An evergreen perennial, it originates from the Arabian Peninsula but grows wild in tropical, semi-tropical, and arid climates around the world. It is cultivated for commercial products, mainly as a topical treatment used over centuries. The species is attractive for decorative purposes and succeeds indoors as a potted plant.
It is used in many consumer products, including beverages, skin lotion, cosmetics, ointments or in the form of gel for minor burns and sunburns. There is little clinical evidence for the effectiveness or safety of Aloe vera extract as a cosmetic or topical drug. The name derives from Latin as aloe and vera
Read Pritish Kumar Halder to know about Aloe vera a succulent plant species.
Aloe vera is a stemless or very short-stemmed plant growing to 60–100 centimetres (24–39 inches) tall, spreading by offsets. The leaves are thick and fleshy, green to grey-green, with some varieties showing white flecks on their upper and lower stem surfaces. The margin of the leaf is serrated and has small white teeth. Flowers are produced in summer on a spike up to 90 cm (35 in) tall,
Each flower being pendulous, with a yellow tubular corolla 2–3 cm (3⁄4–1+1⁄4 in) long. Like other Aloe species, Aloe vera forms arbuscular mycorrhiza, a symbiosis that allows the plant better access to mineral nutrients in soil.
Its leaves contain phytochemicals under study for possible bioactivity, such as acetylated mannans, polymannans, anthraquinone C-glycosides, enthrones, and other anthraquinones, such as emodin and various lectins.
Aloe vera has been widely grown as an ornamental plant. The species is popular with modern gardeners as a topical medicinal plant and for its interesting flowers, form, and succulence. This succulence enables the species to survive in areas of low natural rainfall, making it ideal for rockeries and other low water-use gardens.
The species is hardy in zones 8–11, and is intolerant of heavy frost and snow. The species is relatively resistant to most insect pests, though spider mites, mealy bugs, scale insects, and aphid species may cause a decline in plant health. This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Meri.
In pots, the species requires well-drained, sandy potting soil and bright, sunny conditions. Aloe plants can turn red from sunburn under too much direct sun, though gradual acclimation may help. The use of a good-quality commercial propagation mix or packaged “cacti and succulent mix” is recommended, as they allow good drainage. Terra cotta pots are preferable as they are porous.
Potted plants should be allowed to completely dry before rewatering. When potted, aloes can become crowded with “pups” growing from the sides of the “mother plant”. Plants that have become crowded can be divided and repotted to allow room for further growth, or the pups can be left with the mother plant. During winter, Aloe vera may become dormant, during which little moisture is required. In areas that receive frost or snow, the species is best kept indoors or in heated glasshouses. Houseplants requiring similar care include Hamworthy and agave.
Two substances from Aloe vera – a clear gel and its yellow latex – are used to manufacture commercial products. Aloe gel typically is used to make topical medications for skin conditions, such as burns, wounds, frostbite, rashes, psoriasis, cold sores, or dry skin.[ Aloe latex is used individually or manufactured as a product with other ingredients to be ingested for relief of constipation. Aloe latex may be obtained in a dried form called resin or as “aloe dried juice