The ancient Egyptian civilization considered Aloe Vera as the plant of immortality. Aloe Vera is considered to be one of the beauty secrets of the legendary queen- Cleopatra. Additionally, the healing properties of aloe vera were also recognized by the ancient civilizations such as Indians, Greek, Chinese, and Romans. Nearly 240 species of the plant have been recognized so far. However, only four species are found to have medicinal properties. The most potent species of the plant is Barbadensis.
Aloe vera is known as Ghrita Kumari in the Sanskrit language. The appearance of the plant is similar to the cactus, but it belongs to the lily family. The plant grows approximately 1 to 2 feet tall. The leaves of the plant are succulent in nature and are usually pointed at the tip and broader at the base. Spinous projections are present along the edges of the leaves.
The composition of the gel
The leaves of the aloe vera plant are filled with a clear gel. This gel has astonishing medicinal properties. Some of the constituents of the aloe vera gel are as follows:
Vitamins (A, B, C, and E)
Amino acids (the building blocks of proteins)
Owing to its composition, aloe vera has exemplary effects beneficial for the skin. Some of them are as follows:
Repair and regeneration
The aloe vera gel is rich in active ingredients such as salicylic acid, Sulphur, cinnamic acid, lupeol, urea nitrogen, and phenol. These ingredients help in healing various conditions such as rashes, insect bites, herpes, urticaria, sores, conjunctivitis, bacterial and fungal infections, other vagina infections, and allergies.
The active ingredients of the gel are also responsible for the prevention and arrest of the multiplication of harmful microorganisms on the skin. This renders protection to the skin from several external and internal infections. When added to the shampoo, it helps in getting rid of dandruff.
The gel extracted from the leaves of the plant acts as a natural moisturizer for the skin. It also forms a delicate barrier over the skin and protects it from dust, pollution and other harmful agents. It is an essential ingredient of several herbal moisturizers, soaps, shampoos etc.
Rejuvenation and anti-ageing
The active ingredients of the gel can help in the synthesis of collagen and elastin. These proteins help in maintaining the elasticity of the skin and thereby prevent the formation of wrinkles. The gel also increases the blood circulation in the skin that makes ample oxygen and nutrients available for the skin cells. These properties help in slowing down the process of aging of the skin.
Protection and healing of sun exposure
The compound Aloin present in the leaves acts as a sunscreen for the skin and the hair by blocking approximately 20 to 30% of the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. The enzyme Bradykinase present in the gel acts as an after-sun treatment. It slows down the inflammatory reactions cutting in the skin after exposure to the sun.
Dr. Shilpa , Ayurvedic Physician, AyurCentral, Vidyaranyapura, Bangalore
AyurCentral, No .5, Nanjappa Road, Vidyaranyapura Main Road,
Bangalore – 560 097.
Phone : +91 80 4128 9977