NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope mission just made history, announcing the discovery of 1,284 new exoplanets. This is the most new planets announced at one time, with 9 of them considered to be potentially habitable.

“This announcement more than doubles the number of confirmed planets from Kepler,” said Ellen Stofan, chief scientist at NASA Headquarters. “This gives us hope that somewhere out there, around a star much like ours, we can eventually discover another Earth.”


A new technique was utilized to make the discoveries, in which scientists were able to determine the possibility that blips in the data are actually planets, not the result of other astronomical objects.

When looking for exoplanets, Kepler looks at the light coming from distant stars, but if the light dims before it gets to Kepler, it could be a result of a planet passing in front of its sun. This system can lead to false positives, since planets are not the only factor in dimming a star’s light. It could also be a binary star system, a brown dwarf, or a low-mass star.

In the past, confirmation has come in the form of ground-based telescopes — a time-consuming and expensive route. The new technique, however, assesses the likelihood that planet candidates really are planets en masse, without the necessity for follow-up.

“Imagine planet candidates as bread crumbs,” said Timothy Morton from Princeton University in New Jersey, who developed the new technique. “If we drop a few on the ground we can pick them up one by one. But if you spill a whole bucket full of small crumbs, you’re going to need a broom to clean them up.”

The new technique works by first calculating how much the shape of a potential planet’s transit signal looks like an actual planet, and then how common false candidates are out there. These two factors give scientists a reliability score between 0 and 1 for every candidate. Potential planets with a score greater than 99% are referred to as “validated planets,” without follow-up observations taking place.

The point of this mission is to answer a big question: are we the only ones in the Universe?

Kepler scientists can use the transit signal of planets to figure out each candidate’s size and proximity from their sun. This criteria helps determine whether or not they could possibly host life. The nine planets that have been found potentially habitable are less than twice the size of Earth and are positioned in the “Goldilocks zone” of their star, which means they’re not too close or too far, and may even contain liquid water.

And while the verdict is still out as to whether these nine planets can host life, Kepler is almost at the end of its planet-hunting mission, as it is predicted to run out of fuel in about two years. The mission will then be handed to the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and James Webb Space Telescope, who will work together to scan even more stars.

“Before the Kepler space telescope launched, we did not know whether exoplanets were rare or common in the galaxy. Thanks to Kepler and the research community, we now know there could be more planets than stars,” said Paul Hertz, director of the Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters. “This knowledge informs the future missions that are needed to take us ever-closer to finding out whether we are alone in the universe.”

The Wire, new season: lymph node surgery

Ultrasound (US)-guided wire localization of metastatic axillary lymph nodes (LN) allows a more accurate staging and decreases the false-negative rates of sentinel node lymph node biopsy (SLNB) after neoadjuvant therapy, say the authors of the present study. This result proved the aim of the study, namely to evaluate whether preoperative US-guided wire localization of metastatic axillary LN assessed previously by core needle biopsy (CNB) and clip placement in breast cancer patients would improve successful surgical removal.

The US-American researchers at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland conducted a retrospective review of 107 breast cancer patients who underwent US-guided CNB of an axillary LN and biopsy clip placement as well as axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) or sentinel node lymph node biopsy (SLNB), and evaluated preoperative needle localization status, neoadjuvant chemotherapy and type of axillary LN surgery.

68.2 % of patients underwent preoperative US-guided needle localization, and almost all of these (97.3 %) showed confirmation of biopsy clip and LN removal vs. only 79.4 % of the 34 patients that demonstrated no performance of needle localization (p = 0.0043). The authors also performed a subgroup analysis that highlighted the significant difference in removal of metastatic LN between patients under neoadjuvant chemotherapy and patients who had ALND [97 % of LNs removed with wire localization vs. 83.3 % of LNs removed without (p = 0.04), and 96.3 % of LNs removed with wire localization vs. 77.8 % of LNs removed without (p = 0.015), respectively].

US-guided wire localization increases the accuracy of staging, summarize the authors.

Two-and-a-half-year-old becomes youngest liver recipient in Mumbai

A two-and-a-half-year-old with a rare disease became the youngest liver recipient in the city after his mother donated a part of her liver to save his life.

At the age of five months, Shriraj Jedhe had an abnormally large abdomen, said his 29-year-old mother, Gayatri.

An ultrasound test revealed that Shriraj’s liver had fluid accumulated in it. He was referred to Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children, Parel. Within three weeks, doctors diagnosed him with Budd-Chiari syndrome, which is caused by blood clots that completely or partially block blood flow from the liver.

“He was put on blood thinners to dissolve the clot and was on a regular follow-up for nearly two years,” said Dr Saista Amin, consultant paediatrician, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KDAH), Andheri.

During treatment, early this year, Shriraj developed liver cirrhosis and the only option left was a liver transplant, said Dr Amin, adding that Shriraj was then referred to KDAH, where the surgery took place.

According to Dr Vinay Kumaran, head of transplant surgery at KDAH, who performed the life-saving transplant, nearly 80% of Shriraj’s liver stopped functioning. “Both his parents were willing to donate their liver. However, the mother turned out to be a more compatible donor,” he said.

It is estimated that around 300 children in the city suffer from this condition, but unfortunately not everyone can afford the transplant, said Dr Kumaran.

A study conducted by Dr Aabha Nagral, a city-based liver specialist, which was recently published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, has shown radiological interventions for children with Budd-Chiari syndrome can significantly delay the need for a transplant.

“A transplant may not be affordable. Radiological interventions have shown a good long-term outcome in improving the liver’s functioning,” she said.

Oesophageal carcinoma: stay away from the LTA

For the treatment of cancer of the oesophagogastric junction (OGJ), both the left thoracoabdominal (LTA) and transhiatal (TH) approach have been advocated for curative resection. However, data was lacking as to whether the choice of procedure has any influence on the long-term outcome, say Japanese researchers. Then, in 1995, the Japan Clinical Oncology Group (JCOG) initiated a phase III randomised clinical trial, evaluating the survival advantage of these two approaches on 167 patients with adenocarcinoma of the OGJ or gastric cardia.

The key word here is initiated: The study was stopped when it became clear that the predictive probability of the LTA approach being significantly better than the TH technique was a mere 3.7%, and that LTA surgery lead to increased postoperative morbidity. In the present study, the same group is publishing the 10-year follow-up data. Why? “Because many surgeons in Japan and also some in the West still recommend the LTA approach”, say the authors – hopefully not after they have read this final analysis.

All patients underwent total gastrectomy and splenectomy with D2 nodal dissection plus para-aortic lymphadenectomy above the left renal vein. In addition, a thorough mediastinal lymphadenectomy below the left inferior pulmonary vein was mandatory for LTA patients. Primary endpoint was overall survival.

The 10-year overall survival rate was 24% for the LTA approach, compared to 37% for the TH technique (P = 0•060); the LTA had an HR for death of 1.42. In addition, subgroup analysis (Siewert classification) indicated non-significant survival advantages in favour of the TH approach. The authors’ clear conclusion: Avoid LTA resection when treating patients with adenocarcinoma of the OGJ or gastric cardia.

The laparoscopic case of a pancreatic insulinom

Whether Swiss cheese and chocolates were involved in the party or not is unknown, but researchers from Lausanne certainly had cause for celebrations: They conducted the first successful case of laparoscopic pancreatic enucleation with resection of the main pancreatic duct followed by end-to-end anastomosis. This case is described in the present report.

A 41-year old woman was admitted to hospital for repeated syncope; the initial investigations showed hypoglycaemia and elevated blood insulin levels. In the contrast-enhanced computed tomography examination, a highly enhanced tumour (22 mm diameter) was detected on the ventral side of the pancreatic body, next to the main pancreatic duct, and diagnosed as pancreatic insulinoma (later confirmed in pathology as a well-differentiated insulinoma).

A laparoscopic pancreatic enucleation was performed, whereby the authors segmentally resected approximately 2 cm of the main pancreatic duct and inserted a short stent. Four separate sutures with an absorbable monofilament were used for the direct anastomosis of the main pancreatic duct. The surgical intervention took two hours and 46 minutes to complete, during which time the patient lost an estimated 100ml of blood. Pathology showed a negative margin. Due to an uneventful post-op course, the patient was discharged on day 7. One month later, CT imaging showed the successful anastomosis with a patent main pancreatic duct.

Summary: It is feasible and safe to perform a laparoscopic segmental resection of the main pancreatic duct and end-to-end anastomosis with the insertion of a short stent. To note, this technique also may also be employed a central pancreatectomy, add the authors.

Damage control laparotomy associated with infection risk

Managing patients with traumatic injuries represents an often-encountered challenge in clinical practice. Damage control laparotomy (DCL) is frequently used and might be appropriate in many cases, but it is also associated with significant morbidity, says a team of researchers at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. One well-known potential complication is surgical site infection (SSI), associated with morbidity, increased costs and prolonged hospital stays. The findings of the present study confirm that primary skin closure is associated with an increased risk of abdominal SSI.
The retrospective review encompassed 510 patients who underwent DCL after injury. The authors compared the outcomes of patients with primary skin closure to those with secondary intervention wound healing.
301 patients achieved primary fascial closure. Of these, 111 underwent primary skin closure, while the wounds of the other 190 patients were left open to heal. Fascial closure at the initial take‐back surgery was associated with having skin closure, while colonic injury was associated with leaving the wound open. Primary skin closure was associated with an increased risk of abdominal SSI, but not fascial dehiscence.
Of patients receiving skin closure, the vast majority – 85.6% – did not develop abdominal SSI, so these patients were “spared the morbidity of managing an open wound at discharge”, say the authors. Their summary: Primary skin closure after DCL is appropriate, but physicians need to be aware of the associated increased risk of SSI.

The doctor will skype you now

Technological advancements over the past century have granted clinicians the opportunity to incorporate the use of telemedicine in their practice. But what are the pros and cons of this new technology? Two surgical oncologists from the University of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, UK, conducted a review of ten studies – all of which presenting highly favorable results within surgical subspecialties. The listed advantages of telemedicine include:

  • Improved access and convenience, not just for patients living in rural areas, but also for regional centers who can now consult with tertiary units for specialist input
  • The lack of travel necessary means less costs for patients and less loss of time off needed for consultation
  • There is some evidence that telemedicine significantly reduces unplanned clinic attendance
  • Reduced staffing requirements might mean that telemedicine could allow for more efficient workforce planning to deliver remote clinical consultations

However, there of course concerns to consider. These include:

  • Technological barriers, which could particularly prohibit smaller institutions, rural and/or older patients from using these services
  • Successful consultations depend on the quality of connection and bandwidth available, the development of adequate infrastructure is a must
  • The lack of direct contact, which both patients and doctors cite as a big concern. It seems clear that while video telemedicine cannot replace the diagnostic capabilities of physical examination, there is also evidence to suggest that most clinicians using these systems are highly satisfied with the quality of consultations
  • Medicolegal issues need to be sorted out regarding remuneration, insurance, and prescribing of telemedicine consultations, as well as electronic security and patient privacy.

The authors think that in time, the advantages will outweigh the disadvantages. The change is already happening: Telemedicine will fundamentally alter the interaction between physician and patient and, they hope, transform the quality of care delivered to patients for the better.


I have been searching for “answers” most of my life and have written about an epiphany in 2007when I watched a TED video in which geneticist Juan Enriquez spoke of DNA not as “like” software, but as encoded instructions.

At that time I was struck by the reality (as opposed to the abstract notion) that there must be or have been some “higher intelligence” in Nature (“Who was the programmer?”).

content young man sitting meditating in comfy chair

I was fine with leaving the question open but it made me much less interested in “normal” life and I decided that connection with such higher intelligence, if it still exists (and really where did it go?), should take priority in my life.

I remembered trying Transcendental Meditation after college and receiving a mantra that had no intrinsic “meaning” but simply pointed me back inside to silence. Recalling the mantra, I decided to try using it for a few months.

I knew that the premise of TM was that one would begin to notice changes in one’s life over time but that they might not be obvious or make any sense; and indeed my life went through some tremendous gyrations and I emerged from the rabbit hole through some intense therapy, and then working with Michael Jeffreys and in his Eckhart Tolle group (now a weekly satsang) in L.A.

I needed a lot of naps and quiet time and continued to meditate regularly every morning, deciding that this was the one way to manifest my commitment to a connection to whatever IS as opposed to what “I” thought should or might be…

Starting to see myself more and more in terms of “software,” I said in the group that my naps were a way to “reboot” and flush the “cache” from my brain.

And being left brained I wanted to also do it “right,” so I remembered the work of Jon Kabat-Zin who had been interviewed by Bill Moyers decades earlier and who still was regarded as a premier spokesman for mindfulness.

In our group Michael always stressed, and I picked up on, the need to actually perform inner inquiry on “who” is really thinking or thinks they are “in control,” and this inquiry had made me question everything.  It opened up the entire vista of dropping out all that was “conceptual.”

And then what I took from Kabat-Zin’s videos — which were “instructional” — was an amazing idea: YOU CAN’T DO IT WRONG?

How is that possible, my formative mind recoiled?

Kabat-Zin’s view of mindfulness was just that — watching the mind go through its shenanigans and remaining in stillness.  There was nothing to “get” either in terms of receiving or understanding — merely a connection to a deeper level of mind would unfold.

What about proof?

Proof was exposed as another “concept” of the Egoic mind (now I was reading quite a bit of Eckhart Tolle).

Eckhart also talks about mindfulness and suggests that during meditation we also try to find exactly “who” is thinking or seeming to make decisions.  At each level of discernment of a “who” it becomes clear that that’s not “it” because this level is exposed as another thought — and yet another faculty is still noticing…

So you go deeper.  As neuroscientist Douglas Hofstadter describes in his book I Am A Strange Loop.

When I did this inquiry I could only find sensation — which as Michael Jeffreys points out is merely a “feeling” and can’t be “you” because if one is honest one must then ask, “who” notices this?

So deeper you go – with more discoveries…

But the other salient “thing” I found was seeking energy and the “Planner.”

I discovered that my mind had a task which it reveled in — trying to control life by making plans — and I began to notice this as an activity in the same way that one uses any tool — reminiscent of the great saying that the mind is a wonderful tool but a terrible master.

Now its mastery was becoming abated and it felt quite calming and in fact circumstances in my life improved.

In addition to the planner I noticed much physical discomfort at time, and one other trait:  Impatience.

I found my “self” negotiating how long I had to sit. Is ten minutes enough?  Must it be 20?  How was I doing?

But going back to Kabat-Zin I remembered the overview — you can’t do it wrong.  I decided that sitting quietly and watching my inner world for fifteen plus minutes would be a reasonable commitment daily and I have kept it “religiously.”

I also take to heart Eckhart Tolle’s suggestion that it’s not about how long you can “sit with your eyes closed” just as it’s not about “the next retreat, workshop or seminar.”

What it’s about is minimizing the interference of the “should” mind and relaxing into spaciousness — and allowing one’s inner world to be what it is — and one’s outer world to unfold with minimum interference.

I saw Kabat-Zin “live” at Wisdom 2.0 several years ago and since then it is amazing how mindfulness has become a buzzword in business and education — all for the good in my view.

But science continues to make significant connections between findings in neuroscience and the practice (as opposed to the study) of meditation.

Dr. Joe Dispenza writes in his blog:

“When you can completely relax your body and remain conscious, this is the realm where the unknown and the mystical happens.”

Here is what’s happening according to Fast Company:  “Your Brain Has A “Delete” Button—Here’s How To Use It.”

“Glial cells” are the gardeners of your brain — they act to speed up signals between certain neurons. But other glial cells are the waste removers, pulling up weeds, killing pests, raking up dead leaves. Your brain’s pruning gardeners are called “microglial cells.” They prune your synaptic connections. The question is, how do they know which ones to prune?

Of course, a better question might be, “who is doing the pruning?”

This brings me back to the Michael Jeffreys group and he would quote another teacher (Paul Hedderman) who would say, “The party doesn’t start until you leave.”

What I think is happening during meditation from a scientific perspective is that the brain is reworking its neural networks and eliminating extraneous trash; particularly that related to a fixed self or any deeply held conceptual truths and allowing for an openness to be created for anything NEW.

If the universe is in fact conscious and expanding this puts one in alignment with this conscious expansion — it is intelligent evolution and perhaps responsible for the encoded instructions that express the immense intelligence that runs our physical bodies without “our” participation (as Eckhart says).

The “explanation” is really antithetical to the PRACTICE — which is the essence of the nondual teaching of Michael Jeffreys and others like Paul Hedderman that reduces identification with a “self” and affirms an acceptance of what IS.

Time is Now Accelerating to a Standstill – How Do You Deal With That?

Are you feeling it too? It’s like you have more and more to do, and increasingly less time to do it. It’s because of this Great Shift of Consciousness into the 5D. Time is speeding up, because life here in the 3D has been locked into an eddy current — a ‘time-warp’, behind the flow — but now that reality is unwinding. We’re rejoining the space-time continuum, where there is no time!

How do you deal with that in a practical sense? What does it mean for your life and all that you’re doing, all that you’re trying to create?

An artificial definition of ‘Time’

Linear time is an illusion. It’s a warp in time-space, held in place by a mind which has lost the flow and moved into an eddy current of beliefs and judgments, temporarily separate from the mainstream of the universal flow. It’s like you’ve decided already what reality will be, and so your natural creative powers create that – you make it real; you hold it in place by a conditioned belief of what it will be tomorrow, based on what it was yesterday.

That is until the reality becomes so dense, that it pulls in the realigning flow of the cosmos
to bring it back to the mainstream.

Deep in our past, humanity has witnessed the flow slowing down into this eddy current, noticed that for some considerable period of ‘time’ it has behaved in an apparently predictable way, and then assigned some artificial definition of ‘seconds’, ‘minutes’ and ‘hours’ to it. Since this artificial view of ‘time’ is related to the spin of the planet, it seemed somehow constant.

However, the mind is not indefinitely bound to the physical density. Instead it is a vehicle for the flow of the soul, and now the soul of man is shifting, in the direction of the 5D shift of the planet. As you move toward the Fifth Density – inside yourself – then you begin to pass through the 4D, where the notion of linear time ceases. Instead, you rejoin the space-time-continuum, where all in the cosmos is moving in concert together.

Being is the Change

That’s why there can still be movement within this one moment of now – because everything moves together. The ‘past’ is unwinding through this moment, and the next possible ‘future’ is already landing in this moment. And so the dynamic continues rolling forward continually shaping the new reality – the new form of the continuum.

For an ego locked into an eddy current – a bubble – within that continuum, trying to hold a fixed reality in place, ultimately becomes a massive headspin!

In this temporary bubble, you may think you have things to do, that are important. You may have your day lined up with ‘this’ and ‘that’. You may think your career is important, putting a roof over your head, the bills and the mortgage etc etc. And you find yourself chasing ever more to meet these ‘deadlines’. Yet underneath all of this is another, entirely different, agenda.

The flow has a purpose and direction all of it’s own. It’s working through the greater cosmos to reflect mirrors of the One, of what the One is being now. And it’s doing so through every part of the Universe – including you. The Universe is being, and that’s why they say Being is the Change.

Life is Ascending into a more timeless 5D

So in any one moment, you’re being pulled by two contradictory flows: the fixed eddy current of ideas and beliefs about what you should be doing in this matrix called ‘society’. But also the underlying movement connecting up to your soul that wants to bring you back to the mainstream – back to being. When you’re in this authentic beingness, time disappears. That’s why the more you open up to your soul, the less time you’ll have to waste on things that don’t ultimately matter.

So what doesn’t matter right now?

Life on the planet is ascending. The old 3D reality has served its purpose and is unwinding. We see that in the rapidly changing climate and the breakdown of the biosphere. We see it in the moving on of life through this Sixth Mass Extinction. There’s no need to hang on to this, to try to ‘heal’ or ‘fix’ it. The fixing and healing IS the movement into a Higher Vibrational Frequency – the consensus of sentient life here is looking for, and moving toward, a reality of greater harmony, of greater sense of pure being.

What do You really have to do?

The 4D karmic anchor that has created this reality, for the purpose of evolutionary exploration, education and growth, has been lifted. It happened at the back-end of 2012, when Gaia centred her consciousness in the 5D. Now the old reality is uwinding and unravelling. The physical constructs may still be in place — for now — but the soul is being encouraged ‘higher’, by the movement of other sentient life steadily shifting frequency.

This is No Time for Caution!

What does this mean in a practical sense?

It means if you’re still locked into doing, to trying to shape and control things in the 3D, you’ll likely find yourself under increasing stress as you have less and less time to do what you think you have to. The more you surrender those things that you really don’t need to do, the more you’ll come into the presence of being. Paradoxially, when you’re in that place, it feels like time has stopped. Because it has! You’ve speeded up into a standstill, where you’re now being.

How can you live within this shifting dynamic?

The 3D reality will continue to exist – a while longer. But it will become increasingly challenged in the years ahead as sentience ascends. It means the resources of the planet will dwindle, and the growing space for food as the climate shifts too. This is already happening. We see it for example in the phenomenal speed with which marine life is moving on – which is a major link in the foodchain.

So there will still be things to do. But it’s increasingly essential that the doing is authentic – that it arises only from authentic being; in other words, you have to be coming from the soul in order for your life to truly work.

If you find yourself increasingly rushed and hurried to do things, it’s because you’re not actually doing what the unravelling flow is inviting you to do.

This is No Time for Caution!

There’s absolutely no need to hurry

It’s time to let go. To surrender what you think you must, should, or are obliged, to do. Instead, feel deep into the soul and commit only to that sense of ‘rightness’, which is then supported by the clicking-in of synchronicity. Then you know you’re in the flow, and it feels like you have all the time in the world…

“The Tao is never hurried
And yet nothing is left undone.”

~ Lao Tzu

Life will continue a while longer here in the 3D, but the underlying impetus is to move on. That in itself is already unwinding this reality, which is felt as in security to all those scrabbling to manifest or control dwindling natural resources. If you want to evolve and be a part of the realigning flow, there’s no need to fight or try to hang on.

Let go. Surrender. You don’t have to do a fraction of what you think you must.

Take time to come into stillness. As much as possible. And from the stillness let natural action flow.

There’s nothing to struggle for — Let go, you’ve arrived!

There’s nothing to fix. There’s nothing to solve, to struggle for or to hold in place. It’s all solving itself and you just have to dance within that resolution.

It will batter you. Or rather… it will batter the ego! It will batter the ego down into the surrendered-ness of the soul.

So stop fighting. Stop struggling. Stop trying to fix it. Let it fix you.
Stop trying to get somewhere — then you’ll find you’ve already arrived!

Traditional Uses of Aloe Vera from All Around the World

It’s no secret aloe vera is one of the most popular succulents around the world today. For thousands of years, it has been grown for a variety of uses — everything from oral health, skin benefits, and even dietary supplementation. It’s also an example of when traditional use held up to heavy scrutiny and extensive testing.

While the plant likely got its start in southern Africa, you can find it growing in parts as varied as the Mediterranean to areas of the southern U.S.[1] There’s a lot of nutrients and potential health benefits packed into this easy-maintenance plant: “over 200 different biologically active substances.”

Aloe Vera in the United States Today

More and more people are using aloe vera to support their health — digestive health, skin health, you name it.[2] Take care, though, that the aloe vera you’re using doesn’t contain aloin or aloe latex(undesirable components found in the outer leaf portion) because there could be either a harsh laxative effect or drug interactions. Even still, aloe vera makes up a small part of the U.S. market when it comes to its use as a natural remedy.[3]

In the U.S., aloe vera gel is used topically to reduce the appearance of acne, as well as for all sorts of other skin care issues. It’s also used as an additive in beauty products. Many people are starting to drink aloe vera juice for its nutritional value.[4] You can even find gel from the inner leaf of the plant in many grocery stores, as it has gained popularity as an addition to smoothies. What about people from other parts of the world?

Aloe Vera in Egypt

While aloe vera might not yet be quite as well known in the U.S., Egyptians have prized the plant for over 6000 years.[5] One of the first mentions of aloe vera appears in thePapyrus Ebers around B.C. 1550, which shows 12 formulas for using aloe vera therapeutically. It proved so useful that, at one point, it was known as the “Plant of Immortality.” People would even present aloe vera as a burial gift to deceased pharaohs. It is widely believed that queens Nefertiti and Cleopatra also used aloe vera cosmetically.[5][6] Historically, some accounts indicate that the plant was even used to “treat” tuberculosis. [7] The ancient Egyptians were not the only ones who had a long history of using aloe vera in unique ways.


Aloe Vera in India

As early as B.C. 600, there’s record of Arab traders bringing aloe vera (which they called “desert lily”) to India. Arabs were already separating the inner gel and sap from the outer rind, even grinding the leaves into powder, and this was highly valued; in fact, records from as early as the 17th century show the East India Trading Company relied heavily on aloe for its commercial value. Moving along through history, it’s even mentioned by one of the great religious figures, Mahatma Gandhi, in response to the question of how he maintained his strength while fasting: “You ask me what were the secret forces which sustained me during my long fasts. Well, it was my unshakable faith in God, my simple and frugal lifestyle, and the Aloe whose benefits I discovered upon my arrival in South Africa at the end of the 19th century.” And, like in the U.S., aloe juice products are becoming increasingly popular in India, with anticipated benefits including high vitamin and mineral content, adaptogenic properties, digestive support, and detoxification.

Aloe Vera in Ancient Greece

The first recorded mention of aloe in Greek culture was made by the physician, Aulus Celsus, who focused exclusively on aloe as a purgative. Further mention is made in the text “Greek Herbal” by Pedanius Dioscorides, who notes the sap, not the gel, is the healing agent, and that the more bitter the sap, the more effective. He also comments aloe vera induces sleep, cleanses the stomach, has skin benefits, stops hair loss, and has several other benefits. Greek scholars and doctors alike continued to confirm and expound upon its use throughout history and even up into modern times.

Aloe Vera Usage Across Asia

As early as B.C. 400, the aloe vera plant and processed aloe products were being traded throughout Asia. By 700-800 AD, the Chinese “Materia Medicas” noted its medical benefits, referring to the plant as “Lu-hui” (black deposit) because of its bitter taste. Ever since then, aloe use has swept throughout China, as well as the entire continent of Asia. A group fromTokyo Women’s Medical College has conducted some of the leading research on a lectin found in aloe vera that help supports the immune system.[8] There’s even a popular Japanese yogurt line that uses aloe as one of its key ingredients!

Aloe Names from Around the World

With such amazing uses, aloe vera has earned nicknames from all around the globe–names like the “silent healer”, “burn plant”, “ghai kunwar”, “elephant’s gall”, “isha irazu”, “cape aloe”, the “medicine plant”, and the “first aid plant”. And, while there are lots of other aloe species, none are so heavily utilized as aloe vera.

The Future of Aloe Vera in the United States

As aloe continues to grow in popularity in the U.S, many Americans are educating themselves about natural remedies and the health benefits of improving their nutrition. As more and more aloe products arrive on the market—gels, lotions, creams, juices, and capsules—it’s easier than ever to access the benefits of aloe vera. And, because aloe plants are so easy to care for, more people are growing their own. But, remember, always use caution when consuming fresh aloe. Certain parts of the leaf contain compounds called aloin and aloe latex which will likely cause a pretty severe state of gastric distress. The best thing you could do to maximize the benefits from aloe would be to take a high-quality aloe vera supplement like Aloe Fuzion™. Aloe Fuzion is an incredibly effective aloe vera supplement because it is made from 100% organic inner leaf aloe vera powder. It has the highest acemannan content available today to ensure that you get the most benefit from aloe vera supplementation.