Aloe Vera, the succulent plant has been in use for its impressive healing and therapeutic properties for over 1000 years. Commonly known as medicinal aloe, burn plant, lily of the desert, and elephants gall and Ghrit Kumari in Hindi, aloe vera is perhaps the first choice from the bounty of Mother Nature, be it for enhancing skin and hair health, healing wounds or to even promote digestion.
The green cactus looking plant grown in our gardens is a powerhouse of vital compounds that can be used right from cosmetics, nutritious juices to supplements.
What Is Aloe Vera Gel?
Aloe Vera gel is a translucent product present in its leaves. It is made up of 96% water, protein containing 18-20 amino acids, vitamins A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, certain organic and inorganic compounds.
Aloe Vera contains a host of potent plant compounds that includes lignin, saponins, salicylic acids and amino acids, vitamin B12, folic acid, and choline. The dense nutrient profile of Aloe Vera gel and drinking this healthy juice provides you with amazing healing benefits.
How To Make Aloe Vera Gel At Home
2 Aloe Vera leaves
1 tsp coconut oil
½ tsp vitamin C powder
Making aloe vera gel is an easy and simple process.
Clean your hands and cut the leaves. Hold it in an upright position for a few minutes letting the resin out.
Wash the leaves thoroughly and peel off the thick skin with a knife and extract the transparent gel.
In a mixer, blend the gel adding few drops of coconut oil or vitamin C powder to preserve it for longer duration.
Store in a tight glass jar.
How To Use Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera gel is loaded with a complex carbohydrate known as acemannan that can revamp cells and clear toxins. Ayurveda promotes it as an incredible healer both externally and internally.
1. Aloe Vera Gel As A Face Pack
Face packs made from aloe vera gel provide instant glow and provide skin radiance for longer hours. The gel also serves as moisturizer and thanks to its antimicrobial properties it can heal acne and reduce inflammation.
2. Aloe Vera Gel As A Cleanser
Acemannan in Aloe Vera is helpful in cleansing the clogged skin pores, clearing out dead skin cells and other skin toxins. Since the gel is very mild, it suits all skin types including sensitive ones.
3. Aloe Vera Gel As A Sunscreen
Do you know that Aloe Vera is a natural sunscreen? The gel is nutrient dense with an SPF 30 and aids the skin by shields it from harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays. The host of healing properties reduce the risk of aging, skin cancer and treat sunburns.
4. Aloe Vera Gel As A Hair Oil
Aloe Vera gel can be slimy but is an incredible hair care product for those suffering from hair loss. It arrests hair fall, clears dandruff and nourishes the dry scalp. Applying aloe vera gel regularly strengthens hair follicles and its antimicrobial properties treat fungal scalp infections effectively.
Aloe Vera Uses For Skin And Hair
Aloe Vera is the top choice in many households in the world for its amazing healing properties, especially while treating skin diseases.
Use it for treating suntan or a pimple as its strong anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties aid in effectively treating skin problems. The clear gel can be applied topically to ward off infections, healing wounds and make the skin look glowing and supple.
1. Soothes Sunburn
The gel is popular for its anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce the harsh effects caused due to UV rays almost instantly. If you have a sunburn, rub some gel on the affected area as it penetrates into the epithelial layer of the skin and locks the moisture. The nutrition profile in the gel contributes towards nourishing the skin and speed up the process of healing.
2. Delays Signs of Ageing
Aloe Vera works wonders in treating wrinkles and finelines that appear with the age. The skin tends to lose its hydration and elasticity and Aloe Vera is beneficial in flusing out dead cells even as it moisturizes the skin. Studies proves that Aloe Vera enhances the elasticity of skin, making it glow naturally.
3. Fades Acne Marks
Aloe Vera gel is one such wonder ingredient that can serve as as an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agent. It prevents acne breakout, as the goodness of gibberellins and auxins in Aloe Vera regenerate new cells, in the process of healing.
4. First Aid For Wounds
It also serves as a first aid when it comes to healing wounds and insect bites. Dab some aloe vera gel on cuts, bruises and insect bites for instant healing or use it as an aftershave lotion to soothe the skin.
5. Wipes Away Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are quite bothersome and they are caused due to pregnancy, weight gain and loss of weight. Skin tends to lose its elasticity with the age. Regular application of aloe vera gel clears ugly looking stretch marks.
6. Provides Silky Mane
Aloe Vera is high on protein, vitamins and minerals that provide instant nourishment to hair follicles instantly. Applying aloe vera gel regularly improves its overall texture and makes the styling easy, be it for those curls or messy buns.
7. Protects From Dense Water
We find super hard water with high salt content in many places of our country due to its tropical climate. Taking shower with this water can make hair look duller and brittle. Massage aloe vera gel mixed with coconut or sesame oil on the scalp an hour before your bath for natural hydration, moisturization. It also provides pH balance of the hair, prevents itchy scalp and serves against the ill effects of dense water.
8. Nourishes Hair From Within
Aloe Vera is also a storehouse of healing enzymes that can flush out dead skin cells on the scalp. Always mix aloe vera gel with coconut oil and apply it on the scalp for faster growth, volume and glow.
Aloe Vera For Treating Skin Conditions:
1. Aloe Vera Gel For Prickly Heat
Aloe Vera helps in clearing rashes caused due to prickly heat. The powerful antibacterial and antiseptic properties of the gel reduce inflammation on the affected area. Applying it as a thin layer especially on the babies guards the skin from dehydration.
For instant relief, apply gel over the affected area and let it stay for 15 minutes. Rinse well with water and repeat it daily.
2. Aloe Vera Face Packs For Skin Pigmentation
Skin pigmentation is one of the major issues faced by teenagers and it is of various types. Pigmentation is classified into melasma, freckles, spots and age spots these ugly spots often occur due to hormonal imbalances, overexposure to sun, age, and presence of excessive melanin, a main pigment that provides natural skin tone.
Hyperpigmentation is common under intense heat due to overexposure to the sun. They form into freckles and turn into brown spots on the face.
If you are suffering from hyperpigmentation, seek help in aloe vera.
Aloe Vera & Honey Pack:
1 tsp fresh aloe vera gel
½ tsp plain honey
Take a bowl and mix the fresh aloe vera gel and honey.
Put it as a layer of face pack on the affected areas.
Let it dry for 30 minutes.
Wash it with lukewarm water, pat dry.
How It Works:
Aloe Vera is rich in aloin that plays a major role in skin lightening. Mixing it with honey provides instant face glow.
3. Aloe Vera Gel For Treating Acne
Acne is a common and a worrying skin condition, especially for the teenagers. It causes spots, pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, cysts and nodules on the face, neck.
However, applying aloe vera gel regularly helps in clearing these scars on the face and neck over a few weeks.
Aloe Vera Face Pack
1 tsp of fresh aloe vera extract
Extract gel from thick aloe vera leaves.
Spread it on the affected areas like a thin layer.
Let it dry for 30 minutes.
Rinse it with plain water.
How It Works:
Aloe Vera get is a powerhouse of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and these factors play an important role clearing the damaged skin. It repairs scars and prevents further formation of acne.
4. Aloe Vera Moisturizer For Dry Skin
Seasonal changes, be it summer, rainly, winter are not a good time for your skin and they bring in a lot of challenges. Air pollution is another toxic factor that can make your skin dry up faster and aggravate conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
For many of us, skin fails to retain the hydration as we age. If you have tried with a variety of moisturizers and yet to see results, it’s time to make your own moisturizer. These DIY moisturizers are easy to make, affordable and can be stored for a month. What’s more, it also leaves your skin hydrated and supple for longer hours.
Aloe Vera Moisturizer
100 gms cup aloe vera gel
10 tsps beeswax
75 ml coconut oil
75 ml almond oil
Few drops of any essential oil for fragrance
In a double boiler, melt beeswax, coconut oil and almond oil. You can also microwave till it melts.
Add aloe vera gel, essential oil to the mixture. Keep stirring till it forms into a creamy texture.
Store in an air-tight glass jar.
How It Works:
Aloe Vera gel heals inflammation, reduces itchiness and hydrates dry skin. Beeswax, when blended with coconut and almond oils, keeps skin moisturized and prevent skin infections.
Aloe Vera and Eucalyptus Oil Mask
1 Aloe Vera gel
3 to 5 drops of Essential eucalyptus oil or anyother essential oil
In a bowl, combine aloe vera gel and eucalyptus oil.
Apply it on the scalp and gently massage till the oil gets absorbed.
Rinse hair with lukewarm water and mild shampoo.
How It Works:
Aloe Vera moisturizes dry scalp and prevents the growth of bacteria. Essential eucalyptus oil not only clears dandruff but also lessens itchiness.
5. Aloe Vera For Tan
Aloe Vera is an extensively available and grown herb in your garden. It serves as a great cooling agent and is a one stop solution for all your skin and hair ailments. It nurtures the skin and acts as a skin cleanser by getting rid of the suntan, dryness and skin blemishes.
Aloe Vera Nutrition
Aloe Vera plant has a host of plant compounds such as mannans, polysaccharides, lectins, and anthraquinones that are valuable for health. As per USDA, Aloe Vera juice is an amazing source of essential minerals iron, sodium and calcium. It further has about 18 amino acids that work together with other compounds to provide numerous health benefits.
Aloe Vera Juice
The elixir of nutrients in Aloe Vera juice provides the body with a host of healing health benefits. This powerful juice promotes digestion and its anti-inflammatory properties help in treating ulcers. Aloe Vera juice plays a pivotal role in treating various skin disorder like psoriasis, dermatitis and soothe the skin from sunburn. The richness of antioxidants in Aloe Vera juice make the skin glow naturally.
How To Make Aloe Vera Juice At Home
2 tsp fresh aloe vera gel
1 tsp lemon juice
1 glass chilled water
In a blender, mix aloe vera gel and lemon juice.
Add chilled water and dilute it.
Nutritional value of beverages, aloe vera juice drink, fortified with Vitamin C
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories 36 Kcal.
Water 230.95 g
Energy 36 Kcal
Carbohydrate 9 g
Total Sugars 9 g
Calcium 19 mg
Iron 0.36 mg
Sodium 19 mg
Vitamin C 9.1 mg
* Source As Per USDA
Aloe Vera Supplements, Ointments and Patches
If you are not able to get fresh aloe vera gel or do not have time on hands to use it in a natural way, switch over to the supplements. Available in the form of capsules or tablets, these supplements can be taken orally.
Uses of Aloe Vera Supplements:
Rich In Plant Compounds:
Aloe Vera supplements are rich in healthy plant compounds and the easiest way to get all your vitamins, minerals, amino acids all in one go.
Serves As Antioxidants:
Supplements made from Aloe Vera gel are known for antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Regular intake of these tablets restricts the growth of harmful bacteria in the body.
Heals From Within:
Supplements, ointments made from aloe vera penetrate deep into the skin and soothe the inner layers of the skin. Applying the ointments on the affected areas speeds up the process of healing.
Treats Mouth Ulcers:
The goodness of Aloe Vera is also available in the form of patches. If you are suffering from mouth ulcers or canker sores, put an aloe vera patch on the affected area to heal instantly.
Reduces Blood Sugar:
Ayurveda recommends aloe vera to bring down the levels of blood sugar. Regular intake of aloe vera supplements help in increasing insulin sensitivity and aid towards liver function. If you are a diabetic, talk to your doctor if aloe vera supplements work for you.
Aloe Vera Recipes:
It has been established that Aloe Vera is edible. In fact, these thick leaves are a staple diet in few areas of northern India. Known as Ghrit Kumari or Gwarpatha in Hindi, these leaves can be cooked into an amazing curry, that goes very well with rice and roti.
Ghrit Kumari Subzi
250 grams freshly chopped aloe vera leaves
3 tbsp oil
2 tsp curd
½ tsp jeera or cumin
½ tsp mustard
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp amchoor or dry mango powder
¼ tsp sugar
Pinch of hing
Salt to taste
Wash thick leaves of aloe vera and extract the gel. Wash again.
Chop it into small pieces. Boil in enough till tender, keep aside.
In a pan, heat oil. Add cumin, mustard and hing.
Add boiled aloe vera pieces along with turmeric and chilli powder.
Saute for a minute and add curd.
Let the curd get absorbed by the curry. Sprinkle dry mango powder and add salt to taste. Stir well.
Serve hot with rice or roti.
Aloe Vera leaves are loaded with vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants that provide total nutrition to the body while curd as a probiotic soothes the stomach. Cumin, dry mango powder aid in digestion and this curry keeps you full for a long time.
Kiwi And Aloe Popsicle
1 cup freshly cut Kiwi fruit
½ cup freshly extracted Aloe Vera gel
Dilute aloe vera gel with chilled water.
Pour the juice in popsicle mould and add kiwi pieces.
Freeze it for 6 hours or until hard.
Aloe Vera is a storehouse of Vitamins A, C, E, folic acid, choline and antioxidants that boost inner health and reduce the signs of aging. Kiwi is an excellent source of fibre, vitamin C and vitamin K. If you want to make your child get the goodness of Aloe Vera, serve it in the form of popsicle.