Friday, September 30, 2011
Aloes have been used worldwide for more than 3,500 years. They are desert lilies and there are more than 200 varieties. Aloe vera is an aloe plant. Aloe vera, which means “true aloe” in Latin, is generally the most widely used and most effective species of aloe.
The aloe vera plant has long, spiked leaves, which are thick-skinned and contain a clear gel-like substance.
Aloe vera is used today in many products, including cosmetics, skin lotions and moisturizers, burn gels and even sun screen creams. Juice is also taken from the aloe vera leaves. The bitter juice is often prepared as a flavored drink and is used to help with digestive problems.
The possible benefits from the use of aloe vera gel and juice include:
1. May help sooth skin injured by burns, irritations, cuts and insect bites.
2. May help moisturize and soften the skin.
3. May help speed the healing of skin wounds, burns and other injuries.
4. May help (when taken internally)with constipation, diarrhea and other intestinal problems.
5. May speed and improve general healing when taken internally.
6. May relieve itching and swelling of irritated skin.
7. May help kill fungus and bacteria.
8. May improve the effectiveness of sun screen products.
Aloe Vera plants are very easy to care for and easy to grow in frost-free climates – either as houseplants or outdoors. However aloe vera plants do need a lot of sunlight, so it’s best to place them in a sunny spot, or near a window that gets lots of sunlight. A common mistake that many people make is the tendency to over-water. Remember these plants are succulents. They hold water in their leaves and root system to cope with long periods of drought, so they need less water than you might think.