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Thursday, December 1, 2016

INTRODUCTION

COMMON NAME       : Aloe vera, aloe, burn plant, elephant’s gall
BOTANICAL NAME   : Aloe barbadensis Miller
FAMILY                       :  Liliaceae 
                                        

Aloe vera is a succulent plant species that probably originated in northern Africa.

The species does not have any naturally occurring populations, although closely related aloes do occur in northern Africa.The species is frequently cited as being used in herbal medicine since the beginning of the first century AD. Extracts from A. vera are widely used in the cosmetics and alternative medicine industries, being marketed as variously having rejuvenating, healing, or soothing properties. There is, however, little scientific evidence of the effectiveness or safety of Aloe vera extracts for either cosmetic or medicinal purposes, and what positive evidence is available is frequently contradicted by other studies.



The plant is distributed throughout the India.
Aloe vera,
known as Ghee-guar-ka-palhtha in India.
It has become completely naturalized, especially in the hot dry valley of northwestern Himalaya. It is planted as a hedge in house premises, runs wild in desert conditions and is also extensively cultivated due to its medicinal properties. The Aloe vera habitat needs direct sunrays and well-drained soil. When these plants are grown outdoors, they need the warmth of sunrays and protection from the cool weather because the plant consists of 95% water.
The semi-tropical plant, Aloe Vera, has a long and illustrious history dating from biblical times. It has been mentioned throughout recorded history and given a high ranking as an all-purpose herbal plant.
Aloe's thick, tapered, spiny leaves grow from a short stalk near ground level. It is not a cactus, but a member of the tree lily family, know as Aloe barbadensis. Aloe is related to other members of the Lily family such as the onion, garlic and turnip families. Aloe's relationship to the lily family is evident from the tubular yellow flowers produced annually in the spring that resemble those of the Easter lily.
There are over 250 species of aloe grown around the world. However, only two species are grown today commercially, with Aloe barbadensis Miller and Aloe aborescens being the most popular. The Aloe plant is grown in warm tropical areas and cannot survive freezing temperatures.
The leaves of the Aloe plant grow from the base in the rosette pattern. Mature plants can grow as tall as 2 and a half inches to 4 feet with the average being around 28 to 36 inches in length. Each plant usually has 12-16 leaves that, when mature, may weigh up to three pounds. The plants can be harvested every 6 to 8 weeks by removing 3 to 4 leaves per plant.
Aloe Vera has long been a popular houseplant. Often called the 'miracle plant' or the 'natural healer', Aloe Vera is a plant of many surprises. It flourishes in warm and dry climates, and to many people it looks like a cactus with fleshy thorny leaves. In fact it is a member of the Lily family, staying moist where other plants wither and die by closing its pores to prevent moisture loss.
The lower leaf of the plant is used for medicinal purpose.
If the lower leaf is sliced open, the gel obtained can be applied on the affected area of the skin.Leaves and seeds are the two edible parts of Aloe Vera.

Aloe Vera has been found described in writings in many different cultures and as far back as the Greek, Egyptians, and Roman eras. References have also been found in writings from the Indian and Chinese early cultures. Ancient records show that the benefits of Aloe Vera have been known for centuries, with its therapeutic advantages and healing properties surviving for over 4000 years.

The earliest record of Aloe Vera is on a Sumerian tablet dating from 2100 BC.

Its antiquity was first discovered in 1862 in an Egyptian papyrus dated 1550 BC. Egyptian Queens associated its use with their physical beauty.

It was used to great effect by Greek and Roman physicians. Researchers have found that both the ancient Chinese and Indian used Aloe Vera.

In the Philippines it is used with milk for kidney infections.

Aloes are referred to in the Bible, and legend suggests that Alexander the Great conquered the island of Socotra in the Indian Ocean to secure supplies of Aloes to treat the battle wounds of his soldiers.

Today in Japan Aloe Vera is commonly used as an ingredient in commercially available yogurt.
There are also many companies which produce Aloe Vera beverages.

People in Tamil Nadu, a state of India, often prepare a curry using Aloe Vera which is taken along with Indian bread (nan bread) or rice.

Aloe Vera is a plant that has historical references dating back over 5000, where it can be seen on the tombs of the pharaohs. Apparently it was an herbal remedy used in embalming mummies, both as a superb preservative but also as an excellent preventive agent against tuberculosis and other respiratory complications innate to that kind of work. Fast forward a thousand years and the Europeans began using it as an important ingredient in their herbal based medicines. The earliest recorded pharmacological usage was recorded in ancient Sumeria about 1750 B.C. where it was considered an excellent treatment for stomach irritations and nausea.

There is evidence of both Chinese and Egyptians using Aloe Vera to treat burns, wounds and to reduce fevers. American Indians called Aloe "The Wand of Heaven". They believed than anyone touched by Aloes' gel would be cured of their skin disorders. Also, the legend says that Cleopatra used Aloe Vera as part of her beauty regime.

Although many still consider Aloe Vera to be a folk remedy, it is important to remember that two-thirds of the world's population is treated with herbs and plant products that are not only
effective, but offer benefits that are equal or superior to the synthesized, chemically-derived remedies of the western world

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