Benefits of Aloe vera
People’s outlook has been changing day by day. The majority of them are seeking to improve their quality of life. The focus is mainly on disease prevention. Medicinal plant consumption is increasing day by day in different countries due to its proven effectiveness in scientific societies and acceptance by human societies to a great extend.
The growing concern about the side effects of chemical drugs, the ineffectiveness of some for long term use made man think about a natural alternative with fewer side effects.
Herbal medicines, prepared from medicinal plant extracts are with fewer side effects. As per WHO 80 percent of the people using herbal remedies. But only a few plant species are studied for their therapeutic properties and action. In this context, I like to share some traditional knowledge related to folk medicines/traditional medicines.
Traditional medicine, as defined by the World Health Organization, is the total of the knowledge, skills, and practices based on the theories, beliefs, and experiences indigenous to different cultures, whether explicable or not, used in the maintenance of health as well as in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement, or treatment of physical and mental illness.
In the case of some plants, the plant body is used. But in some plants other parts like root, stem, leaves, fruits, flowers, the seed used for treatment. The phyto chemicals present in plants in different forms responsible for their medicinal properties.
Let us start with” King of Medicinal Plants”- Aloe Vera
Common name: Gritkumari
Botanical name: Aloe vera(L.)Burm.f.
Part used: Leaves
The name Aloe Vera is derived from two different words. One of that is Alloeh an Arabic word, which means shining bitter substance, and the Latin word Vera means true. Egyptians called it the plant of immortality.
It is also known as the lily plant of the desert. It has gained the Royal horticultural society Award of garden merit.
Aloe Vera is a very short-stemmed or stemless plant with about 20 leaves in a dense rosette. Leaves are thick, fleshy,water-retaining, serrated, and green-greyish color. It grows mainly in dry regions of Africa, Asia, Europe, and America.
In India, it was found in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Tamil nadu.
This plant has been known and used for centuries for its medicinal, health, beauty, and skincare properties. Aloe vera gel and a yellow latex obtained from it are used to manufacture commercial products. The leading supplier of Aloe Vera gel is the USA.
This plant is with a variety of constituents includes – Vitamins (Vitamin A, C, B12), Enzymes, Minerals (calcium, copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc), sugars, fatty acids, hormones (auxins and Gibberellins), and amino acids.
Benefits of Aloe Vera
- The gel from leaves of Aloe Vera can fight against cavity-causing oral bacteria of teeth.
- Aloe Vera gel is effective against constipation.50-100mg of gel, once daily for up to 10days.
- Shoot extract from 1-month-old Aloe Vera useful to protect skin from UV radiation
- Aloe Vera gel is effective for burn wounds, used for pain relief, and helps in speeding recovery time after surgery.
- Aloe Vera juice helps to increase energy levels and help to maintain body weight.
- Internal intake of Aloe Vera will improve blood glucose levels in diabetic patients.
- Extracts of Aloe Vera have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, which may help in the treatment of minor skin infections.
- When the gel is applied to dry skin, it will give a glowing effect, helps to reduce aging, reduce wrinkles, reduce warts.
- Aloe Vera gel helps to lighten the dark spots on the face and also helps to reduce the intensity of pigmentation.
- The gel of this plant, one of the best-known moisturizers, removes dead skin cells, and helps to rejuvenates the skin.
- Aloe Vera can be used as a hair conditioner.
The main side effects include stinging sensation, burning, redness, etc.
Oral aloe is not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Scientific evidence for the cosmetic and therapeutic effectiveness of Aloe Vera is limited and when also frequently contradictory.