Aloe Vera plant and its benefits in terms of health and beauty

Are you curious about aloe vera plant and want to know more about it and its benefits? This article explains the benefits and importance of what is known as the miracle plant, namely Aloe vera and also lets you know how it can be used to fix various health and beauty issues.

An overview of Aloe vera

Aloe vera is a stemless succulent plant with thick and fleshy leaves. Marginally serrated fleshy leaves contain aloe gel inside which is widely used for the medicinal and cosmetic purpose since many ages due to its soothing properties. It is not a wild plant; one can find it only after cultivation. It is usually grown in gardens including our home garden. This plant is also known as 'Miracle Plant' for its curing properties and several benefits offered.

Benefits of Aloe vera

Aloe vera is widely being used in cosmetics and food and pharma industries. There are numerous benefits one can reap from this miracle plant. Few of them are described here. Let's discuss one by one.

Health benefits of Aloe vera

Aloe vera gel contains antioxidants which may restrain the growth of certain harmful bacteria. Aloe vera helps in healing of burns (including sunburns) rapidly due to its curing properties. Aloe vera juice can also be used as a mouthwash as it kills plaque producing bacteria and reduces the buildup of plaque. It also treats mouth ulcers and reduces pain associated with it. Constipation can be treated with the help of the laxative effects of Aloe vera latex found under the skin of its leaf. Intake or application of Aloe vera gel reduces inflammation of joints and relieves pain from muscles and joints. It helps to get rid of arthritis pain. Aloe vera gel facilitate body with the better digestive system as it works for detoxification of the body and furnishes absorption of nutrients. Aloe vera juice helps in reduction of cholesterol levels due to the presence of an important ingredient called B-sitosterol that prevents the absorption of cholesterol in the body. Aloe's detoxifying properties cleanse the blood, boost the growth of new blood cells, enlarges blood arteries and cause proper blood circulation. This leads to a healthier heart. Aloe vera juice plays an important role in curing diabetes too as it refines blood sugar levels. Hemicellulose component of Aloe plant lowers blood sugar effectively. Aloe vera can also help you to shed extra weight of your body. It consists of various vitamins, minerals, sugars, enzymes, amino acids, lignin, salicylic acids, and saponins. Out of these components vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B6, B12,  folic acid, and niacin serve to burn calories and cut body fat. There are several factors which directly or indirectly aid in weight loss, they are antioxidants present in aloe plant and effects occur with the intake of aloe vera juice such as improved metabolism, better digestive system, stimulation in the production of collagen protein.

How to use it?
  • Many brands of Aloe vera juice offer it in concentrated form, I suggest to prefer organic one
  • Instructions for dosage provided on the product should be followed, it informs about with whom aloe vera juice should be diluted (water or any other juice) before having it
  • It is bitter in taste, therefore, cannot be taken alone, dilution with water or with another juice which is sweet and delicious in taste recommended
  • Please note that a high amount dosage of Aloe vera for a prolonged period can cause harmful effects. Consult and confirm with your doctor regarding dosage of Aloe vera products.

Hair fall control

Aloe vera can treat most of the hair woes today's generation suffering with. It is a wonderful natural remedy for hair problems. It is used for cleansing, nourishing, removing dandruff, treating itchy scalp and dry hair and protecting hair from damage. Also, it works well to get rid of the bacterial or fungal infection. Aloe vera makes hair healthier, accelerates hair growth, locks moisture in the hair, removes scalp itching, prevents dandruff occurrence and assists to perpetuate pH balance of hair.

How to use it?
  • Aloe vera gel is used as the main ingredient in various products meant for hair care/hair cleansing such as hair shampoo, conditioner, hair mask etc. I would suggest instead of buying these expensive products from the market, get some aloe vera leaves, extract gel from them and directly apply it to your hair. It's better in its natural form.
  • As an hair conditioner : Direct application of aloe vera gel on hair will do conditioning but it can be mixed with other ingredients too like lemon juice, egg, olive oil or essential oils.
  • As a hair shampoo : Mix aloe vera gel with the shampoo you normally use to cleanse your hair. And use this mixture as a hair shampoo.

Healthy and beautiful skin from aloe vera

Aloe vera is an excellent plant which possesses various properties beneficial for a wide range of beauty treatment. As it possesses antioxidants, vitamins C & E, antibacterial properties, moisturizing properties, healing-soothing properties and anti-aging properties, aloe vera facilitate a wonderful skin if used wisely in a proper way. It helps in treating acne, pimples, pigmentation, sunburns, moisturizing skin, to fight against skin aging and tan removal etc. For more details on treating pimples, read How to remove pimple overnight with Aloe Vera. Also it aids in treating stretch marks on our body parts by regular application of aloe vera gel on the affected area. It can slow down skin aging too with the prevention of wrinkles.

How to use it?: The number of products available in the market, with aloe vera as the main ingredient, to enhance the beauty of skin. But if you are looking for some natural home remedy then here are few homemade face pack ideas which may help you to gain beautiful and radiant skin.
  • Face pack to treat pigmentation : Make a paste of Aloe vera gel and rose water, apply it to your face for about 20 minutes and rinse off with water. A gentle massage of 2 minutes recommended before rinsing off the face pack.
  • Face pack for tan removal : Prepare a mixture of Aloe vera gel and few drops of lemon juice. Apply it on the face for about 15 minutes and then clean it with lukewarm water.
  • Face scrub : Prepare a mixture of Aloe vera gel, avocado pulp, oatmeal, and honey. Mash it properly, apply this mixture on your face, massage for a few minutes and leave it for about 10 minutes. Rinse it off with lukewarm water.
  • Face pack for oily skin : Remove serrated edges of Aloe vera leaves, boil these leaves in water and grind it to make a smooth paste. Mix this paste with honey and apply it on your face for about 20 minutes. Rinse it off with cold water.
  • Face pack for dry skin : Mix aloe vera gel with crushed almonds. Apply this mixture on your face for about 20 minutes and then clean it.

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Author: Partha K.13 Nov 2015 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 3

A very good article which would be appreciated by many ladies. However, I would like to mention some negative effects of Aloe Vera. Many persons have been found to be allergic to Aloe Vera. They should not use beauty products containing Aloe Vera. In some cases, the reaction has been found severe. More importantly, pregnant ladies and ladies who breast-feed are generally advised not to use Aloe Vera products.
I feel these aspects should also be discussed in this article.

Author: Kailash Kumar15 Nov 2015 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 1

I was always curious to know about the Indian names of Aloe Vera. It looks strange that in the land where 'Ayurveda' originated, the mention of this plant is not found in ancient literature. Is it the same what we know as Sanjivini Booti' in India?

Author: Venkiteswaran15 Nov 2015 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 2

In Malayalam it is Katta vaazha or Kattaar Vaazha'. This was known to even common people. In Tamil it is similar sounding 'Katha vaazhai'. This was popularly used in hair care and treatment by common people and native vaidyas.
(I had mentioned about the Malayalam name in this Ask ExpertsQuestion answer).

Guest Author: kiirans15 Nov 2015

@Partha Sir
Thanks for adding the important aspect of the side effects of aloe vera which I missed to mention in this article. Yes, the aloe vera plant which is packed with numerous benefits can be dangerous too if taken without proper guidance. It may be dangerous if taken without consulting a doctor as it may react with other drugs.
Aloe vera dosages is also important as high quantity of it may cause severe effects in health.
Intake of aloe vera extract is not allowed during pregnancy as it may cause uterine contraction which is harmful for mother and baby both, though external application of it is allowed.
Breastfeeding women should also avoid intake of aloe vera as its extracts may pass through breast milk which will affect child's health adversely.

@Kailash Sir
The Indian name for aloe vera is Ghritkumari. You must have heard about it before. There are many Ghritkumari products available in the market.

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