Aloe Vera – description of the herb. Benefits and harm to human health



You’ve probably heard a lot about Aloe Vera and its healing properties. Even Christopher Columbus took this plant on board of his ships to heal the wounds of hired sailors. So what does this plant look like and what can it be used for?

The origin of Aloe Vera (translation: real aloe) is not known for certain.

This plant has spread throughout the world thanks to sailors and explorers. That is why it can be found in many places these days, such as the Southern Mediterranean, Asia, India, South America, as well as Africa. The Aloe Vera plant has 320 sisters, but only Aloe barbadensis is well suited for medicinal purposes.

Aloe Vera is also called the “burning plant” because it can exist in extremely hot climates where there is no rain for several months.

Appearance and composition

Although the plant looks like a kind of cactus, it belongs to the Affodil family (the Asphodelic family) and is not associated with cacti.

Aloe Vera plants usually form a dense group in the foothills. The green leaves – which can grow up to 50 centimeters in length – are rosette-like and are located around the bosom. The leaves have a smooth surface and jagged edges. During flowering, the plant throws out shoots 60 to 90 centimeters long with flowers ranging from yellow to red.

The leaves contain approximately 220 active substances such as vitamins, enzymes (enzymes), minerals, amino acids and polysaccharides. Among the polysaccharides, acemannan is worth noting, which helps to strengthen the immune system. This substance is also produced by the human body during puberty.

Aloe Vera at home

Aloe Vera – description of the herb. Benefits and harm to human health

You can purchase Aloe Vera from garden centers and large supermarkets – so you can grow it in a pot at home. Then you will always have a natural medicine at hand. All types of Aloe Vera require sandy, permeable soil. This desert plant does not get along well with waterlogging and over-watering. In addition, it prefers to grow in sunny to semi-shaded areas.

If the plant has at least 12 leaves, and if it is large enough, you can cut off one of the lower leaves. Let the rest of the leaves grow. After a new sheet appears, you can again use another bottom sheet. In three months you will receive about four leaves. Thus, the Aloe Vera plant can grow for up to 10 years.

Aloe Vera Beneficial features

Clinical studies have shown the effectiveness of Aloe Vera gel for inflammatory skin diseases, wounds, burns, sunburn, frostbite, as well as acne, psoriasis, eczema and insect bites.

Aloe Vera – description of the herb. Benefits and harm to human health

The plant’s effectiveness in strengthening the immune system and other beneficial effects on the body has not yet been proven. Before using a gel that contains Aloe Vera, you should talk to your doctor, as not everyone can tolerate its effects.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), fresh gel from the Aloe Vera plant is better than processed foods like beauty creams and the like. The composition of the creams can affect the active ingredients of the aloe vera plant.

But if you still prefer to buy products with aloe vera, you must make sure that they have the BIO or IPC stamp (IASC – International Scientific Council for the Research of Aloe). This ensures the quality and processing of the aloe vera products.


Aloe Vera – description of the herb. Benefits and harm to human health

After you have cut off the leaf, wait for the yellow juice to completely stop flowing. This liquid is a gum which contains the highly irritating active ingredient “aloin”, which acts as a laxative and is slightly toxic!

After the yellow juice is completely drained, an adequate piece of the leaf can be cut off. Place the rest of the leaf in a plastic bag and refrigerate. The sheet can be stored there for several days.

For external use

Cut off the required piece of the sheet. The gel can be applied to the affected area of ​​the skin. You will feel cooling and softening.

For internal use

As mentioned above, you need to talk to your doctor before taking aloe vera by mouth. If you get permission, use a knife to get the gel out of the sheet. You can either eat it naturally or mix it with a small amount of food.

Do not heat it or use warm or hot food for consumption, as the healing ingredients will be destroyed.

The benefits of aloe vera in cosmetology

Aloe Vera – description of the herb. Benefits and harm to human health

Due to the content of vitamins, mineral acids and other beneficial substances, aloe vera has a beneficial effect on the skin. It saturates it with moisture, smoothes and makes it elastic. Therefore, you can often find aloe in anti-aging creams.

It is also well suited for cleaning the skin: masks, scrubs, peels. You can cook them yourself or buy them ready-made. The plant is also effective in the fight against dandruff. Regular masks and rinses with aloe vera extract leave hair soft and silky.

Harm and contraindications of aloe vera

The benefits, of course, are greater, and we have already considered it above. I just want to mention that the ancient healers called aloe “the plant of immortality.” But, he also has contraindications.

Aloe Vera – description of the herb. Benefits and harm to human health

It is not recommended to use:

  • pregnant women;
  • people who suffer from intolerance to one of the components that contains aloe;
  • with acute diarrhea or acute gastrointestinal diseases;
  • children under 3 years old;
  • with hemorrhoids;
  • with liver problems;
  • for vague abdominal pains, it is better not to apply until you get an accurate diagnosis;
  • with chronic heart failure.

It is also worth noting that all contraindications relate mainly to internal use. In this case, it is better to definitely consult a doctor. There are practically no contraindications for external use. But, it is important to remember that everything is good in moderation. You should not be zealous and use aloe in unlimited quantities.


Aloe vera is a real “green first aid kit” on the window, therefore, grow this useful flower. It will definitely come in handy for your beauty and health, especially since it is not whimsical at all in care.


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