Skin specialist at home

Posted: February 8, 2009 in beauty, science
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Though it looks like a thorny cactus, aloe vera belongs to the family of onion/lily. Distinguished by its thick fleshy lance-shaped leaves, this green plant is supposed to have mystical properties. Its botanical name is Aloe barbadensis miller. People even call it as the fragrant desert lily.


If we go by an Egyptian lore, then the gel from the aloe vera leaves was the secret ingredient that Cleopatra used for her skin and not the much-touted milk. In fact, the Egyptians use aloe vera for their embalming process since times immemorial.

The juice of the plant is sold across the world in health stores in the form of capsules and gels. The gel has 20 amino acids which the body needs as supplement for its wear and tear.

According to sources, eight of these amino acids have to be ingested and are not produced by the body itself. The gel oozes from the leaf when it is cut. As a beauty aid, the gel is used in lotions and creams for its moisturising and soothing effect. It is also used to treat burns and wounds. It has effectively been used internationally for radiation burns also. The natural gel is, in fact, the most effective and provides faster relief since the polysaccarides are destroyed during processing when heat is applied and enzymes are added in order to stabilise it. The gel also has amazing anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. It is said to aid the immune system, cure constipation and also has its positive effect on the texture of the skin. The local practioners of Ayurvedic medicine use the yellow sap of the aloe as a cure for constipation. T aloe vera gel can also be used to ward off mosquitoes/insect bites by applying it on the skin, besides relieving sunburns and minor kitchen burns.

Use of the gel on the skin restores its elasticity to a great extent by its immense moisturising effect and rejuvenates the skin. When the flesh of the aloe is applied to the scalp, it deters hair loss and decreases dandruff.

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