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All About Aloe Vera - Uses & Health Benefits

"You ask me what were the secret forces which sustained me during my long fasts. Well, it was my unshakeable faith in God, my simple and frugal lifestyle, and the Aloe whose benefits I discovered upon my arrival in South Africa at the end of the nineteenth century".

- Mahatma Gandhi

Introduction 

Common Names: Aloe vera, Aloe, Lily of the desert, Burn plant, Elephant's gall

Latin Names: Aloe vera, Aloe barbadensis

Aloe vera's is a stemless or very short-stemmed succulent plant growing to 80–100 cm tall, spreading by offsets and root sprouts. The leaves are lanceolate, thick and fleshy, green to grey-green, with a serrated margin. The flowers are produced on a spike up to 90 cm tall, each flower pendulous, with a yellow tubular corolla 2–3 cm long. Clinical evealuations have revealed that the pharmacological active ingredients are concentrated in both the gel and rind of the aloe vera leaves. These active ingredients have been shown to have analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects.

Various Uses of Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is being used topically to heal wounds and for various skin conditions, and orally as a laxative, since centuries. Today, apart from the people traditional uses, people also take aloe vera orally to treat a variety of conditions, including diabetes, asthma, epilepsy, and osteoarthritis. People use aloe topically for osteoarthritis, burns, and sunburns. Aloe vera has been used to treat various skin conditions such as cuts, burns and eczema.

Aloe Vera contains important minerals like Calcium, Chromium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Phosphorous, Sodium, and Zinc.

Aloe Vera contains useful vitamins. These include A (beta-carotene and retinol), B1 (thiamine), B2 ( riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B12 (cyanocobalamin), C (ascorbic acid), E (tocopherol) and Folic Acid.