Health and Beauty
The Great Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a plant that grows wild in tropical climates, and can been seen in many parts of Liguria, Italy. It is an easy plant to grow in the home because it requires little in the way of care: occasional watering, warm conditions, and perhaps you may need to fertilise every now and again. It is interesting to mention that it is believed that the plant we know today under the name Aloe Vera, originates from Northern Africa.
The first documented medicinal use was in the ancient Egyptian Papyrus, called ebers, which provided 12 different recipes for aloe healing. The Egyptians also referred to aloe as the "plant of immortality" and included it among the funerary gifts buried with the pharaohs. The healing benefits of aloe were recognised in the ancient Indian, Chinese, Greek, and Roman civilisations.
Aloe vera is quite an incredible medicinal plant full of nutritional benefits. It is a succulent plant and part of the lily family (Liliaceae), the same family that garlic and onions belong to.
Aloe Vera is an ancient beauty ingredient that is used in various beauty products for treating rashes, skin irritations, pimples and acne. It is also known for its anti-inflammatory quality that helps in reducing itchiness of scalp, dandruff and provides deep conditioning to hair by reducing excessive oil from scalp and hair strands. It promotes hair growth and luster and improves the pH balance of scalp. (See article by Bio Hair)
9 Health Benefits Of Applying Aloe Vera Topically:
- Moisturises skin
- Heals wounds
- Soothes burns (one of the best home remedies for sunburns)
- Anti-itching for bug bites
- Calms acne and eczema
- Reduces wrinkles
- Calms rashes, boils, and other skin afflictions
- Conditions hair as a shampoo (may even prevent hair loss) - See article by Bio Hair
- Can be used as a shaving gel
10 Health Benefits Of Taking Aloe Vera Internally
- Boosts the production of white blood cells and healthy cells in cancer patients
- Reinforces the heart and improves the quality of blood
- Stabilises blood sugar
- Promotes healthy gums
- Stomach disturbances
- Lowers arthritis inflammation
- Improves the body’s immunity
- Reduces heartburn and indigestion
- Promotes better functioning of the urinary tract
- Prevents digestive disorders like constipation, bloating, IBS and colitis and calms
Aloe vera contains 75 potentially active constituents and the most valuable part of the aloe vera plant is the clear gel found inside the leaves: vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugars, lignin, saponins, salicylic acids and amino acids. The plants are hardy and long-lived. Wild species have been known to survive for 100 years.
Aloe vera has long been used in traditional medicine. Ayurveda, a system of natural healing that originated in India, uses aloe vera to treat several skin conditions as well as improve the function of the digestive and immune systems.
It is always worth speaking with a doctor or chemist should you have any specific concerns before using any product internally or externally.