Aloe Vera is a versatile house plant that has numerous gifts for anyone interested in maintaining tip-top health inside and out. The small spiked, waxy green plant is full of essential nutrients that can heal the body and is renown for its anti-aging abilities.
It is said that Aloe Vera originated in the dry regions of Africa, and was then transported all around the globe because it is easy to care for and is adaptable to many climates. This succulent does well in tropical wet regions as well as it does in dry places. Aloe Vera is designed to take in as much water as it needs and then survive off of what it saved through periods where it has limited access to water which made it perfect to travel with. The plant is resilient in most climates around the world, it is even capable of surviving in colder regions as long as the ground doesn't freeze and destroy the root system of the plant.
The aloe plant has been traditionally used externally for centuries by cultures such as the Egyptians, ancient Greeks and Native Americans with names such as "the wand of Heaven." It has multiple function even now as a common remedy here in the US for burns, rashes, cuts, bruises, insect bites, blisters, and any skin irritation really due to its cooling, anti-inflammatory properties.
It is also good as a conditioner for the hair. It can reduce dandruff by hydrating the scalp. In ancient Greece, it was used to prevent baldness. Aloe Vera does maintain the health of the scalp for the best conditions for hair growth by cleaning the hair pores, keeping the hair moisturized and stimulated the hair follicle. It can prevent rapid hair loss, however, it is not necessarily a cure for baldness.
Since it was a staple fit enough for Cleopatra, Aloe Vera is known for its anti-aging abilities. Being mostly water, it is very refreshing and hydrating for the skin. The other content of this plant such as Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3,B6, B12, C, E, some 20 minerals including calcium, magnesium, selenium, iron, potassium etc., and 18 to 20 amino acids which all aid in keeping the body externally looking good.
These vitamins, minerals, and amino acids are also very important internally as well. They aid in detoxing the body, reducing inflammation, balancing the bodies pH, and help the function of the digestive system, immune system, and cardiovascular system.
There are aloe very supplements and juices available at most heath stores now. The plant can also be grown at home and is easy to take care of. It can be put in a pot, indoors for people with little outdoor space. And, Aloe plants really don't need that much water, maybe every five days is good enough.
To use the plant, remove a leaf, strip off the spikes and the rest of it is sufficient enough for consumption. it could be added to a breakfast smoothie. The inner gel can be applied eternally to skin irritations or to the face for anti-aging benefits, however, be aware that the insides of the plant have a distinct, pungent odor that mimics bad BO.
Some risks to consider, are that Aloe contains laxative properties which can lead to diarrhea. It can interfere with drugs that are meant for heart conditions and diabetes for example. Prior to taking up Aloe Vera, consulting a doctor about any risk would be advisable.