Aloe vera is one of the unique and useful plants in the world. You can find them in the wilderness, agricultural fields, and also in somebody’s household. Because of its healthy extracts and attractive appearance, people grow them quite often.
Aloe Vera originated in the Arabian Peninsula and mostly grows in arid, tropical, and semi-tropical climates. However, companies and people started planting them in different parts of the world since it holds rich ingredients to make lotion, cosmetics, or an ointment for skin conditions.
When you search the keyword “Aloe Vera” on the internet, probably you will find hundreds of articles that discuss its health benefits. Unlike those articles, this post is going to discuss several different facts about Aloe Vera. That way, you will learn a lot more information about this evergreen perennial.
1. Aloe Vera contains Vitamins A and C, antioxidants, enzymes, and anti-inflammatory properties.
According to Baylor College of Medicine, people use aloe Vera to treat conditions such as skin burns, dry skin, and acne.
However, experts think that more research is needed to test the claimed health benefits of aloe vera.
2. There are over 500 species of aloe plants, and aloe vera is one of them.
Interestingly, some of the species of aloe plants are toxic. But, aloe vera does not belong to that category.
From ancient times, societies recognized the plant as a wonderful healing substance. Early doctors used the plant to treat internal and external human disorders.
3. Sumerians documented the health benefits of the Aloe Vera on clay tablets about 2200 B.C.E.
Archeologists state that those clay tablets are the earliest documents that mentioned aloe vera as one of the miracle healing plants.
Early Egyptians also prepared ointments using aloe vera as the main ingredient. Egyptian documents from 1550 B.C.E listed twelve formulas, in which, healers instructed how to mix aloe vera with other substances to treat internal organs and skin disorders.
4. Among the other aloe plants, aloe vera is the most attractive and useful one.
For that reason, people grow the plant indoors inside pots. It is not surprising to find aloe vera in the kitchens. If someone burns his fingers or hands while cooking in the kitchen, they can crush and apply the aloe vera leave to the burn spot.
Also, people like the attractive and lively appearance of aloe vera and they use them to decorate their home interior.
5. Aloe Vera is very easy to grow.
Compared to other species of plants, aloe vera is tough to kill as long as they establish their root properly. Generally speaking, the plant rarely dies if a grower waters it and gives a bright and sunny spot to thrive.
Specialists state that aloe vera likes south-facing windowsill since they can get proper sunshine in that position. Nevertheless, west and east-facing windowsills also work as long as windows are not obstructed.
6. Overwatering can kill aloe vera.
We have to keep in mind that aloe vera originated in Arabian Peninsula where the climate is hot and usually dry. The plant also adapted growing in sandy grounds.
Therefore, people need to give a chance for the soil to dry between the watering sessions. Adding the proportionate amount of sand and growing it inside a well-drained pot are usually recommended.
7. Aloe vera does not like cold temperatures.
When people try to grow them in cold countries, they have to make sure that the room temperature is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 Celsius).
If the temperature is under 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 Celcius), aloe vera’s foliage or tips of its leaves show discoloration.
Some other causes can also lead to aloe vera diseases and discoloration. You may learn 9 ways of keeping your aloe vera healthy in this article.
8. Aloe Vera reproduces by allowing lots of babies to grow around it.
Sometimes, you will notice several tiny aloe vera plants coming out at the base of the adult (mother) aloe vera. Those baby aloe vera plants are called pups.
This is how aloe vera reproduces and spreads in the wilderness. At-home settings, you can separate those pups from the mother plant by placing them in a different pot.
9. Some food and beverage companies add aloe vera to yogurts and beverages.
Due to its perceived medical benefits, the food and beverage industry started adding aloe vera to their products.
Although the true benefits of aloe vera are still under review, it does not hold companies advertising the aloe vera as a healthy ingredient on their product labels.
10. Aloe Vera includes over 150 nutritional ingredients, most of which considered to be healthy for the human body.
For example, Berry College’s Biology Department states that aloe vera is rich in minerals, vitamins, and amino acids that hold anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They also state that aloe vera was shown to be effective to regulate blood lipid and glucose levels.
11. Aloe vera can grow up to 2 feet (61 centimeters) tall.
To increase the growth rate, people need to put it in front of the window that gets an adequate amount of sunlight and water whenever its soil gets dry. As mentioned previously, overwatering can kill the plant.
Frequent fertilization is not good for aloe vera either. If you decide to fertilize it with minerals, you need to do it every 6 to 8 weeks. Generally, liquid fertilizers rich in phosphorous are more suitable for aloe vera.
12. Aloe vera that grows indoors rarely blossoms.
Outdoor aloe vera shows yellow and red flowers in late winter and early spring. The flowers usually emerge from the center portion of the plant.
13. To separate pups from mother aloe vera, one should take both the adult and pups out of the pot.
Sometimes, people prefer to take pups out to place them in a different pot and share them with their friends. In those cases, people need to untangle roots since roots become intertwined when pups grow around mature aloe vera.
Also, keep in mind that most growers recommend separating pups when they reach 3 inches (6.5 cm) in height.
14. Aloe Vera will not survive inside the water.
Keeping plants inside the water temporarily until placing them in permanent pots is one of the common practices. But, that practice will not keep your aloe vera alive. Because the plant is intolerant to staying inside the water for an extended time. Because their roots can start to rot due to excessive moisture.
15. The largest aloe vera plantation is located in the Dominican Republic.
According to internet sources, 6,500-acre (2,630-hectare) aloe vera plantation owned by Forever Living company is claimed to be the largest in the world. Using aloe vera, the company produces a variety of beverages, cosmetics, personal care products, and supplements.
16. You can control the size of aloe vera using pots in different sizes.
In other words, if an aloe vera plant is planted in a small pot, the plant will not grow big since small pots prevent its root to grow wider.
On the other hand, aloe vera grows bigger inside the bigger pots because there is enough room for aloe vera root to thrive.
17. The name Aloe came from the Arabic word “Alloeh” which means shining bitter substance.
Aloe vera has several names. For example, ancient Egyptians called it “the plant of immortality”, while the Chinese praised it naming the plant “elixir of youth”.
Despite such attractive names, modern medicine can’t prove its true potential and health benefits.
18. Aloe Vera matures in 4 years and its lifespan is estimated to be between 12-25 years.
Its lifespan depends on the environmental conditions and how well is the care. When used for commercial purposes, the plant is being harvested heavily which shortens its lifespan.
19. Aloe Vera leaves can be harvested every 6-8 weeks by removing 3-4 leaves per plant.
When farmer cultivates aloe vera for commercial purposes, they harvest the plant on pre-determined times. Harvested aloe leaves are sent to a processing plant in refrigerated transportation to prevent leaves going bad during the transportation process.
Once the aloe leaves get to the plant, each leaf goes through a specific process. Firstly, manufacturers crush, grind, and press the leaves to extract liquids. Then, the liquid goes through a specified filtering mechanism to create gels.
20. Some scientists think aloe vera is not as healthy as people think.
There are two groups of scientists. The first group is pretty much in favor of consuming aloe vera. They believe the benefits of the plant outweigh its possible side effects.
However, the second group advocates avoiding human consumption of aloe vera since it contains a toxin called aloin. They believe aloin is capable of causing DNA damage and possibly leading to cancer and other disorders.
I hope that you liked the aloe vera facts and learned some good information about them that you can use in everyday life. Honestly, we can’t tell whether aloe vera is healthy or not. But, it sure does feel refreshing to drink.
We are hoping that the scientific community will solve the mystery surrounding aloe vera soon through reliable research, so the plant can find its deserving place in the society.