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Aloe vera Benefits, Medicinal Uses, And Side Effects

Aloe vera benefits

What is Aloe vera?

Aloe vera otherwise called Ghrit Kumari or Kumari is a juicy medicinal plant that has been in use since the ancient time. Ayurveda has various indications for this medicinal plant such as Shothhara (anti-inflammatory), Vednasthapana (Pain relief), cicatrization, antimicrobial and Tvagdoshhara (Useful in skin-related conditions like Minor burn, Acne and wound).

Ayurveda uses the word kumari to describe aloe vera, which literally means ‘a beautiful girl.’ It is regarded as a rejuvenating herb, part of a class of herbs known as rasayana.

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Aloe Vera
Botanical Name Aloe vera Tourn
Family Liliaceae
Properties
Rasa(taste) Pungent
Guna (quality) Heavy and balsamic
Veerya (potency) Sheet (cold)
Vipaka (effect after digestion) Tikta (bitter)
Common Names
Sanskrit Kumari, Ghritkumarika
Hindi Ghrit Kumari
English Indian Aloe

Aloe vera plant is of 1 to 2 feet height, its leaves are 15 inches long and 4 inches wide, thick and fleshy. Flowers start to bloom with the end of the winter season in Aloe Vera.

Aloe vera is a fleshy medicinal plant that contains up to 96% water. There is a semi-liquid substance inside its leaves in which vitamin A, B, C, E are found in plenty. Aloe vera is commonly used to apply on the skin.

Place of Origin

The origin of aloe vera is North Africa and Spain, from where it is spread in countries like India, China, etc. It is generally found in places with a tropical and dry climate, it is found everywhere in India. Earlier it was imported from Africa but now it has stopped.

Chemical composition of aloe vera

Aloe vera contains a glucoside group called aloin, due to which it performs the action. The main component of aloin is barbaloin which is a light yellow glucoside.

Aloe vera health benefits

When used properly, Aloe vera can help with a variety of disorders that may affect your skin and bodily functions. Below are some benefits.

Aloe vera benefits for skincare

Aloe Vera has many health benefits. A recent study supports its use in skincare. Aloe vera can be used to treat skin conditions such as sunburn, pimples, and wrinkles. It’s anti-aging and anti-wrinkle properties soften the look of aging skin. When applied directly to skin, aloe vera gel moisturizes and smoothes the skin. Aloe vera gel helps to brighten the skin.

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Heals wound

Aloe Vera considered to be Vranaropana (Heal Wounds) in Ayurveda it can be applied to small cuts, it also works as an antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and pain reliever.

Aloe vera juice benefits

Aloe Vera Juice is considered ideal for hydrating and detoxifying the body. It cleanses the blood and nourishes the liver and kidneys. Aloe Vera Juice is also used to treat low sperm counts.

Aloe vera benefits in diabetes

Aloe Vera has anti-diabetic properties that have been clinically proven. It has an anti-oxidant that keeps your blood vessels healthy. A diabetic patient always has a risk of ischemic heart disease and needs anti-oxidants. Therefore, Aloe vera is a very useful herb in diabetes management. Aloe vera can also be used with other anti-diabetic medications.

Indigestion

Aloe Vera increases digestive fire, which makes food easier to digest.

Constipation

Aloe vera decoction can be used to treat severe constipation, but people suffering from piles (hemorrhoids) should strictly avoid it.

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Effect on Tridoshas

Aloe vera is mainly used for kapha and pitta dosha disorders since it balances these doshas.

Aloe vera and many of its cosmetics & medicinal products are available for purchase online.

Medicinal use of aloe vera

Aloe Vera has various indications in Ayurveda such as:

  • When taken in low amounts Aloe Vera is Deepana ( appetizer) and Pachana (improves digestion).
  • Jwara (Fever) — Aloe Vera is used in treating fever.
  • Twagadosh Hara — Useful for many skin disorders eczema, psoriasis, acne, etc.
  • Agnimandya (Low digestive fire) — Aloe vera increases digestive fire.
  • Agnidaghdha — beneficial for treating minor burn wounds.
  • Vrishya — Increases sperm count
  • Artavajanana (Induce menstruation) — Regulates periods (menstruation) increases uterine blood circulation by stimulating the muscles of the uterus.
  • Raktapitta Hara — Aloe vera is beneficial in bleeding disorders like nasal bleeding, painful periods, etc.
  • Anti Inflammatory — Used as anti Inflammatory and pain reliever.
  • Used to treat Splenomegaly (Enlarged Spleen) and Hepatomegaly (Enlarged Liver)
  • Constipation — It contains a laxative that helps in relieving Constipation.
  • Pachana — Helps to treat Indigestion
  • Chakshushya — Aloe vera is beneficial for improving eyesight and eye disorder keeping them healthy.
  • Pittajakasa Hara — beneficial in cough and cold caused by pitta dosha.
  • Shwashara — beneficial in chronic respiratory disorders like asthma.
  • Rasayana— Anti-ageing, increases vitality and enhances lifespan.

Apart from all these Aloe Vera is considered as Vednasthapana (Pain relief), Shothhara (anti-inflammatory), Udarashool Hara (Relieves abdominal pain), Dahhara ( Relieves Minor burn), Pleehavridhi Hara (Treats enlarged spleen) Yakritvridhihara (treats enlarged liver), Krimihara (cicatrization), Antimicrobial, Tvaga dosh Hara ( Useful in skin-related conditions like Sunburn, Acne, wound, etc.)

Aloe vera Side effects and risk factors

  • There are no known side effects of Aloe vera, however, if taken excessively it may have some adverse effects.
  • Excessive oral intake of Aloe vera may cause diarrhea, piles, and cramping, red urine and electrolyte imbalance.
  • Aloe vera decoction can be used to treat severe constipation but people with hemorrhoids (piles) disorder should strictly avoid it, otherwise it may cause bleeding.
  • It is appropriate to use Aloe Vera in minor cuts or wounds, but its use in deep wounds should be avoided.
  • Available evidence does not recommend Aloe vera use in breastfeeding and pregnancy therefore it should be strictly avoided by pregnant women.
  • External use Aloe vera has no disadvantages, but precaution should be kept in mind while oral intake.
  • Excessive oral intake of Aloe Vera may irritate the gastrointestinal tract.
  • If you take any medication regularly, you should consult your doctor before taking any aloe vera supplements. Those supplements may react with other medicines.
  • Children must avoid oral intake of aloe vera and its supplements.

Aloe vera dose

Leaves Juice — 10 to 20 ml
Powder — 0.1 to 0.3 gm

Ayurvedic medicines containing aloe vera

  • Kumariasava
  • Kumarika Vati (Kumarika Tablet)
  • Raja Pravartani Vati (used for inducing menstruation)
  • Mukta panchamrit rasa
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