Presently, the majority of people are going for natural products for their well beings. While there are millions of plants that are beneficial for our well-being, there are few that possess marvelous benefits that can also be used in commercial products. Among them is aloe vera, a plant only a few people knew about in the past, which has now become one of the most popular plants in the world, and it is also considered one of the best medicinal plants. Even if someone doesn’t want to plant aloe vera for its benefits, it still makes for a great house plant, which doesn’t require constant attention. Here are some interesting facts about this plant:
The name of this plant is derived from two languages, Arabic and Latin. Aloe comes from the Arabic word alloeh, meaning shining bitter substance, and vera means truth in Latin, so it is a shining beacon of truth.
2. Not Just One type
Presently, there are over 400 discovered species of aloe vera around the world; however, the most familiar aloe vera is known as Aloe Barbadensis, and some forms of aloe vera also have flowers too. It is a form of succulent, as it can absorb and retain water, so much so that it is up to 90% water. Interestingly, most people place aloe vera in the same group as cactus; however, it belongs to the lily plant family.
Although this plant is found in large numbers in Africa, it is believed that it was originated in Arabian Penisula because aloe vera thrives in hot and dry climates. Also, aloe vera was found on the trading routes between Asia and the Mediterranean. As this plant loves sandy soil, these routes were ideal for it. The oldest writing about aloe vera dates back to 1550 B.C., and it said that Cleopatra used to rub its gel on her body. It was also used by the Greeks to cure baldness.
4. Amazing for Skin
As mentioned previously that Cleopatra used to apply it to her skin to make it softer, and this is now proven in numerous controlled studies as well. According to experts, all three epidermal layers of the skin are moisturized by aloe vera gel. It also increases the rate at which other products are absorbed by the body.
5. Not all Aloe Veras are Green
Most people think that aloe vera only comes in the color green; however, it comes in many colors. It can range from pale white to vivid orange. Moreover, depending on conditions like sunlight, excessive water, and poor drainage, it can change its color to pink, yellow, and white, respectively.
6. Snack Time
While its benefits to the skin are popular across the world, people also eat it as well. In addition to making the skin clear, it is known to improve oral health by fighting dental plaque. Many cultures across the world eat aloe vera, either by cooking it or on its own. Plus, drinking aloe vera juice is known to cure gastrointestinal disorders, as it maintains an alkaline pH level in the body. In Japan, people eat aloe vera by mixing it with yogurt to aid in digestion. Aloe vera is also great for diabetics, as it is known to reduce blood sugar levels.
7. A Cool Plant
Each plant has either hot or cold properties, and ancient medicine disciplines are well-aware of this and based on the properties of a plant, they are used in medicine accordingly. As for aloe vera, it is a cool plant, therefore, it is often used to heal sunburns, minor burns, and scraps. For this reason, it also works amazingly as a moisturizer in summers.
8. Excess is Bad
In the short term, this plant is an excellent remedy for skin and digestive problems; however, when used in the long term, it can cause nasty side effects. While it is known to cure constipation, excessive use of aloe vera can lead to dehydration. Additionally, pregnant women are advised against the ingestion of aloe vera, as it can cause birth complications. Prolonged usage can also hinder the liver’s detoxification process.
Whereas most plants are known to only bloom in certain seasons, aloe vera can bloom at any time, given the right conditions. Unsurprisingly, summers are usually the blooming season for this plant as it loves dry and hot climates. Interestingly, aloe vera can withstand direct sunlight, but reflected light can cause damage.
10. Indoors are Great
Although aloe vera thrives in hot temperatures, it is more susceptible to frost because of its high water content. Therefore, it makes it an ideal indoor plant, as long as the temperature is regulated.