The ubiquitous aloe vera looks like a plain and simple plant, but its fat stalks pack a world of goodness. It finds its mention in most tradi-tional medicinal texts – from ancient Chinese medicines to our own Ayurveda. So impressed were the Egyptians that they called it the ‘plant of immortality’!
It is a succulent plant with thick fleshy leaves. It is inside the leaves that we find a thick gel. The other substance that we get from the leaves is the sap, called the aloe latex. You can scrape out the gel from the leaves. If planting a plant seems too much of a bother, there is an even easier alternative. Almost every PCD pharma companies in India today makes aloe vera gel that comes conveniently packed in a tube.
What is aloe vera?
The aloe vera is a succulent plant belonging to the genus aloe. Its botanical name is Aloe barbadensis miller. It is believed that the plat originated in Sudan over 6,000 years ago. It is best suited to warm, dry climate like India and Africa. It is an important part of herbal med-icine all over the world. The plant itself is quite short and often stemless with thick fleshy leaves. It flowers during the summer. It can also be grown indoors.
The fleshy leaves are full of gel which is water mixed with other nutrients. It is these nutrients that make this plant so special. The latex is also very beneficial and many aloe vera products use the whole crushed leaf to ensure that we get the benefits from both the gel and the latex.
Aloe vera has 18 amino acids that work with other our own compounds. There are 75 active components in the plant, making it one of the most biologically active species. It is known for its beneficial effect on our skin and hair. But it is also beneficial in a number of other diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, arthritis and asthma. Let us see some of these in detail:
Aloe vera’s has been used for skincare since ancient times. Not only is it used to make the skin supple and smooth, it also has medicinal properties. This is why aloe vera is used for abrasions and burns. The gel in the leaves is applied for burns, sunburns, psoriasis, frostbite, cold sores, itching and inflammations. You can just tear a leaf, scoop out the gel and use it in its raw form. Alternatively you can buy our aloe vera gel from an Ayurvedic pharma companies in India. Regular application of aloe vera can also slow signs of ageing.
- For an anti-ageing pack, mix aloe vera gel with instant oatmeal (same quantity), olive oil (half the amount) to make a paste. Apply on face, leave for 30 minutes and then rinse it off with cold water.
- Apply the gel directly as a moisturiser. The same method helps in dealing with sunburns, cuts, bruises and stretch marks.
- Mix a few drop of lemon juice to the gel help fights acne and acne scars
When applied regularly, aloe vera is extremely effective in promoting hair growth. It is used to treat hair loss, making hair healthy and shiny. Its anti-inflammatory properties can be used to treat male pattern baldness. While it helps in fighting dandruff, it is gentle enough to maintain the pH balance of your scalp. You can use an aloe vera shampoo and conditioner.
- For better hair growth, mix aloe vera gel with castor oil (half the quantity) and gently massage into your scalp. Leave it overnight. Wash your hair in the morning.
- Use the gel as a leave-in conditioner.
While aloe vera’s beneficial effect on hair and skin are renowned, its nutritional and medicinal properties are not as well known. Some of its medicinal properties are:
- Its anti-inflammatory properties help in reducing arthritic pain and swelling. It is also just as effective in muscle dealing with pain. Regular consumption of aloe vera juice can help in bringing down chronic pain.
- It has been used since ancient times in dressing wounds.
- It reduces blood sugar level.
- It helps in alleviating nausea and acid reflux.
- It can lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels
A glass of aloe vera juice, available from any Ayurvedic PCD pharma company in India, should therefore be part of your daily routine. It will help you feel and look healthy.