What is Aloe vera?

Botanically speaking

Aloe vera is one of the more than 250 species of Aloe known in the world. It lives mainly in desert or semi-desert areas, where tha plant can find the most suitable climate for its growth.

It is characterized by being formed by a variable group of leaves that start from a trunk that acts as a central root and from which sporadically it leaves, 2 or 3 times a year, a long stem crowned with yellow flowers. Its fruit is a triangular capsule that contains numerous seeds.

Aloe vera leaves deserve special attention, since they extract the juice used historically to cure all kinds of ailments. Fleshy, with a size of 50 cm in length and a considerable thickness, they are capable of accumulating a large amount of water.

In the hours of sun, to avoid evaporation, the Aloe closes its pores or stomata, thus conserving the water inside. These reserves are stored and consumed slowly when the rains are scarce, in this way, it can reduce its size and consistency and even sacrifice some of its leaves to survive.

Aloe vera requires a minimum of 320 days of sunshine per year and is 98% air-fed. It needs at least three to four years to mature and be able to harvest it.

   

Distribution

The place of origin of Aloe is unknown, Cape Town region in South Africa, Sudan or Arabian Peninsula appear as a possibility.

Today we can find the cultivated or feral plant in North Africa, from Morocco to Egypt, in the Middle East, in Asia - especially in India - throughout the southern Mediterranean, in Madeira, Cape Verde and the Canary Islands.

It is in Central and South America, especially in the Antilles, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Mexico and in the Andean foothills, where it can also be found in the wild.

    

Composition of l'Aloe vera

So far, at least 160 important components (vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential amino acids and polysaccharides, etc.) have been found in Aloe vera leaves. Some experts even talk about 300 to 400 vital ingredients.

Scientists agree that so far no individual substance is responsible for the healing effects of Aloe vera, but rather it is a synergistic effect of all the ingredients.

It is precisely this that makes unique the Aloe vera: it unites all these valuable ingredients in perfect harmony and, therefore, allows the supply of substances vital to our body, far beyond any single agent. 

The Barbadensis Miller variety contains a large number of biologically active substances, such as vitamins, minerals, proteins, amino acids and polysaccharides and more specifically the following:

Water.

Anthraquinones: Aloin, Barbaloin, Isobarbaloin, Antranolo, Alloetic acid, Cinnamic acid ester, Aloe-emodin, Emodin, Chrysophanic acid, Resistannolo.

Enzymes: Cyclooxygenase, Oxidase, Amylase, Catalase, Lipase, Alkaline Phosphatase, Carboxypeptidase.

Vitamins: B1, B2, B6, B8, C, β-Carotene (vitamin A precursor), E.

Non-essential amino acids: Histidine, Arginine, Hydroxyproline, Aspartic Acid, Glutamic Acid, Proline, Glycine, Alanine, Tyrosine.

Essential amino acids: Lysine, Threonine, Valine, Leucine, Isoleucine, Phenylalanine, Methionine.

Trace Elements: Manganese, Calcium, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Chromium, Magnesium.

• Saccharides: Cellulose, Glucose, Mannose, L-Rhamnose, Aldopentose.

• Other Compounds: Cholesterol, Triglicerides, Steroids, β-sitosterolo, Lignins, Uric Acid, Gibberellins, Salicylic Acid, Arachidonic Acid.

   

Main properties 

Aloe vera acts as:

Detoxifying, digestive, depurative, cellular regenerator, bactericide, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiviral, pain inhibitor, anti-coagulant, stimulator of the immune system. Topical: healing and moisturizing.

All these characteristics make Aloe vera an exceptional plant.

Enjoy all of them and be part of the large group of people who already enjoy Aloe vera in its purest state.

Sources

British Journal of General Practice, 1999

https://www.aloe-medical-group.com/es/aloe-vera/botanica.html) 

Indian Journal of Dematology, 2007