Aloe vera is one of the oldest medicinal plants known to mankind and it is the most commonly used medicinal plant worldwide. Today, Aloe vera is being researched worldwide to unveil its medicinal properties. Like most of you, I was unaware of this plant until this incident happened. What does this plant contain in it which is so special? Here is the story behind the eagerness to know more about the Aloe vera plant. This interesting incident happened in Mexico in one of my friend’s house where I was invited to attend a party. When the party was going pretty well there happened this incident in the kitchen, the hostess burned her forefinger while cooking. When all of us were shocked and didn’t know what to do and how to treat the burn, her husband quickly grabbed a bit of the cactus like plant which was potted in the window sill and took the gel like part out of it and quickly applied to the burn. To all of our surprise the gel instantly gave relief to her painfully burned finger in just few minutes. Later on when everything came to normal I asked the hostess about the cactus like plant and was completely amazed when I was explained about the medicinal properties of the plant on how it is used for first aid and treating other conditions like abdominal problems. There started my curiosity of researching this plant and to know and show how worth is this plant. The first part of the article is about the introduction and in other parts you will find all details about the plant you wanted to know. So stay here with me to know more and more about Aloe vera and its surprising medicinal properties!!!!
Aloe barbadensis or Aloe vera:
Aloe is the genus which has more than 500 species of flowering succulent plants. Each species has different benefits and usage. Of all the species the most beneficial plant is the Aloe barbadensis. The common name of Aloe barbadensis is Aloe vera. This plant is widely used because of its healing nature. Aloe vera is full of medicinal properties which are used both medically and commercially. Aloe vera was originally found in tropical and subtropical regions with Africa being the home of Aloe vera plants. Though Aloe vera was originally found to be grown in warm climatic conditions, its adaptability to different climates made the plant to travel worldwide and spread its various medical benefits. Due to its medicinal properties the plant is described as “Harmonious remedy” by Chinese, Russians call it “Elixir of youth” and Egyptians call it as “Herb of immortality”.
Leaf of Aloe vera – the medicinal part:
Aloe vera belongs to lily family and it is very similar to cactus. The water composition of the plant is about 95% and it contains many medicinal ingredients like amino acids, vitamins, enzymes, proteins and minerals. The leaf of the Aloe vera plant is widely used. The outer layer of the leaf is smooth and rubbery and the inner part of the leaf contains the Aloe vera gel. The gel is used for many healing purposes as it contains antibiotics, coagulating agent, astringent, cell growth stimulator, pain and scar inhibitor. There are more than 500 species of aloe worldwide and different species vary in different sizes ranging from one inch small plants to large plant colonies with at least hundreds of 2 foot in diameter plants.
History of Aloe vera:
The Aloe vera plant is not a recent discovery as it dates back to ages when Greek scientists and researchers found the medicinal plant 2000 years ago. Aloe vera and its medicinal uses is mentioned in the world’s oldest book of natural medicine called Rig veda in around B.C.E 4500 and B.C.E 1600. This book contained all medicinal plants and its uses with advantages and disadvantages. But sadly this book didn’t give the usage of this Aloe vera medicinal plant so specifically. The benefits of Aloe vera were first clearly mentioned in the Sumerian clay tablet book in around B.C.E. 2200 and so it is considered as the first book which documented the plant and its medicinal uses. Finally the detailed information of the plant was found in the Egyptian book called Papyrus ebers around B.C.E. 1550. This book mentioned 12 different formulas to mix Aloe vera plant gel with other ingredients and treat various skin disorders. In India the usage of the plant started spreading around 375 B.C. and these days it is the common medicine to treat many medical problems like skin infections and abdominal problems.
Aloe vera in U.S:
Though Aloe vera is not promoted extensively worldwide due to its less official standings in the medical community, U.S is aware of the medical properties of the plant and has started cultivating Aloe vera plant. In U.S, Aloe vera is mostly known for treating various ailments like burns and bruises. It is also widely used in the manufacture of cosmetic products and even used in making healthy drinks. The use of Aloe vera is not stopped with this, by the FDA approval the plant is being researched to treat cancer and aids. Enormous number of research is being carried on this plant to bring out the hidden benefits of this healing agent. Because of all the medicinal benefits, the plant Aloe vera is called the “Wand of Heaven” by Americans.
Uses of Aloe vera:
There are many uses of Aloe vera plant both internally and externally. Internally the plant is used to treat many abdominal problems like ulcer, indigestion and constipation. Its uses are not stopped with this as it is used to treat heartburn, insomnia, arthritis, hemorrhoids and various infections. Externally the plant is used to treat many skin problems like burns, bruises, sunburn, cold scores, scalds, abrasion, eczema, acne, scrapes, stings and also in the treatment of sprains. These days Aloe vera is also used in preparation of cosmetic products for its natural cure. It is the main ingredient in making lift masks, creams, moisturizing lotions, heat rub and many others.Because of the fact that Aloe vera is not a drug or medicine, many people have started using the plant for its natural medicinal property. Aloe vera can be found as an ornamental plant in many houses which is grown in gardens and pots.
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