Aloe Vera:  The Burn Plant

Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) plant is a native of South Africa and is a member of the Lily family. It is the most widely known species of the genus Aloe.  It is known as medicinal aloe and is known for its healing benefits and uses. It has thick fleshy, pointed, spiny leaves which grow from a center crown.

Natural Curative Properties

The leaves are filled with a resinous gel that helps to soothe and heal minor burns, cuts and skin discomforts.

Extracts from the plant is also used to makes cosmetics and other various medicinal products.

Internally, it is used as an herbal medicine to relieve digestive discomfort.  With repeated use, drinking fresh aloe juice can cure stomach disorders such as constipation, ulcers and stomach sores.

Externally, aloe vera gel heals skin injuries such as burns, cuts, irritations and insect bites. It also moisturizes and softens the skin.

When applied to the hair, the gel reduces dandruff and controls both oiliness and dryness of hair. It cures scalp problems. The gel has anti-inflammatory properties  that reduce itching and scratching of the scalp.

Many families have grown up with this plant in the kitchen where cuts and burns can happen while cooking. To use as a first aid item, cut a portion of one of the leaves and squeeze the inner gel onto the hurt area. The plant will aid in healing and soothe the pain.

This succulent plant is great for indoor gardening, as it is hardy and easy to care for. It makes a fascinating houseplant that can grow up to 2 feet indoors. If given enough light, it will produce tall, slender stalks with yellow flowers.

Air Cleaning Properties

These plants are also  beneficial for the health of your home because they filter the air of a common indoor air pollutant called formaldehyde. When this toxin is removed, life-sustaining oxygen is added to air you breathe.  You can improve your indoor air By placing one large plant or two smaller plants (4-to-5 inch pots) every 100 square feet in your living space.

How Grow Aloe Vera Plant Indoors

To grow this plant in pots, you must use moist, porous potting mixture.

Light:  High to very high indirect light (near sunny south, east, or west window). Do not place in direct sunlight because the leaves can be burned.

Water:  Water thoroughly and empty excess water from saucer. This is necessary to prevent root rot that can be fatal to your plant. Allow potting mixture to dry again before watering.

Over watering is the most common mistake gardeners make with aloe vera plants. During the winter months the plant goes dormant.  Watering just enough to get the soil damp to the touch is plenty.

Soil:  Porous potting mixture Using soil that drains quickly (sandy, gritty soil) will work.

Temperature:  60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Can tolerate 40 degrees Fahrenheit without damage.

Humidity:  Low because plants are use to arid conditions

Fertilizer:  Fertilize during the growing season at half-strength or less no more than once a month.

Propagation:  Seeds, or offsets from parent plant that grow near the base of the plant. Plant offsets in loose, well-draining soil. A cactus soil mix works well. A general commercial potting soil with extra sand or perlite for drainage will work also.

Pests:  Check for scale on undersides of leaves, and mealybugs at leaf nodes and axils. If you find them, spray with appropriate pesticide.
 
With proper care, your Aloe Vera plant will grow well indoors.  You will get all the benefits to enhance your total well being.

› Aloe Vera




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