Indian aloe is an erect plant with pale green, smooth, fleshy leaves, convex below, tapering to a blunt point, with horny prickles at the margins. The leaves of the plant possess many medicinal properties. They are useful in restoring the disordered processes of nutrition. The plant grows up to 30 to 150 cm in height. It has yellow or orange colored cylindrical flowers.
The active principle of aloe is a mixture of glycosides called aloin. The proportion of aloin varies in different specimens of aloes. The chief constituent of aloin is barbaloin which is a pale yellow crystalline glycoside, soluble in water. The other constituents include isobarbaloin, aloe-emodin (a hydrolytic product of barbaloin) resins and some water soluble substance. The characteristic odor is due to traces of an essential oil.
Botanical Name: Aloe barbadensis
Indian Name: Ghee kanvar or Musabbar
Below are some of the medicinal properties of Indian aloe:
- Indian aloe stimulates the live and is useful in liver and spleen disorders. It can be used in jaundice and enlargement of liver, spleen and other glands. The pulp of one leaf should be administered with black salt and ginger every morning for 10 days in the treatment of such disorders.
- It is also beneficial in treating cold and cough. The juice of the roasted leaf should be taken with honey for treatment.
- The leaves have the property to kill intestinal worms in children. The condensed leaf juice, after boiling the leaves in water is a popular and effective home remedy.
- The use of the herb in treating inflamed and painful parts of the body is common in Indian medicine. The fresh juice from its leaves should be applied externally.
- It is useful in lumbago, sciatica and rheumatism. The pulp of one leaf is taken daily for relief.
- Indian aloe is effectively used in the treatment of stomach disorders. The leaves strengthen the functioning of stomach and promote its action. A salad of its leaves is beneficial in cases of indigestion, constipation and flatulence.