Aloe vera plant (Kattarvazha, Sothu kathazhai, Kalabanda, Ghritkumari)
Aloe Vera is a short-stemmed succulent plant with an average height of 60-90cm. Thick and fleshy leaves have a green to grey-green colour with a serrated margin. Cosmetics industry makes use of Aloe Vera for its rejuvenating, healing and soothing qualities. In Kerala, it is called by the name ‘Kattarvazha‘, in Tamil Nadu as 'Sothu kathazhai', in Andhra Pradesh as 'Kalabanda' and as 'Ghritkumari' in North India. The presence of natural nutrients in aloe vera makes it a potential herbal medicine that can be used both internally and externally. Ancient Egyptians named this plant as the ‘Plant of immortality’. It is cultivated throughout the world. Besides their medicinal qualities, these plants are also popular with gardeners. Aloe Vera can store water in its leaves and hence it can exist in low rainfall or arid regions.
Note: Aloe vera plants are very easy to maintain. They grow in almost all indoor climates, and in warm outdoor climates. Water it every other day and make sure you do not overwater it. Offshoots from the plant can be easily potted to grow a new plant.
Some of the major uses of Aloe vera, Kattarvazha, Aloe Vera Plant
- Good for skin
Aloe Vera is considered as one of the natural remedies for a variety of skin problems like dry skin, cosmetic ailments and scalp and hair problems. It can be used as one of the natural vulnerary and it is applied topically for burns, psoriasis, and also for bug bites.
- Effective against hair loss and dandruff
Since ancient times aloe vera was used for the treatment of hair loss. The presence of essential enzymes in this plant promotes hair growth and also eradicates dead skin cells on the scalp. Aloe Vera extracts can play a major role in eliminating the scalp dryness and thereby removing dandruff. This will moisturize the scalp and alleviates the dry and itchy feeling from dandruff.
- Effective against burns
Using the juice of the aloe vera plant is a natural treatment for burns, treat burns with aloe vera by applying the juice on the burn. The leaf pulp is used to heal burn wounds.