Swaad 'Anu'saar

Published on July 6th, 2013


Why aloe vera is great for you

Aloe vera alleviates breathing issues, reduces aches in joints and even helps get rid of lice. Try this plant today.
anurita guptaby Anurita Gupta

If aloe vera were a pop group, it would undoubtedly be The Beatles. This wonder plant is a true star, and it finds its place in history for thousands of years. Legend has it that Aristotle advised his student, Alexander the Great, to invade the island of Socrota to get all the aloe vera plants from there in order to use it to heal the wounds of his soldiers.

Although it looks like a hybrid cactus, aloe vera actually belongs to the lily family from the south of Africa. This plant’s gel and juice are said to possess miraculous healing qualities. The aloe gel, also known as ‘mucilage’ is taken from the inner part of the aloe leaf and the aloe vera juice comes from the latex part of the plant, just beneath the skin. The juice is said to contain the laxative aloin.

There are over two hundred useful ingredients in aloe vera, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, polysaccharide, and fatty acids. That is the reason why there is a whole list of benefits that this wonder plant accords. Apply it or add it to your favourite drink (non alcoholic ) for the following benefits:

Wrinkle-free, glowing skin: Throw away that wrinkle cream or herbal skin potion. Aloe vera gel is the only natural, sure-shot preventive solution for wrinkles, since it is a fantastic moisturiser. Dry or sensitive, acne-prone or psoriasis-ridden skin, aloe vera gel is said to be the best solution for all skin issues, because it provides oxygen to the epithelial cells that act as a power booster to get healthy skin.

Try this: Cut up an aloe vera plant leaf and slice it down the centre to extract just the gel, not the latex from the aloe vera gelsides. Whirl it in the blitzer and apply it on your face just before going to bed every night. Not only will you have acne-free, smooth, glowing skin, but wrinkles will say good bye forever!

Rapunzel-may-get-jealous hair: Opt for aloe vera gel if you want your inner Rapunzel to come alive. Use the gel directly on your scalp to rid it of dandruff or – eeeks! – even lice. You can get lush, strong, shiny hair thanks to the vitamins and folic acid stocked in this miracle plant.

Try this: Apply the gel on a clean scalp right after washing your hair with a light shampoo. Keep it on for 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Also, there are many off-the-counter shampoos available with aloe vera as an ingredient, so you could opt for those.

aloe vera gelHealth in a glass: Aloe vera comprises Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E, Folic Acid and Niacin and therefore, having a glass of aloe vera juice daily can boost our immunity and assist it in fighting against pesky free radicals and pollution-generated stress on our body. You can buy aloe vera juice at many chemist shops. They are also available in many flavours including green apple, mint and grape.

Try this: Aloe vera juice is very high in minerals. Drinking it regularly will supply you with essential minerals and help you attain optimum blood flow and a healthier BMR (Body Mass Ratio). It is a natural cleanser, so it is a great antacid that cures digestion issues in a matter of days. Drink a glass of aloe vera juice in the morning and feel a heightened sense of well-being.

Happy joints and hearts: Densely packed with 12 natural ingredients such as copper, iron, sodium, calcium, zinc and potassium, aloe vera helps in lowering inflammation naturally. In short, if you have aloe vera juice on a daily basis chances are that you would not have to visit the ‘bone doctor’ too soon. Thanks to the anti-inflammatory benefits of this plant, it aids in mobilising muscles and joints. Not only that, there’s the bonus advantage of lowered blood sugar and lesser cholesterol, thanks to aloe vera’s ability to greatly multiply supply of oxygen in the blood.

Try this: Add some aloe vera gel to a smoothie or milk shake of your choice. Also, the next time you have aching joints, there’s no need to rub ‘ghee’ on them – just apply an anti-inflammatory gel that contains aloe.

Breathe free: Aloe vera juice can aid extensively in cases of respiratory disorders. Having a glass daily can actually be very helpful for those who chronically have the sniffles, aloe-vera-gelinfluenza, bronchitis and many other allergies. Aloe vera comprises sulphur, lupeol, salicylic acid, cinnamic acid, urea nitrogen and phenol that thwart the development of bad bacteria in the body, thereby reducing chances of all sorts of internal and external infections. So time to say ‘bottoms up’ to an aloe vera shot and breathe free.

While there are many products available in stores containing this brilliant plant, it is always recommended that you your own aloe vera gel or juice. The price you pay for this plant is a mere Rs 45 and it grows as beautifully indoors as in strong sunlight. Also, while its daily external application as a gel is highly recommended, there are naturopaths who advise against consuming aloe vera juice regularly because they believe it has to be used as a medicine for cure and not necessarily as a ‘healthy living’ magic potion.

(Pictures courtesy www.whyaloevera.com, articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com, www.aloe-vera-bio.org, www.makeupbeautylounge.com)

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