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Aloe Vera
 

     Aloe vera  is a species of Aloe, native to northern Africa. A. vera has been used externally to treat various skin conditions such as cuts, burns and eczema. It is alleged that sap from Aloe vera eases pain and reduces inflammation.

 Click here to see How to Harvest Fresh Aloe Vera Gel.


    To know more about how to use the plant for medicinal purpose is given in this below article - The aloe vera miracle: A natural medicine for cancer, cholesterol, diabetes, inflammation, IBS, and other health conditions. Click the link to read about collecting the leaf for internal adn external application.

Medicinal uses

A. vera's beneficial properties may be attributed to mucopolysaccharides present in the inner gel of the leaf, especially acemannan (acetylated mannans). An injectable form of acemannan manufactured and marketed by Carrington Laboratories as Acemannan Immunostimulant™ has been approved in the USA for treatment of fibrosarcoma (a type of cancer) in dogs and cats after clinical trials. It has not been approved for use by humans, and although it is not a drug its sale is controlled and it can only be obtained through a veterinary doctor.

Cosmetic companies add sap or other derivatives from A. vera to products such as makeup, moisturisers, soaps, sunscreens, shampoos and lotions, though the effectiveness of Aloe vera in these products remain unknown. A. vera gel is also alleged to be useful for dry skin conditions, especially eczema around the eyes and sensitive facial skin[citation needed].

An article published in the British Journal of General Practice suggests that A. vera is effective at treating athlete's foot.

Whether or not it promotes wound healing is unknown, and even though there are some promising results, clinical effectiveness of oral or topical A. vera remains unclear at present.

Aloe vera juice may help some people with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease.


Parts that can be used
The lower leaf of the plant is used for medicinal purpose. If the lower leaf is sliced open, the gel obtained can be applied on the affected area of the skin. Leaves and seeds are the two edible parts of Aloe Vera[citation needed].


Use in foods
In Japan Aloe Vera is commonly used as an ingredient in commercially available yogurt. There are also several companies which produce Aloe Vera beverages.[1]

In Pakistan, the plant has been used for centuries as a carminative and digestive aid. The dried gel is mixed with seeds of various herbs and consumed after a meal[citation needed].

Tribes in the Hazara region of the North West Frontier Province have been using Aloe Vera for centuries to improve physical endurance, probably due to the high nutrient content of the gel.

People in Rajastahn state of India prepare vegetable out of Aloe Vera along with fenugreek seeds[citation needed].

People in Tamil nadu, another state of India prepare a curry using Aloe Vera which is taken along with Indian bread or Rice.

In Mexico some people make smoothies out of Aloe Vera.

Courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloe_vera

ALOE VERA — called Kumari (the maiden) in Sanskrit because it imparts the energy of youth and tones the female organs. Aloe vera also has a history of being a skin lotion of repute — Cleopatra is said to have attributed her beauty to it, massaging fresh aloe gel into her skin to make it glow. Aloe is one of the few non-narcotic plants to have caused a war. When Alexander the Great conquered Egypt in 332 B.C., he heard of a plant with amazing wound healing properties on an island off Somalia. On being denied this herb to treat his soldiers, he sent in an army to seize the island and the plant — the aloe. The great physician Dioscorides recommended applying aloe externally on wounds, haemorrhoids and ulcers.

Aloe vera is an excellent first aid remedy to keep in the house for minor burns, cuts, scalds and sunburns. Every kitchen garden should have a plant. In case of need, one of the thick fleshy leaves can be broken off, the green outer layer scraped off and thick gel applied to the affected area.

Aloe gel not only spurs wound healing but also keeps injured skin from getting infected. Aloe vera is a great wound healer because it contains various compounds such as bradykinase, salicylic acid, and magnesium lactate that reduce inflammation and swelling.

It helps regulate the monthly cycle and the ayurvedic preparation Kumaryasava is prescribed by many ayurvedic physicians for toning the female organs. Of course this preparation contains, besides Aloe vera, some 38 other ingredients.

Aloe gel is a wonderful tonic for the liver and spleen. It reduces Pitta in the system. Aloe regulates sugar and fat metabolism. It also cures peptic ulcers. Two teaspoons of the fresh gel can be taken with a pinch of turmeric. The gel must be repeatedly washed down with water as, otherwise, it could act as a laxative.

Consuming the gel internally, while perfectly safe, should be done with care. It should be discontinued during the menstrual period, pregnancy and breast-feeding and by those suffering from kidney disease and haemorrhoids.

Aloe is the perfect houseplant because it requires little water and hardly any care. It prefers the sun but tolerates shade and does not mind poor soil. The only conditions that this hardy succulent cannot tolerate are poor drainage and cold temperature.

http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/mag/2003/02/23/stories/2003022300170700.htm