Aloe Vera (Kattaar Vazhai) had always been a part of folk medicine in our lands. The healing powers of this plant were well known too throughout history and had been recognized by the ancient Indian, Roman and Chinese civilizations. The Egyptians went on as far as to call it ‘the plant of immortality!
Aloe Vera is one of those plants that come under the classification of ‘Succulent Plants’; imagine those ‘fat’ plants, which have unusually thick leaves and have a lot of water usually in them. Its leaf margins are serrated and have white ‘teeth’ and the plant is 96% water!
Aloe Vera has both external and internal uses.
The healing of injuries should be mentioned first, as it the most popular external use of it. It easily takes care of mild cuts, bruises, and insect stings and invites more blood flow to the wounded areas. It also has antibacterial and antifungal traits. Aloe Vera stimulates the synthesis of collagen, the protein that controls the aging and wrinkling of the skin.
External uses also include applications against sunburns and other light burns.
When consumed, Aloe Vera balances digestion and helps flush out harmful toxins from the body. It has the ability to prevent damage to Epithelial cells – the ones present internally in the gut, bronchi, and genital tracts. Aloe Vera also increases the absorption of nutrients and helps in liver function. It is a great body coolant and reduces the Pitta in the body. The long term use of it supports in treating some of the gynecological health issues like Leucorrhoea, Irregular menstrual cycle etc. Also, aloe vera improves the appetite and increases taste (also helpful to gain weight) and is considered as a great immunity booster.
It is most interesting to note that some of the phytochemicals present in Aloe Vera are currently being researched upon for possible bioactivity.
# Please do note that pregnant women and children require it to be checked with their doctor before going ahead with the consumption of Aloe Vera.