ALOE STANDS ALONE
ALOE VERA-- The most popular herbal remedy for the care of parrots seems to be aloe. One popular use of aloe is a topical spray to sooth the irritated skin of birds that engage in feather plucking. Dramatic results can be obtained with this protocol when used on parrots who are destroying their feathers due to an itchy condition of the skin. Even in cases of psychological plucking, the aloe spray has been known to slow down feather destruction, due to the fact that damp feathers seem to dampen the urge to pluck. The easiest way to obtain a quality aloe spray for parrots is to buy it from a health food store. I recommend George's Aloe Spray, which comes in a spray bottle with eight ounces for approximately five dollars. Otherwise, a spray can be made by obtaining a new and clean spray bottle and filling it with a solution of one part pure aloe vera juice to three parts distilled water. Our love of parrots can be extremely rewarding! Most of the time, interacting with them is pure pleasure. But, one of the few drawbacks of keeping parrots as a hobby or a business is the occasional painful bite. It is surprising that although most of us know about the use of aloe vera gel for sunburn, there seems to be little awareness of its merits as an analgesic for other minor injuries. It will take only one incident of a smashed toe, a cut finger, a scraped knee, or a crushing bird bite from a beak capable of exerting a couple thousand pounds of pressure to convince you of the almost magical pain-killing ability of aloe vera gel. Not only does aloe vera gel relieve pain almost instantly, it also helps to prevent bruising and its accompanying purple, black and blue colors. When you have a cut, abrasion, bruise or painful bite, immediately immerse the wounded area in a thick coating of the gel. For a badly bitten finger, fill a rubber finger cot with the thick gel and wear it on the finger for as long as you like, five minutes is good and an hour is better! The pain will be a thing of the past within the first few minutes. If you have older aloe vera plants with large leaves, you might cut open a leaf and wrap it around an injured finger.
ALOE DETOX-- About a year ago, I wrote an account in an on-line newsletter of an adult female eclectus that I own who became seriously ill. After undergoing every imaginable test and treatment protocol by two veterinarians, no diagnosis could be made and the bird was sent home to be "kept comfortable." In desperation, I went browsing in a health food store with the hope of finding something that might save my beloved bird. Both vets had mentioned liver damage so I decided to try a liver-detoxifying agent called Aloe Detox by Naturade. I was shocked at the immediate response--her appetite returned, she began perching for the first time in weeks and she became responsive to her surroundings again. After a couple weeks of steady improvement and when she seemed normal again, I took her back to one of the treating vets for blood work. He was pleasantly surprised just to see her alive, and he drew blood for re-testing. He phoned me with the results of the CBC and said "If I had not drawn the blood myself, I would not believe that it came from the same bird. All of her liver values are completely normal!" In hindsight, I wish that I had kept a log of all her treatments, including the Aloe Detox, but the dosage that I used was, at best, unscientific, being simply all that I could get into her. I made her drinking water half Aloe Detox, soaked her bird bread in it, and put it on everything that she would eat. Being a non-toxic product, I felt that there was no danger of overdosing her. Due to the serious nature of her condition, there was nothing to lose. Through the internet and by word of mouth, Aloe Detox has become popular with quite a few Avian vets in the U.S. and has been credited with saving many birds, which is most gratifying to me. I think that it should be an integral part of all Avian first-aid kits. Product description: NATURADE Detoxifying Formula, Double Strength Aloe Vera Gel (200:1) with Aloe Pulp and Natural Herbal Blend: Milk Thistle, Burdock, Dandelion, Echinacea, Green Tea, Red Clover and Blue Cohosh. Cost: $15 per quart. Where to buy: health food stores or NATURADE web site at: http://www.naturade.com/products/specialty/detox.htm Dr. Greg Harrison, Avian vet of Lake Worth, Florida, also recommends Aloe Vera. In his book, Avian Medicine, Principles and Application, he makes the following recommendation: George's Aloe Vera (Warren Laboratories) Available as a lotion for topical application on pruritic lesions or as a liquid for oral administration. Solution for treating pruritic skin lesions is made by mixing one-half ounce of Aloe Vera oral liquid with one teaspoon of Penetran, two drops of Woolite and one pint of water.
Aloe Vera Benefits, Uses and Information The aloe plant and its derivative products have played a role in medicine and health care dating as far back as the 4th century B.C. when ancient Greek doctors obtained aloe from the island of Socotra in the Indian Ocean. In the 10th century A.D., aloe was recommended to the British king Alfred the Great by the Patriarch of Jerusalem for its amazing remedial values. Muslims who have made the pilgrimage to Mecca are entitled to hang an Aloe plant over their doors as a talisman against evil.
Aloe is a lily-like, green, and sometimes spiny shrub with very little, if any, stem. It produces approximately 25 fleshy, gray-green leaves in a beautiful rosette display. In Europe, Aloe is used almost exclusively as a digestive aid and laxative. Elsewhere, including the United States, the gel from the inner aloe leaf is a popular ingredient in many skin preparations and cosmetics.
The laxative component of the plant works by preventing the absorption of water from the bowel, thus increasing the volume of its contents and hastening their passage. This component of Aloe also kills some bacteria and is believed to act against a variety of viruses including herpes, chickenpox, and flu. Aloe Vera has been used to heal both internally and externally. It greatly speeds the healing of many skin injuries, including ulcerations, burns, hives and poison ivy and also acts as a laxative. Aloe latex is a powerful laxative, but because it can cause painful cramping, it is not used frequently for this purpose. Other milder herbal laxatives such as cascara sagrada and senna are usually recommended first.
Aloe use has also been suggested in connection with diabetes, ulcers, and other conditions. However, presently no conclusive clinical studies have supported this assertion.
Swissgood Caroline full article link
Dr. Rueben full article: Aloe http://www.dpdotcom.com/freebie/Aloe%20Vera%20Extract.pdf
Medicinal Uses Many people swear by aloe vera for helping to take the pain out of insect stings, healing cuts, dissolving wrinkles, smoothing and moisturizing skin. Many cosmetics contain aloe vera juices or aloe vera extract. There is even a small industry making aloe vera products for internal use.
Two contradictory studies, done in the 90's, had differing results with aloe vera. One company said its studies indicated that covering wounds with aloe vera instead of bandages increased healing time by six to seven days.
A second study said that the same process produced significantly slower healing.
Some reports say it is useful for treating ringworm and athlete's foot.
A recent study in Spain found that aloe derivatives could be used as an effective (and better) substitute for sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide has long been used as a preservative to prolong the shelf life of fruits and vegetables.
Although I'm not sure about the healing properties of aloe, I do know that my mother, aunt and grandmother used it to treat bee and wasp stings, mosquito bites, scrapes and cuts. So, even if it is a placebo, it's sort of like comfort food. It may or may not work physically, but it may have a lot to do with healing psychically.
Read more at Suite101: Aloes: Non-Desert Tropical: Aloes are tropical succulents, but not suited for the desert garden.