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BW Businessworld

The Wonder Drug Returns

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Worried about acne and pimples? Wish to make your skin glow? Aloe vera is here! Well, it has always been known as the super plant, but its juice is gaining popularity of late, thanks to the several packages in vibrant colours and various sizes taking up shelf space. In ancient times, it was used to heal wounds, but now it is mostly used to cleanse the body — inside and outside. 
Aloe contains a detoxifying property as it has the minerals and vitamins required to rid the body of harmful toxins. An easy cure for constipation, its juice aids digestion by increasing protein absorption. It can also take on irritable bowel syndrome. By strengthening the immune system, it helps the body fight harmful bacteria and viruses. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and is known to soothe minor cuts and burns.
But it owes its popularity to the fight against wrinkles and ageing. As Jaishree Sharad, a cosmetic dermatologist who has worked with celebs like Jaqueline Fernandes, puts it, aloe vera contains anti-oxidants that cleanse the system and, therefore, gives you smoother skin. It is also recommended for dealing with pimples and acne.
And wonder of wonders, it acts as a facilitator for weight loss as it gets your digestive enzymes flowing. 
But please ladies, let’s not get carried away. Diet and exercise are important too!
“Due to our fast-paced lifestyles, every product that is even minimally beneficial for the system gets a status of miracle food,” says Shikha Sharma, who works with Nutri-Health Systems that focuses on weight management and lifestyle disorders. She warns the eager consumer against idol worshipping the aloe juice. “How you have it is important,” she says.
There is no use gulping aloe vera juice if you combine it with a peg of whiskey or buttery parathas, and then pray for redemption. Sharma recommends a dosage of 1 tbsp aloe juice diluted with water, twice a day. You should not drink more than 4 ounces in a day. 
You also need to be wary of the manufacturer and adulteration. The juice can be made at home, but you need to do it right for it to be effective. And, as in the case of any new remedy, it is advisable to consult your physician before taking to the bottle of aloe.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 22-10-2012)