Aloe barbadensis, commonly referred to as Aloe vera, is the only herb that has garnered the most attention globally. Of course, you know the reason – Aloe is reputed for its skincare properties. It would not be wrong to say that currently, Aloe is the most used herb worldwide.
Ayurveda uses this herb not only for skincare but as a health tonic and laxative. Aloe also corrects digestion, heals wound, swelling, treats liver and spleen disorders. Let’s learn more about the effectiveness and application of this magical herb.
Aloe vera – All you need to know
Aloe vera in Ayurveda is known by its Sanskrit name ‘Kumari,’ meaning – a young girl. It is called so because it rejuvenates the body like that of a youth and is very useful in teenage girls’ disorders.
Aloe is a small fleshy leaved plant. It has a short, thick, divided stem. The succulent Aloe leaves are pea-green, long, and triangular. Its margin has tooth-like spines. The resistant covering of leaves contains lots of pulp. This pulp is sticky, compact, and gelatinous. Flowers of Aloe are pendulous, yellow, or orange colored. The fruits are capsule-shaped that contains numerous seeds.
Aloe leaf gel, fresh or powdered, contains the most therapeutic properties and is extensively used as a medicine.
Properties of Aloe
Aloe tastes bitter and sweet. It is unctuous and slimy. It acquires pungent taste after digestion. Aloe has a cooling effect and shows laxative actions. It balances Tridoshas and restores health.
What are the benefits of Aloe?
Aloe is famous for its cosmetics effect, but this is not the only thing that it does best. Ayurveda sheds light on some other unknown benefits of Aloe –
A potent laxative
Aloe is rich in anthraquinones, a Phyto-constituents that acts as a natural laxative. It stimulates mucus secretion, increases intestinal motility, and cleanses the digestive system. Its oral consumption is, therefore, beneficial for those having constipation.
An extraordinary Rasayana
Aloe is a wonderful Rasayana i.e., re-energize the body tissues and delays aging. It acts as a fantastic tonic for the liver, spleen, blood, and female reproductive system.
Thus, a daily dose of Aloe can prevent you from acute hepatitis, jaundice, anemia, enlarged spleen, and liver. It also cures inflammatory skin diseases, venereal diseases, vaginitis, and menstrual problems like amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, and menopause.
Nature’s gift for skin
Aloe is considered as the best skin tonic. The abundance of amino acids, antioxidants, zinc, and moisturizing sugars makes it the best skin moisturizer. Aloe gel improves skin integrity, softens hard skin cells, tightens the pores, reduces acne and wrinkles.
Aloe also shows anti-aging, anti-microbial, and cooling effect. Thus, it helps treat minor bacterial and fungal skin infections, first and second-degree burns, dermatitis, and skin aging.
Quickly heals wounds and swelling
Aloe possesses anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties. The sterols present in Aloe reduce acute swelling and eases pain. It stimulates collagen activity of the skin and heals burns and ulcer wounds faster.
Aloe can help in treating burns, cuts, abrasions, allergic reactions, conjunctivitis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcers, and inflammatory conditions of internal organs.
Naturally detoxifies and builds immunity
Aloe is packed with essential amino acids, minerals, trace elements, vitamins, and antioxidants. These elements clean the body systems and reduce the oxidative stress and strain of the body.
Moreover, Aloe stimulates the production of immunity markers. Thus, it helps fight against various viral severe diseases and chronic auto-immune disorders.
How to use Aloe gel?
After many studies revealed the incredible therapeutic benefits of Aloe, it is widely used commercially as an herbal remedy. Using its gel directly, or its juice and powder are quite common nowadays.
But here are some more ways to avail benefits of this great herb –
- In jaundice, you can use Aloe vera juice as a snuff/nasal drops. This will repair liver damage and build up immunity
- Consuming two teaspoons of Aloe juice with a pinch of turmeric powder will relieve you from enlarged spleen and scrofula. You can take it thrice daily as a general tonic
- You can get relief from local or internal swelling by applying the paste of Aloe juice and cumin seed powder
- You can cure various eye infections with Aloe. For this, dissolve Aloe gel in rosewater or borax water for a few minutes and strain. Apply this water to your eyes
- Aloe can repair your damaged hair. For this, mix Aloe gel with lemon juice. Apply this mixture on your scalp after shampoo. Leave this on for 5 minutes and rinse thoroughly with water
- You can rub the Aloe gel directly on your skin and scalp. It will moisturize your skin, give clear complexion, and treat pimples, wrinkles, dark spots, swelling, redness, minor wounds
- Daily intake of fresh Aloe juice with Shatavari juice on an empty stomach acts as a nutritive tonic. You can also use this remedy to treat menstrual problems
What is the right dose of Aloe?
10-20 ml of Aloe juice could be taken per day. Taking Aloe in the form of powder can be nauseating and hence, you could take Aloe capsules. Aloe powder is a powerful laxative, so take only 1-2 grams in a day.
Side effects of Aloe
Children, pregnant women, nursing mothers, people suffering from intestinal and kidney problems should avoid consuming Aloe orally, as it may cause electrolyte imbalance. It is best to apply Aloe gel on a small part of the skin before using topically.
Always use only Aloe gel to make juice and discard the latex part. Aloe latex is the yellowish sap closer to the leaves’ inner skin, which drains on cutting up the leaf blades. Latex is a powerful laxative, and hence, it is safe to use only clear gel for making juice.
Aloe is a proven skin healer, immunomodulator, laxative, natural detoxifier, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, antiseptic, and a potential source of nutrients.
Aloe is the most popular herb for skincare, and its demand is high in the cosmetic industry. But to avail of its overall benefits, you should plant one at your home. It can grow very well in a pot and does not ask for much attention. This medicinal herb will definitely come handy in your day to day life.