The Aloe Vera Plant

Aloe Vera is an extraordinary plant with a long history of uses. Here we’ll discuss some of the plant characteristics you need to be aware of. The harsh terrain and climate it can thrive in etc.

Introduction to an extraordinary plant

Aloe vera has been used as a herbal medicine for centuries. It has only recently become a staple in cosmetics and in mainstream medicine. While most people know it as the cooling substance that can help alleviate the pain of a burn (either from the sun or from touching something hot), aloe vera actually has a range of health benefits, more here. Aloe vera is an ancient plant, whose health benefits lie in its biological information.

aloe vera plant

sarangib / Pixabay

Where does Aloe Vera grow?

Aloe vera grows all over the world, mostly in hot, dry areas. Its ability to store water is part of what makes it so useful for medicinal applications. This ability was developed over time as the plant’s environment became hot and dry. While it does favor heat and does not need very much water to survive, it can survive for a short time in cold climates.
Because aloe vera often grows in arid deserts, it is used to severe heat fluctuations, from very hot days, to freezing cold nights. Aloe vera grows on almost every continent, from the arid sands of Egypt, to waterless death valley.

What age can the plant reach?

Aloe vera plants have extremely long lives. Unlike plants like orchids that will shrivel up and die after only a few seasons, aloe vera can live for over a century, if it has the right conditions. In their natural habitat, as long as they are not overwatered or destroyed, plants have the ability to live multiple hundreds of years. Like the cacti that they share their natural environment with, aloe vera will continue to grow and survive as long as they have the right level of water and plenty of heat.

What Are Aloe Vera’s Medicinal Properties?

Aloe vera is used as a topical ointment for burns because it has a natural cooling property. This is because of the high levels of moisture that the aloe vera leaves store while the plant is growing. Inside the leaves is a clear, gelatinous fluid, which is used to treat all manner of inflammation and irritation.

Many people take aloe vera regularly to combat ulcerative colitis, ulcers, diabetes, and even to curb the burns caused by radiation treatments. The gel inside the leaves improves circulation, while also have a cooling effect, which can soothe the feeling of a burn, while allowing the blood to deliver the nutrients that are needed to repair the inflamed or burned tissue. The gel is also used to make all kinds of aloe vera juices. As you can see Aloe Vera has a myriad of uses possibly beneficial for your health.

Do Aloe Vera plants flower?

aloe vera flowers

Romi / Pixabay

These flowers are yellow, orange, pink, or red in color, and have tubular petals that grow around a central spire, almost like a colorful, pinecone. Over time, the petals will begin to separate and spread out. If the plant has had enough sunlight in its current position, it will flower after about four years, when it reaches maturity. Remember that aloe vera is a high desert plant, so conditions that mimic the heat and intense sunlight of the high desert are the most conducive to flowering.

Does it have leaves?

Aloe Vera leaves

seagul / Pixabay

Aloe vera plants do have leaves. In fact, that majority of the plant that you can see are the leaves. The long, green, spiked tendrils shooting out in every direction from the base of the plant are the leaves. These thick leaves and the shape of the plant make it easy for aloe vera to collect and store what little rain falls in its natural habitat.

Can I Grow Aloe Vera?

Many people can successfully grow aloe vera in their own homes, especially if they already live in the aloe vera plant’s natural habitat. In order for this plant to flourish, it needs long, intense sunlight. The biggest mistake that most people make when growing aloe vera is to water it too much. Like any high desert plant, the aloe vera is designed to survive on very little water and can actually drown if it is given too much water at a time. Growing aloe vera is not difficult, if you have the right conditions.

Where Does Aloe Vera Originate From?

Aloe vera originates in ancient Africa. There are records, among early civilizations in this area, of aloe vera being used for its medicinal purposes, even in ancient times. From the arid deserts in Africa, aloe vera was transported to North America and can now be found growing in just about every hot, arid climate zone in the world. It is one of the most resilient plants in the world, surviving both extreme heat and extreme cold, severe drought and humid weather.

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