zago. The title intrigued me, but what interested me even more was the picture of the aloe plant figured on the cover (a familiar sight!). I was also pleased that I finally found a book containing scientific evidence, research, and information on its medicinal effects on health. I needed tangible evidence. After reading the book, I became even more interested and excited to share with you Father Zago’s first-hand experience with cancer and aloe’s curative properties.
You must be wondering why should a priest like Father Zago, appointed to a remote village, deep in the Amazon jungle of Brazil, know or be interested in curing people. Isn’t this field supposed to be limited to medical doctors? Well, let me explain something. A priest is not only a man of the church, but he is also a man dedicated to his community and responsible for the wellbeing of his parishioners in many ways. What does that mean? Well, he tends to their needs, schooling, and their health and alleviates their physical, mental, and emotional problems. He becomes part of their sadness and happiness. He is at their deathbed to relieve their pains, shares their joy, and guides them through life. That is how Father Zago became acquainted with aloe. It was because he saw many die prematurely of different diseases that he became their healer in different ways. Let us get back to Father Zago’s story and his healing potion.
Through years of experience with illness and death, Father Zago saw the effects and effectiveness of an old traditional “cure” on many terminally ill members of his parish and witnessed the results first hand. He saw how the bedridden and dying get on their feet again days later after taking the aloe preparation, regaining health and vitality and going back to the fields. When he saw their remission from cancer without the pain and agony of chemo and radiation therapies and without the surgeon’s knife, he decided to put his valuable experience on paper in his book “Cancer can be Cured!”
According to Father Zago, many types of cancer got cured with the use of the Aloe arborescens mixture. These ranged from digestive, hormonal, and glandular types to brain, liver, kidney, bone, and blood cancers. American and British scientific researches, studies, and clinical trials support these claims and findings (Google search ‘aloe’ to find more about the plant).
I found in these websites that Aloe arborescens and vera can help reverse and prevent cancer and AIDS, shrink tumors, control diabetes, treat gum disease, heal from autoimmune disorders, and lower cholesterol, i.e. it helps the body heal itself. Aloe has healing agents, which are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic. They work against canker and cold sores, burns, wounds, bruises, and corneal ulcers.
Their polysaccharides relieve most digestive problems including acid reflux. Their laxative effect comes from the phytocompound anthraquinone, (not recommended during pregnancy). According to a website, “Aloe arborescens is 200 percent richer in phytotherapeutic compounds than Aloe vera.” The Internet provides endless information about the plant, its varieties, and their effects.
With aloe treatment, one feels more energetic, develops a healthier appetite, and general wellness. The healing potency of the plant reduces cholesterol plaque, blood pressure, and inflammation; heals fungal and yeast infections (nails, feet) and Candida; regulates menstrual cycle; balances the body’s pH level; detoxifies the systems; enhances sexual ability and fertility; gets rid of dandruff; makes hair lush and shiny; prevents hair loss and dandruff; improves skin texture (eczema, psoriasis); and heals wounds, burns, and scars.
Other benefits of the aloe and honey mixture have been seen on acid reflux, stomach ulcers, digestion, bowl movement, and other gastric problems, intestinal and uterine polyps, autoimmune diseases (lupus, fibromyalgia), joint pains, and the sinuses.
This is just a quick overview on the healing powers of the preparation. Aloe directly applied or ingested has curative properties on gum disease, abscesses, acne, burns, hemorrhoids, insect stings, warts, and rashes.
The plant’s richness in enzymes, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, glycoproteins, polysaccharides, and phytochemicals (over 200 nutrients) make it suitable to bolster the immune system, give energy, reduce inflammation, and most importantly help repair on the cellular level.
While neurological damages from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases cannot be reversed with the aloe mixture, quality of life of patients improves without leaving side effects. Because of aloe’s purgative characteristics, it should not be taken during pregnancy. Always consult your physician before using aloe or any other while on medical drugs.
Next week, I shall elaborate on the magic potion of Father Romano Zago and its preparation. Remember, the Arabs have successfully cured diseases with aloe for hundreds of years as well as myrrh (murrah), Boswellia (luban shihri), and others.

References:
• Cancer can be Cured! By Father Romano Zago
• The Internet
• Natural Remedies of Saudi Arabia by Lebling and Pepperdine
• Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A. Bach
• Heinerman’s Encyclopedia of Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs by John Heinerman

N.B.:
Individuals with medical conditions or on medication should consult their physicians when they decide to introduce anything new in their diet even if it is natural.

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Lebanese luxury soap brand sees boost in sales amid pandemic

Updated 27 May 2020

Lebanese luxury soap brand sees boost in sales amid pandemic

DUBAI: In 1999, Syrian-Palestinian fragrance connoisseur Hana Debs Akkari pursued her passion project in Lebanon by founding a sophisticated soap company called “Senteurs d’Orient,” or “Fragrances of the East” in French.

Akkari envisioned that her handcrafted soaps would symbolize the beloved floral essences of the Middle East, particularly the Levant, which is reportedly the world’s oldest soap-making region.

With the pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Akkari’s small, family-run luxury soap business has witnessed an increased demand in their natural products nearly twenty years since its founding.

Portrait of Sarah Akkari, CEO of Senteurs d’Orient. (Supplied)

“Since the pandemic was declared, we saw a spike in our online sales,” said Lebanese-Canadian and New Yorked-based Sarah Akkari, Hana’s daughter and CEO of Senteurs d’Orient, to Arab News. “People are washing their hands more often, and their hands are becoming drier as a consequence. So, they’re also looking for a natural soap, such as the ones we offer. Our antibacterial soaps are packed with different nourishing ingredients like glycerin, Shea butter and Vitamin E.”

Operating from Lebanon, Senteurs d’Orient’s factory is run by a diligent team of chemists and artisans, many of whom are women as female education and empowerment in the workforce is at the heart of the company’s ethos.

Engraving soaps at the Lebanon factory. (Supplied)

After mixing the chemical-free ingredients by hand, the soaps are air-dried for 10 ten days and later machine-molded and carefully hand-wrapped. True to the company’s name, the delicate floral scents of gardenia, jasmine, tuberose, and rose of Damascus draw their inspiration from eastern gardens.

To show support for the selfless medical workers, some of whom reached out to Akkari and expressed interest in Senteurs d’Orient’s soaps, she recently donated nearly 500 packages to doctors and nurses from four American hospitals — two in Los Angeles, one in New York and another in New Jersey.

Each package is an ‘Oriental Trio Box’, containing three bars of soap, the shapes and engravings of which are inspired by the decoration of ‘maamoul’, the Levant region’s quintessential pastry.

“When you’re facing this type of crisis and you’re receiving emails from doctors and nurses or anyone on the frontlines, it’s a not a request you can reject,” explained the 32-year-old entrepreneur. “It’s something that we really wanted to be part of and it brought us much satisfaction knowing we could contribute in this way.”

The company has expanded its international presence and line of therapeutic products, creating bath salts, multi-purpose oils and thinly sliced, single-use soap leaves. (Supplied)

Under the leadership of Akkari, the company has expanded its international presence and line of therapeutic products, creating Mediterranean orange blossom bath salts, multi-purpose oils and thinly sliced, single-use soap leaves of amber and tea flower.

It is the authenticity of Senteurs d’Orient’s products that Akkari hopes will come through.

“You feel the fragrance is coming straight from the flower,” she said.