What is Aloe Vera?
Aloe Vera is a succulent plant species of the Genus Aloe. It’s an evergreen, which means it keeps its green color all year. The aloe plant originated from the Arabian Peninsula. Aloe grows wild in tropical and arid climates around the world and can even do well in dry climates. It is cultivated for its medicinal and agricultural uses.
Are there any health benefits to aloe?
Aloe has long been known for its healing properties, especially for burns. Most of us have probably used the aloe plant or purchased the gel in a bottle and used it successfully for a sun burn. It is also used to heal wounds. Aloe has also been used for GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) or heartburn. The gel of aloe has also been used as an effective antibacterial. Some growers have used aloe gel on the skin of produce like tomatoes to reduce bacterial growth.
Another benefit of aloe is for its anti-plaque properties for teeth and gums. Many too have taken it to lower blood sugar, but be cautious if already using blood sugar lowering medications. Aloe has also been used as a natural laxative, but consult your physician. Aloe is one of the most common ingredients used in natural health products. Studies suggest that the fermentation extract of aloe in the form of butyric acid may play a positive key role in human health and helpful to our gut microbiome. Aloe may be helpful as a prebiotic to flourish the gut as well.
Does aloe help the skin?
One of the best known uses of aloe is for the skin. Almost all anti-aging skincare products contain aloe. Some beauty enthusiasts use the gel directly from the plant onto their skin. Many that have used it in this way swear to the anti-aging and healing benefits. Aloe is an effective air purifier, so having many of these plants in the home near a window with direct light is beneficial to our health by cleaning the air. Aloe has the ability to remove benzene and 90% of the formaldehyde in the air. Aloe is one of the best in home air purifiers. Aloe can be especially helpful when new carpet or new furniture comes into the home.
Are there any precautions with aloe?
As with any plant there are always precautions, especially if you are taking medications or have certain health issues. Always consult your healthcare professional and preferably a Naturopath. Naturopaths have extensive study in plants and how they affect our health. Be cautious with the gel of aloe getting on clothing or porous surfaces because it tends to leave a light stain.
Is aloe easy to grow?
Aloe is an architecturally pleasing plant, very hardy, easy to grow and care for. Aloe grows easily indoors or out, but avoid freezing temperatures. Direct sun is not a problem for aloe but it does best with some shade to keep its rich green color. Aloe is a drought tolerant plant in which it needs little water. There are many different species of aloe with different reported healing properties. It is easy to grow your aloe and you can simply cut off a stalk to use while letting the rest of the plant continue to grow. Be sure to put the cut stalk or piece into the refrigerator where it should last up to a week.
And the flower stalks attract bees, butterflies, and birds. Aloe is a gorgeous plant for pots within the home or in the ground. In the ground it will spread and you will eventually have many aloe buddies.
– RAWr! Life.