An aloe vera plant hung over the door frame was a common sight in Indian households in the past. The practice exists even today, although most people have shifted the plant to pots.
According to Chennai-based consultant dietician Dr Dharini Krishnan, aloe vera is “full of antioxidants.” It’s especially good for the summer, since this is the season when the body is prone to infections, according to Krishnan. She adds that when consumed, aloe vera has the potential to cool the system.
“The gel can be applied on the skin to treat rashes, boils, and dandruff,” she explains.
The plant is extensively used in Ayurvedic medicine. According to Dr Prasan Shankar, Indian Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine & Research, Bengaluru, aloe vera can be used in juice, pulp, decoction, or fermented forms.
“The pulp is used to treat external burns across the country,” he says. In the fermented form, aloe vera is used to treat liver and gynaecological disorders, according to Shankar.
Chennai’s beaches have several vendors offering aloe vera juice, that’s popular with morning walkers and joggers. Here’s something you can try with it at home.