Aloe Vera is a very-short and sometimes stem-less plant that grows approximately 80-100 centimeters tall that is spread by offsets and root sprouts. The leaves are thick and fleshy of a green to grey-green color with a ragged margin. The plant produces around 25 leaves that form an attractive rosette appearance. Flowers of the plant are seen on a spike of up to 90 centimeters tall with each flower pendulous with a yellow tubular corolla of 2 to 3 centimeters long. The tissue found in the center of the Aloe leaf contains a gel that is known to be the Aloe gel or Aloe Vera gel.
The health benefits of Aloe Vera usually revolve around cases, disorders and inconveniences with the skin. Aloe gel is used to treat X-ray burns and dermatitis with remarkable abilities to heal wounds, burns and ulcers. It is known to be extremely beneficial for the skin as it prevents the growth of acne and is used as a beauty product to boost skin growth. Oral intake and topical dressings of Aloe encourage the healing of wounds, burns or scalds on the skin. It can also speed the convalescing period post-recovery. The gel is widely used on insect bites, rashes, blisters, sores, herpes, athlete’s foot, urticaria, poison ivy, vaginal infections, sties, conjunctivitis, allergic reactions and dry skin. Topical use of the gel can be used on sunburns, frostbites, psoriases, shingles, warts, eczema, and even wrinkles from aging.
Some studies say that oral consumption of Aloe Vera can relieve conditions such as arthritis, heartburn, asthma and rheumatism pain. Other studies say that it has a positive effect in lowering blood sugar levels of people with diabetes and as a result of chemotherapy or radiation.
Other benefits say that the juice from the Aloe is tonic and used in amenorrhea, jaundice, atomic and piles. The acid found inside the Aloe Vera is an effective means of pain killer and can be used as an antiseptic that can kill mold, bacteria, viruses and fungus. Europeans are known to use Aloe as a digestion and laxative aid as it stops the bowel from absorbing water. This then speeds up the passage and volume of the bowel contents, and that results to a laxative effect.
Despite its list of advantages, Aloe may still have its share of cautionary measures such as the fact that oral intake of Aloe Vera supplements can result to abdominal cramps and diarrhea at times. Using Aloe Vera over a long period of time can also result to potassium, albuminuria, hematuria and fluid imbalances in the body. Studies show that it should not be consumed by pregnant women, women menstruating, breast-feeding and people with cases of inflamed intestinal disorder.
Aloe Vera is one of the known sources of Vitamin B12 that contains minerals vital to the growth process and healthy functions of a body’s system. Undoubtedly, the plant can help adults, children and even pets relieve themselves from inconveniences, but it should always be taken with caution and upon the advice of physicians.