Aloe flower belongs to flowering succulent plants. These plants have meaty leaves that serve as moisture reserve containers. All aloe plants came from the desert and near-desert areas of our planet. The homeland of aloe plants in Africa. Aloe is often grown indoors not as an ornamental plant, but in medical purposes (aloe vera), however, various aloe species are quite attractive for decoration as well.
Due to the fact that aloe treatment is so important for many florists, let us describe the benefits of aloe vera (also called medicinal aloe and aloe barbadensis) and its therapeutic properties. Aloe vera juice and leaves are commonly used as a medicine as well as aloe vera extract (dried aloe juice also referred to as Socotrine aloe). Aloe vera extract was mentioned in numerous ancient medical tractates; dried aloe vera juice was used to treat many diseases, and its price was very high.
Aloe vera juice is in wide usage in modern medicine as well. Aloe juice is used to get biogenous stimulators, which are produced in all living tissues (plants’ tissues as well) under the influence of hostilities of the external and internal environment.
Currently, biogenous stimulators are obtained in industrial conditions. For this, cut aloe leaves are held in darkness with the temperature near zero for three weeks, then aloe vera juice got is heated, packed into ampoules used for aloe injections, ingestions, and external use.
Aloe vera uses include treating various diseases: stomatosis, diseases of the throat, respiratory organs, eyes, skin diseases, skin burns, septic wounds; aloe vera also is used to treat furunculosis and dermatitis, gastrointestinal diseases, genital diseases (both of men and women) and so on.
One of Aloe vera juice’s benefits is its wide use in folk medicine. Aloe juice is a good remedy against many groups of bacteria: streptococci, staphylococci, diphtheria, and dysenteric bacilli. Aloe masks with various components are popular in cosmetology. It can be preparations made in home conditions — a large number of crèmes made of aloe vera extract, aloe balsams, aloe gel, aloe vera oil, or aloe drinks, aloe vera lotions, aloe propolis crème and so on.
Uses of aloe vera:
Socotrine aloe – produced as a powder. Socotrine aloes have a purgative effect which takes place in 8-10 hours after contact with preparation.
Aloe vera juice is moisture in vials. Aloe juice is used in bandaging, as it stimulates regeneration of skin epithelium and mucous membranes. When drunk, aloe vera juice improves digestion and takes a laxative effect. It is also used for gargling in case of upper respiratory tract diseases etc.
Aloe vera extract (liquid extract and aloe extract for injections). Used as injections and drinks to treat eye diseases, pains caused by a gastric ulcer, or dodecadactylon diseases.
Aloe liniment is aloe juice mixed with eucalyptus oil, castor oil, and so on. Aloe liniment is used to treat skin burns and other skin injuries.
Aloe vera gel is a mixture of aloe vera juice, sea buckthorn oil, juice of plantain, yarrow, chamomile, clover, burdock. Aloe vera gel is used as a wound-healing, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic cream for any kind of skin.
of aloe with iron is applied in
case of anemia.
Aloe recipes except the aloe juice contain lemons, walnuts, red wine, pine and birch-buds, various herbs, mummies, propolis. Aloe with honey in different proportions is used most often.
If you want to use the aloe plant for treatment or getting aloe juice, you should take a plant at least 3 years old. You should cut only lower leaves. And you should not water your aloe flower for a week before you cut the leaves.
Let us mention several aloe vera recipes for medicinal purposes
Usually, 1 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon of fresh aloe juice or juice from a pharmacy is drunk 2-3 times a day in 30 minutes before eating to improve digestion, appetite, as well as at gastritis and chronic constipation. Aloe vera juice is also used in case of burns, septic wounds, abrasions, dermatitis.
The mixture of aloe vera juice with red wine and honey (in proportion ?, 1, 1), which has to be held in a dark warm place for a week, is used to improve immunity (1 teaspoon three times a day before eating).
The mixture of aloe and honey (1/2 part of aloe, 1 part of honey) with cod-liver oil is a good remedy for healing infected wounds and burns.
A ‘cake’ of aloe, honey, and flour is in use against abscesses with thick skin (soles, palms) and the treatment of furuncles. There are many more aloe vera recipes, but talking about the benefits of aloe vera as a medicine is a subject for a separate discussion.
We should mention that aloe treatment has its side effects. Firstly it’s related to diseases accompanied by bleeding. Hemorrhoids, menstruation, uterine, stomach bleeding, and other bleedings are absolute contraindications against aloe treatment. Contraindicated Treatment alone is contraindicated in the case of liver and gallbladder, acute inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, cystitis.
Local external usage of aloe plants to treat burns, wounds festering and others are not dangerous; the only contraindication can be an allergy. Anyway, if you want aloe treatment, consult with your attending doctor.
Aloe flower you can often meet indoors is tree-like aloe (Aloe arborescens). It has long and meaty leaves growing right from the trank. Apart from the main trunk, the aloe plant often produces many ‘children’ sprouts. This aloe species can reach 10 m in height in its homeland, Africa, and it regularly flowers. Aloe flowers are red-orange and they appear on long peduncles gathered into inflorescences. It can really grow in indoor conditions, and because of it, this species is also known as infinite aloe. To make the plant flower, it should be grown until 10 years old; in winter you must create extreme conditions for it — the temperature at most +14 Centigrade, almost no watering. However, you won’t be very happy with the flower, as its flavor causes a headache.
Other aloe plant species produce radical rosettes where from thick meaty leaves of various colors grow. This is a cup-like aloe. It has bluish-gray or green leaves with white teeth on the edge of the leaves. The plant is very thorny.
Aloe motley spinous is a compact plant with narrow leaves 10 cm long, gray-green colored, with white thorns at the edges of leaves. There are small white warts on its leaves. Aloe leaves make a globular rosette. Grown-up plants produce a lot of sprouts from these rosettes.
Aloe glauca has leaves of interesting blue-green color with white serrations at the edge of leaves. The lower side of a leaf is covered with small white thorns.
Kamniedood aloe stands out of the crowd of its fellows due to its appearance. It has straight triangular dark-green leaves with a white brim at the edge and white transversal strips across them. The leaves are up to 15 cm long.
Aloe vera (or Aloe barbadensis, true Aloe, or Barbados Aloe)is a grassy perennial with narrow bluish-green leaves gathered into rosettes. It’s pure Aloe vera that has been cultivated for centuries as a medicinal plant. Aloe vera plant is widespread across the Mediterranean, India, China, and other Asian countries. Spanish took aloe vera to America, where the plant felt like home on Barbados island. That’s where from it came to England and there it received its second name – Barbados Aloe. Aloe vera benefits cannot be underestimated.
There are many more species of aloe, i.e. aloe ferox and others, it’s the subject for further discussions.
ALOE PLANT CARE
Aloe is a succulent plant. It means that it needs conditions close to its natural conditions — it’s desert and near a desert. Aloe likes well-enlightened windowsills, abrupt differences of daytime and nighttime temperatures. Aloe plant withstands temperature reduction up to +5 Centigrade. To grow normally, the aloe flower needs several hours of direct sunlight a day, but in the hottest time of the day, it should be covered. Aloe plant loves fresh air, so it feels excellent on a balcony.
Aloe must be regularly watered as the soil dries, at that the water must be settled. In winter watering aloe once a month is enough. The preferable winter temperature should be minimal (+10-12 Centigrade). Spraying aloe is not necessary.
The soil must be breathable and not accumulate moisture, e.g. contain enough amount of sand or another disintegrator (brick crumb, perlite, etc.). Do we recommend such soil mixture as: 1 part of plate soil, 2 pieces of sod land,? part of river sand with the addition of broken bricks and charcoal.
During the period of active growth, aloe is fed with a mixture of ammonium nitrate – 1 gram per 1 liter of water.
Aloe is not so capricious plant and very survivable. It concerns watering and temperature conditions. Transplanting should be done not more frequently than once per 2-3 years.
Succulent plants feature easy propagation. Aloe plant is not an exclusion. Aloe propagates with stem, leaf stalks, and basal shoots. The best time for aloe propagation is spring or summer. The stalk should be dried a bit on the air for 1-2 days. Wet sand or regular soil mixture for succulents can serve as the soil for rooting. You must water the stalks carefully to avoid rotting. Covering stalks is not necessary. Aloe must not be grown in vessels with water, otherwise, the stalks will rot and won’t root. The best temperature for rooting is +25 Centigrade.
ALOE DISEASES AND PESTS
Almost all aloe diseases are caused by incorrect watering. Most often it’s excessive watering, especially at low temperatures and in the calm period, e.g. in winter. At that, the foot of a stalk can start rotting, leaves can wither and become pale. If you water aloe plant with cold tap water, it also can get an illness. You must obligatorily settle tap water for a while. Do not forget to water aloe in summer (in the period of growth).
Aloe can be attacked by mealybugs. If the damage is insignificant, you can just wipe damaged leaves with a wet swab. If aloe plant is seriously damaged, you should spray it with an insecticide once a week; at that, you cannot use it as a medicine during this period.