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Members of the lily family, there exists over 240 varieties of Aloe vera growing across the globe from America, Europe, Africa and Asia. However, the one that is commonly used in commercial products is called Aloe barbadensis miller. The word Aloe comes from the arabic word 'alloeh', meaning 'bitter'. This cactus shaped, succulent plant can easily grow in cold climatic regions and is found as a commonly grown houseplant. Aloe vera gel present in the leaves of the plant have several benefits.

Pure Aloe vera gel can be obtained from the leaves of the Aloe vera plant. However, if you don't own the plant, you could even buy processed Aloe vera gel from the stores.

Skin Care

Aloe vera gel present in the aloe plant comprise compounds like anthraquinones, mannans, lectins, etc. which enhance healing and promote overall well-being. Applying aloe vera gel topically helps alleviate skin irritation and inflammation. It conduces to a soothing effect on the epidermis of the skin, thereby suitable as a skin care applicant. It helps reduce acne and eczema on the skin. Today, there are loads of creams and lotions containing Aloe vera gel, lining shelves in stores.

Aloe Vera Gel for Burns

Since it soothes the skin epidermis and enhances the healing process, it is applied on first degree and second degree sunburns. The gel carries out healing activity right at the epithelial level (layer of cells covering the body) of the skin. Besides soothing sunburn pain, this gel also protects the skin from the harmful effects of the Sun. Moreover, Aloe vera gel can be used to treat heartburn and ulcers.

Hair and Scalp

Application of Aloe vera gel onto the scalp nourishes it and prevents dry skin, thereby becoming an effective treatment for dermatitis, psoriasis, dandruff and hair loss. The presence of a compound called saponin in the gel acts as a natural cleanser and is beneficial in treating the hair and scalp. The pure Aloe vera gel obtained from the leaves of the plant can be applied directly to the hair and can be used as a substitute for the commercial hair rub, gel, etc. It makes the hair soft and shiny.

Antioxidant Properties

Aloe vera gel comprises powerful antioxidant properties. Antioxidants destroy free radicals that otherwise damage cell membranes. Thus, when consumed on a daily basis, Aloe vera gel can prevent cancer, slowdown the aging process and enhance a person's overall well-being. Moreover, it also boosts one's immune system and reduces the body's vulnerability to attack from different bacteria and viruses.

Eyes

Puffy eyes caused due to stress and staring long hours at the computer can be alleviated by application of pure Aloe vera gel on the skin surrounding the eyes. You can even prepare an eyewash by dissolving half a teaspoon of powdered aloe vera gel in a cup of water. Wash your face and eyes with this mixture. Various gels are available in the market with claims that their Aloe vera gel can reduce the sensitivity of the skin around one's eyes. However, before applying these products, it's best to consult one's health care provider.

Muscle Pain

Aloe vera gel gets absorbed really quickly into the underlying layers of the skin, thereby able to alleviate pain and inflammation. Thus, this gel proves effective in treating strains, sprains, muscle pulls, arthritis pain, etc. when applied along with a cold compress thrice a day.

Aloe vera gel is available in different forms: gel, powder and liquid. Apparently, most of the world's population uses Aloe vera gel in liquid form. Drinking Aloe vera gel benefits the person as it helps flush out toxins from the gut and stomach. Most people with irritable bowel syndrome seem to get relief after drinking Aloe vera gel.

Though the benefits are many, we need to remember that Aloe vera is not a drug and cannot replace prescribed medicines. So do consult your health care provider before consuming Aloe vera juice, just to be on the safer side. Moreover, people with high blood pressure, diabetes or any other illness should refrain from consumption of Aloe vera juice until a green signal is given from the health care provider.