Aloe, with a scientific name of Aloe Vera, is a perennial evergreen herb. Its leaves are clustered, big and plump. Some species with short and wide while others with jagged edge. Flowers are in many shapes, icluding umbrella shape, racemose, spike, conical, etc. They even many colors, there are red, yellow or with red spots. It has 6 petals and male flower comes with 6 pistils.
Aloe is native to Mediterranean and Africa and it is easy to plant. It is an ornamental plant with both flowers and leaves are nice to look at. It can be found commonly in household. According to the research, there are more than 300 varieties of wild aloe but only 6 of them are edible and with medicinal value. They are Aloe Vera Yang, Kuraso, Cape of Good Hope, Yuanjiang aloe and 2 others.
Aloe is a new star as food, medicine, beauty and ornamental plants. Its secreted substances (mainly active ingredients such as Aloin and other quinones) have been widely used in medicine and in beauty as well. Aloe Vera is used as a natural facial and skin care product, hair care and treatment of skin diseases in china. Aloe glue has certain antipruritic effect on mosquito bites.
Below are some of the conditions that are good for Aloe Vera:
1, Aloe prefer to grow in soil with good irrigation, with lots of humus and pH value between 6.5 – 7.2.
2, it loves light but also can tolerate ½ shady environment. It should avoid too much direct sunlight and excessive shade.
3, it is suitable to grow within temperature 20 to 30 degree Celsius. The best temperature at night is within 14 to 17 degree Celsius. The growth of aloe will stop with temperature goes below 10 and the plant will die with it goes below 0.
4, Aloe has strong resistance to drought. It can be left out of soil for a few months. To grow, Aloe needs lots of water but it cannot tolerant to waterlogging.
5, Aloe needs an uncontaminated environment include air, water, and soil. Also a good ventilation.
6. Aloe needs not only nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, but also some other elements. It grows best on natural, organic fertilizer like rotten food, chicken manure, compost. Earthworm manure is even more suitable for planting aloe.
In 2006, the total global aloe planting area is 23589 hectares, North America has about 19119 hectares, accounts for 81% of the total area; Australasia (Asia and Oceania area), such as Australia, New Zealand and the adjacent islands of the Pacific has 4170 hectares, accounts for 18%; the African continent due to geographical growth and the limitation of the technique of aloe, aloe planting area of 300 hectares, accounts for less than 1% of the total area.
Aloe Vera has many high value health care properties. It contains more than 75 kinds of elements and substances that are required by human cells. Some of the major benefits are as below:
- Promote healing
- Strengthen immune system
- Improve blood circulation
Besides, it also has great beauty benefits:
- Prevent wrinkles
- Whiten freckles
- Mend scars
- Soften skin
Though with so many benefits, it is a very cooling food. Pregnant mother should avoid this.