People from ancient nations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome used Aloe Vera for different purposes. For the ancient Egyptians, the Aloe was considered a sacred plant which held the secrets to beauty, health, and immortality. Their famous queens which include Cleopatra and Nefertiti were big fans of it because of its cosmetic benefits. Ancient Mesopotamians, on the other hand, believed that it had cleansing effects on the intestines. Even Alexander the Great, the man who created the Greek empire, recognized its healing benefits as he employed the use of Aloe juice to treat the battle wounds of his soldiers.
From ancient times to the present, Aloe Vera has remained popular. In Asia, where it was first introduced to China in the 17th century, the demands for it have expanded at a robust rate. Its healing benefits have stood the test of time since Science has confirmed its potency as a medicinal plant.
Characteristics of the Plant
Aloe Vera tea is made from a cactus-like succulent which belongs to the genus of the liliaceous plants, and is easy to spot. This shrub which originated in the Arabian Peninsula and is grown for cosmetics, herbal remedies, food, and food supplements has thick leaves that store water, short roots that lay embedded in the earth, and flowers that bloom during summer.
With its fleshy leaves which can grow up to 40 – 50 cm long and 6 – 7 cm wide, the Aloe plant is able to thrive in arid sandy conditions and can be easily cultivated. Because of its cosmetic and medicinal benefits, it is now being cultivated wildly around the world.
Modern Medicinal Value
Aloe Vera is a source of important nutrients like vitamins B, C, E and folic acid. It also contains small amounts of calcium, copper, chromium, sodium, selenium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and zinc. Hereunder are the other benefits that one can get from this plant:
- It may improve skin condition and prevent wrinkles
Aloe contains special plant compounds called complex carbohydrates, which makes it a good moisturizer that hydrates the skin. It also protects from the aging effects of sunlight, speeds the healing of burns and may help prevent wrinkles since this plant is a good source of antioxidants that can help protect from oxidative stress.
- It can help lower blood sugar levels
Diabetes is dangerous, because of the complications that may happen to the person who is suffering from it which include nerve damage, amputations, blindness, kidney problems, and heart disease. While type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, one may be able to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by choosing a healthier lifestyle and following a healthy eating plan. Aloe Vera Leaf tea as food supplement can help reduce glycated hemoglobin and the level of glucose in the blood.
A word of precaution to people who already have diabetes: It is always best to consult a physician’s advice before ingesting Aloe Vera to treat the disease since the combination of medications used to lower blood sugar and Aloe may cause a condition called hypoglycemia.
- It can help treat constipation
Many Australians complain about constipation. Even though, it is temporary and not serious in most cases, it can cause discomfort, may trigger anxiety, and can cause stress. There are studies that suggest that Aloe Vera can help treat this condition since it contains anthraquinones. As a natural laxative, it aids digestion; relieves constipation, and helps stimulate bowel movement.
- It can be used as an alternative to mouth wash
Chlorhexidine gluconate is a germicidal mouthwash that decreases bacteria in the mouth. While in most cases, this is effective, it may include some side effects such as tooth staining, mouth irritation, dry mouth, unusual or unpleasant taste in the mouth, or decreased taste sensation. Aloe Vera used as its replacement may prove to be effective sans the side effects since it has potent antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties that can kill germs and reduce periodontal indices.