Almost everyone is familiar with the evergreen perennial aloe vera. Often referred to as a wonder plant, the short-stemmed shrub of the genus Aloe, has more than 500 species of succulent flowering plants that originate from the Arabian Peninsula, but grows wild in tropical, semi-tropical, and arid climates around the world. Its leaves are succulent, erect, and form a dense rosette, which offer many uses. It is cultivated for agricultural and medicinal uses, and is harvested for “aloe gel” that comes from its leaves. It is also used for decorative purposes and it can successfully grow indoors as a potted plant.
Throughout the ages, this plant has been used for healing. The earliest record of aloe vera being used by humans was in the 16th century BC, which appears in the Ebers Papyrus, an Egyptian medical record as well as in Dioscorides’ De Materia Medica and Pliny the Elder’s Natural History – both written in the mid-first century AD. Its use in traditional medicine as a skin treatment was also written in the Juliana Anicia Codex of 512 AD. It is known as kathalai in Ayurvedic medicine, which are extracts obtained from agave.
It was the Indian tribes that gave its name “wands of heaven” because of their respect for the aloe vera plant. It is considered a heaven sent blessing when someone you love is hurt. Anyone who got burned can pick the aloe vera leaf and use it to treat the injured area. It is easy to cut a leaf, rinse if off, and cut the spines on the sides. Then slice the leaf open, put the gelatinous side on the burned area and tape it on. Sometimes, when pain is experienced due to the burn, aloe vera will come to the rescue. One would notice that, not long after the application of the leaf to the injured part of the body, the pain subsided and became tolerable. The same process should be done before bedtime so that the next day, the evidence of the injury will be gone.
Aloe vera is a demulcent herb has properties that soothes irritated and inflamed tissue. The cell proliferant plant can quickly rebuild new cells where the damage used to be. It also has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, which inhibit the growth of microorganisms that cause infections and other diseases in humans. Its leaf skin extract exhibited antimycoplasmic properties and is considered a good source of good and natural antioxidants.
Aloe vera has currently become more popular because it has been the subject of several scientific studies over the last few years. There are some claims that it possesses various therapeutic properties. Its benefits are enumerable, which range from medicinal to cosmetic use. It is widely used today in food as flavoring as approved by the FDA as well as food supplements. The gel is commercially used as an ingredient in yogurts, beverages and some desserts. However, one should note that, when taken in high doses, it also contains toxic properties that could be several when taken orally.
A study published reported that when aloe vera is included in tooth gels, it is effective in fighting cavities just like toothpaste. It contains anthraquinones, which are compounds that actively heal and reduce pain due to the anti-inflammatory effects. However, the product should contain the stabilized gel obtained from the center of the plant in order to be effective.
Those suffering from diabetes-induced foot ulcers should also take advantage of aloe vera. According to a published study, it promotes significant wound healing and closure in diabetic rats compared to a commercial product. It also provides a promising product that can be used to treat diabetes-induced foot ulcers.
Those who experience constipation and irritable bowel movement can also try aloe vera to see if there is any different in the bowel and its release. You might notice some improvement in your stomach activity and bowel movement. The aloe vera juice is marketed to support the condition of a healthy digestive system, but no scientific evidence or regulatory approval supports the claim because of the toxic effects of the extracts when ingested.
In today’s world, who wouldn’t want to look pretty young and be healthy? The aloe vera plant can be used both internally and topically. When incorporated with other substances and compounds, it can help create both inner and outer beauty. Because of its many health benefits and usage, it is also referred to by Egyptians as “the plant of immortality.” The Americans were also aware of its medicinal and cosmetic benefits that they conned the term “wand of heaven” to refer to aloe vera.
For instance, you can easily prepare an aloe vera face mask instead of buying a pack in stores near you or order from an online seller. Cut one leaf from the plant and wash it. Cut off the spines on the sides and slice the leaf open to reveal the inside part. Wash your face with water only or with a very mild soap. Rub the gel side of the leaf to cover your face completely. When the leaf starts to dry out, you can make incisions into the gel side to release more gels. If the other leaves still have remaining gels in them, keep them in the refrigerator. You can do the process before bedtime to keep the skin nourished and tightened as you take a good night sleep. Make sure to rinse your face in the morning with warm water and finish it with a cold splash. The skin will not only be tightened and toned, but it will also help in clearing acne.
More and more researches are being conducted to prove the many benefits of aloe vera. Some may need further scientific evidence but this doesn’t mean that the claims are inaccurate. Many have already experienced its soothing, moisturizing and healing properties, especially those products from the cosmetic and traditional medicine industries.
This plant is important in every household. It is easy to cultivate and maintain the plant. Having some “wands of heaven” for the family is very important because the plant is readily available for use, especially for first aid purposes.
Share this Post