The healing and therapeutic properties of Aloe Vera are well known and applied from centuries by the Egyptians, Greeks, Chinese, Romans, and Ayurveda even included it in the so called „golden order” of the 50 most healing plants.
What is the content of Aloe Vera and why this plant is so valuable?
The healing power of aloe is due to the rich variety of more than 75 useful substances. The plant contains:
- Vitamins: А, group В (including В12), С, Е;
- Minerals: calcium, chromium, iron, phosphorus, germanium, manganese, magnesium, potassium, copper, selenium, zinc;
- Amino acids: 7 of the 8 essential amino acids (isoleucine, leucinе, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine and valine) and 11 of 14 non-essential amino acids (asparagine and glutamic acid, alanine, cysteine, arginine, glycine, histidine, hydroxyproline, proline, serine and thyroxine);
- Polysaccharides: aceman, glucomanan, galactan;
- Monosaccharides: glucose, xylose, galactose;
- Anthraquinones: 12 compounds that have laxative, antimicrobial and anticancer properties;
- Enzymes, organic acids, fatty acids, saponins, etc.
Aloe Vera has enlonged, fleshy leaves with thorns, which is why it is often confused with cactus, but the truth is that it belongs to the family of lilies.
The interesting thing is that, although it is most widely spread in Asia, South America, Africa and Southern Europe, the plant can grow almost anywhere in the world, because it is not pretentious, it doesn’t require special conditions for cultivation, as well it can receive the necessary nutritional substances and moisture even from the air.
The unpretentiousness of the plant, combined with its extraordinary properties, makes it one of the most accessible and curative plants on the planet.
However, it is good to know that there are more than 240 types of aloe, but not all of them have healing properties. Of all types, only 3 – 4 have therapeutic properties, and only one of them – Aloe Vera Barbadenis has the power to heal us.
Aloe Vera in the Ayurvedic medicine
In Sanskrit, Aloe Vera is called Ghrita – Kumari, which means „young girl”. This name is given to it because the Vedas believed that the plant gives the woman youth and it has a regenrating effect on the females.
According to the ancient hollistic medicine, Aloe Vera has 4 of the six Ayurvedic tastes: bitter, stiff, spicy and sweet. The taste after digestion (vipaka) is sweet, and the effect – cooling.
Aloe is one of the few plants that have a pure bitter taste. Although, as it was already described, it contains other flavors, in terms of the healing properties, the bitter taste (together with the stiff taste) is the most valuable, and in aloe this taste is stronger than the other ones.
Aloe juice has balancing effect on all three doshas, but its effect is stronger on Pita dosha.
The Ayurvedic medicine places this healing plant in the group of the satvic foods, which means that it can be used in a satvic diet by people who are engaged in spiritual practices, striving for improvement.
Benefits of Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a powerful Ayurvedic medicine, that is applied both internally and externally.
A great laxative
In Ayurveda, Aloe powder often is used during Virechana procedure. (Virechana is part of Panchakarma and it is a natural method for body cleansing with the help of laxatives).
Helps the process of detoxification of the organism
As pure bitterness, Aloe Vera is used in the specialized Ayurveda therapy for removal of the „ama” (slags) from body tissues and especially from the blood. In this case, the plant is suitable for all doshas, but for Vata dosha it should be applied in small quantities.
Heals skin problems
Ayurveda recommends the healing plant for treatment of various skin diseases, such as wounds, insect stings, bruises and eczema. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of Aloe Vera hels to increase blood flow to the affected area, thus to help the healing process.
Moreover, the plant stimulates the skin cells that are responsible for wound healing and helps collagen production – a protein that controls the skin aging process.
Improves the function of the digestive system
One of the greatest benefits of Aloe Vera is its beneficial effect on the digestive system.
Due to the high content of enzymes, as well to the anti-inflammatory effect of some of its contents, aloe is absolutely priceless for people who have problems with the digestive system.
The use of aloe juice resolves a wide range of digestive diseases, as it helps detoxification of the digestive system, improves the digestion and the function of the kidneys, the liver and the gallbladder.
Due to its antiviral properties, Aloe Vera helps the healing of diabetic wounds that take a long time to heal. The capillary expanding property of the plant increases blood flow and speeds up the skin recovery.
Helps the proper functioning of the reproductive system, blood circulation and the liver.
Aloe Vera is an excellent tonic for the liver, spleen, the reproductive and circulatory system. The chromium contained in the aloe is beneficial to patients who have problems with blood circulation and with the cardiovascular system. It has been found that the use of high concentrations of Aloe gel stimulates the production of white blood cells in the body.
The classical Ayurvedic medicine uses fermented gel of aloe to produce tonic herbal wine, to be used as medicine for the treatment of patients that have anemia, problems with the digestive system, as well to heal a variety of female reproductive problems and liver diseases.
Strengthens the immune system
The healing plant is a great immune stimulator for those who have chronic immune diseases such as polysaccharides or fibromyalgia, because the polysaccharides in the aloe juice stimulate the macrophages and the white blood cells that fight viruses.
In addition to the fact that it strengthens the immune system, Aloe Vera is also a great detofixier, as well it is very useful nutritional supplement for patients before and after surgery. Aloe juice is also useful for diseases such as type II diabetes, arthiritis, eye diseases, tumors, enlargement of the spleen, liver complaints, vomiting, bronchitis, asthma, jaundice and ulcers.
Heals constipation, maintains good pH of the stomach, helps healing of inflammatory bowel diseases, dyspepsia, stomach and duodenal ulcers.
Detoxifies the organism
Aloe Vera is a wonderful natural remedy for detoxification of the body. Since we need to clean our systems from time to time, because of the unhealthy life that we live, the regular use of aloe juice provides a rich coctail of vitamins, minerals and microelements, that help our organs cope with stress and tension.
Hydrates and strengthens hair and scalp
As it nourishes the hair in depth, by providing the necessary vitamins and minerals, Aloe Vera is also used in Ayurveda to nourish hair and deal with itchy scalp.
Due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, aloe is also very effective for dandruff fighting. Moreover, the enzymes contained in the gel of aloe, eliminate the dead cells of the scalp, as well help the quick recovery of the skin tissue around the hair follicles.
Improves sexual function
Despite the belief that Aloe Vera is a „female” plant, it can also be used by men (especially by those with constitution Pita) to normalize sexual functions.
Women can use Aloe Vera for almost all female diseases of the reproductive system – from disorders of the monthly cycle to coping with the problems of menopause.
Improves heart function
Aloe Vera juice is very useful for cardiovascular problems, problems of blood and blood vessels, associated with the imbalance of Pita dosha.
The Ayurvedic medicine uses aloe for treatment of hypertension, hypotension, bleeding, anemia and other.
Reduces cholesterol levels
The cholesterol is a silent killer, that prevents blood circulation and clogs the arteries. Causes for high cholesterol may be many – from poor nutrition to immobilization or genetic predisposition.
No matter the reasons, however, Aloe Vera can deal with it. The aloe can be taken as a juice, the aloe reduces triglycerides in the blood and reduces cholesterol levels.