Aloe Vera is a plant that has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. It’s known to have anti-inflammatory, healing, and skin rejuvenating properties. It contains powerful antioxidants and healing properties, making it great for living a healthy lifestyle. Despite its popularity, however, not many people know some amazing facts about aloe vera. This wonder plant has some other amazing facts that you may not know.
So what are some of the amazing facts about aloe vera? Being succulent, aloe vera is made up of 99 percent water and comes in well over 400 species. Despite exhibiting similar physical properties, aloe vera is not a cactus as many would want to believe. You can easily drink aloe vera for medicinal purposes, but it is also used in Japan as a food product in yogurt.
Aloe vera is a plant that has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy. It contains powerful antioxidants and healing properties, making it great for living a healthy lifestyle. In this blog post, we’ll explore 15 amazing facts about aloe vera.
1. It consists of 99% water
Aloe vera is mostly water. The plant consists of 99% water, making it extremely hydrating for your skin. Aloe vera also helps lock in moisture to the deepest layers of your skin, keeping you out of trouble during dry seasons or harsh winds. It is an excellent addition to any skincare regimen because it’s so effective without being too harsh on the skin.
2. There are more than 400 species
Aloe vera is found in two distinct forms: aloe vera and barbata. Although they both come from the same plant, these two types of plants have some slight differences that make them unique for their respective uses. Aloe vera has a slightly sweeter taste, while barbata has a bitter taste. Barbata is also known to help with respiratory problems like asthma and bronchitis.
Apart from these two primary forms, aloe vera comes in multiple species. The most common of these include Barbadensis, Aspera, Capricornica, and Cylindrical. This wide variety of species makes it easier for people to pick out the right aloe vera plant that suits their needs best.
3. People eat it in yogurt in Japan
While most people use aloe vera for its healing benefits on the skin or speed up recovery from a sunburn, it’s also been used as a food product throughout history. The Japanese enjoy aloe vera in their yogurt, making it a healthy and fun snack for people of all ages.
The Japanese aren’t the only ones who enjoy aloe vera as a food product. It has also been used in some South American countries, like Mexico and Peru. The people of these cultures use it to make jams that are great for breakfast or afternoon snacks.
4. Cleopatra was a super fan
One of the most well-known women throughout history, Cleopatra, was known for her incredible beauty and charming personality. She used aloe vera to keep her skin healthy and glowing during all of the festivities that she had to attend as a queen.
She also considered it a necessity for any woman who wanted to be beautiful. It’s relatively easy for people today to find products with aloe vera as a key ingredient and even easier to grow the plant in their garden.
5. Contains cooling properties similar to menthol
Most people think of aloe vera as only suitable for healing skin, but it also has some unique features that make it ideal for those with respiratory problems or chronic pain. Aloe vera contains cooling properties that are similar to menthol, giving it an interesting and effective property.
Aloe vera also helps people with allergies because of its anti-inflammatory nature. It’s excellent for reducing the swelling caused by hay fever or dermatitis, making it a wonderful addition to any medicine cabinet.
6. It’s not a cactus
One of the biggest misconceptions about aloe vera is that it’s a cactus. Despite growing in dry and desert-like conditions, aloe vera isn’t related to any cactus plant. This confusion probably stems from its appearance, as many types of succulents look similar because they have fleshy leaves and similar formations.
Instead, aloe vera is related to other lily-type plants that produce flowers and fruit. It doesn’t need the harsh conditions of a desert to grow, but it does thrive when planted outdoors because of its ability to store water for long periods.
7. It contains more than 200 nutrients
One of the best things about aloe vera is its incredible nutritional value. It’s packed with more than 200 nutrients that help to keep your body healthy and strong, as well as reduce inflammation throughout your skin or respiratory system.
Aloe vera has some of the highest levels of antioxidants found in any plant on earth. This makes it an excellent addition to any meal because it contains the nutrients needed to keep your body healthy and strong.
8. You can drink it
Aloe vera juice has become a popular beverage throughout the world, but did you know that aloe vera gel is also safe for human consumption? While its slimy consistency may turn some people off, they should realize that it’s also full of nutrients and antioxidants to help their bodies stay healthy.
Its high levels of electrolytes make aloe vera gel a great choice for athletes who need an energy boost after a long workout or people with chronic fatigue syndrome because it helps them feel better throughout the day. It can even be used topically by those who have sensitive skin to help reduce the redness and irritation that comes with various dermatological conditions.
9. Produces two substances, gel and latex
Besides its nutritional value, aloe vera is also known for producing a number of unique compounds throughout its life cycle. The first one it produces is called “gel,” which helps protect the plant from predators and harsh weather conditions.
After reaching a certain age, aloe vera will also produce “latex,” which functions as another form of self-defense against people who try to eat or harm the plant in some way. However, it can be used for medicinal purposes because of its ability to reduce inflammation caused by injury or illness.
10. It’s an adaptogen
One of the fascinating things about aloe vera is its ability to change form depending on the needs of your body. It acts as what biologists call “an adaptogen,” meaning that it can help reduce inflammation and promote feelings of calmness throughout your respiratory or immune system.
This makes aloe vera a great choice for people suffering from chronic pain, allergies, or inflammation because it helps them feel better throughout the day. Some studies have even shown that aloe vera can help reduce anxiety and depression by producing certain compounds in your brain that promote feelings of happiness and relaxation.
11. Aloe Vera is an evergreen succulent and perennial plant
Aloe Vera leaves have three main components. The outer green skin, a latex layer, and a mesophyll layer, carrying the gel. The gel is 99% made of water and other essential minerals, hormones, enzymes, and amino acids.
The plant survives in areas with low rainfall, making it perfect for indoor and garden planting. It is stemless, growing from 60-100 cm, and spreads by offsets. The leaves are thick, fleshy, and green, but some have white dots on the upper and lower stem areas. The flowers make Aloe Vera a beautiful plant, producing long stalks up to 90cm long, with every flower having a loose yellow tabular corolla.
The light green ‘skin’ color in the stalks hides the huge ‘meat’ inside the leaves and an edible natural gel. When the plant matures, the Aloe Vera gel extracted has over 70 nutrients and numerous active compounds. It is rich in amino acids and vitamins, making the succulent plant a unique indoor plant.
12. It is an ideal plant to grow indoors
All you need is a pot to grow Aloe Vera indoors. When planting indoors, a terracotta pot is an ideal place to grow it, as long as it is porous and aerated to allow air circulation in the soil. The plant is made up of water, susceptible to frosting in cold conditions, making indoors an ideal place to grow it.
Aloe Vera is the right choice if you intend to have a plant that will not stress you or take much of your time to care for you. It is easy to grow as a houseplant and care for whether inside or outside the house. All you need for Aloe Vera to flourish is enough light from both sides, regular watering only when the plant is dry, and well aerated and drained soil.
Pruning Aloe Vera is simple and ensures the older leaves ate thicker. Most homes and apartments provide the best temperatures of about 13 to 27oC. It is easier to propagate the plant by taking a thriving aloe plant with numerous pups and relocating the taller one to another pot.
13. Harvesting Aloe Vera is Enjoyable
What is the most important and enjoyable part of the process if not harvesting the aloe Vera when it matures? Harvesting Aloe Vera is an amazing task done by anyone in the house by following the below process:
- Choose a thick and mature leaf from the aloe plant and cut the base using a sharp knife.
- Cut the leaf’s lengthwise to reveal the thick clean gel inside.
- Squeeze the gel from the leaf in a clean bowl
- You may scoop the gel with a spoon to get it out completely
- Since you may not use the whole gel at once, you can store it in an airtight container or a refrigerator for some time
- Make it a daily routine to have Aloe Vera in the house for emergencies and daily use.
14. Aloe Vera has Numerous Health Benefits
The truth is that you can only get the full benefits of Aloe Vera by using the natural Aloe Vera gel. Products purported to contain Aloe Vera gel may contain other ingredients not favorable to your skin. A natural aloe Vera plant from your house and compound may have the following benefits.
Aloe Vera can help improve dental health
When used as a mouthwash, Aloe Vera can help to improve dental health. It is due to its anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis properties. Recent research has shown that Aloe Vera is a potential antibacterial agent effective in fighting bacteria and prevent periodontal diseases.
Aloe Vera is an ingredient in different types of toothpaste and mouthwashes. Using the product or drinking aloe Vera juice could treat gum diseases caused by inflammation. The Aloe Vera juice keeps the gum healthy. You can gargle the liquid in the mouth first before swallowing.
It can help lower blood pressure
Aloe Vera is not just a typical plant because it can help you cut medical expenses by a significant percentage. Taking two tablespoons of aloe Vera juice every day can reduce blood sugar among patients with Type 2 diabetes. It is good to know that using Aloe Vera to manage diabetes conditions requires a doctor’s prescription, especially for those patients already on diabetes medication.
It can help reduce menstrual pains
Aloe Vera provides instant relief to menstrual cycle pains. Drinking Aloe Vera juice with honey twice or thrice a day helps ease the heavy blood flow. Also, drinking the juice regularly supports normal blood flow in every monthly cycle.
Aloe Vera treats burns
Applying Aloe Vera several times a day can help relieve the pain and hasten the healing process in sunburn or any other mild burn. Due to its moisturizing, cooling, and soothing effects, Aloe Vera can heal burns. Aloe Vera has shown better results when treating superficial and partial thickness burns than other creams and is more affordable.
Improves digestive health
Consuming Aloe Vera juice can go a long way in benefiting your gastral tract and help in soothing and cures stomach illnesses. Aloe Vera has shown significant benefits in inhibiting the growth of some of the bacteria found in the digestive tract, causing ulcers. However, Aloe Vera has many species; therefore, you have to ensure you have the right one before using it, as some are not good for consumption.
Clears acne on the face
Squeezing fresh aloe juice in your hand and applying it on the face helps clear acne because of the antibacterial property that helps control bacteria causing acne. It may not clear the scars but will go a long way to reduce the size of your pores, thus preventing pimples or acne growth in the future. Isn’t it amazing sleeping with a pimpled face and waking up with healthy and refreshed skin?
Fights aging of the skin
Aloe Vera gel contains numerous antioxidants that include vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene that improve skin’s natural insistence and keep it hydrated. In aging people, aloe Vera gel makes the wrinkles less noticeable because of the collagen that allows the skin to retain moisture. Collagen not only reduces the wrinkles but also tightens the skin, improving its elasticity.
Aloe Vera Preserves fruits
Aloe Vera gel is moist, preventing bacterial infections from permeating the products and prolonging the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. It reduces respiration while maintaining the quality features, such as color and flavor. It has antifungal and antibacterial properties that act as a defensive barrier against the microbial contamination of the products.
Aloe Vera prevents Oxidative Stress
Aloe Vera gel is rich in vitamins that help the inappropriate functioning of the body. Some of the vitamins include B12, B1, B2, B6, Vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin C, which ensures the body’s defensive mechanism, remains strong and can fight oxidative stress. The plant is a natural air purifier reducing anxiety and stress by ensuring the availability of fresh air to breathe.
Aloe Vera reduces dandruff
Aloe Vera has impressive enzymatic elements that break down dead skin cells, making it the best property to treat dandruff. Doctors link dandruff to a fat-eating fungus living on the scalp. Aloe Vera kills the fungus because the antifungal properties alkalize the head surface, countering the proactive fungal environment and preventing further growth and buildup.
15. Aloe Vera “plant of immortality.”
In ancient Egypt, Aloe Vera was referred to as ‘plant of immortality, used by the nationals during burial rituals. Cleopatra added the plant in her beauty products for her body and face, as she believed it added long life. The plant itself can survive over 100 years, even in the wildest environment.
How to grow Aloe Vera Indoors
Aloe Vera is known as “the plant of immortality” since it is believed to be the oldest plant on earth. It is a natural first aid kit, this making it a necessary ingredient in your home garden. If you are looking to plant aloe vera in your indoor garden, the following tips should help you get started:
- Aloe vera is a drought-tolerant plant that requires good sunlight and warm temperatures to thrive. It will not do well in humid conditions, so it should be grown under bright filtered light indoors. Therefore, the best place for growing aloe vera is on a window sill or any other area where it can get at least five or six hours of sunlight a day.
- Aloe Vera thrives on being over-watered, though it should never be left to sit in water as this will cause the roots to rot and eventually kill the plant. The soil for aloe vera needs to drain well, so that excess water does not settle at the bottom of the pot. The pot should have good drainage holes, and the soil for aloe vera needs to be allowed to dry out between watering.
- Aloe Vera can grow pretty quickly, so it will require frequent repotting as you may need larger pots every year or two. It is best to use a well-draining cactus mix when planting Aloe Vera, and a good rule is to only use pots with at least one-fourth inch of space between the soil and rim. This will ensure that there is enough room for water drainage, preventing root rot from occurring.
- Aloe vera plants can be propagated by division or leaf cuttings which should be taken in spring once the plant is at least a year old. Be sure to use a sterile blade when taking cuttings, and dust the area with powdered rooting hormone before planting in pots of moist cactus mix.
Aloe vera is termed as a wonder pant for a good reason. Considering its unique features, medicinal properties, and rich history, this plant stands out as a must-have in your home garden.
With the above facts, you are better informed on the plant’s history, propagation, and ideal growing conditions. Thanks to its impressive health benefits and easy maintenance, Aloe vera will continue to be a popular house plant for years to come.