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Facts About Aloe Vera - Description and Uses

A botany graduate, Nithya Venkat enjoys writing about plants that help sustain life on planet Earth.


Aloe is a genus of five hundred species of succulent flowering plants. They are found in South Africa’s Cape Province, the mountains of tropical Africa and neighboring areas such as Madagascar, the Arabian Peninsula and the island of Africa.

Aloe Vera is a medicinal plant that has been used for thousands of years. It has been traced to the records dating back to1750 b.c. Aloe vera was used in Egyptian embalming procedures. In India, it has been in use since ancient times in ayurvedic medicine.

The earliest record of the use of Aloe vera can be traced back to the Ebers Papyrus, an Egyptian medical record dating back to the 16th century.

Classification of Aloe vera

Division – Magnoliophyta

Class – Liliopsida

Order Liliales

Family – Aloaceae

Genus – Aloe

Species – Aloe vera (L.)

Description of Aloe vera

Aloe vera is a succulent perennial plant that belongs to the Liliaceae family. It has succulent leaves with a short, thick stem. This plant can grow up to a height of one meter. Aloe vera grows well in hot tropical climates and is drought resistant.

The leaves of the Aloe vera plant are arranged in the form of a rosette around the stem. The leaves have serrated margins with small teeth at the edges. The leaves are dotted with white spots.

The flowers of the Aloe vera plant are pendulous, yellow and arranged in the form of a spike-like inflorescence that can grow to a height of ninety centimeters.

Flowers of Aloe vera

Flowers of Aloe vera

Aloe Vera Gel

The leaf of Aloe vera contains a clear gel-like liquid that is often used as a topical ointment to heal the skin. The green part of the leaf that surrounds the gel can be used to produce juice or dried powder.

The gel of Aloe vera contains vitamins and nutrients that nourish the skin. It shields the skin from harmful UV radiations of the sun. It has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. It also contains antioxidants that help to keep the skin healthy. Aloe vera is used in many cosmetic products.

Growing Aloe vera

Aloe vera thrives well as a house plant in terracotta pots, as the porous material allows the soil to dry out between waterings. Overwatering aloe vera can lead to the development of root rot that slows the plant's growth, causing wilting and can lead to the death of the plant itself.

Growing aloe vera in air pots is ideal because the air pots have porous sides that allow the soil to dry out quickly and provides plenty of air to the root system. As a result, the aloe vera grows at a faster pace and flourishes.

Aloe vera can grow in a well-draining, soil-free potting mix that removes the moisture between waterings. A good soilless mix contains coarse sand, lava rock, and perlite.

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Water the aloe vera plant once every other week. Fertilize the plant once a month using an all-purpose liquid plant fertilizer. Aloe vera plants grow well in temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Uses and Benefits of Aloe vera

Aloe vera is widely used in skin care products. It moisturizes, soothes, and hydrates the skin. It accelerates the growth of new skin cells and slows down the aging process. It prevents wrinkles from appearing on the skin and boosts the production of collagen. This plant is effective in protecting the skin from the harmful UV radiations of the sun.

Aloe vera is used in many beauty products. It is used in soaps, shampoos, sunscreens, moisturizers, facial creams, under eye cream, lip balm, etc.

Aloe vera shampoo is effective as a moisturizer for dry scalp. It also prevents hair loss and gives a glossy texture to the hair. It is effective in the treatment of dandruff.

Aloe vera gel is rich in antioxidants that repair skin cells and helps to rejuvenate the skin. It has antifungal and antibacterial properties that help to heal wounds, kill bacterial infections, and repair the skin cells. It is externally used to treat sunburns, boils, skin rashes, and any irritation of the skin.

Aloe vera gel also helps to ease skin disorders like acne, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. It also helps to relieve insect stings and bites.

Freshly squeezed Aloe vera gel can be applied to any affected area of the skin. The gel creates a protective coating which speeds up the healing process, decreases swelling and redness. It relieves pain and prevents the formation of blisters. Aloe vera gel also helps to ease frostbites.

In toothpaste, the Aloe vera gel helps to fight cavities because the latex of Aloe vera has anthraquinones-compounds that heal and reduce the pain through natural anti-inflammatory effects.

Drinking Aloe vera juice helps to keep the digestive system healthy and functioning smoothly. It helps to reduce inflammation throughout the body.

The liver functions well when the body is hydrated and nourished. Aloe vera juice helps the liver to function because it is hydrating and rich in phytonutrients.


"Aloe." Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. Retrieved July 09, 2019 from

Aloe vera: A Short Review. Retrieved July 09, 2019 from National Center for Biotechnology Information:

Nine Health Benefits and Medical Uses of Aloe vera. Retrieved July 09, 2019 from Medical News Today:

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Nithya Venkat


Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on September 18, 2020:

Peggy aloe works wonders for the skin, thank you for your visit and comments.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 18, 2020:

I always try and have an aloe vera plant in our garden. Just recently I used it to help a sore on my arm that I got while gardening. It works!

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on December 26, 2011:

Hi Vinaya Ghimire, good decision.

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on December 26, 2011:

I have recently decided to farm aloe vera. Thanks for sharing the facts.

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