Known as Aloe Barbadensis, its scientific name, Aloe Vera has been used for its medicinal purposes in Ayurveda for thousands of years. You can still find scriptures in Roman, Greek, Egyptian and Asian cultures discussing the benefits of this beautiful herb. It is a plant that has long stems and thorns on outside and stores water in its stems. This water is available in the form of Aloe Vera gel when the stems are cut in between.
The healing powers of Aloe Vera can be attributed to the 75 beneficial compounds that are present in this herb. It is packed with vitamin A, B, C and E. It is also a treasure trove for minerals like iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, copper, potassium, zinc, manganese, magnesium and chromium. It is also known to contain 7 to 8 essential amino acids and 14 non-essential amino acids. Wow, that was a long list! But the benefits of this amazing herb do not end here.
In Ayurveda, Aloe Vera is known as ‘ghrita-kumari’ or ‘young girl’ as Vedas believed that the plant had a regenerative effect on women thus boosting their youthfulness and beauty.
According to Ayurveda, Aloe has four out of six ayurvedic tastes – bitter, sweet, spicy and sour. Because of its cooling properties, aloe is known to balance all the three ayurvedic doshas but has the maximum effects on Pitta dosha.
It is interesting to know that the plant is pretty unpretentious and can be grown absolutely anywhere in the world. It can take essential elements for its growth even from the air. There are over 240 species of Aloe Vera that are available across the world but only 3-4 have therapeutic properties with only one having the power to heal the human beings – Aloe vera barbadensis.
Ayurvedic medicine categorizes Aloe Vera as one of the Sattvic Foods and thus can be consumed by people who are into pure Sattvic Diet.
7 Benefits of Aloe Vera
There are several ways that Aloe Vera can prove fruitful to you. Whether you want to improve your skin, hair or even lose weight, this essential herb is there to treat every issue. Read on to find out the benefits of Aloe Vera and the way you can use it in your daily lives.
1.It has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties
Ayurveda recommends this healing plant to treat various skin diseases like bruises, eczema, acne, psoriasis and many more. The antiseptic properties of the plant help in increasing the blood circulation to the area of the wound and expediting the production of collagen, a protein responsible for the growth of cells.
2. Aids Smooth Bowel Movement
Aloe Vera juice is considered to be a great laxative and helps in cleaning your bowels properly, especially if you are suffering from constipation. The Aloe Vera powder is famously known to be used for the Virechana process of the Panchakarma treatment where the body is cleansed of toxins using laxatives.
3. It is a Detoxifying Agent
Aloe Vera is full of high anti-oxidants content and thus acts as a great detoxifying agent for your body. It is known to remove the ‘ama’ (slags) from the blood and cells of the body.
4. Improves Digestive System
Aloe Vera juice is a tonic for people who suffer from digestive system issues. Due to its high content of enzymes and anti-inflammatory properties, Aloe Vera juice is known to detoxify the digestive system and improve the functions of kidneys, liver and the gall bladder.
5. It Strengthens the Immunity
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties and presence of chromium, Aloe Vera is a great immunity booster. Studies have found that usage of aloe gel in high concentration boosts your disease-fighting cells. The polysaccharides in the plant boost white blood cells and thus improve immunity. Apart from that, it is beneficial for people with blood circulation and cardiovascular issues. You can read our article about natural ways to boost your immunity here.
6. Hydrates and Nourishes Scalp
Aloe Vera gel provides deep nutrition to the scalp and makes your hair silky smooth. Due to its cooling and anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, Aloe Vera gel also helps with the itchy scalp and can be used to treat dandruff. The enzymes present in the gel also help you get rid of the dead cells and promote the production of cells and tissues around the hair follicles.
7. Improves Heart Function
Aloe Vera juice is useful in treating diseases related to blood circulation and cardiovascular issues. The ayurvedic medicine uses Aloe Vera juice to treat diseases like hypertension, hypotension, anemia and more. The juice is known to reduce the triglycerides in the blood as well, thus helping you manage cholesterol easily.
How To Consume Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera can be consumed in its various forms that are available these days – gel, juice, oil or powder. You can get fresh aloe gel by cultivating the plant. It is pretty easy to take out the gel from the leaves. Before removing the gel by cutting the leaves, make sure that you leave the stem for a while. You can see a yellow substance oozing out at the end. Let it flow out completely. Wash the stem before cutting it. You can use a peeler from your kitchen to take the gel out.