Aloe Vera is a short-stemmed shrub with fat, succulent leaves that possess valuable medicinal properties. This plant is also sometimes known as the wonder plant, and is native to North Africa. Aloe Vera is one of those plants that are not found in the wild, and are only cultivable; the genus Aloe contains over 500 different species of flowering plants.
Aloe Vera resembles a cactus plant in appearance, which is why it is often thought to be a plant belonging to hot, arid climate. The fleshly leaves of this tough plant, which are meant to hold water, contain a transparent gel, which possesses the best medicinal properties.
Ancient records have also found that the queens of Egypt- Cleopatra and Nefertiti did use aloe vera extracts to keep their skin soft. It was also found that Alexander the Great and Christopher Columbus used aloe vera to treat the wounds of their soldiers. Over the past few years, the use of aloe vera has increased considerably, and many studies have confirmed the validity of its valuable therapeutic properties.
The aloe vera plant has been approved by the FDA for use in foods as a flavoring agent, and its extracts are also used in different food supplements and cosmetics.
Here are some popular uses of the aloe vera plant
- Studies have found that the extracts of aloe vera plants, when used in toothpastes or on their own, could prevent and fight cavities. The gel of this plant is believed to control cavity-fighting oral bacteria, and is also used as a natural remedy to reduce toothache and swelling, thanks to its impressive anti-inflammatory properties.
- Aloe Vera extracts are also marketed in some countries as a natural treatment for constipation.
- The anti-microbial and antioxidant properties of aloe vera are useful in preventing different skin infections and conditions, which is why, it is often used in different beauty creams and herbal beauty products.
- Aloe Vera gel, when applied topically, is believed to be helpful in wound healing and treating diabetic foot ulcers, and is also thought to protect the skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation.