Belonging to the genus Aloe; Aloe Vera is a plant species characterized by its succulent leaves which are the source of pure aloe gel. The Aloe Vera plant is an evergreen perennial which means it thrives throughout the year in the right climatic conditions. There are many uses pf aloe vera while this plant is known to have originated in the Arabian Peninsula; it thrives anywhere and usually grows wild in tropical regions of the world.
It is important to note that while the Aloe Vera plant grows wild in places with tropical climatic conditions; it is also highly sought after all around the world because of its medicinal and cosmetic uses. The gel extracted from Aloe Vera leaves is used in shampoos, skin creams, face washes, hair oils and various herbal medications. Owing to its various uses; Aloe Vera is commercially cultivated in tropical climates and is exported all over the world.
Must Read about the benefits of aloe vera
As mentioned before; the popularity and demand for Aloe Vera extracts stems from its medicinal uses and the fact that it is a common ingredient in many cosmetic products. Additionally; Aloe Vera leaves and its extracts can be used for a wide range of home remedies. Bearing all of this in mind; this blog aims to enlighten the reader on the various uses of the Aloe Vera plant and its many benefits. Read further to know more.
Uses of Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera plant extracts are commercially viable for a number of reasons. These extracts are used in various medicinal, skin care and grooming products. Some are listed below.
1. OTC Laxatives
Aloe Vera plant extracts have a degree of viability in terms of laxative properties for one primary reason. The compound “Aloin” which is found in Aloe Vera extracts is an active component in OTC laxatives. These laxatives have varying degrees of effectiveness and the element of safety associated with ingesting Aloin is up for debate; however, Aloin continues to be widely in use in the production of OTC laxatives.
2. Weight Loss Supplements
Aloe Vera gel is often included as an active ingredient in weight loss supplements. The laxative effect of Aloin in Aloe Vera does contribute to weight loss, however, studies have shown that the plant sterols in Aloe Vera could possibly contribute to weight loss as well. Studies also show that Aloe juice formulated from Aloe gel has more potential benefits for weight loss when compared to Aloe Vera juice which includes whole leaves and even the latex of this plant.
It is also important to know that the laxative effect of Aloe Vera can induce weight loss but cause harm in the process. Unchecked laxative use can result in electrolyte imbalances which can then lead to diarrhea, dizziness, vomiting, numbness, muscles weakness and other problematic symptoms. Hence; weight loss supplements wherein Aloe Vera extracts are the active component should be taken with caution. The labeling on the product should be able to indicate whether the product is made from aloe gel which is safe to a large extent or whole aloe leaves and the latex which is less effective and even detrimental in some cases.
3. Hair Care Products
Aloe gel is widely included in hair care products. Anecdotal evidence does suggest that these products are beneficial to consumers to some extent which also explains their popularity. Aloe extracts are often an active ingredient in shampoos, hair oils, conditioners, hair sprays, and hair mousse. The inclusion of Aloe Vera extracts in these products is often advertised by manufacturers as Aloe Vera is associated with healthy and lustrous hair.
4. Skin Care Products
When applied topically; Aloe Vera gel is known to have many benefits for the skin. This is primarily why aloe gel and aloe extracts are a popular ingredient in a wide range of skin care products. Creams, moisturizers, face washes and soaps often contain aloe extracts and similar to hair products with aloe extracts; these products are often associated with healthy skin.
5. Ayurvedic Medicine
Aloe extracts have long been used in the formulation of Ayurvedic medicinal potions. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Ayurvedic skin care potions wherein aloe extracts are an active ingredient are quite effective and widely accepted. In Ayurveda; Aloe Vera is called Kathalai.
6. Other Forms of Traditional Medicine
The use of Aloe Vera extracts isn’t simply limited to Ayurveda; many forms of traditional medicine around the world tout the benefits of aloe gel and other extracts from this plant.
7. Grooming Products
Aloe gel is also widely used in grooming products because of its soothing and moisturizing properties. Hence; it is not difficult to source shaving lotions, gels and foams, wet wipes, tissues, and makeup products wherein Aloe is an active ingredient.
8. Aloe Perfumes and Essentials Oils
Aloe perfumes, incense sticks, and essential oils are also widely produced and these products find much favor among consumers. Aloe Vera has a light and pleasant fragrance that lends itself well to perfumes and incense sticks..