The Aloe Vera plant is a member of the Liliaceae family. It has cactus like features and was originally sourced from Africa. Like cactus plants, its long green thick leaves contain the water the plant needs to survive during long periods of drought. Aloe Vera resists dry, warm climates very harsh environments. Aloe Vera has long been used for its medicinal and healing properties.

Aloe vera can be found in many health and pharmaceutical products. It can be found in many health drinks and is widely used in Skin care and Beauty products.

Alexander the Great was known to use Aloe Vera for healing the wounds of his soldiers. Cleopatra also used it as a part of her skin care.

Sometimes referred to as the “First Aid Plant”, Aloe Vera has long been a common plant around many homes. I can still remember my grandmother breaking a leaf off and rubbing it into burns and scalds on me as a kid. The Aloe Vera plant is used as an ingredient in health has been known to help stomach problems and also proved to be an effective skin moisturiser in various skin care products.

During the 70’s and 80’s, Aloe Vera gel became popular in USA and widely used in cosmetic products and skin care products. Aloe Vera is also available in creams and body lotions.

Aloe Vera has healing, soothing, antibacterial and moisturising properties. It is used to relieve burning, itching, minor cuts and first and second degree burns. Recent studies indicate that aloe vera has the ability to accelerate cell growth in the skin.

Aloe Vera has a property that fights against viruses such as the flu, chickenpox, and herpes and can also kill bacteria. Aloe Vera also stops bowels from absorbing water. This speeds the passage of faecal matter through bowel causing a laxative effect.

Aloe Vera possesses external healing properties and speeds the healing of skin injuries such as poison ivy, ulcerations, hives, and burns. Internal healing properties result from its use as a laxative; however, use as a laxative can cause severe cramping. There are other laxative herbs available that have a lesser effect

Growing Aloe Vera
Because Aloe plants have 95% water, they are extremely frost tender. If grown outdoors in warm climates, they should be planted in full sun, or light shade. The soil should be moderately fertile, and fast draining. Established plants will survive a drought quite well, however, Aloe Vera will benefit from a regular watering. When Aloe Vera is grown in pots, it is recommended the soil be allowed to dry out before adding any additional water.

Aloe Vera plants are popular and are available at almost every garden shop or nursery. Look for the Botanical name of Aloe barbadensis.

Author's Bio: 

Eric Smith is an Organic Gardener, Environmentalist and has studied Natural Therapies in depth. Eric represents ONE Group Certified Organic Skin Care, Home & Nutritional Products - | Products containing Aloe Vera can be found here