Native Americans called the aloe vera plant "wand of the heaven" and Egyptians "plant of immortality.
This spiky succulent has been around for thousands of years originating in Africa, Asia and the Mediterranean. There are 250 species and being semi-tropical it consists of about 95% water. This lovely green plant ranges in size from one inch miniatures to 2 foot high plants with inner sap that is used for many medicinal values and produces about six natural antiseptics. It can be used both in gel form or juice.
As a household plant this is easy to care for and an attractive plant to have around. Because of the wide and shallow root system a wide planter is the best choice for planting. Use a potting mix with granite grit, extra perlite, coarse sand and fertilize yearly with bloom type 10-40-10. The plant will go dormant somewhat in the Winter months and there is little need for any water during that time. But in the Summer months when it becomes totally died it should have a good soak. It cannot withstand a harsh winter outside and will like a sunny window in the warm months.
Aloe vera is good as an aid in weight loss, eases digestion and digestive track work, detoxifies thebody and there for help in treating ulcers, cleansing the colon. It also strengthens gums, promotes strong teeth, relieves heartburn, reduces cholesterol and triglycerides for a healthy heart, aids in elimination, arthritis and rheumatism pain, reduces the sting and itch of insect bites, sooths sunburn pain, alleviates mysterious rashes, reduces tissue damage from frostbite, speeds up hair growth, prevents stretch marks and scars, and works as a great antibiotic and inflammation reducer. And that is just the beginning. It also helps with the immune function and is being looked at by researchers for its possible potential as a AIDS and cancer fighter.
Aloe vera contains Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, E, and the minerals iron, calcium, maganese, magnesium sodium, potassium, chromium, copper and zinc. Aloe vera also is a good source of 18 of the bodys amino acids which aid in matabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
Drinking aloe vera juice helps reduce inflammation of inflamed swollen joints found in rheumatoid arthritis. It contains such ingredients as salicylate, bradykinin and natural steroids which react in the body absorbing the toxins that are produced during the process of inflammation, decreasing the level of swelling caused by arthritis.
This plant is a real marvel in its many uses.