Aloe vera is a scientific name of a flowering succulent plant belonging to the family ‘Asphodelaceae’.
It is known as ‘wonder plant’ because of its properties and benefits, naturally and medically. It is also known as ‘Lilly of the desert’. In past times, Egyptians used to call it ‘plant of immorality’.
It is an evergreen plant that grows in an arid climate and tropical regions but most commonly found and cultivated all over the world. Its leaves are tall and are water-filled. The water combines to make a sticky gel inside which contains phytochemicals for bioactivity and anthraquinones. This gel is filled with many healthy and beneficial products containing anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties, and antioxidants.
Aloe vera is used to prepare medicines and topical products like medications for skin, hair, or even used for relief of constipation. It is prepared in the form of lotion, cream, gel, ointment, soap, and multiple cosmetics. It can also be used raw.
Aloe vera is best known in this world for its beauty purpose and healing properties.
It is used as an herbal remedy for enhancing beauty and multiple other things.
What can aloe vera do?
As we all are known by this plant due to its properties like improving skin health, improves constipation, and has magical healing powers. Let’s take a look at what else can aloe vera can do.
- Aloe vera is used as a medication but some people are allergic to aloe vera so multiple reactions can occur like redness, itching, swelling after contacting with aloe vera.
- Past before 2002, aloe vera was used orally for the ingestion problems. It contains ‘ALOIN’ a laxative but after its unprocessed toxicity, it was banned because at a variable dosage it shows reactions like abdominal pain, hepatitis, and diarrhea. Excess ingestion of aloe vera can cause reactions and may lead to cardiac or renal issues.
- Aloe vera is used as a skin treatment medicine because of its healing agents. Its gel can be applied topically if not allergic.
- It has anti-irritant properties that help to relieve irritation on the skin.
- It has moisturizing agents that are used in making cosmetics and makeup items.
- It is also used as a moisturizer and toner. There is an entire line of products which contain aloe vera and it can be used as products like conditioner, lotion, smooth cream, etc.
- Aloe vera has antioxidants that contain substances known as ‘polyphenols’ that can inhibit the growth of various bacteria that can harm us.
- Not only this but because of the healing agents, it can quicken the healing of burns and can be applied on the 1st and 2nd degree of burns. And can accelerate the time of healing.
- Aloe vera also reduces dental plaque. By rinsing mouth from aloe vera juice, dental plaque can be reduced within days. It works effectively like chlorhexidine.
- It can help as an anti-aging gel. It improves collagen production and also increases skin elasticity and helps in removing wrinkles and glows up the skin.
- It is used for lightening and brightening of the skin.
- Aloe vera has traditionally been used as a diabetes remedy. It lowers our blood sugar levels and helps improve insulin sensitivity.
- It can also treat hemorrhoids.
- Aloe vera gel is also applied on the scalp which is used to reduce hair loss.
- Aloe vera for its skin-enhancing properties, also used for soothing sunburn.
- It helps in decreasing digestive problems.
- It is also available in supplement form so we can consume it and can get the same beneficial results as compared to raw gel. But still, everything should be used with caution. Ask your doctor before taking any pill.
How can aloe vera be used?
Aloe vera can be used in two forms:
- Aloe vera gel
- Aloe vera latex.
Aloe vera gel
Aloe vera gel can be used to treat skin problems like tightening, burn, or scars. This gel is taken from the aloe leaves which are filled with this sticky clear gel. This gel can be taken orally or in a supplement capsule form.
Aloe vera latex
Next is aloe vera latex. This is a yellow-colored substance that is produced by the plant under the outer lining of the leaf and it contains laxative agents that can be taken orally to treat digestion problems like constipation.
Now, aloe vera is also used in drinks and aloe vera water is also introduced in markets which is manufactured by mixing aloe vera gel with citrus substances.
Medical health benefits of aloe vera
Aloe vera contains antioxidants and is rich in vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. Aloe vera also has eight essential amino acids.
Aloe vera also keeps our skin hydrated and clear. It removes acne, scars, marks, and lesions. It also treats psoriasis. Multiple pieces of research are done on the anti-aging factor of aloe vera which proves that it reduces wrinkles and also increases our skin elasticity.
Next comes digestion, as told above its latex contains laxative agents which help in digestion when taken orally or by a supplement.
Aloe vera gel produces a cooling effect that can help in pain relief or suntan relief.
Aloe vera also reduces GERD i.e. GASTROESOPHAGEAL REFLUX DISEASE, symptoms like heartburn, vomiting, and belching.
Taking oral aloe vera can help in decreasing the blood sugar level in type 2 diabetes which is proven by many pieces of research.
Aloe vera contains salicylic acid which works as a painkiller if applied to areas of pain.
As told above, rinsing aloe vera helps in removing plaque and improves dental health. It maintains the freshness and inhibits bacterial growth in the mouth.
Taking aloe vera orally or rinsing the mouth with it can reduce the risk of mouth ulcer and canker sores. It is also used for treating ulcers like it can faster the healing, reduce its size, and also decrease pain because of it.
It is used as an ointment for swollen gums and reduces gum pain.
Aloe vera is also used in hair care products which strengthens the growth of hair and cools the scalp and keeps it fresh.
Aloe vera can sometimes be toxic if not used with caution, so kindly ask your physician before using it and if you’re on medications or allergic to aloe vera kindly do not use it by supplements or oral intake. It may harm you or give multiple reactions or even can worsen your symptoms because of its active strong agents.
How to grow aloe vera at home?
The good thing is, we can grow our own aloe vera plant at home. The key to growing a healthy plant is sunlight and the proper amount of water. Aloe vera is a type of plant which needs and consumes more and more sunlight. As it is a succulent plant so it can survive even if not watered a day but as like every plant this requires water too. But not to overwater it because it is a drought loving plant and loves dry conditions.
Keep the pot in a dry and sunny spot. Do not keep it out in low degrees.
The more you care for your plant, the more it gives you benefits.
Before you leave!
Aloe vera has numerous benefits, but it can act as an irritant for some people. You can use aloe vera for a variety of purposes and in various ways. However, you must talk to your doctor if it causes any irritation or before taking any pills.
A student of RESPIRATORY THERAPY from Dow University of Health Sciences. She tries to sum up most of the informative content about health diseases. Most commonly highlighting Cardio-Pulmonary illnesses. Providing indications & contraindications for various diseases and aims to empower not only medical students but common people.