All the plants of Mother Nature have one or two medicinal uses, but it depends on the usage. Some herbs should be used only for internal purposes while others are meant only for external application. However, there are some that have been forgotten and used for other purposes than they are supposed to, but in recent times, medical science has woken up to the fact that every plant has medicinal uses. Aloe Vera is one such plant that has been used as an indoor plant since ancient times as a fence to deter the animals from making a move in the garden or fields. However, there are many health benefits of Aloe Vera, and there are good reasons people grow them indoors. Before we praise about the nutritional value of this evergreen plant, here is a quick, interesting introduction.
Aloe Vera Plant
Aloe Vera can reach up to a total height of 40 inches. The plant may grow without a stem, and the green leaves bear the resemblance of swords emanating from a point. However, these branches have the medicinal gel that offers some amazing health benefits. It emits yellowish-orange flowers.
10 Amazing Health Benefits Of Aloe Vera
There are numerous health benefits of Aloe Vera plant. The gel found in the leaves can be used for curing and soothing some simple wounds, cuts, burns, bruises, acne, rashes, and pimples. It can also be used in the treatment of skin infections, blisters, irritation, etc. The gel of Aloe Vera hydrates, tones, moisturizes and rejuvenates the skin both internally and externally. In fact, it can reverse the signs of aging. So, no wonder why most beauty brands use this as their key ingredient.
Rather than spending a big amount of money on Aloe Vera based products, you could grow this plant in your home. You can save time, money, and the most important benefit is that you get the direct connection with the plant right at your fingertips. Moreover, products sold at stores have some additives in them. So, it is not 100% pure. The best way is to grow the plant to receive maximum benefits. God forbid! But, in the case of unfortunate negative circumstances like little bruises, cuts, and wounds, you can make use of the plant anytime. So, soon we will tell you how to grow this plant indoors. But before that, let us know its benefits.
1. Aloe Vera Has Nutrients That Very Few Plants Possess
Aloe Vera has more than 200 active compounds, even including minerals, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, fatty acids, and polysaccharides. So, no wonder why it is one of the most favorite ingredients of top cosmetic brands. Also, this is the major reason why it helps in healing different ailments. The major vitamins found in Aloe Vera are vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, choline, folic acid, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3 (also known as niacin), and vitamin B6. Very few plants possess vitamin B12, and you will be interested in reading that Aloe Vera is one of them.
2. Minerals In Aloe Vera Plant Can Do Wonders
The minerals present in Aloe Vera are zinc, calcium, selenium, chromium, magnesium, copper, potassium, and manganese. These minerals are essential for the perfect functioning of various processes in the human body. To name a few, it boosts your metabolism, maintains strong teeth and bones, and enhances your insulin to provide the cells with good energy.
3. The Enzymes Of Aloe Vera Can Ward Off Infections
The enzymes present are aliiase, amylase, alkaline phosphatase, lipase, peroxidase, cellulose, catalase, and carboxypeptidase. These enzymes assist in improving your body’s circulatory system. It dilates the blood vessels and stimulates them to fight against various body infections. So, there are good reasons people call this as a “wonder” plant.
4. Healing Power Of Natural Sugars In Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera also contains monosaccharides (like fructose and glucose) and the polysaccharides (polymannose and glucomannans). These can be taken from the mucilage layer of the Aloe Vera –known as mucopolysaccharides. The two compounds found in Aloe Vera are alprogen and C-glucosyl chromone (an anti-inflammatory compound). According to research, the monosaccharides of this plant help the body to repair naturally by building a strong immune system whereas the polysaccharides can cure an irritated stomach, heartburn, ulcers, digestive disorders, diarrhea, and lots more.
Glucomannan (a water-soluble polysaccharide), as well as gibberellins (a growth hormone), triggers the stimulation and enhances the production of collagen synthesis after the oral and topical application of the gel. Due to these factors, the areas near the wound are contracted and the healing time is less when you apply Aloe Vera gel.
5. Essential Fatty Acids Of Aloe Vera
The plant possesses all the eight essential amino acids vital for the human body to function properly. It provides four plant steroids, good cholesterol, β-sisosterol, lupeol, and campesterol. All these are scientifically proven to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties whereas lupeol possesses analgesic and antiseptic properties. The other fatty acids include oleic, stearic, palmitic, caprylic, myristic, linolenic, and linoleic acids.
6. Aloe Vera Has Hormones Too
The Aloe Vera gel has two vital hormones namely auxins and gibberellins. They possess anti-inflammatory properties and assist in the faster healing of wounds. Gibberellin (more like growth hormone) stimulates the development of fresh cells. It helps in treating a skin infection naturally and quickly with less scarring.
7. Aloe Is An Adaptogen
Aloe Vera possesses a property of adaptogen, which is known to enhance the immunity powers of the human body, thus making it adapt to illness. It stimulates the production of white blood cells and fights against viruses.
8. Aloe Vera Aids In Digestion
To have a healthy body, you need a good digestive system. Aloe Vera, when consumed as juice, can soothe the digestive tract and assist in ailments such as constipation and diarrhea. It can also act as a vermifuge in which the intestinal worms are eliminated. The components are anthraquinones that act as a laxative. They can increase the content of intestinal water; mucous secretion is stimulated, etc.
9. Aloe Possesses Antifungal and Antiviral Properties
The active components are salicylic acid, lupeol, urea nitrogen, cinnamonic acid, sulfur, and phenol. They act as antifungal and antiviral agents.
10. Aloe Treats Inflammation
B-sisterole is the compound that can assist in inhibiting the inflammation. This property is beneficial for persons with arthritis pain and enhances flexibility in joints. There is also another component known as C-glucosyl chromone.
Medicinal Uses Of Aloe Vera
- Drinking the juice of Aloe Vera helps boost metabolism, increases immunity, and keeps you healthy. However, check with your doctor before making a line.
- For healthy, lustrous hair, mix fresh Aloe Vera gel with lemon. Apply and keep it for 45 minutes before shampooing. The gel possesses the pH of 4.3. Hence, it protects from hair fall, dry scalp, and dandruff.
- Aloe Vera is extremely healthy for the skin as well. The gel naturally protects from suntan. It is due to its medicinal component called aloin.
- Although more research is needed on this subject, it is known as of now that once you apply the gel of Aloe Vera, metallothionein (antioxidant protein) is triggered into the skin. This component destroys the hydroxyl radicals and gives the skin a fair color.
- The mucopolysaccharides assist in binding the moisture to the skin. The fibroblast is stimulated, the collagen and elastin fibers make the skin more elastic, and the skin is faced with fewer wrinkles. It also promotes antiacne activities.
- The gel is good for burns as well. Let the burn be washed with cold water and leave for five minutes. Then, apply the gel of Aloe Vera on the affected area. You can also put a bandage if you want.
How To Grow Aloe Vera?
The condition you need to have for growing the Aloe Vera plant in your garden is a hot, dry environment. It needs abundant sunlight. They have originated from Africa but have the ability to grow in different climates. Their perfect environment is poor soil but with proper drainage. The soil has to loose or gritty. If you are growing the plant in a container, make sure that it is wide instead of deep. It needs sunlight in entirety for six hours every day, but maximum growth has been recorded when you give them proper eight hours of bright sunlight.
During the night, it is better to cover the plant with a plastic container. If the cold is more, mulch or straw has to be spread around the base of the roots for proper protection. The plant can store water in its leaves and roots. In winter, the plant grows only to a minimal level, so kindly take note. Therefore, the watering has to be little. The soil has to become entirely dry. So, check the amount of water to be given. Fertilizer can be added as per the gardener’s instructions.
How To Extract Aloe Vera Gel From Its Leaves?
To extract its gel, you have to cut the Aloe Vera leaf from the base of the plant. The plant will heal quickly, and you get the required gel. You can even refrigerate the gel for later use.
To know more about medicinal plants which can be given as gifts, click here.