Have you ever tried aloe vera juice? I have. It’s wonderful. And, I’m not the only one who thinks so!
Out of the 400 species of the Aloe family, Aloe Vera (meaning True Aloe) has been used for thousands of years and is still used today. It is used predominantly as a remedy for the skin, digestion, the reproductive system and detox. A gel or pulp can be extracted from the plants for many benefits, both externally and internally.
It is most commonly used to treat skin conditions by soothing the skin and easing pain and inflammation. It can even speed up the healing process of burns, eczema and other conditions. The plant’s gel can be rubbed to reduce redness after a couple of days. Rubbing the leaf over cuts in the skin can prevent infection and speed up the healing process by acting like a bandage. Because of its healing and moisturizing benefits to the skin, it has been adopted by cosmetic companies and added in many products that you can purchase over the counter.
Jeffery the bulldog is currently a BIG fan of Band-Aid Hurt-Free Antiseptic wash (for his sore tail.) This particular product lists aloe as one of the main ingredients.
The juice of Aloe Vera is extracted by cutting the leaf, collecting the juice and then evaporating it. It contains twelve vitamins (including A, B1, B6, B12, C and E), nineteen amino acids and over 20 minerals, which most of these are essential to the body. In Ayurveda, the Indian health practice, Aloe Vera is known as Kumari (‘the princess’) because of its positive effect on the menstrual cycle and female reproductive system. It is also known for its ability to clean the liver and protect the digestive system by reducing intestinal inflammation.
Jeffery (the bulldog) has always been partial to aloe vera, as he used to chomp and chew the leaves of my huge backyard aloe plant when we lived in California. He must’ve known something…
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So, any of you who have particular breeds of dogs are aware of breed specific “issues.” For English bulldogs, like Jeffery, they can have a slew of problems, from most of which JDawg is symptom free. However, since we’ve moved to Florida from Los Angeles, he has experienced several fun skin issues.
Most notably, his now stinky tail. English Bulldogs can have 2 different styles of tails. The first one sticks straight out and kinda looks like a broken thumb. Or, like Jeffery, one that grows in a spiral, exactly like a cinnamon roll.
So, what’s the problem with such incredible cuteness? Well, any type of prolonged moisture (or humidity…welcome to the south!) that gets in there can’t fully dry out. This can cause painful skin infections and bacteria growth. Sometimes, the tail even has to be surgically removed! Hence, after living here in humidity central for 3 years, Jeffery now has a stinky tail.
So how to treat this? It’s uncomfortable for the doggie and unpleasant for anyone around the doggie (bleh! what’s that smell? Oh…it’s just Jeffery…)
At first we went repeatedly to the Vet, who gave us this. Jeffery hated it. Even though it’s suppose to be an anti-inflammatory product, it seemed to sting and hurt. Basically, as soon as he saw me reaching for the bottle he would run to his bed and sit down. When an 85 pound Bulldog decides to sit down, you have as much chance reaching his sore little tail as you have of uplifting a fire hydrant.
Disregarding JDawg’s fussiness, I- like good mothers everywhere- still forced him to allow me to apply his medicine. He forgave me…eventually. (Bits of hotdogs helped.)
We tried this for, ooooh, about 10 bottles, spread throughout the last 8 months. No real improvement, but one increasingly cranky bulldog.
So, I decided to take matters into my own holistic hands and began a treatment of coconut oil and essential oils.
Coconut oil because of it’s high lauric acid content (bacterial fighting abilities.) Essential oils because of their amazing antibacterial, anti fungal, and skin healing properties.
- Much reduced inflammation.
- Jeffery doesn’t hate the EO’s and he’ll actually let me apply them without fighting (much.)
- No more bleeding, and I can see pink, healthy skin, vrs the red swollen oozing mess that it was before.
- Jeffery will let you touch his tail now, whereas before it was so tender he’d flinch and react when anyone got too close to touching that area.
I’m pretty sure I will have to apply this treatment as an ongoing thing, which is fine. He’s doing great, and is once again the happy lil fire hydrant that loves to be tickled 🙂
Have you ever used Essential Oils to treat your pet? If so, please tell me what you used and the results!