What is aloe vera
In English Gwarpatha is known as Aloe vera. It is derived from the Arabian word Alloeh, which means ‘Shining bitter Substance’. This plant, the nature’s wonder, is a liliaceous plant of the genus aloe and belongs to onion and lily family. Its scientific name is Aloe Barbadensis Miller.
Medicinal properties of aloe vera have been known since ancient times; it has been used in one form or the other since ages. Its history dates back to 5000 years. It was used extensively by the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, Rome, India and china.
There are around 300 species of aloe vera plant; only a few of them are medicinal – Barbadensis Miller being the most potent in medicinal value; other such species are Aloe Indica Aloe Ruescens, Aloe Lioratie, Aloe Abyssinica and Aloe Ferox.
Aloe Barbadensis Miller is a semi-tropical plant. It is a plant which grows commonly all over our country. This plant is very rich in medicinal properties. In this modern age, this plant is being used extensively in cosmetics, tonics, lotions and ointments etc. This plant is a storehouse of medicinal value.
Gwarpatha is called Ghritkumari or Ghee Kamwar in Sanskrit. This plant thrives in warmer climates in alkaline, sandy, barren lands, or on the river banks. Its dagger-like leaves stem all around and just above its shallow roots. Its leaves are thick, fleshy, smooth and glossy.
The leaves grow up to 2 feet long and 4 inches wide; there are hook-like tiny thorns strewn on both sides of the leaves from bottom to top. When the leaves are peeled, a yellowish thick paste-like pulp or gel comes out; this gel starts clogging once it is exposed to the atmosphere.
The dry gel is used to make a potion, which is called Kumarisaar in Sanskrit, Aluwa in Hindi, Shabayar in Persian and Aloe in English. Tiny pods spring up in the middle of the plant, which bloom in reddish flowers in winter. These flowers are used as a vegetable.
Aloe Vera Leaves and their benefits
Mature Aloe Vera plant of 1 to 2 years are considered most useful. If a mature plant is not available, at least one year old plant should be taken for use. Thick, fat, long and heavy leaves are rich in medicinal values.
One fully grown leaf weighs approximately 750 grams. Leaves should be cut as close to the stem as possible; the lowest part of the leaf, which is somewhat whitish is called its seal; it prevents the juice or gel from oozing out and going waste. Leaves should be plucked or cut only when required to be uses.
When you peel the leaves, you find thick gel and juice, which is full of medicinal properties. It tastes somewhat bitter. The gel can be preserved for several days in a refrigerator.
Farmers grow these plants around the settlements and on the embankment or hedges of the fields to protect the crops. This plant can be grown as indoor plant as well. Its juice and gel is used externally as well as internally.
Externally it is used to apply as plaster on the infected parts of the body to alleviate pain – juice as well as the gel is both useful; its effect is soothing. Its use in any form has no known side-effects; however, women should avoid its use during pregnancy.
Taking Gwarpatha as a vegetable once a week and also fenugreek seed vegetable once a week is considered invigorating.
Aloe vera can be administered to the patients afflicted what any disease; and it can be taken in every climate and season. It eliminates the toxins, cleanses the whole system and woks as an appetizer, and in turn stimulates digestion.
All the seven elements inside the body get purified and the immune system gets strengthened. It is an effective treatment to cure the chronic and even the incurable diseases.
Chemical Composition of Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is rich in aloen glucoside; barbaloen, a light yellowish transparent glucoside, is the main component of aloen. In addition, it contains some resin and aromatic oil. It also contains ganlic and emodine elements.
Pliny the elder, Dioscorides and Galen, the proponents of the modern medical science were the great advocates of the use of aloe vera for curing the blood circulation related diseases – a mention to this effect is found in the medical encyclopedia.
Main chemicals present in aloe:
- Aloen glucoside
- Aromatic oil
Queens of the ancient Egypt used to make regular use of aloe Vera for cosmetic purpose. Alexander the great, in 320 BC, made use of aloe vera for healing the wounds of his soldiers. Aloe vera is most potent in medicinal value. Presently, it is known by its various names, viz., Burns plant, Medicine plant, Bond of Heaven and Plant of life, etc.
Aloe vera is presently used as a balanced potion; tonic, or an effective medicine for the cure of skin problems. Like any other nature cure, it is, however, effective only if fresh leaves of it are used; once it is exposed to atmosphere after cutting the leaves, it gets oxidized and as a result, its medicinal properties get weakened.
The plant thrives in hot climate and in the fertile land; humidity is its arch enemy. Although this can be grown as an indoor plant also, a plant grown under natural conditions is considered to be of more medicinal value. The use of chemical fertilizers to grow this plant should be avoided.
Benefits of aloe vera in Nutshell
- Its extract penetrates the dermis layer of skin; therefore, it is more effective.
- Regenerates healthy cells and eliminates the dead cells.
- It is antibiotic.
- Aloe is energizer and a natural moisturizer.
- It fuels all bodily systems through the promotion of proper digestion absorption and assimilation of foods and nutrients.
- Aloe is anti-toxin.
- It provides essential nutrition to the body.
- It re-hydrates skin.
Therapeutic Value of aloe vera
Use of aloe vera is beneficial for the patients afflicted with arthritis colitis, sinusitis, psoriasis and other incurable skin diseases. Aloe vera is therefore invaluable for the preservation of human life.
Also Read: Home remedies for arthritis colitis
How does aloe vera work?
Aloe vera effectively cleanses the stomach and balances & enhances proper immune system by eliminating free radicals. It is an appetizer and stimulates digestion process.
Latest research has revealed the presence of acimenon in its chemical composition; it multiplies the T lymphocyte cells, which strengthen the immune system. Aloe vera is known for its therapeutic value against radiation and chemical burns.
A person falls sick when his vitality is at low ebb; in other words accumulation of toxins in the body and deficiency of nutrients are the cause of sickness. A sick person, therefore, needs nutrients more than any medicine.
The deficiency of nutrients is made up by aloe vera. The synergy of these nutrients throws out the free radicals accumulated in the body, builds resistance of the body and regenerates tissues and healthy cells.
Being anti-viral, the internal use of aloe vera effectively balances and strengthens the immune system. It regenerates healthy cells and make the skin disease-free. Its external application heals the scars of the wounds.
Aloe vera works in two main areas i.e., immune system and epithelial tissues. Because of its healing properties, aloe vera normalizes an array of damaging processes of cells and tissues; secondly, it repairs the damaged cells and regenerates the healthy cells.
The pancreas inside the body is responsible for generation of insulin, which is vital for the maintenance of the balance of blood sugar. If the cells of pancreas are damaged, it stops generating insulin, thereby, raising the blood sugar level, demanding medications and injecting artificial insulin.
Also Read: How to cure diabetes at home
Aloe vera regenerates these cells, which start producing insulin. Aloe vera is effective in a large number of diseases, viz: diabetes, heart diseases, asthma, obesity, blood pressure and kidney problems.
It also cures acne/pimples, digestive problems, inflammation of intestines, stomach wounds, colitis, dysentery, headache.
People use it to treat insomnia, swelling, TB, blood clotting, muscular pains, varicose veins, knee-joint pains, stomach and colon cancer, blood circulation problems, anemia, baldness, seborrhea, stomach disorders, indigestion, constipation, piles ayurvedic treatment, respiratory problems, throat problems, physical weakness, semen and sexual weakness treatment, gynecological problems, menstrual problems, skin diseases, wounds, burns, rheumatism, joint-pains, tiredness, tooth problems, pyorrhea, foul breathing and hair and eye problems; in addition, it is a natural moisturizer and quite effective as a cosmetic.