My mother developed Paronychia (a fungal or bacterial infection leading to redness, swelling and pus formation around the nail) in her right big toenail just before my sister’s wedding. She was in so much pain that she could hardly move about leave aside doing any work. When my grandmother arrived and saw her state, she quickly plucked a leaf from a pot in the balcony, slit it halfway after heating and covered the toenail with it. Mom not only felt better but the infection also subsided in a few days.
Do you know what that magic plant was? It was Aloe vera.
Aloe vera also known as Aloe barbadensis, quargandal or ghrita kumari is a shrub which grows in dry areas of India, Africa, China and other dry places. There are around 300 known varieties of this plant but only a few of them have medicinal properties. The plant is known the world over for its multifold benefits.
Benefits of Aloe Vera:
- Digestive System: useful in acidity and related problems, ulcers, constipation. It has a soothing effect on the digestive tract lining and also acts as a laxative.
- Heart: lowers cholesterol levels.
- Diabetes: decreases blood sugar levels in diabetic patients.
- For Women: considered one of the best medicines in Ayurveda, for the female reproductive system.
- Wound Healing: Aloe vera may be effective in the treatment of wounds. Some studies have shown that it promotes the rate of healing in first and second-degree burns.
- Skin and Beauty: purifies blood, promotes healthy hair and provides a natural glow to the skin. Helps in skin conditions such as acne, pimples, allergy rashes (when applied as a cream), scalp problems, falling hair, dandruff etc. Stimulates production of collagen & elastin (proteins), which are necessary to prevent ageing.
- Other Benefits: Anti-cancer effects, enhances immune function.
It can be ingested as juice or gel, applied topically as a gel or an ingredient in creams, moisturizers, etc. Numerous research studies are underway to ascertain the mechanism of action or dosage to be taken for these above-mentioned benefits.
Aloe vera also has an excellent nutritional profile. It is a mixture of more than 200 constituents, including amino acids, enzymes, vitamins (A, B1, B6, B12, C, E & Folic acid), minerals (Calcium, Chromium, Copper, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc), Hormones, etc.
Though this magic healer has shown its magic in healing Paronychia, we still need lots of studies to include Aloe vera as medicine for serious ailments like cancer, ulcers, etc.
Let us wait and watch!!!