Friday, 12 March 2010

The magic of Aloe vera

By Syed Akbar
Aloe vera, a small succulent herb grown as an ornamental plant, is regarded as a panacea for a multitude of dermatological problems. It is also widely used as a general health tonic and an aphrodisiac. Both modern and traditional forms of medicine have recognised its importance as a wonder herb that's capable of fighting even cancerous cells in the body.
Research is presently underway in different parts of the world on the efficacy of Aloe vera in fighting the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Aloe vera has been found to kill bacteria, fungi, viruses and other harmful micro-organisms present in human beings. Aloe vera has wide applications in veterinary medicine too.
Its multitude of benefits notwithstanding, Aloe vera has been found to contain allergy-causing chemicals. So experts in herbal medicine caution people from consuming too much of Aloe vera. It can be applied liberally on the skin, but one has to exercise caution in case of oral intake.
It is quite easy to grow Aloe vera at home. A small pot is enough to grow the plant. Ensure that sunlight falls on the plant. Do not water the plant too much, as it kills. Its succulent leaves are used for herbal preparations. For quick results, Aloe vera paste can be prepared freshly at home, for application on the skin for relief from local inflammation, infection and pain. Skin blemishes and pimples can also be tackled by Aloe paste.
Aloe vera juice can be consumed to kill intestinal worms like platyhelminthes (tape worms) and nemathelminthes (round worms), as a purgative, to fight vaginal infections and herpes and to reduce the impact of psoriasis and eczema.
For those conscious of their beauty, Aloe vera preparations can postpone wrinkles on face and body and improve the skin tone and texture, while giving a glowing look to the face.
Quick remedies
You may take Aloe vera juice as a general health tonic and to clean the digestive system of worms and harmful organism. To prepare a glass of fresh Aloe vera juice, cut a leaf, clean it with water and remove thorny edges on sides. Cut the leaf vertically and remove the gel. Blend the gel and add water. You may add sugar to taste and consume it fresh.
Do not discard the leaf after removing the gel. You may rub it on the affected portion of the skin for relief from acne, rashes, burns and bruises. You may also rub the leaf for glowing skin texture and as a natural moisturiser.
You may also prepare a paste from Aloe vera gel and apply it on your face and body. The gel works as a natural sunscreen. Aloe vera gel can also be mixed with egg yolk and olive oil for application on the skin as a herbal moisturiser.

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