Aloe Vera has fast become one of the most commonly used plants in herbal cosmetics and medicines. Whether its creams, gels, lotions, shower gels or just plain Aloe Vera juice, it is here to stay. But ever wondered where this plant has come from and how all of a sudden it has become such a rage in the ayurvedic, herbal and medical world?
It is believed that there have been mentions of the Aloe plant in the Rig Veda, which is the earliest book of natural medicine dating BCE 4,500 and BCE 1,600. Ayurvedic practitioner Dr Meghna Dixit says, “It was somewhere around BCE 5,000 that most of the plants mentioned in the Rig Veda were written by Dhanwantri, the God of Ayurveda. In this book, Aloe Vera is specifically recommended for the reproductive system, liver and dealing with worms when injected or consumed. External uses included healing of wounds.” A complete detail about its medicinal uses was also found in Papyrus ebers, an Egyptian document written in BCE 1,550. There were around 12 formulae given in this book to mix the Aloe Vera gel with other agents to solve skin and internal disorders. Gradually getting noticed due to its various advantages, particularly in India the use of Aloe Vera plants were widely spread around 375 BC.
Growing the Aloe Vera plant
According to botanists, Aloe Vera plants originated in warm conditions and mostly flourished in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Africa is one of the largest homes of Aloe Vera plants. But the plant had been carried to various parts of the world and due to its great adaptable nature, the plant flourished in any region, provided that it was mandatory to create a some what warm environment. That’s one of the reasons why Aloe Vera grows well in greenhouses.
Although in the medical community, Aloe Vera did not prove to have much official standings for a long time, people are now realising its importance in many medical sectors. Aloe Vera gel is widely used for skin treatments such as burns or bruises. Additionally Aloe Vera plants are used in many cosmetic materials and are also consumed as a health drink. But since researchers are still finding more benefits and it has been so far restricted only to the ayurvedic field, it has sometime till it gathers it’s deserved fame in the allopathy market. Dr Dixit says, “The juice and the gel are good for cough, cold, asthama, bronchitis and other respiratory track diseases. It is a good detoxifying agent and aides in absorption of nutrients, enhancing the immune system. Currently the FDA has approved the use of Aloe Vera plants for the research of Cancer treatment and AIDS, where the immunity system goes down. If used over a period of time, it helps in overall body benefits as well as acts as an age defying element.” More and more research is going on to get the most out from this powerful healing agent.
Nutritionist says, “It has LDL, (Low Density Lipoprotein), which helps reducing cholestrol so most cardiovascular and hypertension patients are recommended to have it. It’s also very good for skin problems like sun burns or allergies. Even for arthritis and joint pains it helps by removing inflammation and helps curing joint problems. It also helps in weight loss. Although it is available in many forms today, the oldest and most convenient way we recommend for intake is to have 30 ml of Aloe Vera diluted with water early morning. Even a normal person without any problems can have it to stay healthy.”