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Aloe Vera
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Ayurvedic Herbs A-Z

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Aloe Vera

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Latin Names

English Names

Sanskrit Names

Hindi Names

Aloe barbadensis Mill. /
Aloe vera

Tourn. ex Linn. (Liliaceae)

Barbados Aloe,
Curacao Aloe,
Indian Aloe,
Jafarabad Aloe

Ghrita-kumari, Kanya,
Kumari

Ghee-kunwar,
Ghi-kuvar,
Gvar patha

 

 

Habitat  |   Morphology Description (Habit)  |   Principal Constituents  |   Indications  |   Product Range

 

 

Habitat

It is found throughout India.

 

 

Morphology Description (Habit)

A coarse-looking perennial plant with a short stem, found in a semi- wild state. The leaves are long, erect and crowded in a basal rosette. They contain a sticky juice, are glaucous-green and smooth except for the spiny teeth on the margins; the flowers are yellow, in dense racemes terminating the long scapes.

 

 

Principal Constituents

The leaves contain barbaloin, chrysophanol glycoside and the aglycone, aloe-emodin.

 

Indications

The leaf juice forms the main source of the drug. Aloes have long been in use for a host of diseases, particularly those connected with the digestive system; they have also been used for wounds, burns, dermatitis, cutaneous leishmaniasis and other skin troubles. It is used in eye troubles, spleen and liver ailments.

 

Product Range

 

Uses: It is useful for X ray burns, Dermatitis, Cutaneous and disorders of skin. Drug from juice is tonic and is used in jaundice, ameneorrhoea, atonic and piles. Aloe Vera Gel has the remarkable ability to heal wounds, ulcer and burns.

GYNAECOLOGY: The gel or juice are salutary when there is excess bleeding or clots. As Kumari clears the liver it directly affects the flow of pitta and the blood. This specifically affects the arthavasrota- the menstrual channel as it contracts the uterine muscle. It is a wonderful tonic for the female system.

SKIN: The gel contains allantoin that is a specific healer for the skin and generally regenerates tissues throughout the body- epidermal, muscular and osteo. It has an affinity for brnjaka pitta. One of the best Ayurvedic herbs for burns, scars, wounds and stretch marks. Very beneficial in hot, inflamed pitta conditions; eczema, urticaria, ulcers, acne. It is specific herb to be used in jaundice and viral hepatitis.

GIT: The gel is a mild laxative as it works via the liver to encourage the release of bile. The dry and powdered extract of the leaf (also known as cape aloes) is strongly purgative. It should only be used short term. It can help to regulate blood sugar and lipid levels. As it is a cooling and demulcent herb that heals mucus membranes it- then gel- is a specific for hyperacidity, ulcers, ulcerative colitis and any bleeding from the intestines.2 It directly clears pitta from the antarmarga, the inner pathway.

EYES: As a netraroghaghna herb it destroys eye diseases. It is very soothing for eye inflammation and eyelid swelling.

Product offered: Fresh Leaves, Aloe Vera Gel, Aloe Vera Powder

Glow with aloe
Roshni Johar
(March 10, 2002 The Tribune, India)

NATURE has dedicated Aloe Vera, a wonder plant to the beauty of women. It looks very ordinary but in reality, it abounds in many qualities. It’s the only plant whose extract is applied direct from the plant to your face in its pure and natural form, without giving it an oily shine. M’lady, it is age-defying as it combats wrinkles.

All you have to do is cut its fleshy stem in the centre transversely. And viola! Out oozes an odourless, viscous, translucent, non-allergic and non-toxic gel — the wonder remedy for various skin ailments. Spread it on your face. Within minutes it works towards a younger you, which chemical concoctions have failed to do.

What’s more, unused gel can be stored in the fridge for six months with absolutely no preservatives. You can even grow your anti-wrinkle plant in a flowerpot.

Cosmetologists have hailed it as ‘water of youth.’ With age, walls of blood vessels thicken, reducing blood supply to epidermis. As a result, the metabolism of the epidermis slows down. The skin dries, causing wrinkles. Aloe Vera’s chemistry allows it to penetrate quickly and deeply, and it is retained by the skin three to four times faster than water. It’s enzymes removes dead cells, grows new ones, provides moisture and nutrition, rids dryness and restores the skin’s elasticity. Moreover, it acts as a sunscreen blocking ultra violet rays, so harmful to the skin.

Because aloe increases femininity, it is appropriately termed as kumari in Sanskrit. Commonly called ghrit kumari or ghee kunwar, it is also known as kuargandal or pathkuari in Hindi, while Maharashtrians call it kofad and Tamilians as chotroo.

Regarded as ‘plant of immortality’, ancient Egyptians buried it with pharaohs in tombs. Cleopatra, Queen of Nile, used it lavishly. Sumerians extensively traded with Egypt where hieroglyphics of 4,000 B.C. mention aloe. Galen, Pliny, Dioscorides as well as Surushta and Charaka, our ancient physicians, praised its values. It was brought to the USA from Africa in the sixteenth century.

Only cosmetologists have ‘rediscovered’ it today. Touted as a modern ‘herbal’ avatar, mixed with other ingredients plus a few drops of perfume, it is labelled under fancy names and sold at exorbitant prices at select counters.

A native of North Africa and Mediterranean, this succulent botanically named as Aloe Barbadensis and commonly as medicine or burn plant, belongs to Liliaceae family, comprising more than 200 varieties mostly in Africa and Madagascar. It contains glycosides collectively called aloin. It has thick, fleshy, dagger-shaped, tooth- margined green leaves bearing dull red and yellow flowers and grows both wild and cultivated. Bulk of aloe is filled with gel, 96 per cent water and 4 per cent containing 75 substances like vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugars, anthraquinones, lignin, saponins, fatty acids, salicylic acid, amino acids, etc.

Extremely bitter, mothers once used it to discourage children from biting their fingernails. Superstitious Indian and Chinese drove away evil spirits with Aloe Vera. Being renowned for it’s healing, softening and soothing qualities for skin, Aloe’s gel gives relief from lupus, sunburn, minor cuts, burns, acne, skin irritations, insect bites, dry skin and even frostbite apart from screening out radiation caused by x-rays. To treat minor cuts and burns, cut and squeeze out a bit of gel from aloe on the affected part. It’s a mild anti-septic, relieves itching, swelling, pain and is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, increases blood flow to wounds and stimulates fibroblasts, hardening into a natural bandage. Historians opine that Alexander the Great captured Socotra Island for its aloe to treat his wounded soldiers.

It has diuretic qualities too. Its pulp banishes menstrual irregularities like delayed and painful periods, thereby removing pelvic spasms. Every part of aloe is useful. It’s roots cure colic disorders. Aloe gel cooked in a bit of pure ghee, relieves one of chronic gastritis, constipation and distension of stomach. Large doses of aloe act as purgative, killing intestinal worms.

Source:

1 Paranjpe

2 Frawley and Lad

 

 

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