Long before the cosmetic industry latched on to the magic of Aloe vera, Ayurvedic physicians back in India had already discovered the goodness of this miracle plant and started putting it to good use. The rich cocktail of nutrients present in aloe and its ability to combat all three doshas make it a powerful ingredient in several Ayurvedic preparations.
The Indian Aloe (Kattarvazha, Grihathkanya, Ghikumari) is a plant belonging to the Lily family, and resembles a cactus with its succulent, tapering leaves with spiky edges. The leaves enclose a thick, bittersweet gel within them, which is the most potent part of the plant, and aloe is always best used fresh. Besides the now popular cosmetic uses of aloe, its medicinal uses are multiple. According to Ayurvedic principles, aloe has the unique property of being able top combat all three doshas and so is a powerful ingredient in several Ayurvedic preparations.
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Medicinal Uses of Aloe Vera:
Aloe vera for the Skin:
The most important use of Aloe vera is in the treatment of skin conditions. For mild cuts, isect bites, bruises, burns, sunburns and eczema, all you need to do it break off a leaf of the aloe in your backyard Ayurvedic garden and apply the fresh gel to the affected area. This works even if you meet unfriendly plants that can cause painful rashes, itches or other discomfort to your skin.
The skin healing effects of aloe come from its ability to heal and promote the health of epithelial tissues. By the same token, when taken internally, the lining of the gut, bronchial tubes and genital tracts benefit from the healing properties of aloe.
Aloe vera for Digestive and Gastric Health:
Aloe vera gel promotes digestion and helps the digestive tissues absorb nutrients better. A good laxative, aloe gel provides relief from constipation and bloating. A teaspoon of the gel on an empty stomach every morning helps get rid of toxins in the body and keeps the kidney, liver and gall bladder functioning splendidly.
Aloe vera to Boost Immunity:
The antifungal, antiviral and anti bacterial properties of aloe vera helps protect the body from the onslaught of diseases if consumed regularly. The antifungal nature also aids in healing skin affected by warts and erases scars from shingles and other conditions.
Aloe vera for Circulatory Health:
Aloe dilates the capillaries improving circulation and vascular health. It stimulates the blood vessels in the uterus, fostering uterine health and promoting menstruation. Because of this it is not advisable to take aloe internally during menstruation.
Aloe vera in Cosmetics:
Aloe stimulates the manufacture of collagen which improves the elasticity of the skin, thus impeding the aging process and preventing wrinkles. The skin absorbs aloe gel faster than it does water and so opens up the pores through which nutrients in the plant can enter. Regular consumption of aloe is good to cultivate younger looking, healthy skin. A natural detoxifier and blood purifier, aloe is good against acne and is an effective barrier against air sealing in the skin’s moisture.
Now, after stating all that, we are quite sure you are thinking along the same lines as us too. Why spend hard earned money on facials in swanky beauty parlors and on healing ointments purchased from pharmacies when all you need to do is head over here and get yourself an Aloe vera plant for your backyard?