The aloe vera plant has been used since ancient times for healing infection and burns. The aloe vera is native to North Africa but now can be found almost worldwide. It is a succulent plant which thrives in warm and dry climates very much like cactus does. But unlike its prickly cactus cousin, aloe vera is in a class by itself when it comes to certain healing properties. There are more than 100 species of aloe, but aloe vera is the one that has drawn the most scientific interest.
Aloe vera is a member of the lily family. It derives its name from the Arabic word ‘alloeh’, which means bitter. It is well-known for producing a thin, clear gel-like substance that provides soothing relief for common skin irritations. But another substance, known as aloe vera latex, can also be obtained from the inner leaf skin. With a high water content of nearly 96%, the aloe vera plant has been hailed as a medicinal plant with many a beneficial property. The aloe vera plant can easily be grown at home as it is virtually maintenance free.
Because the plant was considered healing to the skin, Alexander the Great conquered the island Socotra, where aloe was first cultivated, in order to preserve a good source for treating his soldiers’ wounds. The early Greeks and Romans were not the only ones who considered aloe a “wonder drug.” Legend has it that the gorgeous Cleopatra’s (queen from 69 to 30 B.C.) favorite beauty cream was the aloe vera. Aloe vera is an extraordinary plant and is possibly the most widely used plant for skin applications in history, assisting with natural healing and skin regeneration. It is the gel inside the leaves, which is aloe vera’s lifeblood, which is rich in many nutrients and water. It is this storehouse of over 100 minerals, enzymes, vitamins, lipids, amino acids and other active compounds – some of which are exclusive to Aloe vera, that give this plant a wide array of natural health applications, which often seem too good to be true.
Due to its healing and moisturizing benefits to the surface of the skin, aloe vera plant is added in various products and greatly utilized by various cosmetic companies. The aloe gel serves as a skin-softening emollient and is used as an ingredient in a variety of skin-care products, sunburn preparations, lotions, salves, creams, and shampoos. The extensive usage of aloe vera in cosmetic product is attributed to its skin friendly properties. Aloe vera moisturizes, cleans, smoothens, and softens the skin. It prevents wrinkles and keeps the skin fresh, young and gives it a healthy glow. It protects the skin from the after effects of sun rays, dust, smoke, exhaust fumes etc. It provides relief from burns and skin inflammation. It reduces swelling, pain and treats bruises. It stimulates dermal cells and rejuvenates skin.
Aloe vera is being used as a cleanser. If a piece of cotton is dipped in aloe gel cleanser and it is applied in the upward and outward motion all over the face, neck and even areas under and around eyes, it will help remove the dust, grease, oiliness, perspiration, old make-up etc.
Aloe vera is also used as after wax relief. The aloe gel is applied over the areas that have been waxed. Aloe helps to soothe, moisturize, heal and cool the de waxed surface.
Aloe gel can be used as an excellent natural after-shave lotion. It can be applied on the shaved areas either by itself or by mixing with a few drops of lime, lavender or rose oil Lr Aloe Vera.
Aloe vera has been very effective in treating burns. Aloe vera greatly diminishes the chances of scar if applied immediately after the burn occurred. It also helps in faster healing and relives pain.
Aloe vera is more popular among masses for its usage as shampoo and conditioner. When it comes to hair, it is no secret that the fewer chemicals you expose your hair to, the better it is. Aloe vera is an excellent natural hair conditioner and can be used in greatly reducing the amount of shampoo you use and can completely eliminate the need to use other chemical conditioners.
Additionally, aloe vera gel is provided with most of products like stretch marks, dark circles, spots and blemishes, wrinkles etc and is a vital ingredient in the preparation of the herbal paste for all cosmetic products.