Botanical Name(s): Aloe Barbadensis, Aloe Indica, Aloe Barbados, Aloe Vera
Genus: Aloe L.
Species: Aloe vera
Popular Name(s): Aloe, Indian Alces, Kumari, Ghirita, Gawarpaltra, Barbados Aloe, Curacao Aloe, Lu Hui
Parts Used: Flowers, Roots
Habitat: South and South Western India
Aloe Vera is a stem-less or very short-stemmed plant, growing approximately 80-100 cm tall, spreading by offsets and root sprouts. The leaves are lanceolate, thick and fleshy, green to grey-green, with a serrated margin. The flowers are produced on a spike up to 90 cm tall, each flower pendulous, with a yellow tubular corolla 2-3 cm long. The tissue in the center of the aloe leaf contains a gel which yields aloe gel or aloe vera gel.
The Aloe Vera plant is essentially a cactus plant, which is composed of mainly water and 75 different ingredients. These include vitamins, minerals, enzymes, sugars, anthraquinones and many more. Carboxy-peptidase is an important enzyme, which produces an anti-inflammatory effect, after rendering bradykinins inactive. Found in the sap are phenolic compounds, such as lsobarbaloin, Anthrone-C-glycosides and Barbaloin-lO. Various essential amino acids and antioxidant vitamins A, C and F are derived from this plant. Sallcylic acid, calcium, zinc, manganese, magnesium are some of the compounds present in the aloe vera plant as well.
Uses & Benefits of Aloe Vera
- Aloe Vera is useful for treating X ray burns, dermatitis, cutaneous and disorders of skin.
- The drug from its juice is tonic and used in jaundice, ameneorrhoea, atonic and piles.
- Aloe Vera gel has the remarkable ability to heal wounds, ulcer and burns.
- The acid present inside Aloe Vera is used as an effective pain killer.
- It is used to make antiseptic, which can kill mold, bacteria, funguses and viruses.
- Aloe Vera is known to be highly beneficial for skin. It prevents the growth of acnes and is used as a beauty product to enhance skin growth.
- Both oral intake and tropical dressings of Aloe Vera encourage healing of any kind of wound on the skin, burn or scald. It also speeds up the convalescing period after recovery.
- Aloe Vera can be tried on blisters, insect bites, rashes, sores, herpes, urticaria, athlete’s foot, fungus, vaginal infections, conjunctivitis, sties, allergic reactions, and dry skin.
- Topical used of this plant includes sunburn, frostbite, shingles, screening out x-ray radiation, psoriasis, preventing scarring, rosacea, warts, wrinkles from aging, and eczema.
- According to some studies, oral consumption of Aloe Vera works effectively to soothe conditions like heartburn, arthritis and rheumatism pain and asthma.
- Studies have also suggested that it is has a very positive effect on lowering blood sugar levels in diabetics.
- Use of Aloe Vera over a long period of time can result in loss of potassium, hematuria, albuminuria and fluid imbalance in the body.
- Oral intake of Aloe Vera supplements might result in abdominal cramps and diarrhea in some cases.
- Aloe Vera should not be consumed during pregnancy, menstruation, breast-feeding, and also in case of an inflamed intestinal disorder.