Its curative benefits were recognized in the ancient Indian, Chinese, Greek and Roman cultures. The Egyptians refer to it as”the plant of immortality” and it’s usually among the funeral presents buried with the pharaohs. In the traditional setting, aloe vera is used for healing wounds, relieving itching as well as swelling and it’s known for its antibacterial as well as anti-inflammatory properties.
Aloe vera is a member of the lily family and is one to two feet tall. Its leaves are succulent, with a wide base, pointed tips and spines along the edges. It has over 240 species but sadly, only four of these have medicinal values. The most potent of all the species is the aloe vera barbadensis and it is important to note that aloe vera, which is native to North Africa in addition to Spain, is also grown in the hot areas of Asia, Europe and America.
The healing potential of aloe vera stems from its ability to prevent injury to the epithelial cells and assist in the healing of damaged tissues. Aloe is quite beneficial in soothing many skin disorders like mild cuts, insect stings, bruises, eczema and so on. Research has also demonstrated that it has antifungal in addition to antibacterial properties and boosts blood flow to wounded areas. It also helps in the creation of fibroblast (the skin cell responsible for wound healing) and collagen (the protein that controls the aging process of the skin in addition to wrinkling).
Additionally, when aloe vera juice is taken internally, it aids digestion, helps control blood sugar, boosts energy production, promotes cardiovascular health and improves the immune system. It assists in preventing toxins from the digestive system and improves the functioning of the liver, kidneys in addition to gall bladder. Its anti inflammatory fatty acids alkalize the digestive juices and guide against acidity which causes indigestion. These fatty acids are not only beneficial to the stomach but also to the small intestine and colon. However, it is not advisable for pregnant women and children under five years old to take aloe vera internally.