The incredible Aloe Vera needs no introduction. Its benefits are well-known, which is why it has earned a permanent place in many a household. Be it a sunburn or a bad case of acne, aloe vera is a treatment you can always rely on. But, did you know that the humble aloe vera has so much more to offer? Aloe vera is a succulent plant and stores water in its leaves, which are thick and fleshy. The leaves produce two substances – the gel, which is more or less water with several other nutrients mixed in, and the sap, which is also known as aloe latex.
The ‘plant of immortality’, as it was called by Egyptians, also known as ‘Ghritkumari’ in Hindi, ‘Kalabanda’ in Telugu, ‘Katralai’ in Tamil, ‘Kumari’ in Malayalam, ‘Lolisara’ in Kannada, ‘Koraphada’ in Marathi, and ‘Ghrtakumari’ in Bengali can perform miracles not just for your skin, but for your hair and health as well.
Aloe Vera is a cactus plant that belongs to the Liliaceae family. It grows in dry climates such as those found in parts of Africa and India and has been used medicinally for centuries.
Various studies have been conducted to examine the benefits of the aloe vera plant and it was found out that aloe vera does in fact have several properties that are effective in treating a variety of skin conditions, from flaky or dry skin, cosmetic ailments, hair and scalp problems to many more.
It is also said to be useful in treating wounds and burns, minor skin infections, cysts, diabetes, and elevated blood lipids in humans, and shows some promise in treating more serious and persistent conditions such as eczema, genital herpes, dandruff, psoriasis, canker sores, skin ulcers and others.
It treats sunburn.
Aloe Vera helps with sunburn through its powerful healing activity at the epithelial level of the skin, a layer of cells that cover the body. It acts as a protective layer on the skin and helps replenish its moisture. Because of its nutritional qualities and antioxidant properties, the skin heals quicker.
It acts as a moisturizer.
Aloe moisturizes the skin without giving it a greasy feel, so it`s perfect for anyone with an oily skin complexion. For women who use mineral-based make-up, aloe vera acts as a moisturizer and is great for the face prior to the application to prevents skin drying. For men: Aloe vera gel can be used as an aftershave treatment as its healing properties can treat small cuts caused by shaving.
It treats acne.
Aloe vera gel contains two hormones: Auxin and Gibberellins. These two hormones provide wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce skin inflammation. Giberellin in aloe vera acts as a growth hormone stimulating the growth of new cells. It allows the skin to heal quickly and naturally with minimal scarring.
Aloe is soothing and can reduce skin inflammations, blistering and itchiness, while helping the skin to heal more rapidly. Additionally, in Indian medicine, Aloe is used to effectively heal chronic skin problems, such as psoriasis, acne and eczema.
It fights aging.
Aloe leaves contain a plethora of antioxidants including, beta carotene, vitamin C and E that can help improve the skin's natural firmness and keep the skin hydrated.
It lessens the visibility of stretch marks.
The skin is like one big piece of elastic that’ll expand and contract as needed to accommodate growth. But if the skin stretches too far, too fast (due to pregnancy, rapid weight gain or loss) the elasticity of the skin can be damaged. That’s what leaves those unsightly stretch marks. These marks appear due to minor tears in the layers of the skin caused by sudden and excessive stretching. Aloe vera gel can help hide these stretch marks by healing these wounds.
Heals External Wounds And Insect Bites.
Aloe vera is anti-inflammatory, which makes it effective against wounds and insect bites.
Promotes Hair Growth.
Aloe vera is not just great for your skin; it also has a number of benefits for your hair. Topical application of aloe vera can help promote hair growth. Aloe vera removes dead cells from the scalp, which allows your hair to grow.
Dandruff can be caused by a number of reasons. An oily scalp, accumulation of dead cells, or even an infection can be the cause. And aloe helps out on all fronts. It removes dead cells from your scalp that can clog your hair. It also has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which fight against infections and soothe the scalp.
Maintains pH Balance Of The Scalp.
The pH of your scalp is 5.5, which makes it fall on the acidic side. A lot of the commercial hair products, especially shampoos, contain surfactants which can alter the pH of your scalp and hair because they are alkaline in nature. This can result in damaged and unruly hair. Aloe Vera helps restore your scalp’s pH balance, which promotes healthier and better hair.
Aloe vera contains proteolytic enzymes that remove dead cells. It helps in cell regeneration, which helps repair your hair. It also infuses your hair with moisture, leaving it smooth and glossy.