Aloe vera is a fleshy cactus-like plant that has a watery gel-like substance filled in it. It has its origins from the Arabian Peninsula, but the plant grows all around the globe. Tropical and subtropical areas are the best fit for its healthy growth.
Usually, the plant is cultivated for its many medicinal properties, but Many cosmetic brands market their product with the label of aloe vera as an ingredient.
This plant is physically small and grows to a height of about 60-100 CMS. It has long fleshy leaves that are serrated; leaves are covered with white teeth. You can also see some flowers on it in summers
Aloe vera is widely grown as an ornamental plant. This plant is grown for its medicinal properties, attractive flowers, and the ability to thrive in less natural rainfall areas.
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The plant is also heavily resistant to insects, pests, spiders, and bugs that are bad for plant health. This plant has also gained the Award of garden merit by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).
Aloe vera is an easy to grow plant that does not require much attention while growing. Still, there are a few points that must be known before growing this plant. Aloe vera requires sandy potting soil with bright sunny weather conditions. Also, one must make sure that the pot is well-drained.
Too much water in the pot can make the plant wilt. This plant also needs shade during hot hours of the day as too much heat can burn the plant. It is recommended to use good quality cacti and succulent plant mix as it allows the water to drain out quickly.
A potted aloe vera plant must be rewatered only if it has dry soil in its pot. Too much watering can harm the health of the plant. Terra cotta pots are highly porous pots, advised because they are instrumental in controlling the plant’s moisture.
During growth, small Aloe vera plants pop out of the soil to crowd the plant. It is recommended to detach these aloe pups into a different pot to promote healthier plants’ growth. During winters, the plant needs a little moisture and heat. In snowfall areas, it is advisable to keep the plant indoors or in a heated glasshouse.
Aloe vera is used in numerous cosmetic products. All these products contain a clear gel found in aloe vera leaves. This gel is also beneficial in its raw form while being simple to extract.
To extract the gel from the leaves, you will need a mature plant, at least a couple of years old, to ensure that the gel contains the necessary nutrients. The thick outermost section of the plant is where you should cut these leaves.
Make sure to check the leaf for any mold or damage. And then cut them close from the stem as most of the beneficial nutrients are close to the plant’s base. One must avoid cutting the plant roots and remember to wait for a couple of weeks before cutting the leaf from the same plant.
To gain the gel from the leaf, the thorny edges of the leaves can be sliced, and the outer covering is to be peeled off. After peeling the leaf, the gel is exposed and is ready to use. Make sure not to consume Aloe Vera gel without discoloring it as it is toxic and increases the risk of many diseases in the body.
Uses and Benefits
Numerous studies introduce us to the different and new uses of this extremely beneficial plant. Some of the proven uses of this plant are: –
Heartburn is often caused by a digestive disorder known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). A study in 2010 suggested that consuming 1 to 3 ounces of aloe gel at mealtime could prevent or ease GERD’s effects.
Furthermore, other digestion-related problems are also cured by Aloe-gel. The plant has very minimal toxicity levels that make it a safe and gentle remedy for heartburn.
Keeping Fruits and Vegetables Fresh
In 2014, the Cambridge University Press issued a study that looked at tomato plants coated with aloe gel. The report showed evidence that the growth of many harmful bacteria on the vegetable’s surface was blocked successfully because of the coating.
Similar results were also found in a different study with apples. This concludes that the aloe gel could help fruits and vegetables stay fresh. This, in turn, will eliminate the need for dangerous chemicals that extend the shelf life of edibles.
An Alternative to Mouthwash
In 2014, a study published in the Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences says that the researchers found aloe vera extract to be a relatively safe and effective alternative to chemical-based mouthwashes.
The aloe vera plant has natural ingredients, which include a healthy dose of vitamin C. This also helps in blocking the plaque. It also provides significant relief if one faces bleeding or swollen gums.
Lowering your Blood Sugar
If one ingests just two tablespoons of aloe vera juice regularly, a type 2 diabetic patient’s blood sugar levels will fall drastically. These claims are based on the study in Phytomedicine, the International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phyto pharmacy.
This, in turn, concludes that the aloe vera gel may have a future in the treatment of diabetes.
Another study, which was published in Phytotherapy Research, states the importance of the pulp extract.
People who are already undergoing the treatment of diabetes by consuming glucose-lowering medications should be cautious while taking aloe vera. The aloe juice and the medicines combined could lower the glucose count to dangerous levels.
Potential to Fight Breast Cancer
A new study was published in an Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine that looked at aloe emodin’s therapeutic properties, a compound in the plant’s leaves.
The authors suggest that the substance shows potential in slowing the growth of breast cancer. However, much more studies are needed to advance this theory further.
Aloe vera is highly used for keeping the skin clear and hydrated. The plant must thrive in dry, unstable climates. The plant’s leaves must store more water to survive the harsh conditions.
These water-dense leaves, combined with unique plant compounds called complex carbohydrates, make it an effective face moisturizer and pain reliever.
Aloe Vera also contains enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins A and C, which can treat burns, acne, dry skin, and many other skin issues.
It is proved to be highly inflammatory, as well. With all these benefits, Aloe Vera does wonders for the face. It is suitable for all skin types; one can use it on sensitive skin.
In case of minor burns, one can apply aloe vera gel to the affected area three times daily. For better results, protect the area with gauze.
Aloe Vera helps to soothe the sunburns and rashes. Yet, studies have not shown that it cures it as well.
If there are rashes and scuffs on the chin and forehead, one can apply aloe vera gel in the affected area for quick relief from the burns. For better results, use it three times per day.
If a person typically uses Neosporin for a minor cut, aloe vera will work just as fine. It has a molecular structure that helps heal the wounds quickly and minimizes scarring by boosting collagen and fighting bacteria. For fast results, apply up to three times per day.
Aloe vera gel absorbs extra oils quickly, making it ideal for oily skin. However, it can also be used to treat dry skin too. Try changing the regular moisturizer by aloe after taking a shower or bathing to help seal the skin’s moisture.
Frostbite is considered a severe condition that urgently requires medical treatment. One can apply aloe vera gel to heal it. Even though aloe vera gel has been used historically as a frostbite remedy, please consult your doctor before using it.
Unlike canker sores, cold sores develop on the skin of your mouth. Aloe vera could help treat the animal virus, which is also the underlying explanation for cold sores. Apply a small quantity of the gel to your cold sore two times a day till it goes away.
The moisturizing effects of aloe will help alleviate dry, restless skin associated with skin disorder. The gel can be useful in alleviating seborrheic dermatitis.
Even though this oily form of skin disorder is most frequently found within the scalp, it may also affect parts of your face and behind the ears.
In general terms, Aloe vera is a beneficial plant that is quite simple to grow and can survive in almost any condition.
This plant can replace almost all over the counter medicines.
Aloe vera is being used for skincare and its medicinal properties for a long time. There are claims that this plant is being- used as a medicine since the 16th century.
It can be used in any form: as a gel to apply, as juice, or as a moisturizer.
Over the years, humankind has been drawn towards human-made medicines, but these plants’ therapeutical properties are still irreplaceable.