About Aloe Vera:
This striking plant is native to tropical and semi-tropical regions of Africa and the Mediterranean. Aloe has been used for centuries, and mentioned by Dioscorides (one of the fathers of herbal medicine) in 78 AD and mentioned in medicinal books dating back to the 10 th century in Europe. Aloe, native to Africa, found its way to the west via trade routes from Egypt and Africa. It was successfully introduced to the West Indies in the 17th century.
Aloe Vera is an herb, known for anti-inflammatory properties. A succulent plant that has no stem, the fleshy leaves hold special sacs filled with a gel that is released when the leaf is cut. The gel itself contains anti-inflammatory saponins (act as the plant’s natural immune system), as well as antimicrobial anthraquinones, vitamins C and E as well as minerals and salycilic acid. The gel is used to soothe burns, cuts and any skin inflammation. Because it activates rapid healing, make sure that any cut or abrasion is cleaned thoroughly before applying the gel. There are considerations when taking orally and should be AVOIDED during pregnancy or breast feeding
Health Benefits of Aloe Vera:
1. Teeth and gums:
A study published in General Dentistry reported that Aloe vera in tooth gels is as effective as toothpaste in fighting cavities.
The authors explain that Aloe latex contains anthraquinones, compounds that actively heal and reduce pain through natural anti-inflammatory effects
Germany’s regulatory agency for herbs – Commission E – approved the use of Aloe vera for the treatment of constipation. Dosages of 50-200 milligrams of Aloe latex are commonly taken in liquid or capsule form once daily for up to 10 days.
3. Diabetes-induced foot ulcers:
They reported that a “gel formed with carbopol 974p (1 percent) and Aloe vera promotes significant wound healing and closure in diabetic rats compared with the commercial product and provides a promising product to be used in diabetes-induced foot ulcers.”
4. Antioxidant and possible antimicrobial properties
A. Vera extracts from leaf skin and flowers can be considered as good natural antioxidant sources.
5. Protection from ultraviolet (UV) irradiation:
Aloe shoot extract may potentially protect the skin from UVB-induced damage.
6. Protection from skin damage after radiation therapy:
7. Depression, learning, and memory – an animal experiment
A study published in Nutritional Neuroscience found that Aloe vera reduced depression and improved memory in mice
8. Wounds from second-degree burns
Aloe vera gel is equivalent to 1 percent silver sulphadiazine cream for the treatment of second-degree burn wounds.
Aloe vera eliminates Benzene and Formaldehyde from air and gives us fresh and pure air.
Aloe Vera Care:
- Place in bright, indirect sunlight or artificial light. A western or southern window is ideal. Aloe that are kept in low light often grow leggy.
- Aloe vera do best in temperatures between 55 and 80°F (13 and 27°C).
- Water aloe vera plants deeply, but infrequently. To discourage rot, allow the soil to dry at least 1 to 2 inches deep between waterings. Don’t let your plant sit in water.
- Water about every 3 weeks and even more sparingly during the winter. Use your finger to test dryness before watering. If the potting mix stays wet, the plants’ roots can begin to rot.
- Fertilize sparingly (no more than once a month), and only in the spring and summer with a balanced houseplant formula mixed at ½ strength.
- Repot when root bound.
Aloe vera plants are most susceptible to common indoor plant pests, such as mealybugs and scale.
Common diseases include:
- Root rot
- Soft rot
- Fungal stem rot
- Leaf rot
Avoid overwatering to keep these conditions from developing or worsening.