Aloe Vera is a short-stemmed succulent plant growing to 60–100 cm (24–39 in) tall. According to Egyptians, Aloe Vera is considered as the “plant of immortality”. It is the oldest medicinal plant ever known. The leaves of the plant are thick and fleshy and the color vary from green to grey-green. They produce flowers in summer which spike with a yellow tubular corolla.
There are many health benefits for Aloe Vera:
They can treat various skin problems by applying externally or by consuming the best part of the plant.
It is used for maintaining the cholesterol levels in the human body by reducing triglycerides.
The extracts from aloe vera can reduce inflammation in the body. Drinking the juice from this plant cures the digestive problems.
Aloe vera lowers blood glucose and lipid levels
They are commonly used in cosmetics.
They are used extensively in pain killers.
Aloe vera tincture is sometimes used as eye drops
Aloe vera gel is used as an ingredient in various commercially available lotions, yogurt, beverages, and some desserts.
The plant produces at least 6 antiseptic agents such as lupeol, salicylic acid, urea nitrogen, cinnamonic acid, phenols and sulphur. They are not recommended to pregnant ladies. Beyond these, it has also been suggested that biofuels could be obtained from Aloe vera seeds.
Aloe Vera is grown in warm tropical areas and cannot survive freezing temperatures. It is grown successfully in soils having low fertility. In India, it is planted in July – August, the monsoon season. But, planting can be done under irrigated condition all round the year except in winter months. Aloe Vera can also be grown as indoor plants in pots kept in sunny area.
The plant is propagated by root suckers or rhizome cuttings. Medium sized root suckers are used for this purpose. Aloe Vera is successfully cultivated both under irrigated and rainfed conditions. But, the plant is sensitive to water logged conditions. The problems with insects, pests and diseases will not affect the plant so easily.
Due to the extensive uses of aloe vera it has a great demand all over the world. The plant is still in research to explore its additional benefits.
How to take care of your Aloe Vera Plant:
The plant does not need to be over-watered. In winters, even if you water once in a week is good. In summers, you might want to water a bit more but ensure that the soil goes dry before you water again.
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