What is ALOE VERA?
Aloe Vera is known around the world as ‘Miracle Plant’, ‘Nature's Tonic’, ‘Wonder Plant’, ‘Fountain of Youth’, ‘lily of the desert’ and the ‘The Plant of Immortality’.
Aloe: drawn from Arabic word 'alloeh' meaning- "shining bitter substance". Vera: is a Latin word meaning 'pure'.
Botanical Information: The genus Aloe taxonomically placed in Liliaceous family with scientific name "Aloe Vera Barbadensis Miller" is related to other members of the Lily family such as the onion, garlic and turnip families. It grows only in warm tropical regions. Aloe's relationship to the lily family is evident from the tubular yellow flowers. There are over 250 species around the world. It takes about three years for the plant to mature.
For over 3,500 years, tales of "healing Aloe Vera" plants have been handed down through centuries by word of mouth. The earliest documented use of Aloe Vera comes from the ancient Egyptians. The first recorded evidence of its healing properties was discovered in an ancient Egyptian papyrus dated 3500 BC.
Famous people who used Aloe Vera: Egyptian scholars and King Solomon of Israel, Christopher Columbusand Alexander the great.
Cleopatra and Nefertiti the beautiful queens of Egypt are reputed to have relied on Aloe Vera to help preserve their legendary beauty. They used to bathe in fresh Aloe Vera gel to keep their skin soft and young. Hindus call it the "silent healer," Chinese the "harmony remedy".
Dioscorides famous Greek Physician wrote in his book ‘Materia Medica’ that the Aloe Vera gel could be used to treat burns, wounds, stomach complaints, constipation, hemorrhoids, headaches, all mouth problems, hair loss, insect bites, kidney ailments and skin irritations.
To this day in the language of Sanskrit, Aloe Vera is called "Kumari", because many of the East Indian women use it daily to maintain beauty and to counteract the symptoms of ageing.
Spanish missionaries in the West always planted the Aloe Vera plant around their settlements and carried it on their journeys to aid the sick. American herbalists used aloe extensively in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Constituents of Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera has more than 200 constituents. No other plant in nature provides so many that are useful for health and beauty. The detailed description of Aloe Vera’s constituents:
Amino Acids - Anthraquinones - Enzymes - Hormones - Lignin - Salicylic Acid -Saponins - Sterols - Vitamins - Minerals - Sugars.
Amino Acids: Aloe Vera contains 19 of the 20 amino acids and 7 of the eight essential amino acids. Amino acids are the basic building blocks of proteins in the production of muscle tissue.
Vitamins: Vitamin A (Beta-Carotene) - Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) - Vitamin B2 Riboflavin) - Vitamin B3 (Niacin/Niacin amide) - Vitamin B5 - Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine) - Vitamin B12 - Vitamin C - Vitamin E - Choline - Folic Acid.
Minerals: Calcium - Chromium - Copper - Magnesium - Manganese - Potassium Phosphorous - Sodium - Zinc : Vitamins and Minerals are essential for good health and are known to work in synergistic combinations with each other.
Enzymes: Oxidase - Lipase - Amylase - Aliinase - Catalase : These enzymes present in Aloe Vera help the breakdown of food sugars and fats aiding digestion and enhancing nutrient absorption. Sterols: Cholesterol - Campesterol - Lupeol - ß Sitosterol: These are anti-inflammatory agents. Lupeol also possesses antiseptic and analgesic properties.hermes handbags.
Hormones: Auxins - Gibberellins: These hormones provide wound healing and anti -inflammatory activity, and in stimulating the growth of new cells.
Lignin: Lignin is a Cellulose based substance, which provides penetrating power in Aloe Vera skin preparations and acts as a carrier for other components of Aloe Vera. It is also keratolytic meaning it softens hardened skin.
Salicylic Acid: Aloe Vera contains Salicylic Acid that is an Aspirin like compound that works as a painkiller. It possesses anti - inflammatory and anti - bacterial properties.
Saponins: They are Glycosides which form about 3% of what's in Aloe Vera gel. They are soapy substances, which provide cleansing and antiseptic activity. They act powerfully as anti-microbial against bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeasts.
Polysaccharides: Natural sugars: Polysaccharides provide energy and stimulate the immune system to function more efficiently.
Anthraquinones: They provide anti-bacterial, anti -fungal and anti -viral activity. It also has purging and laxative properties.
Uses of Aloe Vera
1. Improve bowel function-relieves irritable bowels, reduces diarrhea
2. Improve and regulate blood sugar levels
3. Reduce pain and swelling
4. Stimulate immune system functions - for all illnesses and conditions that compromise the immune system. Ingestion of aloe appears to assist with bolstering and improving the immune system. Aloe Vera has many Anti-oxidant properties that assist in protecting the body from free radicals, thus reducing one's risk of developing a variety of health problems.
Skin (Dermatology): Aloe Vera gel is anti-pyretic (it reduces heat). In treatment for burns and scalds it helps in replacing lost fluids without closing off Oxygen, which is crucial to the repairing process. It reduces the chance of infection and the danger of scarring. The skin absorbs moisture up to 4 times faster with Aloe Vera, protecting the outer layers of the skin by helping it to reorganize skin cells.
Aloe Vera gel is anti-pruritic (It soothes itching): Aloe Vera gel promotes healing and quells itching conditions of Psoriasis Lesions.
Hair Care: Aloe Vera Gel applied to the scalp and hair helps restore the pH balance and nutrients to the hair roots and follicles. Being a natural humectant and emollient it prevents dandruff.
Aloe Vera gel has the following actions on skin:
Humectant : Promotes retention of moisture.
Emollient : Softens and soothes the skin.
Lubricant : Adding slip or glide across the skin.
Occlusion : Provides a layer on the skin to slow water loss.