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What is Aloe Vera?
That Aloe Vera is a magical plant, needs no introduction or explanation. From health to hair or skin, aloe vera can do wonders. Thanks to its numerous medicinal properties, the plant is also called the ‘Wonder plant’ across the world.
Sound interesting? Here comes more.
Origin of Aloe Vera
Also known as “Ghritkumari”, in some parts of India, Aloe Vera owes its origin to ancient Egypt and Rome. The herb is considered one of the oldest mentioned plants in the record of human history. People in ancient Egypt, Rome, and China used its extract to heal wounds and burns and even to treat fever.
The Greek ruler Alexander the Great used the plant to treat his injured commandants. The Egyptian queens used to consider Aloe Vera as a source of their beauty.
Etymologically the term owes its origin to the ancient Arab. The name of the plant Aloe Vera is believed to come from the Arabic word ‘Alloeh’, which means ‘shining bitter substance’.
Aloe Vera plant belongs to the family of lily despite its resemblance to the cactus. The plant contains as many as 300 species among whom only 4 species are believed to contain medicinal values.
And for a good reason!
Researchers have found the plant contains a number of key medicinal properties including Vitamins, Minerals, Sugars, Fatty acid only to name a few. No wonder aloe has amazing healing benefits, both externally and internally.
Now, let’s discuss the top 15 essential health, beauty and other benefits of Aloe Vera.
15 Amazing Benefits of Aloe Vera
1. It helps to prevent the signs of Ageing
Move over botox and chemical treatments, Aloe Vera gel can reverse the obvious signs of ageing. Various studies all across the world have found out that the healthy elements present in the plant improve the elasticity of the skin. In a study published in the Annals of Dermatology in 2009, the researchers found that just 1200 mg or a 1/4 teaspoon the gel has successfully reversed the signs of ageing in a short duration of 90 days. Regular intake of Aloe Vera gel significantly increased the production of collagen in the skin. Since collagen is the basic structural component of the skin, the more collagen the skin produces, the more elasticity it enjoys. Aloe does the process in three levels; topically, internally and at the DNA level.
2. It helps to improve Oral Health
Aloe Vera is said to be effective to improve oral health as well. A number of studies conducted during the last few years have found that the use of aloe can improve dental health, helps to moisturize the gums and treat wounds in the mouth.
The gel contains anthraquinones, an anti-inflammatory chemical used to heal pain and other oral problems. In fact, some researchers opined that aloe is better and safer than the chemically processed toothpaste.
So far, so good. But you may ask:
How do you use the gel to improve your oral health? Relax, you can make your own toothpaste with the help of Aloe Vera in a few simple steps:
- Find some fresh aloe vera.
- Chop the spike and extract the gel of the leaf
- Beat the gel to make it a pulpy substance
- In the next step, you can use essential oils or alternatively, you can use some finely chopped mint leaves as well.
- Add some baking soda in the mixture
- Store the mixture in a glass or plastic bottle
- Now that the mixture is ready, you can use it as a toothpaste.
3. It helps to reduce Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is a day-to-day problem with anyone. Mistaken to be a disease, acid reflux is just a symptom that involves heartburn and discomfort. This is where aloe can do wonders.
The anti-inflammatory elements of the gel can soothe the stomach and digestive system and it can fight gastrointestinal problems as well.
4. It helps to control Blood Sugar Levels
More than beauty and cosmetic solution, aloe can effectively reduce high blood sugar level as well. In a study conducted in Thailand, it was found that the proper use of aloe vera has reduced the HbA1c level (a measure of glucose control) in patients with type 2 diabetes. Also, the gel has been successful in reducing fasting plasma glucose level in pre-diabetes. Yes, it’s amazing but true. The magical aloe plant is thus a potential treatment for chronic diseases like diabetes.
5. It helps to improves Physical Immunity
A natural detox, Aloe Vera can effectively cleanse the digestive and circulatory system. The enzyme present in the Aloe Vera breaks down the proteins we eat into amino acids and turn the enzymes into fuel for every cell in the body. Thus it enables the cells to work. Moreover, it contains an element called zinc which necessary to increase the immunity of the human body.Thus the gel improves immunity and which in turn, enables your body to fight diseases and remain healthy.
6. It helps to maintain the pH balance of the scalp
Is healthy and beautiful hair one of your main beauty concerns? Don’t fret. You are not alone.Healthy hair has been one of the key concerns for women of all ages and walks of life across the world.
You ladies may already be using a few home remedies to get a healthy mane. You may have wanted the hair of your dreams for years, but are yet to see the desired result. Ever wondered if your scalp has the right pH balance?
Sounds new? Let’s see the significance of pH balance of the scalp:
The potential of Hydrogen or pH balance of the scalp is the measurement of how acidic or alkaline a substance is. The natural hair acidity helps to maintain the cuticle closed and healthy. When the natural pH balance is disturbed, it can lead to a number of hair problems.
This is where Aloe Vera can be helpful. The healthy elements of this plant like minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, and the healthy enzyme can be very effective to maintain the balance of pH balance of your scalp.
So ladies, if you want healthy and gorgeous hair, start using aloe vera from today.
7. It helps to reduce Weight
Here is yet another reason to start using aloe vera. This miracle plant can help to reduce those extra kilos as well. Apart from your regular diet and exercise, regular intake of aloe vera can help you shed those extra fat faster without any side effects.
Want to reduce weight?
Aloe Vera can boost your metabolism rate and can naturally detox your body. Moreover, it can lower down the glucose level of your blood that restricts the accumulation of fat by making the sugar absorption rate slower. Thus it keeps you full for a long time and prevents overeating.
8. Aloe vera is a natural hair conditioner
Apart from maintaining the right pH balance of the scalp, the magic plant can be the best conditioner for your hair as well. The herb that contains proteolytic enzymes can be useful for restoring damaged hair follicles. Also, it infuses hair with moisture to make it smooth and glossy.
So have you already started wondering on how to replace your chemical conditioner with the wonder gel? Don’t worry, because you don’t need to do much more, just apply the gel after shampoo instead of your chemical conditioner and see the magic. Also, you can use it as a leave-in treatment as well.
9. It helps to reduce dandruff naturally
Dandruff is one of the most common challenges men and women all across the world face. The problem gets even severe in the winter time. Numerous anti-dandruff shampoos and other hair products keep coming in the market promising permanent solutions. Shampoos loaded with harmful chemicals do more harm than good.
If you find the above situation similar to yours, then Aloe Vera is the right solution for you.
Dandruff can be caused by a number of reasons including the dirty scalp, dead skin cells, dry skin and insufficient combing of hair. Aloe Vera gel can remove those dead cells from the scalp and its anti-inflammatory property fights various infections that might cause dandruff and related hair problems.
10. It helps to increase hair growth
The wonderful properties of Aloe Vera can stimulate hair growth as well.
Want to know how?
The gel contains proteolytic enzymes that can repair the damaged cells in the scalp and stimulates dormant hair follicles. Moreover, the moisture content of the gel helps to condition your hair locking in nutrients and hydration.
But, here comes the big question; how to apply the gel to your hair? How to make the right hair pack at home?
Relax and take a deep breath!
You do not need to invest much effort and time. Just follow these simple procedures:
- Mix ingredients like aloe vera and honey along with coconut oil. Mix all these in a bowl and apply thoroughly to your hair. Wait for around 25 to 30 minutes and wash your hair with shampoo and apply conditioner after that.
- Mix Aloe Vera gel along with olive oil and egg yolk and mix. Apply both on the scalp and hair, and leave it untouched for 25 -30 minute. Wash the mixture with cool water and followed by your usual shampoo and conditioner.
- Take one tablespoon of the gel and one cup of onion juice and mix them both. Now apply the mixture on your scalp. Leave it for at least one hour, then wash with a mild shampoo and use a conditioner.
- There is yet another effective hair pack where you can take four tablespoons Aloe Vera gel and mix it with an equal quantity of coconut milk and one tablespoon coconut oil. Make a mixture in a bowl and apply it throughout your hair and leave it for about half an hour. Rinse it off using a gentle shampoo and apply conditioner.
11. It helps to get rid of sunburn
If you spend hours outside in the sun, apply aloe afterwards. Needless to say, aloe soothes sunburns.
A potential reason for several skin problems like dark or age spots, dryness, and wrinkles, sunburn might lead to skin cancer as well. This is where the magic plant of aloe might be helpful. The benefits of Aloe Vera for skin is believed to be amazing.
Aloe vera gel is enriched with as many as 75 bioactive compounds including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, lignin, and salicylic acids. It provides a protective layer on the burned skin and the effective area. This is why it can get rid of sunburns so well!
Do you have an aloe plant at home?
Simply cut open the hard leaf and extract the gel using a knife. Apply directly to the affected area. Else, you can buy a bottle of gel from the local pharmacy and apply.
12. It helps to reduce acne
Acne and pimples are two skin problems that might occur often . Some chemical treatments are available, but some of them might result in developing other skin problems as well. Switch to Aloe Vera instead which is known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties:
Aloe vera gel is a wonderful and natural solution to pimples and acne and other skin problems.
If you are suffering from any of these problems, you can use the gel instead of your usual face pack or cleanser. Aloe Vera gel is believed to offer a natural solution to all your skin problems. Ensure you apply the gel to your face properly to boost the blood circulation to get the maximum benefit. Also, you can apply the gel on the face before going to bed to leave it overnight and wash your face thoroughly in the next morning.
Alternatively, you can make a face pack of Aloe Vera along with other natural ingredients like honey, cinnamon or lemon juice and can apply them on properly on your face to enjoy smooth, clean and flawless skin.
13. It helps to reduce stretch marks
Stretch marks are yet another obvious skin problem women of all ages might face. Stretch marks are caused by pregnancy or sudden weight loss. Sometimes rapidly growing adolescents also get stretch marks on their body.
Whatever the reason is, stretch marks should be treated as soon as possible. It is best to apply Aloe Vera at the initial stage. This wonder gel contains magic healing properties. Enzymes, minerals, vitamins and fatty acids heal stretch marks quickly and effectively.
14. It helps to heal external injuries
Going beyond basic skin and hair care, the Aloe Vera plant is useful for treating external injuries as well. Since ancient times, the extract of the plant has been used to treat cuts, burns, insect stings, bruises, poison ivy, welts, skin lesions, eczema, and other problems.
The extract of the plant contains medicinal properties including polysaccharides, glycoproteins, glucomannan that are proved to be effective to treat and heal minor external injuries.
15. It helps in Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder which affects the bone and joints. Aloe Vera is very popular for having medicinal properties which can soothe joint pain. You can apply fresh aloe vera gel for aching joints. Regular consumption of aloe vera juice may reduce the pain and inflammation from your joints thus giving you relief from discomfort. A research published in the year 2014 in the International Journal of Inflammation. conducted on rats showed that Aloe Vera significantly reduced inflammation.
Side Effects of Aloe Vera
With such health benefits, there are a few things that might be remembered before taking Aloe Vera on a regular basis.
- Aloe Vera gel is considered to be harmful to pregnant women. The gel can do more harm than good for both the expectant mother and her unborn child.
- Aloe Vera is considered harmful for breastfeeding mothers as well. The compounds of the gel might get passed in the body of the baby through the milk. Thus it puts a serious question about the digestion and overall health of the newborn child.
- Since Aloe Vera reduces blood sugar level in blood, a person with low blood sugar level, should not consume the gel. Or it is better to consult a doctor before taking the gel.
- People with a highly sensitive stomach should also be careful before consuming Aloe Vera as the gel might cause serious stomach diseases.
It is always advisable to consult your doctor before you use or consume Aloe Vera gel.
How to grow aloe vera plant at home?
Aloe Vera is one of the most common house plants. This plant has fleshy leaves which are adapted to storing water, so it will grow best in dry conditions. Take aloe vera and plant it in a cactus soil mix, make sure that the pot has many drainage holes since this plant cannot tolerate standing water. Fertilize this plant only once in a year and see it grow. Also, keep in mind that these plants need proper sunlight so keep them in south or west facing windows. For more details click here.
Let’s Sum It Up
The use of Aloe Vera is gaining more and more popularity, and a number of researchers are conducting detailed studies to discover more of its benefits. Due to its medicinal values, a number of cosmetic manufacturers have started using the gel to make cosmetics and personal care products. This is considered a welcoming move, as it might treat a number of skin problems people face due to regular use of chemical-based cosmetics and beauty products across the world.
Here are 15 amazing benefits of Aloe Vera that are backed by science.
- It helps to prevent the signs of Ageing
- It helps to improve Oral Health
- It helps to reduce Acid Reflux
- It helps to control Blood Sugar Levels
- It helps to improves Physical Immunity
- It helps to maintain the pH balance of the scalp
- It helps to reduce Weight
- Aloe vera is a natural hair conditioner
- It helps to reduce dandruff naturally
- It helps to increase hair growth
- It helps to get rid of sunburn
- It helps to get rid of sunburnIt helps to reduce acne
- It helps to reduce stretch marks
- It helps to heal external injuries
- It helps in Arthritis