Aloe Vera is a beautiful succulent plant that belongs to the Asphodelaceae family and is a native to South Africa and is grown both indoors and outdoors.
It is famous as Aloe, Korphad, and Ghrita kumari. While you are considering growing an Aloe plant in your garden, you may think about where to buy Aloe Vera plant. Well, Aloe Vera is easily available online and in local nurseries near your house.
Where To Buy Aloe Vera Plant?
It is very easy to procure an Aloe Vera plant as it is readily accessible both online and offline. Various online stores sell Aloe and even if you don’t want to buy it online, you can buy it from any plant shop in your locality.
Aloe Vera has thick, showy leaves, green or grey-green in colour that grow from the centre of the leaf cluster.
Aloe Vera is an air-purifying plant famous for its different uses and it is known as the plant of eternity since ancient times.
Aloe Vera, besides being an ornamental plant, also has medicinal and cosmetic properties and is undoubtedly becoming a favourite plant to be cultivated in many homes.
Aloe Vera is used in various products such as skin lotion, beverages, cosmetics, ointments, sunburns and minor burns.
Different Species of Aloe Plants Are:
- Aloe humilis
- Aloe juvenile
- Aloe vera
- Aloe barbadensis vera
- Aloe arborescens
- Aloe descoingsii
Let’s know something more about Aloe plant
- Aloe, popular as Aloe vera, generates two substances, gel, and latex, both used for medicines.
- Aloe gel present inside the aloe leaf is a transparent, jelly-like substance.
- Aloe latex is present just under the leaf’s skin and is yellow in color.
- Some of the aloe products use the whole crushed leaf having both gel and latex.
- Aloe medications are either taken orally or applied to the skin. Aloe gel is consumed for osteoarthritis, bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis, fever, inflammation, and itching, and also as a tonic. It is also useful for stomach ulcers, asthma, and diabetes and for curing some side effects of radiation therapy.
- But mostly, aloe gel is applied on the skin for some skin conditions like burns, sunburn, frostbite, cold sores, and psoriasis. Aloe gel is used to treat surgical wounds and to rapidly heal bed sores.
- It is reported that some chemicals in aloe gel increase circulation in the tiny blood vessels of the skin and also kill bacteria. Both these effects of aloe gel may aid in the fast healing of wounds. However, more research is needed in this direction as another study reports that aloe gel can slow down wound healing.
- Aloe latex is taken orally, generally for constipation. Rarely, aloe latex is taken by mouth for epilepsy, asthma, colds, absence of menstrual periods, bleeding, colitis, depression, diabetes, hemorrhoids multiple sclerosis, varicose veins, bursitis, glaucoma, and other vision problems and osteoarthritis.
- But consuming aloe latex by mouth is considered unsafe, mostly in high doses. It is reported that some of the chemicals present in aloe latex can cause cancer. Also, aloe latex can have some bad effects on the kidneys, leading to serious kidney disease and even death.
- Years ago, the FDA was worried about the safety of aloe latex, an ingredient in many laxatives as people developed some tolerance to aloe latex and they have to increase its quantity to get a laxative effect. Thus, they are taking more doses thereby, increasing the risk.
- The FDA asked for the safety data from the manufacturers of laxatives containing aloe latex, but they didn’t provide it, maybe as it was expensive doing safety studies.
- Without safety data, the FDA told manufacturers to withdraw or reformulate all over-the-counter (OTC) laxative products containing Aloe in the U.S. market till November 5, 2002.
How Aloe Vera is Beneficial?
Aloe gel may cause changes in the skin that help in healing diseases like psoriasis.
Aloe appears to fasten wound healing by improving blood circulation in the area and prevent cell death around a wound.
It seems that the aloe gel has certain properties to destroy some bacteria and fungi.
Chemicals present in Aloe latex are used as laxatives.
Note: Always consult your health expert before applying the gel externally and internally.
Some more significant features of Aloe Vera plants are:
- It contains proteins, amino acids, fatty acids, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
- It has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
- It has enzymes that have special effects on bacterial and fungal infections of the skin.
- They are used to treat burns, wounds, cuts, and injuries.
- Internal injuries, muscle, and joint problems can be treated with Aloe.
- It cures muscle spasms, cramps, and controls blood sugar levels.
- It has latex that is used against insect bites.
- It is useful in the treatment of ulcers.
- It prevents urinary tract infections.
- It increases prostaglandins production, important for a healthy uterus, ovary, fallopian tubes, and female reproductive system.
Aloe Vera Plant Care
Aloe vera is easy to grow and maintain and can reach a maximum height of 60 centimeters. Some tips you should follow while growing an Aloe Vera plant.
Expose the plant to the morning sunlight for 3 to 6 hours.
It is good to protect the plant from direct intense sunlight as it can damage the foliage.
The ideal temperature for Aloe plants is 16 to 30°C.
Well draining, sandy loam soil is best for Aloe plants and it should be rich in organic content. Cow dung manure or compost can be added to the soil at the time of planting Aloe.
Check the moisture with your finger or a small stick by poking it into the soil.
Water, when topsoil is about 3-4 inches, is dry.
Water thoroughly in summers and limit watering in winters and rainy seasons.
Use of Fertilizer
During the growing season, using an organic fertilizer once a month is sufficient.
The topsoil should be loosened without damaging the roots of the plant to absorb nutrients and moisture easily.
When a plant outgrows the pot, it is time to re-pot it with new potting soil and some fertilizer. Repot Aloe vera once a year to ensure that your Aloe gets sufficient space to grow.
The repotting should be done in the late evening and place the plant in a shady area for 2 to 3 days and then move the plant to a bright area.
Repotting should be avoided for at least 2 to 3 weeks after receiving it.
Over a period of time, you will see many small baby aloes which are called Pups, in your pot. Cut off these pups from the mother plant for propagation and plant them in a separate pot. Aloe propagation can also be done by leaf-cutting and suckers.
Get rid of dead, infected, or damaged plant parts and throw them away from the garden area.
Spray the plant with Neem, Eucalyptus, or Citrus oil for any insect or pest attack, as an initial treatment.
It easily grows in AC rooms but keeps Aloe plant away from AC vents.
Avoid over-watering the plant especially when the pot is without drainage holes.
It is best to plant Aloe Vera in pots with drainage holes.
Harvest the leaf when it has grown well and is fleshy.
The skin of Aloe vera and the clear inner gel is both edible and the skin is used in salads, stir-fried dishes, or alone as a snack.
It has a firm and crunchy texture and it is used in dips and as a replacement for crackers.
The gel of Aloe Vera is used in smoothies and cocktails.