Aloe vera: One herb for all

Drug disengagement

Our dependency upon medicines in routine life has become a practice rather than need. These medicines might bring immediate relief but we all would agree that long usage of any drug has repercussions. A lot of natural and better solutions exist around us but lack of awareness has deprived us to put them at use. Aloe vera a plant herb with a history of thousands year usage has many medicinal properties with therapeutic results to stand with modern options available or even instant. Either its usual problems like sun-burns, skin-rashes, stretch-marks, acne, damaged-hair or a need for health tonic to boost energy levels, detoxify body, reduce cholesterol levels, or to treat serious diseases like eczema, psoriasis, diabetes; aloe vera has a home remedy.

Aloe vera is a cactus plant that can easily be grown in our gardens without much care and water. It has succulent leaves that are made up of two parts i.e. gel or latex. Aloe vera (aloe barbadensis) which is from Aloaceae family has been seen to speed up wound healing by improving blood circulation through the area and preventing death cells formation around the wound. Used in topical form it helps of treat cuts, heal bedsores and protect from certain types of bacteria and fungi. As one herb for all, we can have aloe vera juice, salad or use it in cooking and can also make aloe vera gel for local application as ointment. Let's learn how we can treat ourselves naturally when we are embroiled with bad health and bring awareness to preserve health with least medicine dependency.

Aloe vera for sunburns

Nowadays there are hundreds of skin products on the market shelves including lotions, creams, cosmetics etc with active ingredient as aloe vera and claim to soothe and rejuvenate your skin. Aloe vera gel applied on our skin after shower forms a protective layer that reduces the damage from sun rays and dust particles and also promotes cell renewal. Pure aloe vera gel contains over 200 active healing compounds including very important polysaccharides. These polysaccharides could possibly be the main reason why aloe vera gel speeds up the healing process and reduces scarring far better than any other natural plant or medicine out there. Therefore if you are suffering from sunburns, applying pure aloe vera gel directly from the plant or its preparation will seal the injury site keeping foreign invaders out of the wound and as antiseptic will protect from infection.

Aloe vera for acnes

A small red berry at times painful too, appearing on face is the common experience at the age of puberty. Teenagers are often worried about their acne for which they use expensive and chemical-laden creams to treat them. Treating your skin with multi-talented natural aloe gel which is one of the most effective natural acne treatment will definitely ameliorate the condition of your skin. It has antimicrobial property that helps to kill the bacteria causing acne and reduces the acne marks by lightening the skin. It also have anti-inflammatory properties which will reduce the redness and swelling of the skin. There is a suggested aloe vera pack which can be applied to the skin.

Aloe vera clay pack: Make paste of Multani Mitti (Fuller’s Earth) and add fresh prepared aloe vera gel, few drops of rosewater and honey to it. Apply the paste on the face for 15 minutes and then rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry. Multani mitti contains essential minerals, rosewater and honey softens the skin and aloe vera removes the scars. Thus the paste is effective treatment for acne.

Aloe vera for stretch marks

Distension of the skin results in streaks or stripes on the skin which is the main cause of stretch marks. Obese people or pregnant ladies are the prime suffers of stretch marks specifically on the abdomen, upper arm and thigh region. Aloe vera is natural ingredient that not only prevents stretch marks but also eliminates them. It is a gift of god especially for pregnant woman as with twice a day application of aloe vera on the affected area or mainly stretch mark prone area can help to get rid of the problem.

Aloe vera for hair

Pollution, dust and weather changes affects our hair causing dryness, split ends and dandruff. To get smooth and silky hair we can apply aloe juice in hair and on scalp or can mix it with our shampoos or hair packs. Fresh Aloe vera gel could also be added into your favourite conditioner and used daily. This would enhance the moisturizing properties of your conditioner as it deeply hydrates your hair shafts giving you soft and smooth hair. Aloe also helps in straightening of the hairs.

Aloe vera as health tonic

Aloe vera is rich source of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, sodium, iron, potassium, manganese, zinc, folic acid, vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E and amino acids. Aloe vera juice is the ultimate healthy habit as it aids in weight loss, digestion, immune function and even easing general discomfort. A healthy and toxin free digestive system is the key to optimum health and aloe vera has laxative properties that is very useful for curing bowel problems. Aloe vera is loaded with vitamins and minerals which will help to regain the lost nutrients and promotes growth of good bacteria in the gut that keeps digestive disorders at bay.

More benefits of aloe vera

  • Anti-inflammatory: Aloe vera contains certain several anti-inflammatory compounds like salicylic acid,C-glucosyl chromone and an enzyme called bradykinase and the aloe vera also reduces the production of acid in the body which helps in preventing inflammation.
  • For dental hygiene: Washing the mouth with the aloe vera juice improves your oral hygiene. It reduces gingivitis and plaque formation and also provides the relief from cold sores.
  • Treating skin diseases like Eczema and Psoriasis: Eczema, also referred to as dermatitis, is an inflammation of the skin most often associated with redness, thickening of the affected skin, lumps or blisters and sometimes even infection. Where as Psoriasis is a skin disorder resulting in red to silvery patches of dry and scaly skin.Treating eczema or psoriasis with aloe vera gel and juice has been very effective. Drinking daily amount of aloe vera may result in treating, depending upon your commitment and purity of aloe vera.
  • Reduces Cholesterol Level: Aloe is great for maintaining the cholesterol level by alleviate triglycerides. Include fresh aloe juice in your daily diet to maintain your cholesterol level and increase the level of good cholesterol. By reducing cholesterol you are protecting your heart from the damage.
  • Detoxifies your body: Drinking aloe vera juice have been become a fashion these days due to its magic of detoxifying the body. Aloe vera is considered one of the best body cleansers. It has a property of cleansing the toxic matter from the stomach, kidneys, spleen, bladder, liver, and it is the most effective colon cleanser. The juice helps get rid of any waste products, thus detoxifying your body naturally.

Some precautions for aloe vera

  • Avoid oral intake of aloe vera juice if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Use aloe vera under medical guidance if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances.
  • Applying aloe vera to open wounds may irritate you.
  • If you suffer from intestinal conditions like Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis don’t use aloe latex or any product made from whole aloe vera leaf. Since aloe latex is a bowel irritant.

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Dr. Shishir Prasad

MS (Shalya Tantra) | Associate Professor (Gurukul Kangri- Haridwar) | President NASYA-Uttarakhand

Haridwar, Gurukul Kangri

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