Aloe vera is a succulent plant species of the genus Aloe. There are more than 420 species of the aloe plant. The scientific name of Aloe vera is Aloe vera. An evergreen perennial, it originates from the Arabian Peninsula, but grows wild in tropical, semi-tropical, and arid climates around the world.
Aloe vera is widely distributed, and is considered an invasive species in many world regions. The other commen names for aloe vera are Aloe, Barbados Aloe, Medicinal Aloe, Medicine Plant and True Aloe. The gel and juice found inside aloe vera became a popular herbal remedy that was used to help treat everything from skin issues to digestive problems.
Table of Contents
1-2 ft. tall (30-60 cm)
Benefits of Aloe vera
Aloe vera, or Aloe barbadensis, is a thick, short-stemmed plant that stores water in its leaves. It is best known for treating skin injuries, but it also has several other uses that could potentially benefit health.
It contains healthful plant compounds: Each leaf contains a slimy tissue that stores water, and this makes the leaves thick. This water filled tissue is the “gel” that people associate with aloe vera products.
It has antioxidant and antibacterial properties: Antioxidants are important for health. Aloe vera gel contains powerful antioxidants belonging to a large family of substances known as polyphenols.
These polyphenols, along with several other compounds in aloe vera, help inhibit the growth of certain bacteria that can cause infections in humans.
Aloe vera is known for its antibacterial, antiviral, and antiseptic properties. This is part of why it may help heal wounds and treat skin problems.
It accelerates wound healing: Most often aloe vera use as a topical medication, rubbing it onto the skin rather than consuming it. It is an effective topical treatment for first and second degree burns.
It reduces dental plaque: Tooth decay and diseases of the gum are very common health problems. One of the best ways to prevent these conditions is to reduce the buildup of plaque, or bacterial biofilms, on the teeth.
Aloe vera is effective in killing the plaque-producing bacterium Streptococcus mutans in the mouth, as well as the yeast Candida albicans.
It helps treat canker sores: Aloe vera treatment can accelerate the healing of mouth ulcers and it also reduced the pain associated with them.
It reduces constipation: The latex is a sticky yellow residue present just under the skin of the aloe vera leaf. The key compound responsible for this effect is called aloin, or barbaloin, which has well established laxative effects.
Aloe vera does not appear to be effective against other digestive conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease.
It may improve skin and prevent wrinkles: The topical aloe vera gel can slow aging of the skin. Aloe vera could help the skin retain moisture and improve skin integrity, which could benefit dry skin conditions.
It lowers blood sugar levels: It enhance insulin sensitivity and help improve blood sugar management.
Aloe vera is a safe remedy with few known side effects. The oral use of aloe vera may cause stomach cramps or diarrhea due to its laxative effects. It can cause liver damage associated with long-term aloe vera supplement use.
Seven ways to use aloe vera
1. Pure aloe vera: Aloe vera has certain characteristics that may make it effective in fighting acne. For instance, aloe vera gel is:
Pure aloe vera prevent acne breakouts. This works because the antibacterial agents in aloe vera remove bacteria from the skin, reducing the risk of spots developing.
2. Aloe vera and lemon juice: Aloe vera can be mixed with lemon to make various cosmetics, such as body scrubs and face masks.
3. Cinnamon, honey, and aloe vera: Making a face mask from honey, cinnamon, and aloe vera is another option that may help to soothe acne.
4. Aloe vera and tea tree oil: Aloe vera with 2 to 3 drops of tea tree essential oil is to treat mild to moderate acne.
5. Aloe vera spray: Spraying the skin with a diluted aloe vera solution can help hydrate skin without causing extra oil production or shine.
6. Coconut oil, sugar, and aloe vera scrub: Remove the dead layers of skin and fight acne.
7. Creams: Aloe vera is a common ingredient in many over-the-counter acne creams. It may be a good idea to use creams containing aloe vera as part of the everyday acne-fighting routine because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
An allergic reaction to topical aloe vera is uncommon. Although rare, some people may develop an allergic reaction to aloe vera. Signs of an allergy may include redness, a rash, or swelling. If symptoms occur, stop using aloe vera.
Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems
Mealybugs and aphids are insects that may affect the health of your aloe plant. Diseases include scale, leaf spot, aloe rust, sooty mold. Overwatering should be avoided, it can lead to the roots rotting.
Aloe Vera contains over 20 minerals, all of which are essential to the human body. The human body requires 22 amino acids for good health -- eight of which are called "essential" because the body cannot fabricate them. Aloe Vera contains all of these eight essential amino acids, and 11 of the 14 "secondary" amino acids. Aloe Vera has Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E. In India, Aloe vera is believed to help in sustaining youth, due to its positive effects on the skin. Hence it is called ghee kunwar or ghee kumaari.