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Aloe Vera. The Plant; Juice; and Gel. 

Aloe Vera has a long history of cultivation throughout the drier tropical and subtropical regions of the world, both as an ornamental plant and for herbal medicine. Aloe Vera as a juice or gel is way up the list for those seeking alternative 'medicines'.

It is often used for cosmetic and alternative medicine applications. There are contradictory claims as to its curative qualities when used as a medical application. We have found no evidence of harm through applications of Aloe Vera Gel. The writer can vouch for its effectiveness for assisting with burn problems.

Aloe Vera plant is a stem-less or short-stemmed succulent plant, growing to 60-85 cm tall. It spreads, by way of offsets and root sprouts. The leaves are lance shaped, thick and fleshy with a serrated edge.  Single pendulous flowers are produced on erect flower spikes. Aloe Vera Juice and gel are produced from the leaves.

We cannot over-stress the importance of following advice supplied with the product if you are buying a 'cosmetic' or herbal application. Kake sure it is from a reputable source. 

 Advice about Growing Aloe Vera

The Aloe Vera Plant has thick fleshy leaves - the source of the A vera Gel and JuicePlants are easy to grow in cultivation in frost-free climates. They require a well-drained gritty or sandy potting compost in moderate light. If planted in pots or other containers, our advice would be to ensure good drainage with holes in the container. Use a good quality soil-based potting mix, with added perlite, grit, or coarse sand. Allow container grown plants to dry prior to re-watering. Do NOT over-water.

The plants may become dormant in winter. No moisture is required during this dormancy. In areas that get frost or snow they will need to be kept indoors in a warm frost-free environment with plenty of light. During winter indoors, watering should be kept to a minimum.

A drift of flowering Aloe plants is a sight to behold. The flowers - on short stalks are pale yellow. They make for good form and architectural planting effect. Space between each plant adds to the effect - with gravel mulch for decorative purposes. Much better than allowing the Aloe plants to mingle.

 Medicinal Uses of Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera - This wonder herb is used for all kinds of digestive problems to regulate female hormones, to counteract wrinkles (Aloe Vera Gel), for constipation, liver problems, ulcers, to heal the gut and to stop bleeding from the intestines, AIDS and to cleanse and remove parasites and unwanted material from the digestive system.

 In India women drink Aloe Vera every day to counteract the signs of aging. In the west Aloe Vera Drink is used to cleanse the liver and, when combined with turmeric, to relieve PMS. Topically the Aloe Vera Gel is one of the best treatments for healing burns, injuries and sunburn, Aloe can also be used to heighten enzymes.

The juice from Aloe Vera plant is used in the treatment of ulcers, heartburn and other digestive disorders. It has recently been used for athlete's foot. It is important to get qualified advice about Aloe Vera use, even though it is well used and considered to be safe

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe Vera gel is rich in amino acids, minerals, vitamins and trace elements.

The gel comes from cactus like leaf and is a very sticky substance; it is tasteless, colourless and odourless. The gel is used throughout the industries not only for its healing properties, but is also used as a food preservative that prolongs the conservation of fresh produce, such as fresh fruit and legumes.

In the beauty industry this cooling herb can be traced all the way back to the ancient Egyptians. Cleopatra regarded it as her beauty secret. Aloe Vera can be found widely in the beauty industry using its gel for skin care products, hair care and cosmetics. Always read the advice on the container

When your nose, cheeks, or hands become red and chapped hands, and noses from winter winds can be treated by slicing open one of the Aloe's stalks and squeezing the gel liquid onto the affected areas.

Domestic use of Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera around the house! The gel is even used in detergents. It is environmentally friendly and unlike some detergents the surfactants in it are bio-degradable.

I can personally vouch for its skin healing properties, for I used it to offset the burning effects of radiotherapy after cancer treatment. The oncologist took me to one side to suggest that I should use it - but not to tell colleagues that it had been advised. Such is the antipathy towards natural healing amongst health professionals it seems.

Animals and Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is often used for animal disorders and is an excellent remedy for some skin conditions such as dermatitis, abscesses, and fungal infections. Gel is normally added to the food and can also used directly to skin to help combat inflammation. Obtain qualified advice before use.

Pests and Problems of Aloe Vera.

Aloe Vera is generally pest and disease free. However, the sap-suckers such as aphids, red spider mite and mealy bugs can sometimes be troublesome - especially if grown under glass, or if over-wintered in a glasshouse.

Basal rot can occur on Aloes if the plant gets waterlogged - or if too much water on over-wintered plants.


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