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Aloe Vera

Taken in June 19, 2010 in Bengaluru, India.

Aloe barbadensis, also called "the elixir of youth" by the Russians,"the herb of immortality" by the old Egyptians or the "harmonious remedy" by the Chinese, this plant is without a doubt the medicinal herb most widely known for its noticeable impacts on health and at the same time the ingredient most widely used in the cosmetic industry. Not one study conducted so far was fully able to explain the wonders which lie within this herb and how its compounds work together in a miraculous way to bring about the treatment or the alleviation of some of the most serious illnesses like cancer or AIDS. Source

How to extract the Gel

Harvest ten to twelve leaves from the bottoms of mature plants three to four hours after watering. Wash the leaves with warm water or water and vinegar. With a sharp knife, slice the spiny sides off each leaf. Work quickly with the leaves once you've cut them to conserve the liquid that will drain out as you work. Cut or scrape one side of the leaf off and cut the exposed gel into sections and cut away from the remaining leaf surface, being careful not to take any of the lining of the tough green leaf away with the colorless gel. The gel should be tasteless, not bitter. Put your gel in a juicer or a cheesecloth-lined colander in a bowl. Process the gel in the juicer or crush it through the strainer into the bowl to get your ale juice. Add up to a gallon of water or fruit juice to thin for drinking. Refrigerate immediately. Don't make too much at a time--aloe potency fades quickly, so the juice must be consumed within a few days. Source

Benefits for general health

 Benefits for Beauty

  1. As a skin brightener: Rub aloe vera on your face to decrease pigmentation and dark spots.
  2. Have red blotches after plucking your brows?Rub some aloe vera on the discolored area and watch redness disappear.
  3. Aloe is a surprisingly good moisturizer and is effective in combating wrinkles because the skin absorbs it quickly – rub some on your neck and see for yourself.
  4. Soothe a sunburn - duh!
  5. Create your own facial cleanser with aloe vera: Just mix with olive oil, rosewater, and a few drops of grapeseed oil in a food processor. Keep it in the fridge!
  6. Nourish your skin: Aloe vera is extremely nutrient-rich: it has 18 amino acids, B vitamins 1, 2, and 6, vitamin C, niacinamide, choline and the minerals calcium, iron, lecithin, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc.
  7. Create an organic sugar scrub and apply to damp skin:

    • 2 tbsp. aloe vera
    • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
    • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  8. You could also try a salt scrub for rough patches:

    • 2 cups sea salt
    • 1 cup aloe vera
    • 1 cup baby oil
    • 2 tbsp. honey
  9. Speed hair growth: Massage aloe vera into the scalp, leave in for 30 minutes and rinse.  Aloe Vera is known to balance PH and stimulate the production of enzymes on your scalp which help with hair growth.
  10. DIY brow gel: mix a little aloe vera with an eyeshadow that matches your eyebrows. Apply with a brow brush.
  11. Tighten your pores: Aloe has properties similar to astringents, so rubbing it on your face can reduce the appearance of enlarged pores.
  12. For scars and stretch marks: Aloe vera speeds cell regeneration, so rub it on scars and stretch marks to watch them fade more quickly.
  13. For those with eczema or psoriasis, aloe is possibly the best moisturizer available. Rub all over hands and feet, put on gloves and socks and let it work its magic!
  14. Run out of conditioner? Use aloe vera instead! Your hair will be silkier than ever – just make sure to rinse well.
  15. Mix aloe vera into powdered hair dye before dyeing hair to help fight off moisture loss from drying chemicals. Source

© Nalini Hebbar/saycheese/2009-all rights reserved
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Kaddu said...

Really good post Nalini. Would like to feature it in in my mag Kadzilla's Lounge, in the coming issue. If it's okay with you, please email me your Bio (roughly 100 words, in 3rd person, including link to your blog) and a Pic. ID is lounge [at] kadzilla [dot] com.

magiceye said...

loved the composition of the 1st pic!
thank you for sharing the interesting information

Rajesh said...

Very nice post. I have this plant at home. But I have never seen it bearing fruits.

R. Ramesh said...

awesome as r u doing friend? long time no c...take wishes..:)

Anonymous said...

very nice post.. Loved the first pic. Very nicely taken.

Bhupesh said...

Nice klicks Nalini
Have never seen Aloe with flowers

Mohan said...

Awesome post. Though I have aloe vera at home, i didn't know to this detail about its goodness. I am planning to give away aloe vera plants to lucky ones in bangalore indiblogger meet.

Kaddu said...

@ Mohan: Oh crap! I want one too! But I'm in Patna! :(

Missed out the t-shirts in Mumbai, and the aloe vera in b'lore too!

Boo hoo hoo!

Arti said...

Loved the pics.. The first one almost looks like tulips!!!
Great post:)

Kcalpesh said...

Nice post!! Got to know a lot about the medicinal value of Aloe vera!! :-)