Aloevera is very popular for its healing properties. Texts of ayurveda recommend this plant for hair care, skin care and digestive care.
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Aloevera plant description
There are many varieties of aloe plants. These have BOTONICAL NAMEs Aloe Vera Barbadensis, Aloe indica, and Aloe chinensis . They belong to FAMILY of LILLIACEAE. Its structure is as follows.
Srtucture of Mature plant:
They are succulent plants with perennial, strong and fibrous roots and numerous, persistent, fleshy leaves, proceeding from the upper part of the root, narrow, tapering, thick and fleshy, usually edges are serrated with spiny teeth. Seeds are Angular
The flowers are produced in erect, terminal spikes. There is no calyx, the corolla is tubular, divided into six narrow segments at the mouth and of a red, yellow or purplish colour. The capsules contain numerous angular seeds.
Grows mainly in the dry regions of Africa, Asia, Europe and America.
The important constituents are the two Aloins, Barbaloin and Isobarbaloin, Other constituents are amorphous Aloin, resin and Aloe-emodin. A mild purgative, sooths skin, Acts as a mild antimicrobial
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION :
Aloevera in ayurveda
Aloevera is known as Kumari, Griha kanya, Ghrita kumarika in ayurveda. It has many local names in India like Gheekuaara (Hindi), Ghrta kumari (Bengali), korpad (Marathi), Aloe (English), Lolisara or Lolesara in kannada, Kalabanda in telugu, Kumari, Kattar Vazha in malayalam, Kathaazhai in tamil.
- Gruha Kanya – Like daughter of house
- Sthula dala- has thick leaves
- Dirgha patra- has long leaves
- Ambudhisrava, Vipulasrava – Having profuse gel and water content in the leaves.
- Maataa – This plant is like a mother to the patient.
- Ghrita Kumarika – leaf having slimy pulp similar to ghee.
- Amara, Ajara – Has rejuvenating and anti aging properties. This makes persons to look young even they are aged.
Ayurveda medicinal properties of aloevera
Based on principles of ayurveda this plant is heavy to digest (guru). It boosts moistness of body tissues (snigdha) and is sticky to touch (picchila). It is spicy or hot (katu rasa) to taste and becomes bitter (tikta rasa). It has cold potency (sheeta veerya). It balances kapha dosha & pitta dosha. a very good aphrodisiac, diuretic, sooths skin, and anti inflammatory widely used in conditions of sun burn, dry skin conditions, burns, scars. Leaves of this plant are used for medicinal purpose.
Ayurveda acharyas describe its medicinal properties as follows
- Helps to relieve constipation (Bhedani)
- Recommended in disorders of spleen (Pleehahara )
- Used in treatment of fever (Jwarahara)
- Helps in treatment of abdominal tumours (Gulmahara )
- Soothes wounds and blisters etc (Visphotahara )
- Highly recommended in treating burn wounds (Agnidagdha )
- Used in treatment of liver diseases ( Yakrut Vruddhihara )
- Can be used in treatment of small tumours like fibroids and enlarged lymph nodes (Granthihara )
- Highly recommended in bleeding disorders like heavy menstrual bleeding, bleeding hemorrhoids, nasal bleeding etc (Raktapittahara )
- Very effective in skin disorders ( twak rogahara)
- Acts as a best body detox (vishahara)
- Balances vata when used in diseases of vata dosha like neuralgia, paralysis, constipation, bloating, (vatahara)
- Boosts immunity and strength (balya)
- Helps men by boosting sexual function and improving male fertility (Vrushya )
- Recommended in treatment of asthma, bronchitis and chronic respiratory disorders ( Shwasahara )
- Best herb for rejuvenation (rasayana)
- Helps in treatment of eye disorders ( Chakshushya )
Ayurveda Benefits and Uses of Aloevera
Ayurveda scholars recommend to use aloe in various health conditions. Here are the ayurvedic uses and health benefits of aloevera
In Dysmenorrhea ( Kashtarthava or painful menstrual cycle)
The leaf pulp 2-4 gms is effective remedy in Dysmenorrhea ( Kashtarthava ). This Should be administered with sugar on empty stomach once a day, for three days prior to the expected date of menstruation.
In Jaundice or Kamala
Kamala (infective hepatitis) the mucilage with curd is a very effective medicine. This can be given single dose 3-5 days. If the patient develops loose motions can with drawn for a day or two and if needed can be continued for another course of 3-5days.
In piles or hemorrhoids
As it has mild laxative and healing properties, a regular consumption of small amounts of aloevera helps in piles or hemorrhoids. (this can be taken in form of juice or capsules.
In burning and redness of eyes
Application of Gel of this plant mixed with purified alum powder on eyes helps to relieve redness and burning sensation of eyes. It is highly recommended for ayurvedic eye care
Many studies have shown the antidiabetic properties of this herb. Since it is brimming with anti-oxidants , it helps to maintain structure of blood vessel. You can use this in form of juice or capsules along with diabetic medications.
For Skin Care
For Hair Care
The pulp of this plant is recommended for external application. This can be used as ayurvedic hair mask for dandruff, hair growth and dry scalp.
Improves Heart Health
Kumari plant has blood thinning properties and also helps to reduce cholesterol. Hence it is recommended to manage heart health.
Who Can Use Aloe Vera – An Ayurvedic FAQ
Does Ayurveda describe the medicinal properties of aloevera?
Yes, Texts of Ayurveda eulogize the plant aloe Vera for its immense medicinal qualities. It is called as “Kumari” due its usefulness in problems related to women.
Can we use all parts of Aloe Vera ?
You have to use only the juice of pulp after removing its external skin. The external skin contains the latex which may harm body and skin.
What are its beneficial effects on skin?
The juice extracted from pulp has very good moisturising properties. Its application helps to keep dry skin soft.
It soothes the skin affected by psoriasis and prevents scaling.
The anti-aging effect of this plant is appreciated by skin specialist. External application of juice of this plant helps to prevent formation of wrinkles and makes the skin look young and youth full.
Aloe Vera reduces inflammation of skin caused by acne and pimples.
The fresh juice of aloe pulp gives a quick relief in burns and wounds.
Can men with low sperm count use its juice?
The properties like cold potency, enhanced moistness and presence of nutrients help to boost shukra dhatu or semen. The sperm count and sperm motility improve with the consumption of this herb.
Does this plant help in menstrual problems?
Yes, women who suffer with menstrual problems are very much benefited with the use of this herb. Ayurvedic preparation “Kumaryasava” helps to increase the menstrual flow and decrease the premenstrual symptoms.
I have IBS can I use this herb?
No, Aloe Vera increases intestinal motility. This may exaggerate the symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) . Also people who suffer from Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or intestinal obstruction should never use this plant.
Does this plant help in haemorrhoids or piles?
Ayurveda acharyas do not recommend this herb for people who suffer from piles or haemorrhoids.
Is it useful in constipation?
Consumption of this herb increases intestinal motility and liquefies hard stools. These two properties together help body to fight constipation.
Can this be consumed in pregnancy and lactation?
No this plant is not safe in pregnancy and lactation periods.
What are its effects on people who have diabetes?
Aloevera has anti-diabetic properties. Hence diabetic patients are benefited by this plant.
Does this help in people who have erectile dysfunction?
Can this be given to children?
This should not be administered in children below 16 years of age.
Author : Dr. Savitha Suri Consultant Ayurvedic Physician
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