Aloe Vera for Hair Growth
Aloe Vera has long been known as one of nature’s miracle plants, being used to cure everything from minor skin irritations to burns. But today, it is being touted as nature’s hair growth aid, able to help those suffering with thinning hair, alopecia, and even dandruff achieve impressive results.
The History of Aloe Vera
According to scholars (Aloe Vera Medical Group, 2010), the first documented medicinal uses of the Aloe Vera plant dates all the way back to the early Egyptians, who first used the “miracle plant” for its health, beauty, and “immortality” qualities.
Drawings elevating the plant’s healing powers were found all over the Egyptian’s walls as well as documentation found in The Papyrus at Eber (1550 BC) which attested to its soothing and anti-inflammatory effects.
Later, Alexander The Great used it to treat his soldier’s wounds.
Roman naturalists and physicians studied it and hailed it as one of their favorite healing plants, accrediting the plant for its use in healing acne, gingivitis, wounds, skin irritations, sunburn, hair loss, and more, before passing it down to the Maya Indians, who praised it as “the fountain of youth.”
The Chinese and Japanese used the Aloe plant as part of their daily lives, and the Samurai used it for embrocations.
The Swedish doctor, Dr. Yernest, who died at the age of 104, swore by an aloe-based elixir (Swedish Bitters) as the key to longevity.
Sanskrit used it to rejuvenate female nature. Benedictine nuns used it to treat migraines, gastric infections, and more, and Priests used it for its detoxifying and purifying effects on the intestines and the immune system.
And today it’s used in modern medicine to heal and treat burns, diabetes, osteoarthritis, ulcers, epilepsy, lower cholesterol levels, help with digestive problems, skin problems, and even hair loss.
Aloe Vera Plant Properties
The Aloe Vera plant is a short-stemmed, fleshly green or grayish-green plant with prickly, thorny leaves that resembles a cactus plant.
Like the cactus plant, the Aloe Vera plant thrives in both warm and dry climates, where most plants cannot, by retaining water in its pores.
There are many species of the Aloe Vera plant, but it is the Aloe Barbadensis Miller species that is said to contain medicinal properties and benefits.
The Aloe Barbandensis is made up of a fleshly, protective outer layer, a bitter sap layer – to deter animals and a nourishing inner gel.
This inner (Aloe Vera) gel contains 8 Amino Acids, 20 minerals, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, and more which are remarkable for aiding in the healing of many ailments of the human body.
For a more detailed breakdown of the Aloe Vera plant’s properties see Aloe properties. The gel of the plant is easily accessed by removing the leaf from the plant and cracking it in half.
The seeds and leaves of the plant can also be used in recipes and drinks etc. for further medicinal properties.
Try Aloe Vera Gel for Hair Growth
Aloe Vera gel is good for promoting hair growth, moisturizing the hair, and eliminating bacteria that can be caused by excessive oil build up and dandruff on the scalp.
Promotes Hair Growth Aloe Vera gel contains an enzyme that helps to increase blood circulation in the scalp which helps prevent hair loss and helps rejuvenate hair follicles for increased hair growth in both men and women.
If used at the onset of thinning hair and alopecia, the regular use of Aloe Vera gel has been known to reduce or even cure some cases of baldness.
In 74 C.E., a Greek Physician by the name of Discordes, stated in his medical book “De Materia Medica” that Aloe Vera was effective at treating wounds, healing skin infections, curing chapping, eliminating hemorrhoids, and decreasing hair loss (Shelton, 2007).
In another study conducted by James Law, a Pharmacist, Law used gel straight from the leaf, each day, for nine months, to treat his own thinning hair which yielded good results (Figueroa, 2013).
Moisturizes Hair Because aloe Vera gel contains many trace minerals, vitamins, and amino acids, it is great for nourishing the hair and keeping it healthy and moisturized.
These same nutrients also make it a great conditioner for the hair. Aloe Vera gel leaves hair soft, shiny, and lustrous without the greasy, build up of traditional conditioners.
Research done around the world has proven that aloe Vera has moisturizing and penetrating properties” (The International Aloe and Science Council, 2002).
Stops Dandruff Aloe Vera gel contains both antibacterial and anti-fungal agents that helps stop dandruff and the excess build up of sebum which can mix with dirt and clog the pores where hair follicles grow out.
The gel balances the natural oils in the scalp and cools and refreshes the scalp. In a clinical study, Aloe Vera was given to participants to test its antibacterial effects against the gingivitis disease.
After 3 months, participants showed a significant decrease in plaque and gingivitis which scientists attributed to Aloe Vera’s antibacterial, anti inflammatory, and pain and wound healing properties(Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology, 2011).
Check out these amazing Aloe Vera Hair Care Products
Making Your Own Aloe Vera Gel from an Aloe Vera Plant
Making your own Aloe Vera gel is simple, and it can be used alone or along with your favorite products.
Here is a simple recipe to make homemade Aloe Vera Gel:
Step 1 For best results, the Aloe Vera plant should be at least 3 years old. Cut a few leaves from the bottom of the plant, as close to the ground as possible to prevent stunting the plant’s growth. Position the cut leaves, at a 45-degree angle, against the side of a small bowl to allow the dark liquid to fully drain out. The dark liquid has an unpleasant odor, has a strong laxative effect, and can irritate the skin, so be sure to drain it thoroughly.
Step 2 Wash the leaves with water. Pat dry. Cut off about 4 inches of the pointed end of the leaf. Using a knife, peel away the thick, green flesh of the leaf, leaving only the clear gel center. Scrape the back of the leaf for excess gel flesh.
Step 3 In a blender, add the clear gel flesh, about 1/2 teaspoon Vitamin C powder, or a couple of drops of Vitamin E oil, grapefruit seed extract, or essential oil as a preservative. Blend until smooth and frothy. Pour the gel into a clean glass jar. Store in the refrigerator. Lasts about 2-3 months.
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Aloe Vera References and Study’s
Aloe Vera Medical Group International. (2010). The History of Aloe Vera. Retrieved from http://aloe-medical-group.com/geschichte.html?&L=2 Figueroa, James. (2013). Pasadena Star-News. San Marino Teens Conduct on Aloe Vera as Hair Growth Treatment. Retrieved from http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/general-news/20130318/san-marino-teens-conduct-study-on-aloe-vera-as-hair-growth-treatment Journal of Indian Society. (Sept. 2011). US. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Aloe Vera: Nature’s soothing healer to periodontal disease. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3200013/ Shelton, Ronald M. (May 30. 2007). International Journal of Dermatology. Volume 30, Issue 10. Pages 679-683. Wiley Online Library. Aloe Vera Its Chemical and Therapeutic Properties. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-4362.1991.tb02607.x/abstract The International Aloe Science Council. (1996-2002). The Complete Story of Aloe Vera. Retrieved http://www.iasc.org/aloe.html