Aloe vera is one of the most famous plants in cosmetics. It is a short-stemmed species of succulent plant (plant with thick fleshy tissues for water storage). The name Aloe Vera is of Arabic and Latin origin. The first word is from "Alloh," which means "shining bitter substance," and "Vera," in Latin, means "true." The plant evolved in Africa and later spread throughout the world.
The botanical name of aloe vera is ‘Aloe barbadensis miller.’ There are more than 300 species of aloe vera. Aloe barbadens is the most popular among them.
The aloe vera plant has fleshy leaves with sharp ends. Each leaf contains three layers. The inner layer of aloe vera is in gel form with 99.5% water content. The middle layer has compounds like anthraquinones and glycosides.
We call the thick outer layer of aloe vera the "rind." The rind is the portion where the plant synthesizes carbohydrates and proteins. It also has vascular bundles inside for the transportation of water and starch. There are fruits with a greater number of seeds and yellow tubular flowers on an aloe vera plant.
The aloe vera plant is a popular herbal remedy for treating skin problems and digestive problems. It has been used for centuries for its health, beauty, skincare, and medicinal properties.
Aloe vera and Ayurveda
In Sanskrit, aloe vera means "Ghrita kumari," "a beautiful young girl." Sanskrit is the ancient language of the Indian subcontinent. It is also the language in which ancient Ayurvedic texts are composed. Aloe vera is an important medicinal plant that has been used for years in ancient medicine. The ancient Indian, Greek, Roman, and Chinese civilizations have used the healing medicinal benefits of aloe vera.
Traditionally, health practitioners used aloe vera for healing wounds, itching, and swelling, and it is famous for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
There is a special class of herbs in Ayurveda known as Rasayana. We can use Rasayana herbs for building the immune system, anti-aging, and healing. Aloe vera comes under the Rasayana class of Ayurveda because of its extraordinary properties.
Aloe vera has four Ayurvedic tastes, which are: sweet, stiff, spicy, and bitter. There are three doshas in Ayurveda: ‘Vata,’ ‘Pitta,’ and ‘Kapha.’ Aloe vera juice has a stronger effect on Pitta dosha and a balancing effect on Kapha and Vata doshas.
According to Ayurveda, aloe vera is a powerful medicine that we can use both internally and externally.
6 Important aloe vera Benefits
As mentioned before, aloe vera has various applications in medicine. The most important aloe vera benefits are:
- Aloe vera for diabetes
Diabetes is a major lifestyle disease that can affect our overall health. Diabetes is a condition in which the blood sugar level soars above normal limits. Such high levels of blood sugar can cause various health conditions throughout our bodies.
Several studies show that aloe vera gel contains compounds that can control blood glucose levels. Aloe vera can repair insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. A higher insulin production means the glucose content in the blood can be arrested. This can help cells absorb glucose where it is needed.
- Aloe vera benefits for skin
We all know aloe vera’s benefits for skin, and they are getting more popular day by day. Skin is the largest organ in our body. It protects our internal organs from the external environment, microorganisms, and harsh conditions. The health of the skin is important for our overall health and wellbeing. Dryness, microbial attacks, use of harsh chemical compounds, etc. can cause damage to our precious skin.
Hydrating the skin and using natural compounds for the health of the skin is important. Always try to use a brand like Ayurprabhava, which uses natural extracts over harsh chemicals.
Aloe vera is a popular component in cosmetics and beauty products. Aloe vera acts as a powerful moisturizer. It is rich in antioxidants like Vitamin C. The antioxidants in aloe vera can help keep our skin hydrated and fight eczema. It also gives us a protective layer. The healing properties work against sunburn and rejuvenate the skin.
- Aloe vera for hair
Our hair is one of the primary features that gets noticed by others. It needs adequate vitamins, minerals, proteins, and attention for healthy growth. No matter if your hair is straight or curly, long or short, black or blond, all of it needs attention and care. But hair care problems are common these days. Hair damage is caused by genetics, air pollution, use of hard water for bathing, stress, dryness, etc.
Aloe vera is a natural remedy for many hair care problems. The medicinal properties of aloe vera promote a healthy scalp, which is essential for hair growth. The presence of natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties in aloe vera makes it effective for curing skin irritations, itchiness, and dry scalps.
Aloe vera is rich in minerals, fatty acids, and vitamins, which are essential for the growth of hair. We can use aloe vera to clean and condition our hair.
- Aloe vera for oral health
Normal human teeth, if not cared for, will fall off by the time we are 40 years old. But from time immemorial, we realized this and developed oral hygiene practices. Lack of oral health can affect our overall wellness too.
Aloe vera can protect our gums and teeth from infection. It has an antiseptic effect that slows down the growth of bacteria in our mouths. Aloe vera can also improve immune response and collagen production. Salicylic acid in aloe vera can act as a pain reliever in the mouth when there are mouth sores.
- Laxative effect
We can make juice from aloe vera. It will have a citrusy-bitter flavor with numerous health benefits. Some people also call it aloe vera water. We can make the juice with just the gel part of the plant. But it is also possible to make juice from the gel and latex of the plant.
This juice has a laxative effect and can relieve constipation. We can also add aloe vera juice to other food items like cocktails and smoothies. Apart from adding flavor, we are also getting various health benefits, which we discussed throughout this blog.
- Aloe vera with antioxidant and antibacterial properties
When the body breaks down food, it creates molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals can cause oxidative stress if they are not properly managed. Our body uses antioxidants to control these free radicals. In short, antioxidants are a vital part of our health.
Aloe vera plants contain an important antioxidant called polyphenols. The combination of polyphenols, along with several other compounds, can fight infection-causing bacteria in our body.
Facts about aloe Vera
- Aloe vera can heal itself and is famous for its self-healing properties.
- China is the largest exporter of aloe vera in the world, with 25.61%
of the market value.
Aloe vera can survive for 100s of years without withering.
- Aloe vera is mildly toxic to our cats and dogs.
- The Egyptians used aloe vera as a funeral gift and called it "the plant of immortality."
Which type of aloe vera is poisonous?
There are three poisonous aloe vera species: Aloe ballyi, Aloe elata, and Aloe ruspoliana. These species have leaf sap that gives off a strong odor.
What is aloe vera used for?
We use aloe vera orally, and it is also applied directly to the skin. At Ayurprabhava
What is the botanical name of aloe vera?
The botanical name of aloe vera is Aloe barbadensis miller. It belongs to the Asphodelaceae (Liliaceae) family.
Can you eat aloe vera?
Aloe vera leaves are generally safe to eat. Aloe vera gel has a refreshing and clean taste. We can add aloe vera to a variety of recipes.
People all over the world have been using aloe vera for medicinal purposes since ancient times. Numerous studies are proving the medicinal benefits of the plant. The use of aloe vera as a complementary medicine along with new methods can promote the health of people. With all these studies, aloe vera proves itself as a promising herb with its medicinal applications.