- Common Name- Aloe vera
- Botanical name- Aloe barbadensis
- Hindi name- Ghrit Kumari
- Potency- Cold
- Part used- Sap, leaves
- Taste- Bitter
Aloe vera is a wonder plant that possesses numerous medicinal properties. It is a shrub with a short stem and belongs to Aloe genus which has a number of flowering plants. This evergreen perennial shrub originates from Arabian peninsula but is found to be growing wildly in tropical climates all around the world. Aloe vera is cultivated throughout the globe for medicinal and agricultural purposes. This species of Aloe is also grown indoor as a decorative plant in pots. It is used in preparing various products, especially cosmetics ones like face wash, body lotions, and cream. This herb is also used in many other products like beverages and medicinal products. It is made up of 99% water but the remaining 1% is very powerful and is the main essence of its medicinal properties.
Aloe vera has been cultivated since centuries and now is much popular than ever for its therapeutic and cosmetic properties. However the research works show many claims against it, none of them are very strong. Aloe vera is cultivated across the world as a crop especially for the gel which comes out from its leaf.
Aloe vera is used worldwide for various purposes like as a food, flavoring agent (FDA approved), food supplements, cosmetics, and herbal remedies. In Egypt, during ancient times this plant was known as the plant of immortality. It has been used for therapeutic purposes in Mexico, China, Greece, Japan, Egypt, and India for long times.
Aloe vera is a native herb to Arabian Peninsula, especially in its southwest areas. Other than this it is also grown at large extent in other parts of the world like Sudan, North Africa, Canary Island, Madeira Island, and Cape Verde and has become popularized there. Aloe vera is also wildly grown in other areas like Spain, particularly in the region of Murcia.
This species of Aloe is grown widely as a medicinal and ornamental plant worldwide. It grows well in well-drained, sandy soil and sunny, bright conditions. Too much sunlight can burn them and too much water can shrivel them in. Agriculturally, it is more grown in Bangladesh, Australia, India, Mexico, Spain, Jamaica, South Africa, and Tanzania.
Therapeutic properties- Aloe vera is full of therapeutic properties:
- UV protective
- Anti- depressant
- Immuno booster
- Hypoglycemic (Reduces blood sugar in diabetics)
Aloe vera has numerous health benefits and used widely for different medicinal and cosmetic purposes. Some of them are listed below:
- Heartburn relief– Aloe vera helps to ease the heartburn caused due to gastroesophageal reflux and other digestive troubles. It reduces the severity of the disease by its cooling and soothing properties.
- Mouthwash– Extract of aloe vera can be used as a natural mouthwash. It possesses antibacterial, antimicrobial and refreshing properties which keep plaque and bacteria at bay and gives you a refreshing breath.
- Lowers blood sugar– It can be used by diabetics to lower the blood sugar level naturally. Few studies have suggested that ingestion of two teaspoons of aloe vera gel daily help to lower high blood sugar level. This shows its future in the treatment of diabetes.
- Laxative– This shrub is considered to be a natural laxative. It helps to treat constipation naturally by correcting the digestion. There have been many studies which prove its effectiveness in treating constipation.
- Antioxidant– Acting as a natural antioxidant it inhibits the growth of bacteria and the formation of free radicals that causes infection and oxidative damage to the body, respectively.
- Accelerates Healing– It is also used as a topical medicine in order to accelerate the healing of burns and soothes the skin. Aloe vera has been used for a long time to treat burns, sores, and sunburns. Applying its gel over the burnt area gives a soothing sensation, relieves burning and accelerates the healing.
- Fights plaque– This ancient herb has been used in modern dentistry very actively owing to its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It reduces the dental plaque and inhibits its build up in teeth. Rinsing mouth with aloe vera extract is as much effective as other modern mouthwashes in order to reduce the plaque.
- Treats canker sores– Mouth ulcers or cankers are very common and equally painful. Applying corticosteroids is not the choice everyone wants to go with. Applying aloe vera gel on these ulcers reduces them in size and relieves the pain as well. It accelerates the healing of the canker sores.
- Prevents wrinkles– Aloe vera slows down the aging and prevents the signs like wrinkles and fine lines. Topical application of aloe vera increases the production of collagen and improves the elasticity of the skin. It also decreases the redness of the skin and rehydrates the skin cells.
- Weight Loss– Aloe vera helps to get you to lose weight in a very healthy manner. It possesses an ample amount of minerals and nutrients, also improves their absorption and utilization in the body. It helps to improve the overall health of a person.
- Hair fall– This herb possesses proteolytic enzymes which help in repairing the dead cells of the scalp. It also acts as a conditioner for the hair and makes hair smooth and shiny along with promoting hair growth. It has qualities similar to that of keratin which increases the hair growth and provides more elasticity to hair preventing breakage of the hair.
- Acne– Its healing and antioxidant properties help to treat acne and gives a clear skin.
It is good for skin but can also cause inflammation and itching on the skin. Juice of aloe vera can cause stomach ache, rash, itching, and hives. Its overdose can result in abdominal pain, dizziness, weakness, diarrhea, and cardiac troubles.