Aloe Vera (aloe barbadenis) is a short-stemmed (or stemless) succulent plant which belongs to Lily family. The color of its thick and fleshy leaves with serrated margin varies from green to grey-green; and the flowers are pendulous with the yellow tubular corolla about 2-3 cm long.
Aloe vera is usually cultivated in frost-free climates with the well-drained sandy potting soil in moderate light. If it is being planted in pot or other containers, the sufficient drainage with drainage holes must be provided for the plant. Re-watering is done only after the complete dryout of the potted plant. During the winter time little moisture is required. Aloevera has been traditionally cultivated throughout the drier tropical and subtropical regions of the world.
For medicinal purposes the lower leaf of the plant is used. Usually the gel obtained from the sliced open leaf is applied to the affected areas. The two edible parts of aloe vera are leaves and seeds.
The great amount of the products containing aloe vera extracts is available in the today’s market. The ability of aloe vera to naturally balance the pH of the skin makes it a popular ingredient in cosmetics and lotions. Aloe vera gel, juice and aloe vera extracts are released within various brands for various purposes like to treat skin problems, for beauty regimes, to heal internal and external ailments and to heal wounds.
More than 200 biologically active elements are presented in aloe vera. They include minerals, vitamins, polysaccharides, proteins and amino acids, biological stimulators and vitamins. The extracts of aloe vera are used to stimulate the immune system, decreases the allergy symptoms and respiratory infections. Aloe vera gel contains white crystalline oxidation product which possesses the properties that stimulate cell regeneration and provide a number of healing effects.
Aloe vera juice is effective in enhancing digestive functions, restores the balance of the stomach acids. Gel is effectively used in treating athlete’s foot, any forms of burns, bruises, muscular pains, varicose veins, herpes, eczema, pimples, diaper rash, wounds and cuts, hair loss, allergies, insect bites, furuncles, scleroderma, psoriasis and acne; it also acts as antifungal. But the major use of the aloe vera gel is in wounds healing therapies. Aloe vera active components in medications are beneficial in treatment of bronchial infections, useful in stimulating bile flow and enhancing appetite. The plant is effective for uterus, liver and colon disorders. Aloe vera is also considered to be one of the best natural moisturizer.