Aloe vera is a succulent plant with botanical name Aloe barbadensis belongs to Asphodelaceae family has been known for its healing properties for at least 6000 years. In the early days, the plant was known for being a “plant of immortality”. There are more than 300 species of the aloe plant, but Aloe barbadensis and is prized in the health and beauty world for its healing properties.
Useful Parts –
There are two medicinally useful parts of the aloe vera plant.
• First, the leaves are filled with a clear gel. This gel is extracted from the plant and usually used on the skin to treat burns and various skin conditions. The gel is also marketed in liquid or capsule form to be taken orally.
• The second substance the plant produces is called aloe latex. This is the yellow pulp that’s found just under the outer surface of the plant leaf. Aloe latex has been shown to have laxative properties.
• The latest in aloe vera trends is the introduction of aloe-based drinks, such as aloe vera juice and aloe vera water.
• Creams and gels with aloe vera vary in dosage. Some creams for minor burns have just 0.5% aloe vera. Others used for psoriasis may contain as much as 70% aloe vera.
• For constipation, 100-200 mg of aloe juice or 50 mg of aloe extract – daily as needed.
• For diabetes, 1 tsp of the gel has been used daily.
Health Benefits –
Aloe latex contains aloin, an anthraquinone that gives aloe vera its laxative properties and relieves constipation.
• Skin Diseases
Aloe creams have a calming effect on the skin in skin diseases such as
▪︎skin injured by radiation
Aloe creams have been shown to help reduce itchiness and inflammation.
• Sun Burn
Aloe vera due to its calming properties gives soothing effect on the mild sun burns.
Aloe gel when applied over scalp having dandruff gives relief from dandruff produced itchiness and gives smooth texture to your hair and also controls hair fall by nourishing head scalp.
• Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Its extract in a syrup helped lessen several symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), including heartburn, belching and vomiting, over a four week period.
• Type 2 diabetes
Drinking 2 tablespoons of it’s juice every day for 2 weeks regularly helped lower the blood sugar levels among people with type2 diabetes.
Aloe vera taken in the form of juice in osteoarthritis patients gives them relief from joint pains.
Side Effects –
Aloe gel is generally safe to use and can be helpful in healing the skin when it’s applied topically. Do not apply topical aloe vera to deep cuts or severe burns.
Aloe latex, however, can be dangerous. Taking aloe latex orally can lead to cramps and diarrhoea, and it could make other oral medications you’re taking less effective. Taking even just one gram orally per day for several days could end up causing kidney damage and may even be fatal.
Don’t take oral aloe if you have intestinal problems, heart disease, haemorrhoids, kidney problems or electrolyte imbalances.
It’s supplements should not be used orally by children and by women who are pregnant or lactating.
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