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Herb of the Month

Aloe vera (Ghritkumari)

Botanical Name : Aloe barbadensis
Family Name: Aloeceae
Other Name: Barbados, Cape, Curaiao, Socotrine, and Zanzibar aloe

Aloe vera contains all natural.......

  • 75 nutrients
  • 20 minerals
  • 18 amino acids
  • 12 vitamins like A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, E etc
  • 200 active enzymes
  • Limonene & saponins
Part Used: The slimy part inside the leaf is used (also referred to as gel) as well as a juice extracted from the pulp.

Origin of Herbs:  

It is a species of Aloe that originated in East Africa and in the Mediterranean region. It also grows in the tropics and in several continents. The plant has been used for more than 5,000 years, particularly for its cosmetic usage. All traditional medicines made use of Aloe Vera to treat diverse and varied problems. Indeed, discoveries have been made of writings and traces of its use in ancient Egypt, Greece, Africa as well as in the most ancient medicines in the world traditional Ayurvedic medicine.

Healing power:

Research since many years has shown that the plants gel has the ability to heal wounds, ulcers and burns by adding a protective coating on the affected areas which speeds up the healing rate. Aloe Vera is about 95% water. The rest contains active ingredients including essential oil, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, enzymes and glycoproteins.

  • Internal use
    • The herb is used internally to combat most digestive problems, including
      • constipation
      • poor appetite
      • colitis
      • irritable bowel syndrome as well as
      • asthma
      • diabetes
      • immune system enhancement
      • peptic ulcers
    • Studies have also shown that when aloe is taken internally it can stimulate and regulate various components of the immune system by stopping the inflammation and blood supply of tumors and also showed interesting results in preventing carcinogenic compounds from entering the liver and is combined in some cancer treatments.
    • The juice of the inner leave can be used for its anti-inflammatory effect.
    • It contains aloemannan which stimulates the growth of healthy kidney cells and helps to slow the formation of kidney stones.
    • The juice can be used very successfully to treat heartburn as well as ulcers and to soothe the lining of the digestive tract. It is not only effective to treat stress induced ulcers, but can be used for peptic ulcers caused by excess acid, aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as well as alcohol use.
    • The oral use of aloe has produced good results in patients suffering from asthma when the asthma sufferers were not dependant on corticosteroids for treatment.
    • The exude from the leaves are used as a strong purgative and stimulant laxative but can cause griping and has an abortifacient effect and should not be used in pregnancy.
    • The bitter principle in aloe exudate which cause the laxative effect is preferable to use than that of  Senna leaves, as aloe draws less fluid into the large intestine and are less likely to cause electrolyte imbalance than the other two.
  • External use
    • Aloe is used externally for the treatment of
      • acne
      • to stimulate cell regeneration.
      • skin irritation
      • burns
      • scalds
      • sunburn
      • wounds
      • eczema
      • psoriasis
      • dermatitis
      • ulcers
    • The gel can be applied directly to the skin as a softening agent.
    • For burns and other wounds aloe is particularly effective as it activates the macrophages which fights bacterial infection while at the same time increasing circulation to the area which results in accelerated healing.
    • The enzymes - carboxypeptidase and bradykininase are both involved to reduce swelling, itching, reducing inflammation as well as pain.
    • Studies confirmed that wounds treated with aloe heal far faster than other wounds not so treated - both for traumatic as well as surgical wounds. This may be due to the fact that it contains not only vitamin E and C as well as zinc but the polysaccharides also reduce inflammation and stimulate the fibroblast and epidermal growth and repair process.
    • The juice is also effective for the treatment of minor wounds and insect bites by forming a "natural plaster" over the wound.
    • It has good astringent qualities and is usually combined with other ingredients, to make an excellent, soothing treatments for the skin and can also be used with great success on hemorrhoids (piles).
    • In studies it also showed a marked result in producing remission in skin cancers and its superb anti-oxidant effect is effective to help prevent skin damage from x-rays and other forms of radiation.
    • When applied regularly to psoriasis great results are achieved and also relieve the pain and inflammation of eczema.
    • When people with frostbite was treated with a cream containing aloe, the incidence of tissue loss and amputation was reduced.
    • Aloe-emodin which is one of the ingredients not only has a laxative effect, but is also involved in killing the herpes virus which causes cold sores and shingles.
    Safety precautions :
    Pregnant and breast feeding women should not use aloe latex (the laxative part) internally, although the topical application of aloe to the skin has no effect on pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Ayurvedic Supplements that contains Aloe Vera :

Aloe vera Syrup
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Aloe vera Shampoo
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Aloe vera Gel
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Aloe vera Face Wash
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